cover image Forbidden


Beverly Jenkins. Avon, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-238900-8

In this appealing launch of a series set in the 19th-century American West, veteran romance author Jenkins (Destiny’s Captive) introduces the warm and supportive mining town of Virginia City, Nev., where a diverse community mostly manages to live in harmony. Eddy Carmichael is a lovely young African-American woman on her way to California from Denver, with the goal of opening a restaurant. Robbed by a man posing as a priest and left in the desert to die, she is rescued by one of Virginia City’s most noted citizens, Rhine Fontaine. Rhine was born a slave, but he’s light-skinned enough to pass as white and has used this to rise to prominence in the town, less for his own gain than to advance the rights of the African-American community. He owns real estate and a popular saloon, sits on the town council, and is engaged to the daughter of a prominent white family. Rhine is captivated by Eddy’s courage and beauty, but he knows their love is forbidden by those who think they are from different races, and revealing the truth would jeopardize everything he has fought for. Jenkins combines vivid characters and sexual intensity with historical accuracy in a story and setting that will appeal to her core fans and newcomers alike. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Feb.)