Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins, an engaging Old West romance

Regan Carmichael’s first meeting with her intended husband, Dr. Colton Lee, starts off with a bang—literally. After foiling a recent attack along her journey from Arizona, Regan shoots Colt by accident, mistaking him for another outlaw.

Set in 1880s Wyoming, this engaging last volume in Jenkins’ African-American Old West romance trilogy shows how their relationship ripens into deep, abiding love. This is a classic mail-order bride story with some original touches—for one, Regan is a wealthy heiress.

Despite their awkward beginning, Regan and Colt soon come to appreciate each other’s qualities. Colt is a caring physician with a six-year-old daughter, Anna, whose spirit was crushed by an older relative; the unconventional Regan shows her stepdaughter how to have fun.

Refreshingly, the novel avoids contrived misunderstandings between the couple. The historical background, full of details on small-town life and dramas, showcases the West’s multicultural settlement, including the bigotry that Chinese miners faced. One subplot emphasizes the importance of education, a worthy subject.

A skilled shot, rider, and cook, and gorgeous to boot, Regan seems a bit idealized, and I wondered why a woman of her financial status would risk marrying a stranger. Still, the story and its likable characters kept me happily reading to the end.

Tempest was published by Avon on January 30 ($7.99/CA$9.99), and I reviewed it for the Historical Novels Review. This is the third book in the author's Old West series, after Breathless and Forbidden. It stands well on its own, although motivations for Regan's decisions may have been given in the previous book, which tells the love story of her aunt, Eddy. Her sister, Portia, was the heroine of the first book.

Jenkins writes historical romance featuring African-American characters (she also writes contemporaries) and is a multi-award winning author, having won the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America in 2017.


  1. Thank you for this review. The book sounds very entertaining.

    1. Yes, it is - I don't read many romances, but this one had an interesting storyline and kept my attention.