Blog Book Tour | “For Your Love” by Beverly Jenkins A story within the small towne of Henry Adams, Kansas; a continuance of the Blessings series!

Posted Sunday, 12 July, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 6 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “For Your Love” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary ARC copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On the delay of this review:

Originally this review was delayed whilst I took ill in June (for a fortnight overall) and was further delayed by a severe batch of lightning storms over the 4th of July. Those storms were so wickedly intense they caused a bit of damage (electrically) and thus, kicked me offline for a good six days solid! Following shortly thereafter were a few more lightning storms, despite the weathermen saying otherwise; I’m a book blogger who reads and blogs about books in tandem, which is difficult to do whilst your facing electrical malfunctions, hissing outlets, power surge aftereffects, unstablised internet connections, and power outage threats. I regret my review was delayed this long but my joy of reading FOR YOUR LOVE is reflected below. I hope the publisher and author will accept my apologies and know how wicked happy I was to be a member of this blog tour!

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Blog Book Tour | “For Your Love” by Beverly Jenkins A story within the small towne of Henry Adams, Kansas; a continuance of the Blessings series!For Your Love
by Beverly Jenkins
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Narrator: Myra Lucretia Taylor

Return to Henry Adams, Kansas—an unforgettable place anyone would want to call home. . . .

Mayor Trent July and his wife, Lily, are enjoying life as newlyweds and embracing the challenges and joys that come with being adoptive parents to two wonderful boys. But fatherhood has inevitably forced Trent to think about his own birth mother.

Raised by his grandmother Tamar—and, in many ways, the good people of Henry Adams—Trent was blessed with a childhood full of love. But he can't help wondering what happened to the scared teenage girl who gave birth to him. And questions that he's never voiced are now begging to be answered: Who was she? Is she still alive? Why didn't she want him?

Trent has always believed that no good comes from dwelling on the past, especially when you have a loving family, a strong community, and folks who depend on you. But when the past comes to Henry Adams, Trent has no choice but to face it—and the woman who left him behind. The truth will shake his very being and everything he thought he knew about life, love, and the bonds that hold families together . . . but can also tear them apart.

Genres: Heartland Fiction, Women's Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Blessings

Published by William Morrow

on 28th April, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Length: 8 hours, 40 minutes

Pages: 304

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the Blessings series:

No.1: Bring on the Blessings (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.2: A Second Helping (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.3: Something Old, Something New (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.4: A Wish and a  Prayer (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

No.5: Heart of Gold (Book Synopsis on Riffle)

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Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #BlessingsSeries + #BeverlyJenkins

About Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the author of thirty historical and contemporary novels, including five previous books in her beloved Blessings series. She has been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People, the Dallas Morning News, Vibe, and many other publications.

On listening to a small excerpt from the audiobook of For Your Love:

Normally excerpts follow the way in which the story evolves on the page, however, this particular sample skipped the opening bits completely (i.e. they overlooked the Prologue!) and jumped straight into Chapter 1! I had to pause the sample whilst I read the Prologue and then, continued! What I did appreciate about the ARC is the inclusion of the map of Henry Adams; it gave me a nice overview of the towne, and a bit of a precursory curiosity about what I might find as I read the story!

The reading of a will is a time of surprises for most families because there is a measure of assurance knowing that not everything you felt was in order; truly is. Lawyers have the unfortunate pleasure of being on the receiving end of denial stemming out of emotional heartache and anguish, whilst attempting to adhere to whichever news befell the relation at the very end of their time with a loved one and at the start of their grieving. In some ways, funeral homes, solicitors for wills, and medical examiners walk a fine line towards helping all of us deal with what happens after a person passes on whilst attempting to keep the process out of our hands and in their capable ones. A very curious beginning,.. very curious!

I found myself wondering if I might have the chance to get to know Ms Ida in the years prior to her passing in the successive chapters of this series prior to this release? I can see the writing on the wall — I will be ILL’ing the rest of the Blessings series!

Definitely appreciated the cadence of how Myra Lucretia Taylor’s voice etches your mind to alight inside the home of the July’s; she changes her voice to suit each individual character although not just by age but by personality; giving you a strong impression on who they are and how they are interacting. It would be a wicked sweet experience to one day listen to her voice whilst reading this for the second time as I do rather fancy listening whilst reading print books nowadays!

My Review of For Your Love:

(without prior readings of the Blessings series)

Henry Adams is a small towne in the Heartland (of the USA) where you can truly take up residence, soak inside this quaint towne and feel as if you’ve been a visitor for quite a long while; Jenkins blesses her readers with such a strong acquaintance and grounding of characters to ascertain a reader’s mind straight into the moment of when the story arises off the printed page! I love feeling as if you can transcend directly into a story which carries on a continuance of an in-progress series as if you hadn’t missed anything without any prior reading therein! This is a true gift to the story-teller who knows how to augment your attention to the smaller details of what you would reassuring recognise had you read the Blessings series from day one, but for the discovery at book six, Jenkins makes you curl right inside without bias nor fanfare of reproach for having missed the previous five!

There is a strong under current of respectability in regards to how a foster-adoptive child connects to their parent, and I felt it was quite openly honest to flesh out the emotions from one experience to another in order to best guide the narrative through the oft difficult transitions of being an adoptive parent of a foster child. Jenkins rooted Trent July’s personal history inside a story that is oft too common for a foster child to have to identify as their own; unwanted by his biological parents and grand-parents due to his entrance into their lives at an ill-conceived hour (his parents were teenagers), he was unceremoniously dropped off in Henry Adams, bestowed outright to his father’s family and disowned. At least by his mother’s side of the family; he was lovingly raised and brought up in the strength only a close-knit community can provide. In point of truth, he was tenfold blessed to find himself in an embrace of blessings since birth; even if the route towards this newfound acceptance was a bit non-traditional, his history of his parentage is relatable to his own sons who question their own ancestry and biological parentage.

I loved finding out a bit about the benefactor (Bernadine Brown) of Henry Adams, through the story thread about Bobby and Kiki with their two sweet and adorable twins! It is the kind of story that makes you feel a warmth of goodwill as you read it and a celebration of the spirit of giving to those who do not expect anything at all. There is a joyful heart throughout Henry Adams, and this thread reminded me how much I want to read the rest of the Blessings series, because each installment of the series has a lot of humanity and soul stitched inside it. Uplifting stories of realistic characters facing true everyday problems with the benefit of being enveloped inside a caring community where everyone pitches in as they’re able too and truly gives meaning behind ‘it takes a village’.

When Bobby and Kiki realised Henry Adams hadn’t only offered them room and board with inclusive utilities free for the first year of their residency, but they were offering them a second chance to renew their lives in a towne which would provide a support system without judgement of their pasts. This was the most heart-warming section of the novel for me, because Jenkins writes an eloquence of honesty in a composite of a real-life young couple attempting to get their lives jump started whilst parenting two little babes who are the light of their lives. The most intriguing part of how they arrived in Henry Adams is through Crystal’s outreach via her Mom (the towne’s benefactor: Bernadine!) who gave them a way to start over without the worriment of not being able to afford to begin anew at all.

The villain of the story is Mayor Wiggins (of the neighouring towne of Franklin) who is quite literally off the chain crazy and sadistic to the core; she has a way of creating duress and chaos, hoping her actions will not only upturnt the normalcy of Henry Adams but cripple their abilities to function in the world. What she never seems to understand is that Henry Adams has it’s own lifeblood of strength rooted in it’s community members and it’s faith of striving towards tomorrow with a grit of determination that one step at a time they will achieve self-sufficiency. I love when a novel proves to another character that if your not careful the vileness you project out into the world is going to boomerang back ‘just deserts’ your not quite ready to accept!

A dramatic turn occurs when a 45 year old secret is revealled and it’s rippling effect on the towne and one family in particular is as wide as the expanse of the Grand Canyon. Secrets which lay dormant and buried for such a long period of time have a shattering effect even if the fissure can be closed through forgiveness, there are still aftershocks on behalf of the void in which the secret cast it’s shadows. Not to mention the fact that once the secret is realised it tends to kick up a dust cloud of hidden truths that may or may not be ready to resurface. I give a nod to Jenkins who surely knew how to time the revelations and how to expertly emote the emotional tidal-waves that went with the drama! Oy. Oy!

I could not stop reading – this is another unputdownable read of mine for 2015! The emotional drama and the heart-stirring connections evoking out of the close-knit community of Henry Adams made my heart swell and my spirit lift in overwhelming joy! It was a true pleasure settling inside such an enriched novel full of soulful beauty of everyday people not only helping those in need but of whom find a way to celebrate the blessings life affords all of us who know it’s how we set our attitude to the road which greets us on our path that matters how our future unfolds. With a heap of hope and a well of faith, anything is possible but without a net of security and a well of love, nothing is quite as sweet. What a bounty of happiness it is to read Jenkins inspiring small towne and the lives who make settling inside Henry Adams such a bevy of blissitude to reside inside.

I definitely want to find a wicked good recipe for pozole, as if you previously caught sight of my review on behalf of Daily Tortilla you know I have a fondness for Mexican foods! I absolutely love hominy!

Henry Adams : small towne community:

(and why this should be in a #WeNeedDiverseBooks spotlight)

Henry Adams is a small towne community where individuals ban together to help their fellow neighbours and welcome in strangers who are simply acquaintances who have not yet become a part of the fold. It’s the type of place you’d love to drive to yourself and become a part of the nexus of openness that resonates with it’s community members whilst being able to give back and participate in the good hearted mirth of community forwardness that small townes are known for in our contemporary world.

The pace within the novel is set to a wicked high octane level where you have multiple characters moving in and out of the chapters; characters I gathered the sense I ought to already be familiar with if I had had the pleasure of reading the previous installments of the series. My joy of reading this novel already proved I’d be reading the previous ones, however, I convinced Mum we should read them in tandem and that’s an experience I look forward to in the future! We tend to love the same stories and book series, and when I told her about how brilliantly open this community is about foster kids and second chances she was genuinely as keen as I was to pick up Bring on the Blessings and read straight through! I chatted the book up so much, now we’re both quite on pins if there will be more awaiting us!

I didn’t have trouble keeping up with all the transitional segues nor in meeting the characters as their entrances and exits kept me on my toes! I happen to love large ensemble casts in fiction, in fact sometimes a huge ensemble cast wicks my heart into a flutter of joy a bit more than a smaller cast! I like being able to see who’s who in a towne and bridge a map in my mind about how everyone is inter-connected! Jenkins does a brilliant job at giving the reader ‘just enough’ information at their entrances to keep everyone straight in your mind; plus, it helps that there is a towne matriarch (Tamar July); a towne benefactor (Bernadine Brown); a family man of a Mayor (Trent July) and a healthy smorgasbord of community members to round out the fullness of a Blessings novel.

Jenkins knitted a multi-generational and a multicultural centered story together with realistic drama and realistic issues that contemporary counterparts are facing today. In this, your instantly able to draw a line of empathy for the characters and are dearly invested in their story-lines. I loved the fluidity of her narrative and the ease of how she wrote her characters. I have mentioned in the past how I grew up in a melting pot metropolis and how I grew up around cultural and religious diversity; Jenkins has given such a humbling honesty on behalf of her characters, I started to recognise people I know IRL who could be a composite of the character I was reading about at any given moment. I even liked the cross-cultural humour as she has such a ribbing clarity on where humour creates a bridge and softens our differences.

What more can I say?
I am a bonefide appreciator of her breadth of work
and one day look forward to collecting the Blessings series in print!

On the writing style of Beverly Jenkins:

What I found most profound in this novel is how Jenkins included such a heart of depth on behalf of foster children both in foster care and the aftereffects of growing up in foster care as they matured into adults. There are different characters, both prominent and secondary being focused on throughout the narrative, and each time Jenkins added this hidden layer of their past, she humbled the heart of the novel itself by speaking openly and honestly about children who are oft-times overlooked. I appreciated her approach to giving realistic portraits of fosters at different stages of their lives and equally keen to see how positive she showed a placement in a home where everything clicks can enable a foster child to blossom.

Alongside this thread of context, Jenkins has a soothing way of presenting life in small towne Americana; you can just about picture yourself settling into Henry Adams without a previous visit and know exactly where your feet can take you! She has a lovely way of honing in on the aspects of small towne life that are anchoured by family and kin alike with a shared camaraderie for community.

Jenkins added just the right balance of pop cultural associations to add a grounded dimension to our living reality. Half the time I had to smile into a smirk because of how accurate she chose to add a familiar face and/or turning of phrase that had bang-on brilliant timing! Settling into a Blessings novel is allowing your mind to soak up a heap of serenity in this mad crazy world – a lovely reprieve and a welcoming hug of joy. It’s the type of story where you want to cheer on the characters and see how the difficulties will work themselves out in the wash. You rally behind them, you cry with them, and you chuckle your funny-bone senseless when the humour is wicked good!

This reader is confused on one point: The only reference I didn’t quite understand personally was why the Mayor (Wiggins) of Franklin was called ‘Seabiscuit’ and ‘Secretariat’ interchangably? The adage that reflected in my mind is not matching up with the character as she’s portrayed and I honestly can say I found this lost in translation. Ironically or not, this is the only part of the novel I was confused about! And, this is from a reader who watched the motion pictures ‘Seabiscuit’ & ‘Secretariat’ when they debuted! I just don’t get it? Help! Can someone explain it in the comments?

How blessed am I? The author provided the insight:

On why the vulgarity did not offend me:

There are a splattering of strong language throughout the novel, however, the context in their inclusions did not offend me, as quite frankly I might have been surprised if they were excluded given which character was using them and in which manner of expression. I gave this a pass because it honed in on the respect for the character(s) in question and a honing in on the past they were moving forward in a more positive environment where they could shed some of their fears about outward perceptions, prejudices, and establish a grounding of a beginning based on who they are and the strengths they reflect through their actions in the local community.

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Read an Excerpt from ‘Bring on the Blessings’ No.1 of the series:

Loved finding out the premise of the first novel! It’s recapped perfectly in Chapter 1, on page 7 and I loved how it was eased into the story as if it was meant to be there rather than an reminder of what happened in a previous installment. Some authors have a knack for resolving hidden informational gaps and Jenkins is a prime example of how to do this without being overly obvious!

UPDATE: January, 2020 – just realising a lot of these embedded excerpts from Scribd are disallowed now.

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This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

click-through to follow the blogosphere tour:

TLC Book Tours | Tour Host

Be sure to scope out my next reviews & guest author features!

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Reader Interactive Question:
Normally I prefer to read serial fiction in order of the novels, however, I originally thought this was a stand-alone novel and by the time I realised my mistake; I simply ran out of time to ILL the rest of the series in full and/or even the first story which started it. Do you find you can appreciate a series out of order inasmuch as reading it start to finish? Occasionally, I find I can take-on a continuing series mid-way and/or fully in progress if the author gives me enough grounding to understand the characters’ lives and where everything is set therein.
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{SOURCES: Cover art of “For Your Love”, author photograph of Beverly Jenkins, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Book Excerpt was able to be embedded due to codes provided by Scribd. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 12 July, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adoption, African-American History, African-American Literature, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Bookish Discussions, Brothers and Sisters, Child out of Wedlock, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Foster Care, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, School Life & Situations, Scribd, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Services, Stories of Adoption, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, TLC Book Tours, Twin Siblings, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

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6 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “For Your Love” by Beverly Jenkins A story within the small towne of Henry Adams, Kansas; a continuance of the Blessings series!

  1. Thanks for liking my review Jorie! I loved your review as well. :) Everything you said about this novel is exactly how I felt why reading the story. I didn’t know there was an audio-book version, so I’m curious to give that a try. It sounds like the book has a great narrator. I also agree that is most definitely should be a part of the We Need Diverse Books spotlight.

    • Hallo, Hallo,….

      Sorry it took me five years to respod to your lovely comment! I fell behind ages ago in keeping up with comments as they were alighting on my blog. This of course had to do with a higher frequency of migraines afflicting me and also, sometimes, as life can demand, we grow distracted and forget to return back to what we were doing! Ha. This February, as I’m going through my archives I’m coming back to certain commenters who left me comments I felt still deserved a response. I loved how you visited me after I found your review – it was such a wonderfully keen insight to see someone elses perspective on reading this novel whilst sharing the same thoughts about it. Thank you for blessing me with this note!

      I was going to return to your blog to revisit with you but I’ve found that you’ve stopped blogging. I hope you were able to seek out the audiobook version of this story and others as well. A year after this published I found out how much I LOVE listening to audiobooks and it has truly become a passionate part of my readerly life now! I am even curating short and long lists of favourite narrators! What bliss!! lol I hope despite not blogging now you’ve kept reading and seeking out the stories you feel are speaking to you to be read. Many blessings,..

    • A true honour of mine, Trish!

      I love small towne fiction but what I loved about Jenkins is how she approached the small towne aspect of the novel itself. She had such an intuitive way of bringing forward all the characters and keeping the setting wholly true to itself! You would love residing in Henry Adams, that’s for sure! I know I would! :)

  2. kathleenshoop

    Lovely review!! You are incredibly thoughtful and thorough in presenting your opinions and you lure me into new books and to new authors every time! This series looks fantastic.

    • Thank you, Ms Shoop!

      I was touched by your feedback and insight into how much your enjoying reading my blog! I love being able to introduce people to new authors, as the excitement I feel whilst reading a story, I always hopes translates to someone who might not have expected to find a next read of their own! It’s a joy to be able to blog about the heart of the stories and to give a strong impression of what a new reader can find inside; in this case, I was wicked happy a series was presented as strongly as this one happened to be which made reading it even more pleasurable!

      Happy reading!
      Happy discovering!

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