The first novel in USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins’ compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War.
Valinda Lacey’s mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.
As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.
As you all know I really enjoy when an author does their research and isn’t afraid to maintain historical accuracy no matter how harsh it might be. I know that I can count on Beverly Jenkins to do just that in her books. This book was a joy to read! New Orleans and the Mississippi River Basin has a special place I my heart so that made this story even more endearing for me. I loved reading about this strong, independent, EDUCATED, black woman and getting a glimpse into her world.
Valinda Lacy is a Northern born, black, teacher who has come to New Orleans to teach former slaves to read and write. While in New Orleans her strong will and determination for success are put to the test by white supremacists, rogue soldiers, and the stubborn employers of her students. But rather than give up in the face of adversity she finds help from a handsome stranger and his family.
Drake LeVaq is a New Orleans native, former captain with the Louisiana Native Guard, and a volunteer for the city’s Freedmen’s Bureau. He lives a fairly quiet life surrounded by his family. It is a chance meeting where he saves a beautiful, young teacher from a couple of rogue soldiers that makes his whole world change.
This book was both interesting and sweet with equal parts history and romance to make it a truly fulfilling read.