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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins

Author: Beverly Jenkins
Title: Night Hawk
Publication: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical Romance
Audience: Adult
Format: Paperback
Length: 384 pp.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Purchased
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Outlaw.Preacher. Night Hawk. He's had many names, but he can't escape the past.
Since Ian Vance's beloved wife was murdered years ago, the hardened bounty hunter knows he'll never feel love or tenderness again, so he's made it his mission to ensure others get their justice. But when he's charged with delivering a sharp-eyed beauty to the law, Ian can't help but feel he may still have something left to lose.
Orphaned at twelve, Maggie Freeman has always found her way out of trouble. But now there's a vigilante mob at her back who would like nothing more than to see her hang for a crime she didn't commit. Maggie may have to accept help for the first time in her life . . . even if it's from the one man standing between her and freedom.
As the past closes in, the sassy prisoner and toughened lawman may just find a passion between them that could bring blinding happiness . . . if they'll let it.


In the moment that her surprised eyes met his, he was already wading the horse into the water. Maggie ran. Bolting up the bank, she grabbed her pack and fled back into the trees. The retrieval cost her a few precious seconds of escape time but she couldn’t afford to leave it behind. How had he found her so quickly! ….She let out an involuntary moan of distress and ran faster. Next she was off her feet and held tight by an iron arm snaked around her waist. She fought fiercely as she could, but when you’re being carried like a rug under someone’s arm, you look comical at best.
Review:Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins was beautifully written and a well researched historical romance, set in 19th century western Kansas, and Wyoming in the year 1889. Jenkins describes the setting so well that you get the sense, the feeling of being these places.
The fluidity of the story made it so easy to become lost in the love story of Maggie and Ian, who were such rich, lively and memorable characters. Ian is a former outlaw turned bounty hunter and U.S. Marshall, who on a trip back from Scotland visiting the grave of his mother; he encounters Maggie Freeman, the beautiful fearless rebel. Maggie has just been arrested for defending herself against an unwanted advance from an affiliate of her boss, she basically took a rolling pin to his head, which just so happened caused her assailant to accidentally hit his head and die. Now, falsely accused for his death, the sheriff is fearful that she will not make it in one piece due to the riots each night, decides to transport Maggie to Kansas City, but his efforts are halted as he is cut off and demanded to hand her over by the father of the man she supposedly killed. Ian, or as he is known as the legendary “Preacher” Vance Bigelow, steps in and gets charged with taking her to Kansas City jail to await trial. However, no matter how hard he tries every step of the way it get harder to do his job, especially since trouble follows Maggie everywhere they stop. The more he learns about her, and she him, we get a better understanding of who they are, and why they should be together. Though, Ian doesn’t realize Maggie just may be the key to mending his broken heart, after the murder of his wife. This woman stirs feelings in him like no other; no one else can quench the burn that consumes him when he thinks of Maggie. The problem, he has a duty to the law, to uphold justice and she is his prisoner and once the charges against her are either dropped or upheld, they both must part ways, and may never see each other again. Both haunted by the past can they let go and find solace in each other and heal?

I absolutely loved this book, the characters interaction with each other was so fun to read. Maggie was such a firecracker; it was nice to see a female lead with such heart, and passion, a force to be reckoned with. Ian realizes this when his efforts to do his job become hindered as every town they enter, they encounter a ghost from Maggie’s past that just happens to have a bone to pick with her. It will make you think that she is a trouble maker but once the details of each incident is brought to light, it is easy to understand and relate to this tough character that doesn’t back down, especially when faced with an opponent that is much stronger than her. Maggie commands respect and that is something lovable about her as a character. Ian was strong, fearsome and courageous but it something about a man in love that is so touching, just beautiful. Just seeing him fall in love and struggle to come to terms with his feeling for Maggie, that everyone notices but him, will make your heart melt and yearn for them to be together. It was also great to read about the heritage that they came from; Maggie was part Kaw Indian and African-American and Ian, Scottish and his father was Black in the British Navy when his mother met him. They both had hard lives that defined them, not letting circumstances hold them down but using it to fuel the strength, the fire that burns within them. Jenkins is an incredible writer, whose ability to intricately weave fascinating historical facts within a love story without losing the romance. Not only do her novels make you swoon for more but on an intellectual level to research and find out more about the historical aspects as well. One historical fact from Night Hawk was about a Dr. John Osbourne, who took the skin of outlaw Big Nose George Parrot and made it into a pair of shoes and medical bag, which was intriguingly disgusting. The author also gives insight into the Hop Alley Race Riot, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and how in 1889 Wyoming allowed women to vote to attract more of them to the area. Jenkins does an excellent job of providing enough detail to spark the readers’ curiosity and desire to delve deeper into in the historical aspect. Needless to say I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want the story to end. Night Hawk is full of surprises; you will find yourself struggling to contain a giggle at Maggie’s reactions and antics. Outstanding and heartwarming this is a lovely story of courage, loss and love.
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  1. I love this cover and your new signature. I think that I will enjoy this book. Thank you so much for your great review.

  2. I want to lick this cover too! I love history and being a history major I'll probably love it.

  3. Thanks for the review of this interesting sounding book
    Just adore historical romances and a chance to get to read
    a part of the Kansas area.

  4. My sister lives in Wyoming. I would like to read a little history that involves it. I think you review was well written and I will have to pick this book up to read.

    Thanks, Judy Peterson

    1. Glad you liked it and hope you enjoy it!