Friday, April 12, 2019

Book #Review: Jewel (Grayson Family 2) by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMs.Bev

Book Title: Jewel (Grayson Family 2)
Author:  Beverly Jenkins|WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: AVON
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, African American Romance
Series/Standalone: Book 2
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 394
How I got it: Traded Paperbackswap
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
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A proposal she had no choice but to accept . . .

Though Eli Grayson is one of the most handsome, charming, and intelligent men in Grayson Grove, no one will take a chance on a confirmed bachelor. Unwilling to give up his dreams, Eli convinces his friend Jewel to pose as his wife. Their masquerade is to last just one night . . . but when word gets out, Eli and Jewel must tie the knot to save his career—and her reputation.

Became a love she never expected . . .

Angry at being forced to turn her life upside down, Jewel never imagined that a white-hot passion would consume her once she and Eli became husband and wife. Sharing a bed has turned their prim friendship into a sensuous love affair . . . but when a woman from Eli's past returns to stir up trouble, he and Jewel will learn just how far they'll go to protect the precious gem of their newfound passion. (less)
This is has been on my bookshelves for a while and I put it on my Top 19 for 2019 TBR list, and I'm so glad I pulled it to read.  I dived into this one right after reading Vivid (which I reviewed yesterday). I have been on a Beverly Jenkins binge and I can't even begin to explain how much fun I have been having. There is nothing like reading a romance with characters that look like you, talk like you and behave the way you behave, seeing yourself in the romances you read matters so much and I am loving it!!! Now Jewel's story is one of my favorite kinds of tropes, a friends to lovers story with a bit of twist due to their attempt at running a con on a business investor. Ohhh this is good.

Eli Grayson is the cousin/ best friend of Nate from the first book (Vivid) and he's been running a successful newspaper for the his town that had at it's height reached as far as Chicago with it's readers, however with the increased violence and the new Jim Crow laws being put into effect his efforts to educate the masses are being thwarted.  When he gets the opportunity to meet with a well known successful Black newspaper owner he's ecstatic until the owner lets him know he only works with married men. Eli is a well known bachelor, but he can't let such a good opportunity pass him by so he asks one of his best friends to pose as his wife for a private meeting and from there we get one hell of a story.

I loved Eli and Jewel together. They were so much fun especially because Jewel didn't know how to be anything but herself which she thought was nothing Eli would really be interested in. Like most of the women in town she's educated, smart, handy with a gun and determined to aide the race in anyway she can. She's part of the townswomen who are attending meeting to get the vote for women and as the men in town like to joke "working on taking over the world".  I absolutely loved her, confident and brash at times and shy and uncertain in some areas, Jewel was a complex woman who wanted more but was happy with the life she had. She's the only girl in a caravan full of men who are loving and overprotective so she thought she wasn't ever going to be married.

Eli on the surface seems like your typical playboy bachelor, and as we get to know him we discover he has deep regrets about his youth and the people he hurt then. He's living his life in a way to never hurt anyone again and when his scheme blows up and he realizes he could seriously hurt Jewel's reputation he stepped up to the plate and took responsibility.  Getting to know Eli and see his fears, and to see how much his past was affecting him, made him so real and relateable. Don't we all have things we regret and wish we could take back??

Together they try to make the situation ok and as they go along and Eli realizes Jewel could be the woman for him?? Lord listen, when Beverly writes these men determined to court the women?? She pulls out all the stops. Eli determined to court Jewel, is a man on a mission. I loved that when Jewel felt she would be unable to handle Eli because he knew so much more than she did, she went to the women she could trust and asked for help. Their romance was at times sweet and at the same time very erotic.

While I could sit here and gush about their romance, this story of course wasn't just about them. We had the past coming back in a bitter way intent on making mischief where there was no need for any. And like all things that should remain in the past, this one stirs up a whole heap of mess, which leads to a murder, and then a hunt for a killer hidden among the townspeople. We have other townspeople falling in love as well (someone who well deserves it), we get to see how Nate and Viv are doing. We of course get a bit of history lesson as well and just have a grand ole' time.

I read this in a day because I was so invested in the story. I needed to know what kind of high-jinks Eli and Jewel were going to get into. How this small lie to make his business successful again was going to shake out and what would happen as they try to make this marriage of convenience real.  I can't recommend this enough my loves. I loved this story. I talked back to this story; I was cussing out the villains, I freaked out in the last few chapters as everything came to a climax; I giggled with Jewel when she read the book ( you'll know what I mean when you get there). These are characters you fall in love with, root for and miss when you put the book down.

I'm hoping Beverly goes back to the town of Grayson Grove and lets us know about the brothers and their love stories.
Happy Reading my loves, 

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