Review: Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins

Posted February 9, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 26 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins
Wild Rain

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Series: Women Who Dare/ Old West #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon
Released on February 9, 2021
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

He came west for a story and found a woman rancher who refused to follow the script.  The old west comes alive in all it’s colorful, gritty hues from the pen of a talented author and I was eager for this reading adventure to begin.

Review

Wild Rain is the second of the Women Who Dare standalone stories, but it is fourth in the Old West series that are an inter-connected series of books about the women of Carmichael/Lee family.  I had no trouble reading it without the earlier Old West stories, but I could see the strong connection to the previous book Tempest, in particular.

Wild Rain opens with woman rancher, Spring Lee, on her way home from caring for a horse.  A blizzard has come up and she comes across a horse with an empty saddle and then the injured rider.  Turns out the rider is the eastern newspaperman who wants to interview her doctor brother since he’s a colored man practicing medicine.  Spring likes to be to herself and be left alone, but something about the courteous and respectful Garrett McGrady makes his company not the irksome burden she assumed when she grudgingly brought him to her cabin and looked after him.

McGrady is full of questions like any news reporter about her brother, about life in Paradise, WY, and about her life on the ranch raising stock horses and more, but he accepts her as she is and doesn’t pry.  She learns something about the handsome, gentlemanly easterner who is a former slave, former navy sailor, carpenter, and reporter and for all he is, he is more impressed with her and treats her like a lady no matter what he hears around town about her wild past and most unladylike conduct.  Unfortunately, he hears a lot because the slimy son of her former boss portrays her as a whore and nastily brings it up in company.  He threatens her, but Spring isn’t afraid to pull out her Colt pistol and fill him with lead if he pushes her.  The fancy Easterners he brings to town threaten the ownership of her land, but Spring is more concerned about a certain reporter than anything else.

Garrett came to get a story and falls in love with the ways of the west, the townfolk, and especially a strong woman who isn’t afraid to buck the system to be herself.  He gradually learns Spring’s story of being forced out on her own to make her way as best she could.  Back east, his father has a woman picked out for him from a slightly higher class in colored society and wants Garrett settled in a respectable law office, but Garrett has other ideas about both.  He’d rather pursue his carpentry work and figure out a way to be in Spring’s life.  In the mean time, he meets her doctor brother and sister in law Regal, makes friends with many in town, and makes a bitter enemy of the man who insults Spring and threatens her.  Will he hang tough and be the man to match Spring or take the easy road back East?

I enjoyed my first Beverly Jenkins book last year, Rebel, so I picked up this second Women Who Dare.  Now, perhaps it is the setting- I am partial to westerns- but I thought this story was even stronger and kept me riveted from cover to cover.  Spring is my hero.  That woman went through so much and she came out as tempered steel though she is generous, loyal, hardworking, and loving in her gruff way.  And, Garrett is a rare and lovely beta hero.  He’s skilled and poised and has been through his own tough early years, but he’s no domineering alpha sort.  He’s not afraid of strong, capable women and respects Spring to death even her wish to stay unmarried and without a family.  He will accept her terms to be with her.  And, Spring, who had no plans beyond scratching an itch with the handsome man, soon learns what a real man is like and learns that she can have so much more if she can open herself to Garrett.

Beyond the romance, there was an exciting, gritty plot.  Spring goes up against an Easterner investor who won’t take no for an answer and an old enemy who bullied and used her when she was too young and desperate to defend herself.  It got exciting and had some suspenseful scenes.

The ranch town setting was added to with colorful western characters from all backgrounds.  As with the earlier book, I enjoyed the details of African American history that were new to me and how it fit in with other aspects of post-Civil War history of the time.  I was intrigued by the class-consciousness that the author referenced of how those who were former slaves were sometimes looked down upon by those who were born free.  It was also fascinating to learn a little about life as a black sailor in the navy as well as the ‘sundown’ newspapers of the day.  I’ll definitely be following up on several historical details that grabbed me.

But, for all the details, the story driving forward was the most prominent and the details enriched that story.  I can’t wait to see what daring woman gets her story next though I wouldn’t be upset if she is the love interest of a certain Native American rancher-engineer…  Those who love their historical western romances sensual, exciting, and authentic should give the Old West and/or Women Who Dare series a go.

I rec’d this book through Net Galley to be read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

COYER Seasons #15
COYER Community Buddy Read off a friend’s TBR

About the Book
Wild Rain by Beverly JenkinsWild Rain by Beverly Jenkins

The second novel in USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins’ compelling new Women Who Dare series follows a female rancher in Wyoming after the Civil War.

A reporter has come to Wyoming to do a story on doctors for his Black newspaper back east. He thinks Colton Lee will be an interesting subject…until he meets Colton’s sister Spring. She runs her own ranch, wears denim pants instead of dresses, and is the most fascinating woman he’s ever met.

But Spring, who has overcome a raucous and scandalous past, isn’t looking for, nor does she want, love. As their attraction grows, will their differences come between them or unite them for an everlasting love?

About Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2018 Michigan Author Award by the Michigan Library Association, the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS Sunday Morning. Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for inclusive romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR. If you would like to be notified when Beverly Jenkins has new releases, events, and other news, sign up for her newsletter at www.beverlyjenkins.net

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I have read a couple of Beverly Jenkins’s books and enjoyed both of them. This sounds like a great read with fantastic characters. I definitely need to read more from this talented author soon.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

I have the first book in the Old West series and now I really am itching to pick it up. She really is great at digging out the history and writing fab characters.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
8 months ago

Oh I’m intrigued and I know it has to be good because of how much you love Westerns. Thanks Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Haha, it’s like you know me. Oh yes, definitely a series you want to put on your list, Debbie.

Christina Morland
8 months ago

Sounds like a great read! I read one Beverley Jenkins books years ago and liked it. This one sounds even better than my earlier read. I’ll have to add it to the list. Thanks, Sophia!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

I liked the earlier one I read in the Women Who Dare series, but this one was much more up my alley. Yes, I second your opinion, Christina. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I’ve enjoyed this author but I don’t read very much historical romance.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

Make sure you keep her on the list when you get back in the mood, Anne. 🙂

Jen
Jen
8 months ago

Great review! It’s funny because I am not a huge Western fan, but I too, liked this one more than the previous. And like you, this is only my second Ms. Bev book. I really enjoyed the setting and characters – now I want to go back and read Colt’s story!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Maybe it was Spring. She was amazing. 🙂 Definitely want Colt and Regal’s story.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I have this, but didn’t realize it was book 2 when I grabbed it. I picked up book one, and need to read them both. I have been wanting to try this author.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago

It is totally separate from the first Women Who Dare and is strongly connected to the Old West series as book four. I had no trouble reading it so you could start with this one if you liked.

Melliane
8 months ago

Oh I didn’t know about this one but it looks good!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

It was smashing. 🙂

Carole Rae
8 months ago

Right up my alley for sure!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Rain is fabulous. You really must, Carole. 🙂

Iza
Iza
8 months ago

Oh my, I want that guy in my kitchen ! Hem… It sounds like a story I would enjoy, I don’t like overbearing alphas and I love a strong, steady heroin. I haven’t read any western stories in… years (and I think it was a fantasy) but I’ve never read a western with black heroes. So I’m adding it to my shelf, thanks 🙂

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Iza

Isn’t the cover model delicious? And, I think the hero inside is just as good. You’re right about not getting to many capable yet understanding men in romances- particularly westerns. I loved getting their separate history and the history of the town, but the representation of black western history.
This one read okay standalone, but if you want all the connections, but her whole Old West series on your list, Iza. I need to go back for those, too.

Iza
Iza
8 months ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

I will, I plan on joining Scridb next year, that should open many possibilities ^^

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Iza

I’ve heard that is a good subscription. Hopefully it has some good ones like this. 🙂

Rachel
8 months ago

I enjoy historical western romances, but I’ve never read one with characters of color. Sounds like it adds and interesting dimension to an intriguing story. I’ll have to check this one out!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

Oh yes, you really must. She has the Old West series, but she has written several historical series even about pirates. She also writes contemporary small town and romantic suspense. I need to read so many more from her back list. 🙂

sharonda
8 months ago

Love the review Sophia! I’ll have to read this soon. Beverly Jenkins writes amazing stories.

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  sharonda

Yes, it’s a good one. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it. I really need to grab up the rest of her Old West series.

RO P
7 months ago

I love how the characterization sounds, and definitely need to give this one a try. Great review! Happy Weekend! RO

Sophia Rose
7 months ago
Reply to  RO P

Sure do, Ro! You’d enjoy this series. 🙂