This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Kensington
Released on February 26, 2019
An Unconditional Freedom brought me full circle with book one in this series by telling the story of the man who was rejected by An Extraordinary Union’s heroine. Each of these Loyal League stories bring history alive, send the reader into pulse-pounding intrigue and danger, and introduce characters and relationships that tug hard on the emotions. This latest has reached down deeper than any others in the series.
An Unconditional Freedom is book three in the Loyal League series. It could be read standalone because it is a separate story arc though there are obvious loose ties to the first two books, but it had a better impact on me by getting it in order.
In An Unconditional Freedom, we get the story of the man who once thought to earn his law degree and be a husband only to lose his free black status when kidnapped by slavers and sold making him see just how precarious all his assumptions about freedom really were. Daniel’s life journey came at a high price. His work as a Loyal League detective helping his people gain their freedom is good, but it is only a vehicle driven by his deep fury and pain until he encounters a woman set on her own dark path.
Janeta Sanchez is a Cuban black woman who has lived in luxury as the daughter of the Cuban plantation owner who brings his family to his Florida villa. Janeta is naive and her dream to be desired leads her to loving and trusting the wrong man which she doesn’t realize until she is in an untenable situation. Now, she must insinuate herself into the Loyal League, using her shared skin color to spy against them and eventually take them down to help her lover and her imprisoned father. Only, she encounters the stone cold eyes of her new partner and knows that gaining secrets from Daniel Cumberland will not be easy and the attempt may well get her killed.
In truth, I would describe this as a historical fiction mashed with romance. Yes, there is a slow burn love growing at the heart of this story and gets to a wonderful sensual and spicy scene, but for most of the tale it is about two people who were on very separate and distinct paths face personal hardship, demons, and a chance at growth and healing before they are ready for anything resembling love and romance.
I was riveted to the storyline as Daniel and Janeta are deeply involved in spy work and intrigue in a constantly volatile situation as they traverse the South during war time. As the previous books showed, the war is fought on many levels and many ways other than soldiers clashing against soldiers. There is a whole other secret war being fought behind the lines as well as some seek to gather intelligence or sabotage while others seek to incite riots and twist people to do their dirty work.
This story was told in a heightened state of danger and I read it in one sitting. My emotions were engaged and I appreciate how the author demonstrated good research and wrote a layered action and character-driven story. It was obvious that she threw her heart into this one and the readers will reap the reward of that.
Those who enjoy US Civil War era historicals, historical romance, and African American history should definitely pick up this book/series.
My thanks to Kensington via Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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