We’re highlighting these stunning covers of Beverly Jenkins’ historical romances from the 1990s for Black History Month.
Theme: Beverly Jenkins Early Historicals
Beverly Jenkins’ historical romance covers always get the five-star treatment. They’re not stepbacks, which is unusual for one of Avon’s preeminent authors. Especially one who’s been with the publishers for 30 years.
But they’re so darn pretty; hiding them behind a plain exterior cover wouldn’t be right, anyway.
A Trip Back to 1994
I remember picking up her first book, Night Song, in 1994 at the old Genovese Drug Store. While I had little time to read for pleasure as a high school student, it was now Summer. Plus, I had a job, so I had time and money to spend for once.
I’d already read Johanna Lindsey‘s Surrender My Love, which I’d purchased the month before. Scanning the shelves for something new, I stopped, surprised at seeing Beverly Jenkins’ book, as I’d never seen a black couple on the cover of a romance before.
In the many romance books I read, I’d encountered numerous Latino heroes and heroines, not to mention in the Biancas (Spanish Harlequins) I gifted my mother to read (she never did).
There were many Native American characters, too, as there was a whole subgenre about them. Ditto, North African & Middle Eastern Sheiks. And occasionally South & East Asian protagonists, but never Black or African-American ones.
I enjoyed Night Song, although I’m fuzzy on some details. (It has been three decades!) I’ve thought it over the years, though, lamenting what a rare collector’s item a 1st edition copy of Beverly Jenkins’ first romance would have been.
To my misfortune, it was one of the 100s of casualties lost in The Great Book Purge after I left High School to go to College. But that’s another story.
(Apologies for uploading this post two days late!)
Beverly Jenkins Covers (from Left to Right, Top to Bottom)
- Vivid, Beverly Jenkins, Avon, 1995, artist unknown
- The Taming of Jessi Rose, Beverly Jenkins, Avon, 1999, artist unknown
- Indigo, Beverly Jenkins, Avon, 1996, artist unknown
- A Chance at Love, Beverly Jenkins, Avon, 2000, artist unknown
What do you think of this week’s theme of Beverly Jenkin’s early romances? Do any of the covers stand out to you as a favorite? Mine is in Indigo. The roses and the purple gown are charming.
Have a recommendation for a future Covers of the Week theme? Let us know, and we’ll try it out.
As always, please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance.