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Bring on the Blessings (Blessings Series #1)
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Bring on the Blessings (Blessings Series #1)

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by Beverly Jenkins

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On Bernadine Brown's fifty-second birthday she received an unexpected gift—she caught her husband, Leo, cheating with his secretary. She was hurt—angry, too—but she didn't cry woe is me. Nope, she hired herself a top-notch lawyer and ended up with a cool $275 million. Having been raised in the church, she knew that when much is given much is


On Bernadine Brown's fifty-second birthday she received an unexpected gift—she caught her husband, Leo, cheating with his secretary. She was hurt—angry, too—but she didn't cry woe is me. Nope, she hired herself a top-notch lawyer and ended up with a cool $275 million. Having been raised in the church, she knew that when much is given much is expected, so she asked God to send her a purpose.

The purpose turned out to be a town: Henry Adams, Kansas, one of the last surviving townships founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. The failing town had put itself up for sale on the Internet, so Bernadine bought it.

Trent July is the mayor, and watching the town of his birth slide into debt and foreclosure is about the hardest thing he's ever done. When the buyer comes to town, he's impressed by her vision, strength, and the hope she wants to offer not only to the town and its few remaining residents, but to a handful of kids in desperate need of a second chance.

Not everyone in town wants to get on board though; they don't want change. But Bernadine and Trent, along with his first love, Lily Fontaine, are determined to preserve the town's legacy while ushering in a new era with ties to its unique past and its promising future.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Jenkins (The Edge of Midnight), a historical romance writer, departs from that genre with this tale of Bernadine Brown, who wins a multimillion-dollar divorce settlement and decides to buy and rebuild Henry Adams, KS, a town settled by African Americans in the 1880s.

—Ann Burns

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Blessings Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)

Read an Excerpt

Bring on the Blessings

Chapter One

Trenton July, the mayor of Henry Adams, Kansas, called the emergency town meeting to order with a bang of his gavel. "All right. Let's get this started. Who wants to go first?"

Riley Curry, the former mayor, rose to his feet. He was wearing his favorite pinstriped suit with its ever-present fake red carnation pinned to the shiny worn lapel. As always, he looked around for a moment to make sure all eyes were on him before speaking. "I'll start by demanding we rescind the offer."

Murmurs of agreement rose from some of the thirty or so folks seated on the worn wooden folding chairs in the church's small sanctuary, but Trent saw disapproval on the faces of those who disagreed. "Offer's already been accepted, Riley. We signed the papers two weeks ago. Next person."

"I'm not done."

Trent sighed. "Go ahead."

Riley cleared his throat, nodded at his wife, Genevieve, who was smiling up at him as if he were the Second Coming, then declared, "The idea that you held this vote behind my back speaks to the underhandedness of the whole affair. I say we vote again."

Some people clapped loudly.

"We're not having another vote," Trent replied evenly. "And nothing was done behind your back. You knew what day we were holding the vote, just like everybody else."

"But I had to leave town. Which wouldn't have been necessary if we had a competent vet instead of that drunken..."

"Watch it," Trent warned coolly.

Riley puffed up and whined, "Okay, but if we'd had a real vet, I wouldn't've had to drive Cletus fifty miles downstate to get him treated."

Cletus was Riley's hog. Every three orfour months, Cletus had to see a vet. It's a necessity when you feed a hog stuff like Doritos, Twinkies, and ice cream and cake because it doubles as the child you and your wife could never have.

Trent told him, "Sorry about Cletus, but there was no reason to change the date. Your one vote wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Proposal passed thirty-five to seventeen." There were only fifty-two registered voters on the town's rolls, and for once everybody turned out to have a say.

But Riley wasn't having any. "My constituents demand a revote. Who knows what this person's real agenda is? And a white woman too? Suppose she's just a front for people who want to build a casino or God forbid a strip club?"

More murmurs of agreement were heard.

Trent's jaw tightened.

"What do we know about her? Suppose she's one of those Aryan Nation folks wanting to turn Henry Adams into a terrorist training camp?"

Trent opened his mouth to argue but knew it wouldn't matter so he closed it.

Riley, on a roll, slowly took in the faces of those supporting him and those who didn't and asked, "Is the buyer even American?"

"Ms. Brown lives in Florida," Trent drawled. "Last I heard it was still part of the U.S."

"My constituents and I..."

Marie Jefferson snarled, "You don't have any constituents, Riley. That's why you're the former mayor."

"Ouch!" someone cringed loudly.

Snickers greeted that.

Marie, the town's retired school teacher stood up and glared at Riley from behind her signature cat's-eye glasses. "This is ridiculous. Henry Adams needs help now! Not tomorrow, not a year from now, but now, and Trent's found a way to make that happen." She looked around the sanctuary. "No, we don't know who this Ms. B. E. Brown person is, and we don't know what she plans to do, but she's agreed to keep the town intact and keep the Henry Adams name."

"What if it's a mistake?" Riley's wife, Genevieve, threw back.

"What if it's not?" Marie countered. "We don't know how this will play out. Before it's over we may regret selling, but the only idea Riley had was for us to be annexed by the city of Franklin. Annexed! The ancestors didn't build this town out of blood and sweat for it to be annexed and assimilated and forgotten."

Applause filled the church.

She added, "If this buyer, whoever she is, can come in here and save this place, I'm all for it. And all y'all who voted against the sale...get over yourselves." She sat.

More applause. Trent wanted to kiss her.

But Riley was still on his feet. "I will take this to the highest court in the land. Selling a town on cyberspace can't be legal anyway, no matter what Trent says!"

His side erupted in agreement. The other side yelled for Riley to sit his you know what down. Tempers flared. Verbal shots began to fly. Folks stormed to their feet in defense of themselves and their positions, and before Trent could tell everybody to sit down, all perdition broke loose.

"Order!" Trent yelled over the chaos. He banged the gavel against the table with so much force its head went flying across the room. "Order, dammit!"

But the shouting combatants, people who'd been friends and neighbors all their lives, weren't feeling him.

In the middle of the melee, Agnes Jefferson, who was Marie's mother, a Riley supporter, and a descendant of the town's first Black sheriff shook her cane in the face of her best friend, Tamar July. "You traitor! You voted to sell our town!"

Tamar, Trent's grandmother, snapped back. "Yes I did because I'm not stuck in the past, Agnes. And if you don't get that damn cane out of my face, it's going to be me and you!"

"You touch me and I'll take you down like Hulk Hogan!"

They were a nose a part.

Trent watched wearily. With his gavel dead and no one paying him a bit of attention, he threw up his hands and walked out.

The cool night air was a blessed relief to the heat and anger swirling around inside. Sighing, he pulled out his cigarettes. After lighting one, he drew the smoke deep down into his lungs and slowly exhaled.

Bring on the Blessings. Copyright © by Beverly Jenkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Beverly Jenkins has received numerous awards, including five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards, two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times Magazine, and a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild. Ms. Jenkins was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club. She was recently nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature.

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Bring on the Blessings 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 651 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started this book, I assumed it was a self-pub, first time book. Imagine my surprise to find out Ms. Jenkins has 20 novels out there. I was even more surprised to discover it was published by Harper Collins, a major publishing house. This book is so poorly edited I nearly gave up. So many typos, grammatical errors, characters changing names - sometimes in the same scene! Ms. Jenkins seems a fine storyteller but she should fire her editors/proofers immediately for gross incompetence on this one. I'm leery to continue the series at this point. If you get this book, beware if you care about editing issues when you read. The story gets my 2 stars, but I would have rated much higher if anyone had bothered to proof this book before putting it out there.
LaRose322 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story... it is spiritual, comical, and heartwarming. I would certainly recommend this as a fun, quick read.
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
Fluff = Bring on the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins. This novel was a "Free Friday's Nook Book" from Barnes and Noble, so I downloaded it. It is a cute story but totally unrealistic and everything turns out hunky dory - not my type of book. There are a few historical facts included but not enough to make it a historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I REALLY enjoyed this book. Finished it in 2 days! If you¿re looking for a moving story, you've found the perfect read. It's not dull or oversexed (don't get me wrong I love Zane and Noire) Warm hearted, laugh out loud kind of book. I have already order part 2 and 3.
Nookloverbarb More than 1 year ago
I had a difficult time putting this book down. The characters were incredibly well written and the story amazing! I can't wait to see what happens next.
Autumn1 More than 1 year ago
Although I find Beverly Jenkins is one of the best writers I have had the pleasure of reading, I hestitated before purchasing this book. The title didn't draw me in as with her other books. Since I had read everything else I could find with her name on it and trusted her storytelling abilities, I bought the book. It was a pleasure to read. Ms. Jenkin's writing style is so wonderful. The book was one of the best rainy day stories I have ever read. As with all of her books, I am sure I will read it many times.
Wanda Lipscomb More than 1 year ago
I agree there were some editing errors, but I found the storyline intriguing and really enjoyed the story-it made me laugh and cry. The ending seemed abrupt until I realized it was the first in a series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a 72 y/o white woman who grew up in the south where blacks and whites stayed in their own neighborhood so I didn't expect to love this book but it was free so I thought I would give it a chance. I loved every minute of it and hated when it ended. I want to know more about these people and their lives. I will look for more from this author. Thanks Free Friday for taking me out of my usual comfort zone and introducing me to another side of life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!it was great until the ending.It just ended!It left alot unfinished and I was so disapointed!!Great book but beware of the ending!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Bring On The Blessings" was a wonderful book. The characters were so funny and reminded you of family members. I truly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the sequel.
Angela Coleman More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. It was hard to put it down. Wanted to see what was coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this one, and learned a lot about the Exodusters in the process. Solid fiction with many positive messages. I think this would also make a great movie or mini-series!
quilterpeg More than 1 year ago
I found this book a few months ago and could not put it down. Ms. Jenkins writes characters you want to hang out with. I went on to buy the next ones in this series as well and still want more!! Great pic for BHM-love the way she weaves in the history most of us never heard before. All this love for Ms. Jenkins from a crazy reh-headed southern gal!
Luvmynookie More than 1 year ago
Very moving at times, really enjoyed this book.
hcbm More than 1 year ago
The premise of the book, is that Bernadine Brown caught her husband cheating, She is awarded 275 million in the divorce settlement. She has the philosophy that when much is given much is expected of you. There is a black township of Henry Adams that was founded by freed slaves. The failing town has been put up for auction on e bay and Ms. Browns buys it.
What follows is a heartwarming narrative of what it takes to be a community and that saying that it takes a village to raise a child. It is Bernadine dream to give homes to some foster children. The characters in the books have their foible's but as in real life they have a chance to grow. I highly recommend this book. It even has romance for us lovers of this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. It makes you appreciate what you have and those in your life. You cry and laugh throughout the book. I'm reading another one of the books in the series.
DeeMarieRoman More than 1 year ago
There is another reviewer who indicated they thought this was a self-published book, which I did too. It is so poorly edited and the writing is so trite (and coarse in some parts), that I gave up. Could have been great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So glad Free Fridays are back! Thanks B&N! This book looks great!
PraiseTD More than 1 year ago
Minus a few spelling and grammar errors, this series has become one of my favorites. The story line is inspirational, imaginative, and positive. Considering all the garbage we hear about in today's society, it's refreshing to read this series even when it seems a bit over the top in reality. Kudos to Jenkins for thinking outside the box and giving readers like myself a chance to dream big. This was a book about love for others. Faith in God. The possibilities of goodness. The importance of family and the old adage that it takes a village to raise our children! It's also a book of history and comical moments. I enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a free selection and has been on my list to read for some time. I must admit, I didn't have high expectations with this one. This story was easy to read and instantly engaging. I had a difficult time putting this down. There were some continuity and editing errors that got in the way of the story at times, however, I still enjoyed every moment of this book. I have the next of the series on my wish list. This one is a great weekend read and would recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this as a "Free Friday" freebie, and I am really glad I didn't spend money on it. I agree with several other reviewers - I thought this was a first-time writer given a chance by B&N after self-publishing this book. I tired of the triteness of the story, and the constant reference to "Black" and "White". I capitalized those words because the author kept doing it, too, although I can't imagine why, except for the fact that I think she wanted to keep shoving the race issue in the reader's face. I am shocked that she keeps writing books that keep being published. The only thing a good editor might have done would be to keep this book from being published. Don't waste time or money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read series of four (so far!) books for strong women who want to make a difference in this world. This story has black historical significance that will have meaning to black and white women alike. The men, women, and children (mostly foster children) have well-developed characters. Never let anything that happens in this series take you by surprise because you will constantly laugh or have your heart turned inside out as you learn the stories of the people in this tiny town. JUST A TIP: In the beginning of this story the town is loaded down with debt until one of the richest black female benefactors comes along to change the town's face and even its goals for living around. I wish I could find 100 more series as meaningful as this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the charaters, they were strong and funny and I want to here more about their lives. The story it's self was a little far fetched and at many times unbelieveable. Adoption children from hard places is a challange and while the book attemped to address that, they missed the mark there. Overall it was a feel good story, not sure whether I would recommend it or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting premise----however not too believable. Things moved way too quickly even if you do have 275 million dollars. For a free book..3 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book. The story seemed promising but it's so poorly written that it left me wondering who did (or didn't) do the editing. It should have been a fun read. In reality it was a slow-moving, badly edited tale that made me regret paying attention in English class. "Bring on the Blessings" is a bonafide red pencil nightmare!