(Reviews posted at The Book Pushers)
When the opportunity to review Destiny’s Embrace came my way, I jumped at the chance as I’ve had Jenkins’ Night Hawk on my TBR pile for a while. Typical historicals are usually based on the ton, however Jenkins creates characters who are ordinary people trying to survive in a world where things don’t always come easy. I appreciate the diversity of Jenkins’ stories and the focus on historical accuracy in her depiction of daily life in the late 1800’s.
I think one of Jenkins’ strengths is in the development of her characters. Sadly, this is one of the primary reasons Destiny’s Embrace didn’t work for me. I never really warmed up to Logan. He was a bit of an ass. He was selfish and arrogant and although there was an attempt to show his character development, I never really bought his “redemption.” Toward the end, as we were supposed to see him in a different light having been transformed by love, I felt his motivations continued to be rooted in his own self-interests. I had mixed feelings about Mariah. She had a tragic upbringing and suffered her mother’s abuse and hatred for thirty years. While under her mother’s thumb, Mariah exhibited a meek and submissive demeanor. But then, as if overnight, she becomes a feisty, independent woman. While I like the idea that someone who has been so mistreated for so long could wake up one day and decide to be a completely different kind of person, in reality I don’t think the transition would be so easy.
I found the narrative to be heavy on the tell and light on actual character interaction. I also felt the narrative often drifted away from the forward momentum of the story and into backstory...
Full review posted on January 24, 2013 at The Book Pushers: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/01/24/review-destinys-embrace-by-beverly-jenkins/