The Huntress by Kate Quinn {review}
2018 Reading Year In Review

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole {review}

An Unconditional Freedom (The Loyal League #3) - Alyssa Cole

An Unconditional Freedom

Genre: Historical Romance

 

My Review - 5 Stars

An Unconditional Freedom marks the end of the Loyal League series, a series that needs to be on the every reader’s TBR. While the series is historical romance, I believe it will appeal to non-romance readers as well. The way Alyssa Cole centers the narratives of free Black and enslaved people during the Civil War is not to be missed. This is an important part of American history.

I can't stop marveling over not only what Cole accomplished in this story but the series as a whole. She crafted an amazing story with staying power.

While the first two books in the series dealt more in intrigue, An Unconditional Freedom examines the cost of enslavement. Daniel was a free Black man when he was kidnapped and sold in to slavery. While his friends were eventually able to free him, he bears scars both literal and figurative. His quest for revenge leads him to join the Loyal League and he doesn’t care much about making friends, nor does he have much faith in America. His arc really pulled on my heartstrings.

Janeta is Cuban and her family moved to a Florida plantation after her mom, her father’s former slave, died. Her whole life she’s been told she’s special, she’s not like the enslaved, even if they have the same color skin. And eventually she stopped asking questions about the enslaved in the fields and believes her parents’ lies. But then her dad is thrown in jail by the Union army and her love interest tells her the only way he can be freed is if she spies on the Loyal League.

The beauty of Janeta’s story is watching her eyes open to the reality of slavery in both Cuba and the United States. Once she and Daniel are partnered together, she’s exposed to an entirely different world from the one she was raised in. From there, she has to work through whether she’ll betray Daniel and the Loyal League and what will happen to her father. There’s a lot we can learn from Janeta’s experience of understanding race and racism.

Daniel and Janeta faced high stakes and I had no idea how their happily ever after would come about in the midst of all they faced and their seemingly opposite goals. But it came through!  It was a slow burn but it was worth the wait. They were so good for one another, so good at seeing the best in one another once they got past their first impressions.

Alyssa Cole keeps outdoing herself with every book. I cannot recommend this series more highly, whether or not you’re a romance reader. The stories are that good and that important.

“Hate made good kindling, but hope burned much brighter.”

 

CW: slavery, racism, violence, threats of sexual assault

 

Synopsis

Daniel Cumberland’s uneventful life as a freed man in Massachusetts ended the night he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. To then have his freedom restored by the very man who stole his beloved’s heart is almost too much to bear. When he’s offered entry into the Loyal League, the covert organization of spies who helped free him, Daniel seizes the opportunity to help take down the Confederacy and vent the rage that consumes him.
When the Union Army occupies Janeta Sanchez’s small Florida town, her family’s goodwill and ties to Cuba fail to protect her father from being unjustly imprisoned for treason. To ensure her father’s release, Janeta is made an offer she can’t refuse: spy for the Confederacy. Driven by a desire for vengeance and the hope of saving her family, she agrees to infiltrate the Loyal League as a double agent.

Daniel is both aggravated and intrigued by the headstrong recruit. For the first time in months, he feels something other than anger, but a partner means being accountable, and Daniel’s secret plan to settle a vendetta and strike a blow for the Union can be entrusted to no one. As Janeta and Daniel track Jefferson Davis on his tour of the South, their dual hidden missions are threatened by the ghosts of their pasts and a growing mutual attraction—that might be their only hope for the future.

 

Buy The Book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice

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Book 1 An Extraordinary Union is currently on sale for $2.99: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book 2 A Hope Divided is currently on sale for  $2.99: Amazon | Barnes & Noble (Read my review.)

 

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links included in this post.

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