Portia Carmichael and her younger sister Regan were
literally mailed by their mother Corinne to the latter's
sister Eddy 15 years ago. Eddy and her husband Rhine
Fontaine took the girls in, and now Portia is the manager
and bookkeeper of Rhine's hotel in Arizona. Portia is
proud of her career, and because of her childhood, she
has no intention of ever marrying, and not because she
wants for male attention. Although the arrival of
handsome cowboy Kent Randolph might threaten her resolve.
Kent was the bartender in Rhine's saloon years ago and
the beautiful woman he sees before him looks nothing like
the skinny and skittish 12 year-old Portia he once knew.
Kent has never stayed in one place very long, but he just
might remain in Arizona for a little while.
BREATHLESS's beautiful cover reflects the general tone of
book: clean, crisp, lovely, elegant, and romantic.
Beverly Jenkins's seamless and eloquent prose captures
the essence of the Old West, and the lives of upstanding
African-Americans in the late nineteenth century, which I
always appreciate in a world of historical romance filled
with dukes. I feel it's easier to relate to Ms. Jenkins'
characters, as they come from all walks of life and
experience more believable challenges. Portia and Kent,
among others, come off as rational people. In spite of
them having had some past disturbing experiences, they do
not dwell in the past but look to the future.
The charm of BREATHLESS lies in those wonderfully drawn
characters, in the vivid descriptions of daily life of an
era gone by, in the political context that made those
people stronger. Beverly Jenkins knows what real romance
is all about: it is not about power or about winning; it
is about sharing, caring, understanding, and aiming for a
better life. Kent doesn't pressure Portia, who in turn
doesn't play games. This feels real to me, this feels
like what romance should be all about, this is what I
want to read about: people whom I like and whom I want to
see happy. Don't mistake BREATHLESS for light fluff,
because there are some real issues discussed, and there
is a very realistic plot twist that shake up our heroes'
and heroine's lives, and the love story is as compelling
as any suspense.
BREATHLESS is Portia's and Kent's story, there are no
loose threads, but there an event occurs at the very end
that will conclude in the next book in this trilogy. It's
a very clever twist and already I'm anticipating Beverly
Jenkins' next book!
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…