Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 Book #31: BREATHLESS by Beverly Jenkins

Breathless (Old West #2) by Beverly Jenkins 
ISBN: 9780062389022 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062389039 (ebook)
ASIN: B01FD9AZJ8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 31, 2017 
Publisher: Avon Books

A strong-willed beauty finds herself in the arms of the handsome drifter from her past, in this second book in the sizzling series set in the Old West, from USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins
As manager of one of the finest hotels in Arizona Territory, Portia Carmichael has respect and stability—qualities sorely missing from her harsh childhood. She refuses to jeopardize that by hitching herself to the wrong man. Suitors are plentiful, but none of them has ever looked quite as tempting as the family friend who just rode into town…and none has looked at her with such intensity and heat.
Duchess. That's the nickname Kent Randolph gave Portia when she was a young girl. Now she's a stunning, intelligent woman—and Kent has learned his share of hard lessons. After drifting through the West, he's learned the value of a place to settle down, and in Portia's arms he's found that and more. But convincing her to trust him with her heart, not just her passion, will be the greatest challenge he's known—and one he intends to win…

We were first introduced to Portia and Regan Carmichael, their aunt Eddy and her husband Rhine Fontaine in Forbidden (if you haven't read this one, run and grab a copy today to read...seriously!). The action in Breathless takes place fifteen years after Eddy and Rhine married and Portia and Regan came to live with them. Due to hostilities in Nevada caused by Rhine's living as a White man, the family was forced to flee Virginia City and are now living in Arizona Territory. Rhine and Eddy have a prospering hotel in the territory. Both Portia and Regan have received college educations and returned to live in Arizona with their aunt and uncle. Now in her late twenties, Portia has resigned herself to living as a spinster and is happy to be working as a bookkeeper for her uncle and assisting in the management of their hotel. Or she was happy until an old face from the past returns, the former bartender for Rhine's saloon in Virginia City, Kent Randolph. The last time Kent saw Portia she was a somewhat standoffish twelve-year-old girl, now she is a beautiful and highly intelligent young woman and he's definitely attracted to her. Fortunately for Portia, Kent has ample appreciation for her intelligence, independence, business acumen, and wit, not to mention her latent sensuality. To say that sparks fly between Portia and Kent is a major understatement, but will they be able to conquer the divide that separates them and build a successful relationship together?

First, if you've never read any of Beverly Jenkins' historical novels and you are a romance reader, you have no idea what you are missing. These novels, including Breathless, combine great writing with amazing stories, little known Black American historical tidbits, historical locales, strong characters, plenty of intrigue and danger (no, I won't tell you what kind of danger, read the book!), and scorching romance. Second, it was so nice reading about known and beloved characters, namely Eddy and Rhine Fontaine, and see that their romance is still going strong. It was beyond nice reading about the attraction and burgeoning romance between Portia and Kent. Ms. Jenkins always provides the perfect ratio of drama and romance to make the stories page-turners. Breathless is a historical romance with well-developed characters, plenty of personal and interpersonal drama, and sensuality that kept this reader's eyes glued to the page. I enjoyed reading Breathless so much that I had to grab my copy of Forbidden to reread it. Just in case you couldn't tell, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Breathless and strongly recommend it to all romance readers, especially those that enjoy historical romance. (It is possible to read Breathless without reading Forbidden, but again, I urge you to read them both.) I look forward to reading the third book in this series and until then I'll satisfy my Beverly Jenkins historical romance needs by rereading some of her earlier stories and perhaps rereading Forbidden and Breathless (yes, they are just that good).

Disclaimer: I received a free digital advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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