Thursday, April 11, 2019

Book #Review: Vivid by Beverly Jenkins .@authorMsBev

Book Title: Vivid
Author:  Beverly Jenkins |WebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: AVON
Genre: Historical Romance, African American Romance
Series/Standalone:  Book 1
Format: ebook, mass market
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 400
How I got it: Borrowed from Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: Jan 1995
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It's 1786 and Dr.Viveca Lancaster is frustrated by the limits placed upon female physicians of color. When she is offered the chance to set up a practice in the small all Black community of Grayson Grove, Michigan she leaves her California home and heads east. The very determined Viveca is one of the few nineteenth century Black women to graduate from the prestigious Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania but she needs more than determination to face down handsome Nate Grayson, the Grove's bull-headed mayor.Nate Grayson goes to the train station expecting Dr. V. Lancaster to be a man. When the lovely dark-skinned Viveca introduces herself he is speechless, then wants her back on the train and out of his town. It's 1876 and women aren't supposed to be doctors, men are. However he isn't prepared for her stubbornness and fire, nor for the vivid way she heals, then steals his heart.
I am on a Ms Bev roll this month. What can I say the woman can write slump-busting books, ever since I read Vivid I have been on a reading blitz and I can't tell how much I have been enjoying it.  Let's get back to why we are here, the review of Vivid.  I have a list of books I want to read by the end of 2019 (It's my Top 19 Books I'm anticipating for 2019) and Jewel by Beverly is on it. When I went to read it I realized this read like a second book and sure enough Vivid came first.

I dived into this one knowing absolutely nothing but who the author was and of course she didn't disappoint.  Vivid was a quick fun read that also taught me so much about the history of black towns, black women physicians  & the importance of the black press during reconstruction while getting an awesome romance in.  Being a history fanatic I love reading Ms Bev's work just for the ways she interweaves the history of black people into the romance.

Like all her books, we got great conversations, witty banter, off the charts chemistry and well-developed characters that evolve as the story develops.  I loved that this story started with misunderstanding which led to them being in an adversary role which later developed into a friendship.  I loved that the need to prove herself made her a strong character, Vivid was hilarious and meant business and one of my favorites scenes will always be the hat scene in the very beginning. Nate's bullheadedness cost him a hat and a little bit of his pride but allowed the townspeople to see what Viv was made of.

I loved that as the story developed there was knowledge sprinkled throughout. I loved learning the history of post-civil War era and how it impacted the newly freed blacks.  People often forget this time in between; and go from the civil war to the civil rights movement as if the horrors of the times in between didn't' happen.

I enjoyed Viv's family ties and that they discuss Fred Douglass, but I wish she had mentioned Marcus Garvey (Updated 04/12/19 and this folks is why you should double check the dates in history before you embarrass yourself. As Ms Bev pointed out, she can't mention someone who isn't born yet 😧😳😳) and how the sister got to Liberia. I loved how close the family was and how the parents pushed their children to be more than society said they could be.  I loved the chemistry between Nate and Viv, and the different relationships she forms in town, especially with Nate's daughter.  Their bond was sweet to read especially because you know that Magic was probably starved for someone who understood her wildness the way Viv did.

The romance is a slow build from adversaries into friends and then BAM, hot mama the chemistry was off the charts.  I loved how they built up to their full relationship. another of my favorite scenes came when Viv was going to the big city and was bringing Magic and Nate tells their escort to make his excuses. I laughed reading that scene because I knew he was a goner then!!  I liked the glimpses of the town and the different people there. I can't wait to see more for the township and its people.  I can't wait to see if she goes back with stories about the younger children especially Magic. It would be interesting to read who she becomes.

Of course, this couldn't be a historical romance without some drama. The past comes back to haunt Nate bringing with it untold danger. Ignorance about women and their roles lead to a tragedy that haunts Viv and leads to danger in her life as well. The story of how they come together despite the craziness and how they create something beautiful is a reason to dive into this and not come up until you've finished.

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Happy Reading my loves, 

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