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Breathless, February 2017
Old West #2
by Beverly Jenkins

384 pages
ISBN: 0062389025
EAN: 9780062389022
Kindle: B01FD9AZJ8
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
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"A Tucson hotel in the 1880s is the setting for a lively romance"

Fresh Fiction Review

Beverly Jenkins

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted December 15, 2017

Multicultural Historical | Multicultural Romance | Romance Historical

I previously enjoyed a Beverly Jenkins historical romance, DESTINY'S SURRENDER, so I was delighted to get another one in her Old West series. These are very lively books about strong women.

In the 1800s young Portia Carmichael and her family narrowly escape a racist mob. BREATHLESS, leaving their burning home, they flee. Later they establish a successful hotel near Tucson, Arizona Territory. Portia, now mid-twenties, has no time as the manager for trifles of the heart, and her sister Regan tries to persuade her otherwise. They lead very respectable lives, apart from Regan collecting and delivering mail with her mule.

Kent Randolph arrives on his big blue roan stallion while the ladies are preparing a wedding anniversary dinner for their aunt and uncle, the hotel's owners. Kent, son of a doctor, hasn't seen them in years, but his own life has been pretty eventful, and he's learned some hard lessons as a drifter. He thinks he could do a lot worse than settle here with the lovely girl he used to call Duchess, Portia. Easier said than done, especially as so many well-placed gentlemen in town also admire her.

I love the details. Through hard work and honest dealing, the hotel allows the ladies to wear dresses (with corsets) from San Francisco, dine off china plates, and keep their own Appaloosa mounts. Tucson is considered the Wild West, but accessible enough for rich Easterners to come and vacation on ranches. Contrasting memories of the days when the girls wore charity clothing or flour sack dresses remind us that life was still tough for many people. And I love that Portia is still well able to shingle a roof. We learn that legal deeds may sometimes be challenged because of the seller's race, even though everyone appears to be on an equal footing. Apart from Geronimo and his escaping Apaches that is. And women in Arizona still don't have a vote!

BREATHLESS is a great multicultural romance, casting a light on the part of the Wild West story we don't often read, also showing the hard work of hospitality businesses. There's so much happening that the adult romance feels understated but no less physical. Beverly Jenkins really gets under the skin of her heroines and clearly enjoys telling their stories.

Learn more about Breathless


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…

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