I have been meaning to read a Beverly Jenkins romance for the longest time. I just knew that I was missing out on romance goodness and I was right. DESTINY'S EMBRACE is a fast paced historical romance that features an African American woman who decides to take a chance to change her life by traveling across the country from Philadelphia to California in the 1800's.
Mariah has the talent to design and sew her own creations that has helped her mother to become a popular seamstress back in Philadelphia; but her mother's own bitterness and basic meanness has tainted Mariah's very existence. Her mother's final act of cruelty sends Mariah to her wealthy aunt out of desperation. Through her aunt's support, Mariah finds a determination for a better life and the hope for a new future that she had thought was beyond her. Fleeing her oppressive and abusive mother with nothing but a train ticket, a few personal belongings, and the willingness to work hard, Mariah steps out on faith and moves toward an uncertain future.
Mariah's new employer, Logan, is unlike any other man that she has run into before. Logan is self confident, a bit arrogant, argumentative, and used to having women fall over themselves for him. Logan is a wealthy rancher who has worked hard for his position in life and has the respect of his community. Mariah is not what he was expecting in a housekeeper and gives as good as she gets from him. Expecting an older and infinitely more docile woman than Mariah, Logan is quickly put on notice that his attitude and behavior will be returned right back to him.
DESTINY'S EMBRACE is a quick and enjoyable read, but does wrap up a bit quickly toward the end. The time frame for Mariah and Logan's unconventional courtship is only a little over two weeks, so things move lightening quick between them. I would have loved to have had a slower build between them with many more confrontations between them to see their relationship grow. However, the fact that Mariah is such a strong and admirable personality in a time in history where women, especially African American women, were little more than property and expected to fall in line was very nice.
The cultural diversity in DESTINY'S EMBRACE is also eclectic and felt realistic for the place and time period. There's real California history woven into the story that made me want to experience more. All that I would have wanted added to this story would have made it significantly longer, which is an issue I often run into as the greedy reader that I am. When I enjoy a story I often want it to just keep going. This won't be my only read by Jenkins and I am so glad that I finally got to experience the Jenkins goodness!
With Destiny’s Embrace, Jenkins brings readers back to the American West, where Logan Yates, a self-important ranch owner, must confront his feelings for his beautiful, free spirited housekeeper, Mariah Cooper. While they bicker incessantly, their sexual tension is palpable, and only rises when Mariah's former lover arrives on the scene. Will she accept Logan's heart?
Set in 19th-century California, Destiny's Embrace features unforgettable characters and a satisfying mix of adventure and passion from nation's premier writer of African-American historical romance.