Title: Josephine and the Soldier Author: Beverly Jenkins
Age Range: 12+
Publication Date: January 21st 2003
Synopsis from Goodreads: Josephine Best has it all figured out. Just seventeen, she's been to college, she has her own hairdressing shop, and she refuses to be distracted by any of that courting nonsense. At least until nice George Brooks begins to pursue her. Jojo isn't looking for romance, but she permits George to call on her.
Adam Morgan has always been a Casanova, and no girl is immune to his charm. But when he comes home wounded from the War Between the States, it's a girl he used to call "Pest" who's turning his head. All grown up, Jojo is being courted by another soldier, and Adam knows it would be foolish to play with her heart. Even so, he just can't get the headstrong young lady off his mind.
For her part, Jojo can't deny her growing feelings for Adam. But he's always been such a flirt — he can't possibly be serious about her. Besides, she has George falling all over himself to please her. As the war rages on, Adam's feelings for Jojo grow stronger, but Jojo's determination to resist him does, too. One thing is clear, though: Jojo is a girl who always gets what she wants, sometimes in spite of herself.
Initial Reaction: "Ohhhhh, look at the adorable cover, this is gonna be so cute"
End Reaction: "Awwwwwwwwwww!!!"
Review: Judging by the cover of this book, I knew I was in for an incredibly adorable read, I got that and more. Josephine and the Soldier is a very romantic book, which gives insight on how African American families lived after gaining their freedom, and how the soldiers lived when being called to war in order to defend their freedom. I am not one taken by historical books in any way, shape, or form, but Beverly Jenkins combines spot on facts about the lives of the characters she has created, with the sweet romance between two distinct characters. The romance book for all romance lovers.
Josephine is the olden days version of Miss Independent. At the age of seventeen she has already graduated from college and has her own hairdressing shop. And the most important thing that distinguishes her from the rest of the women her age in her town: she is not looking for a beau. Oh yes, Josephine doesn't need a man to be happy. But that doesn't mean she's not going to enjoy the fact that she's got the attention of two of the finest soldiers in her city. Josephine is such a in-your-face kind of girl. She's always there to lend a helping hand to the returning soldiers and anyone else, but don't let that fool you, she bites back.
I always like a book that has side stories that can keep me as into the book as the main plot, and this book has it. There is the mystery of finding the culprit who has been victimizing the houses of many of the townspeople, and there are little side romances and love triangles-squares that make every part of the book even more interesting.
Overall, the plot has so many different parts in it that keep the book entertaining from start to finish. The conflict changes so quickly in the book that one chapter you are reading about Josephine's struggle over her feelings for two guys, to family and friendship struggles that push her to new limits.
I loved this book. It is such a cute romance with characters that had me swooning over every page. It was so sweet and romantic and it was fun to read about a historical romance as contrast to the contemporary go-get 'um romance now-a-days. Wonderful light read fun for everyday.
Recommendations: All romance and historical lovers. And for all those looking for great books for the POC Challenge!!!
Writing Style: 9/10
Cover: 10/10 (I mean really, that cover is so adorable)