Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Book Review: Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins

"Not happy with this falling-in-love thing. It hurts. Any idea how to make it stop or to stop thinking about him?"

I have so many things to say, but don't know how to be coherent. But this book gave me so many feels:

1) The cover. The. Cover!!! I love that Spring is wearing trousers on the cover, which is so in character for her. And while I would have loved to see her in the burgundy gown from the end of the book, this is so perfect.

Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins
Avon, 2021
Digital review copy from NetGalley

2) Our heroine Spring. I love the spiky-falls-for-lovable trope, and I esp appreciate it when it's grumpy gal and gentle guy. Spring has such a tragic backstory and it makes her spikiness completely understandable. Garrett's un-aggressive manner of being with her is the exact thing she needs.

3) Our hero Garrett. Even though he's a total marshmallow, he's not spineless or anything. He's handy and ethical, quiet and thoughtful, strong without any toxicity which he could understandably have. His own history, including his family background, was so ... another emotional gut punch after Spring's story.

4) The combo of Spring and Garrett. Spring is quiet, inwardly focused, not much for socialising. Garrett is in town doing interview for a newspaper, and he's a curious person. Their navigating each other -- giving when they can, stumbling when they can't -- was so cute.

5) The confession of love! Made me screech out loud with surprise and delight. It was totally unexpected but wholly in character and *chef's kiss*.

6) This could have easily turned into one of those James Michener-like multi-generational sagas because of the richness of the setting, era, characters. I'm excited to go backwards and read the books for the previous characters, and I desperately, desperately hope that Garrett's sister Melody has her own book soon.

7) CHILD FREE HEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4EVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was sooo disappointed when pregnancy showed up in The Rakess because, I don't know, I want more romance novel heroines to reject the 2.5 and picket fence and all that. I loved that Spring was firm about it and it wasn't a 'for now' kind of thing -- it was 'no discussion' boundary and it didn't dissolve once she was in love. YES.

8) This was my first Western romance in addition to being my first Beverly Jenkins read. I loved reading a historical centered on Black people and other people of color. I read this book while listening to the new podcast Black Cowboys, and it's fascinating to learn the myths and stories of the American West from a non-white point of view. For Spring and Garrett, this translated into an additional challenge/tension throughout the entire story that was impossible for me to ignore. Their tender moments felt all the more vulnerable and special for happening within a world that didn't value them (even though their community of Paradise was mostly loyal and protective of them).

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