AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM - Alyssa Cole
Kensington Dafina Romance
REVIEWER: Brenda Larnell | RATING: A
REVIEW: Get ready readers for another brilliant Loyal League story that presents keen insight into yet another historical aspect of the Civil War. The story begins with a direct connection to its predecessor, AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION. The hero, Daniel, and the heroine from Book 2 have history. Instead of Ellen, an ex-slave, marrying Daniel, a free Negro, she chooses to join the resistance against the Confederacy. Of course, Daniel is not pleased with the decision. Yet, he is willing to wait for Ellen, study law, and use his knowledge of the law to help free his people. That’s the plan, but as it happens, the plan does not work out. Ellen falls in love with the hero figure of Book 2.
Daniel Cumberland becomes a victim of a cruel policy of whites who kidnap free Blacks and sell them into slavery. He is a broken man, enslaved and far from home until he is freed by the Loyal League, a network of slaves, free men and women, black and white, who send invaluable information North in order to defeat the efforts of those who seek a Southern victory. Ironically, Daniel’s release is spearheaded by Ellen and her husband. That period of enslavement changes Daniel in more ways than one. After joining the Loyal League, his reputation is that of an irascible, traumatized loner. In the meantime, the heroine is absorbed in her own drama that stems from the unrest in the South. Janeta Sanchez is a Cuban beauty who moves with her family to Florida. She is enlisted to aid the Confederate cause by a Confederate officer who feigns his love for her in order to get information against the Union soldiers who use her home as their base after imprisoning her father. She is acting as a spy to obtain information and pass it on to her Confederate lover in hopes of freeing her father. That’s her plan, but you know what is said about “best laid plans”. Janeta joins the Loyal League, and she is partnered with a reluctant Daniel.
The reader follows the perilous exploits of Daniel and Janeta as they carry out their assigned duties that take them from the deep South to Cairo, Illinois, the staging area for many Union Army expeditions into the South. Author Alyssa Cole’s historical research is on point and flawlessly presented. History and Fiction are meticulously meshed to present a story that will fully capture you. What is more, we witness the dramatic transformation that both Daniel and Janeta go through as the story moves along, and the walls of trauma, lies, and isolation come down as a result of the people they encounter, and the dangerous exploits that they experience together. AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM is a skillfully told story.
As the story ends, the author smoothly introduces the reader to another Confederate fighting organization, Daughters of the Tent. I look forward to learning more about this organization comprised of women with like-minded ideas. The Epilogue holds much promise for the hero and heroine. AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM is a riveting historical romance. I highly recommend it. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I suggest that you also read A HOPE DIVIDED, (Book #1) and AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION, (Book #2). You won’t be sorry.
18th February 2019 | firstname.lastname@example.org