Happy Independence Day! I intended to spotlight the following book in June, but time and events got away from me. However, I think today is a great day for this particular book recommendation. The Brightest Day is a romance anthology celebrating Juneteenth. It features authors Lena Hart, Alyssa Cole, Kianna Alexander and Piper Huguley. For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday here is a quick definition:
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.
(thanks Wikipedia ;))
This romance anthology is the perfect read to appreciate and understand the meaning of independence and freedom. I would recommend it for any day of the year.
The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology, with a foreword by the inimitable Beverly Jenkins, brings you four novellas highlighting love, light, and hope set over a period of history that’s often left in the shadows.
Amazing Grace, by Lena Hart
It’s the year 1866—the Civil War is over and slavery has ended. Life for 18-year-old Gracie Shaw takes an unexpected turn when she is “encouraged” to marry a man sight-unseen. Boarded on a train headed West—to lawless territory—she is faced with misfortune at every turn and must accept the help of former Confederate soldier, Logan Finley, while denying herself the one thing she wants most. Him.
Drifting to You, by Kianna Alexander
During the sultry Carolina summer of 1875, baker Rosaline Rhodes boards a Juneteenth cruise down the Cape Fear River. She’s there to serve her famous cinnamon spice cake; shipbuilder Will Pruett is there for pleasure. They’ve denied their mutual attraction for months, but now the river won’t be the only thing ebbing and flowing.
A Sweet Way to Freedom, by Piper Huguley
In 1910, schoolteacher Missouri Baxter refuses to return home with a big belly and no husband. She’s got nine months to teach juke joint owner Arlo Tucker—a most reluctant student—an important lesson about what marriage means to their people. With God on her side, she’ll show him “A Sweet Way to Freedom.”
Let It Shine, by Alyssa Cole
Sofronia Wallis knows that proper Black women don’t court trouble by upending the status quo, and they most certainly don’t associate with roughneck Jewish boxers like Ivan Friedman. But it’s 1961 and the Civil Rights movement is in full swing. Change—and love—are coming whether Sofie is ready or not.