Avon, Sep 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1884, Loreli Winters travels as part of a contingent of Black mail order brides. However, unlike the rest of the females, Loreli has no intention of marrying anyone nor live in the small Black community of Hanks, Kansas. She signed on for the adventure of going west and plans to continue on to California.
Two little girls, Bebe and Dede learn that Loreli is not intending to be anyone's mother, and decide she will be their new mama. Loreli worries about the twins being by themselves so she insists on escorting them home. She meets their Uncle Jake Reed and both mutually agree that matrimony is not in either of their plans. However, neither one realize yet how far two desperate matchmaking preadolescents will go to make Loreli their new mama. As they protest a little bit louder then necessary, inside their hearts Jake and Loreli are falling in love.
When one reads a Beverly Jenkins historical romance, the flavor of the era from a different perspective freely flows through a wonderful tale. A CHANCE AT LOVE is a chance for the audience to learn about American Blacks in the 1880s yet while doing so inside a strong engaging novel. The story line is vividly descriptive, but also provides fully developed characters. Fans the author's previous books will relish Loreli finally as the lead and know she met her soul mate. The twins with their actions somewhat steal the show, but the real strength of this story remains the period piece that displays the immense talent of Ms. Jenkins.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner