6 April 2016

Destiny’s Surrender by Beverly Jenkins

Hey everyone,

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never read a Beverly Jenkins novel. Especially considering she is one of the iconic authors in the romance genre. I can’t say for certain why I picked Destiny’s Surrender out of her entire back-list, but I just thought it sounded good from the blurb.

The book:
The child he didn't know he had . . . 

Andrew Yates has come to a decision: it's time to stop sowing those oats and start a family. But searching for a bride isn't as simple as he'd hoped, and many of the respectable women of his acquaintance feel . . . lacking. Then beautiful, feisty Wilhelmina "Billie" Wells arrives at the family ranch with a toddler in her arms, claiming Drew is the father!

The woman he didn't know he loved . . . 

Billie had no choice but to show up at Destiny in search of Drew. For the sake of their child, she's willing to leave him with his father so the boy can have a better life, but then, before she can blink, she's saying "I do" in front of a preacher in a marriage of convenience. All Billie and Drew have in common is the heat that brought them together, but can their sizzling passion lead to an everlasting love?
My thoughts:

Given everything I heard about Beverly Jenkins and her books I had very high expectations for Destiny’s Surrender. I was excited to read a historical romance book with a black heroine and a hero with Spanish ancestry. I was intrigued to see how Beverly Jenkins would merge the romance plot with the attitudes towards race in America at the time.

Her name was Wilhelmina. Most called her Billie but this remarkable man had given her a unique name all his own: Mina.

Although Beverly Jenkins did touch on some of the issues Andrew and Billie would have faced, to me it felt glossed over and simplified. Perhaps this was deliberate so as not to turn Destiny’s Surrender into a book solely on the topic of racial inequality and keep the focus on the romance. Yet for me I would have preferred a slightly more in-depth look into these themes as I believe it would have added to the novel. Going in I thought this would be one of the key obstacles towards Andrew and Billie’s HEA, yet instead the majority of the complexities for their relationship revolved around Billie’s past as a prostitute. It is this conflict that drove the plot of Destiny’s Surrender.

They were from two separate worlds yet when they came together in bed, it never mattered that he was one of the wealthiest men in the state and a lawyer to boot, and she a simple whore.

In my opinion the book focused too much on the drama surrounding Billie’s past profession and not enough on the emotional connection between Andrew and Billie. I felt like I was told that Billie and Andrew where in love rather than being shown that they had fallen in love. Part of the reason I felt this way was because when we are introduced to the characters they have already known each other for a significant period of time. Andrew has been a regular customer of Billie’s for a few months (at least), yet it isn’t until that association ends that the story begins. I would have liked to read about Andrew and Billie’s initial meeting. How they slowly developed from a transactional relationship to something more.

Parts of her wished there was a way to banish the distrust and distance between them so that at some point down the road they could be happy together, but she knew pigs would fly first.

For me Destiny’s Surrender was a book with so much unrealised potential. The plot was interesting and engaging but it just didn’t grab my attention. I couldn’t feel the characters emotions for each other, this combined with the fast pace left me feeling a little cold towards the book. I did enjoy reading Destiny’s Surrender but I won’t be rushing out to buy the rest of the books in the series as it was just a little too soap-opera style for me. I’ve given Destiny’s Surrender a solid two stars.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!