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(Women Who Dare #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,310 ratings  ·  573 reviews
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 sc
ebook, 384 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Avon
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,310 ratings  ·  573 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Oh good grief this was just perfect. I loved this book.

It's set in the 1860s, Reconstruction, as people are putting New Orleans back together after the Civil War and trying to cope with the massive change in society caused by the freeing of the enslaved. The book doesn't shy away from the difficulties of this--so many people desperately seeking loved ones who were sold away, or trying to survive in a ravaged economy with a wildly incompetent government failing to help, and the poisonous hydra o
Chelsea Humphrey
I was so engrossed in this book that I didn't even stop to save quotes like I usually do. 😂 As someone who is still very new to the historical romance genre, I've been branching out with some of the seemingly fan favorites, since I haven't been sure where to start. Beverly Jenkins name continually comes up as a giant in the genre, and I can certainly see why. Her writing is equal parts powerful narrative and comforting bear hug, and her words have a smoothness like literary butter that is intell ...more
Talia Hibbert
To the surprise of, erm, no-one, Ms Bev has done it again. This book was an absolute banger from the very first scene, when I fell head over heels in love with Val (a queen, a badass, an icon). Then we got a blast from the past via Sable, plus the appearance of our frankly delicious hero, Drake (ugh, even his name is yum), who won my affection forever. Things only went up from there.

This book is such a visceral experience, with so many little adventures and truly loveable, fascinating MCs. You
Melanie A. *mostly on hiatus*
Audio: 5 STARS!
Story: 3.75 STARS!
"You proved love does exist, and it changed my life."
A sweet, VERY low angst read in terms of the romance. Drake was entirely swoon-worthy . . . everybody needs a man like Drake LeVeq. 😍😍😍

The real focus of the story, however, was the setting; the harrowing post-civil war/post-emancipation world of the freedmen and women in New Orleans was brought to life so vividly. So vividly in fact, that it felt like Drake and Val were there to showcase the
Rebekah Weatherspoon
I continue to be a Beverly Jenkins fangirl in the extreme, but one thing about Rebel that really stuck out for me was just how romantic it is. Drake is so dreamy and he treats Valinda like a princess from the moment they meet and he never lets up. I'm definitely adding him to my book boyfriend list. ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
More historical romances with PoCs on the covers, please. <3

Also, I haven't read a bad Beverly Jenkins book to date, so.
Lover of Romance
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

Rebel is the first book in the Women Who Dare series and is also part of the Le Veq Family series as well. I was super excited to see that this book is set in New Orleans, in the reconstruction era. Beverly Jenkins is pure talent when it comes to writing historical's, especially intensely accurate ones. What I really appreciated about this book is how much you learn in such a short period of time. Ms. Bev surely knows how to write such fant
Madison Warner Fairbanks
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

Women Who Dare book 1. Historical romance. Diverse.
After the end of the Civil War, teacher Valinda travels to New Orleans to help freed slaves learn to read. But freedom isn’t recognized by everyone in the South and Valinda is soon the target of vandals and thugs. Fortunately she’s met Captain Drake LeVeq Whois more than happy to rescue Valinda. He’s also willing to teach her a few things about marriage games, aka petting and sex.

A lot of history is included in Ms Jenkins
Link to Live-Tweeting:

Midway through reading this book, I took a brief break from the book and tweeted, "Halfway through Rebel by Beverly Jenkins and I’ve learned more about Reconstruction in the past 150 pages than I have in 16 years of education (12 in public school, 4 in college)... Tbh I’m pretty sure I could just read Ms. Bev’s historical romance backlist and do fine in the APUSH exam. It’s a lot more fun than freaking Richard Hofstadter (I’m getting
Kelsie Maxwell
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read
Beverly Jenkins

Rebel is the first book in the Women Who Dare series by Beverly Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins is renowned for her bestselling romance novels and Rebel did not disappoint.

Valinda Lacy has come to New Orleans to educate former slaves. Captain Drake LeVeq is a volunteer at the New Orleans Freedmen Bureau. They are both passionate about their work, and they’ve found passion with each other. Can they find love?

Rebel is not a simple romance novel. Well it is, but it’s so much more. This
Steph's Romance Book Talk
4.5 Stars / 3 Steam Fans

Despite this story being very heavy on the historical themes for a majority of the book in the end I really enjoyed it. I crave the historical aspects that Beverly Jenkins brings to her storytelling because she does an amazing job of setting the scene without being super heavy. However, this story is very heavy in the historical aspects of slavery, white supremacy, and arranged marriage for most of the books so I almost DNFed this book. I am happy that I finished it.

Kate Quinn
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A re-read for me, as I realized Beverly Jenkins's next in the series (Wild Rain) is out this spring--don't know why I forgot to note and rate it before! Just as good as a reread; a charming heroine & hero in the midst of a fresh, thought-provoking historical setting. Looking forward to the next. ...more
Brian Johnson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
"Rebel" It's my first Beverly Jenkins book, but I guess it wasn't for me.
It wasn’t a bad story but I found it boring.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rainbow
GoodRead But a little tamed for Jenkins but good Nonetheless
Korrie’s Korner
4.5 stars!

I am swooning over Drake LeVeq. It felt good to see the fam again, and be back in New Orleans. This book went by way too fast, but I loved every minute of it. The lush descriptions of the land made me miss Mississippi, which is not too far from LA.

“She’d been the balm his spirit had been craving seeing that red sky.”

Drake & Valinda were everything. Ms. Bev just writes black romance at its finest. Her books feed my historical romance loving soul.

I loved the innocence Val had, and her
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
I want you to be happy, Val. You’ve always wanted to conquer the world. Love with the right person makes us stronger, not weaker.

On my blog.

Rep: black mcs, gay side character with physical disability

Galley provided by publisher

This book is probably the most it’s-not-you-it’s-me book that I’ve read so far this year. It was a good book, I could tell that, but the writing just wasn’t my kind of style, so I struggled to get through it.

Rebel is a romance between Valinda Lacy, a school
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
I loved this book. What a brilliantly written story full of everything I love in a novel: romance, love, danger, tension, character growth and family/community.

Beverly Jenkins is one of my favorite authors because she doesn't just tell a story, she educates the reader. It is so apparent that she really researches the era and crafts the story in a way that the reader will leave knowing a few more things about our American History. This story moved a fast pace, had drama and that familial ties tha
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
My very first romance novel ever and it won’t be my last. To be honest, this is romance/historical fiction, Reconstruction. I fell in love with Valinda, Drake and the entire LeVeq clan. This is the first in the Women Who Dare series and I’ll be there for the others. Enjoyed!
Ashton Reads
This was definitely my favorite Beverly Jenkins that I’ve read so far! The romance felt more central to the plot than some of her others, and Drake was such a swoony big bear of a hero!
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the time of Reconstruction after the American Civil War, New Orleans is a roiling city. An intrepid Northern woman comes south to fight her own brand of independence and follow her dreams of teaching her own race and being her own woman like her grandmother. Valinda encounters Drake Le Veq and learns that passion and love are possible and she can dream of that for herself, too. My first read with this author and it won't be my last the way history came alive and sensual romance made me swoon. ...more
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Happy Reading, friends!

"I am descended from Pirates. Boldness is in my blood."

First, can I say how incredibly refreshing it is to read a historical romance novel that is not set in Regency England? No offense to my beloved England, but I didn't realize how much I would enjoy this time period. I also need to point out how much I learned while reading Rebel by Beverly Jenkins.

The author's note at the end of Rebel sums it up best. This stor
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2019
Loved this! There’s so many layers to this story. This book follows Valinda and Drake, and takes place in New Orleans during reconstruction. Valinda was born a free woman of color and is from New York state. She comes to New Orleans to teach newly freed people how to read. It’s dangerous, racism is everywhere. Even amongst black people there is a big class and colorism system. It’s not even safe to walk down the street. I worried for her, kept thinking she should go home where it’s safer, but Va ...more
Jill Herbold
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story and especially appreciated learning bits of American history related to New Orleans during the reconstruction period and what life was like for the newly freed black Americans.
"She'd dared to come to Louisiana alone. Then dared to help the freedmen and believe she could start a school. But the best one? Daring herself to accept Drake's love."

Welp! This book just came out of nowhere and became my new favorite Beverly Jenkins novel. I mean, I should have known it was gonna be good. Look at that cover. But I had no idea I'd be this goofy for it. 2019 has been a year of amazing romances and I'm happy for the trend to continue.

The setting. This book takes place in Reconstr
WTF Are You Reading?
I can't tell you how delighted I am as a blogger, Historical Romance fan, and as an African-American woman living in the South. To read Beverly Jenkins' Rebel.

Not only does this compelling read check all the universal romance boxes of: damsels in distress, dashing heroes, and passions hot enough to set pages aflame.
This book allows readers to see in its hero and heroine. Educated proactive people. Willing to do whatever they must to right the wrongs of institutionalized racism and bigotry. In a
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
4 1/2 heated post war stars . . .

Beverly Jenkins delivers again for the revisit to post Civil War Louisiana and the LeVeq family. Now, we get to see more of the family specifically the brothers that intrigued with the wit and charm.

The accuracy. The information. The time period. The tie in to the reconstruction, the post Civil War, the emancipation, and most importantly for me the family LeVeq was just magic for me. I loved reading how another strong, protective LeVeq fell to his queen. Valind
The CurvyJones
As always, I thoroughly enjoyed Beverly Jenkins latest novel. This series, Women Who Dare, is going to be a fun and exciting one. Jenkins always writes heroines that are braver than I dare to be in TODAY's times, let alone in history when women had much less freedom and sexual congress. And let's not mince words about that gorgeous cover. I plan to buy the paperback just so I can have it! Great read, as always. Ms Jenkins is very much a comfort read for me. ...more
Lex with the Text (Alexis Sims)
Oh my goodness. This book was just wonderful. I mean it was everything. I was ALL in my feelings! I already love historical fiction but I’m not really a romance kinda girl. It’s to mushy. Lol. But geez, now that I have finished reading this book, I’m reconsidering this stance. Maybe I was just reading the “wrong ones”. I’ve always heard that Beverly Jenkins’ love stories will have you swooning. And I definitely was . It was just perfect.
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Play Book Tag: Rebel by Beverly Jenkins - 4 stars 2 11 Nov 15, 2019 09:53AM  

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Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2018 Michigan Author Award by the Michigan Library Association, the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS ...more

Other books in the series

Women Who Dare (2 books)
  • Wild Rain (Women Who Dare, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Marriages of convenience, high-society scandal sheets, and fully clothed flirtation...yes, we must be talking about historical...
182 likes · 53 comments
“So, having been dismissed by his mistress while pining for a woman who belonged to another, he rode out of the city to the abandoned plantation his good friend Hugh had purchased, and hoped he had some cognac on hand.” 0 likes
“There were undoubtedly worse things than being an unmarried woman in charge of her own life, free to come and go as she pleased, free to explore pleasure.” 0 likes
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