This week’s #fbf review is a 2-for-1 to showcase one of my favorite authors, Beverly Jenkins, whom I discovered through her Bring on the Blessings series, about an all black town in Kansas and the lives of its inhabitants.
I have a thing for historical fiction, especially historical romance. What I love about Jenkins is that she writes historical romances featuring black people, exploring a history you won’t read about in mainstream textbooks. Outlaws and lawmen. Ranch owners and pirates. Spies and soldiers.
Belle and Josephine are not only historical fiction and romance, but could also be considered NA and were published years before NA was a thing. I thought I’d share both since they’re connected, which is something Jenkins does with most of her books. Even the modern-day characters of the Blessings books connect to her historical fiction.
If you haven’t checked out Beverly Jenkins, do so now. You won’t regret it.
These reviews were originally published on Goodreads.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
YA (or dare I say even NA, though this predates the genre), historical fiction, romance, starring black characters – YES, YES, YES! Appropriately written for the intended audience, but can appeal to older or younger readers. Great blend of fiction – the love story and the history of the Underground Railroad. I definitely learned some things I didn’t know before. Everything does wrap up with a pretty bow, but that’s what I would expect from YA. Belle is such a great character for black girls – her spirit, determination, and growth. Read this in ebook, but I think I’m going to by physical copies of this and Josephine.
Josephine by Beverly Jenkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very sweet, quick read. Not as much history as the previous book, which is mostly why I gave this a 4, not a 5. Very heavy on the love story. I think I wanted more info on the war. I love the consistency of the Jo as a character; you still saw that spunk little girl, in this almost adult woman. I love what she represents for independent women, even back then.