An Unconditional Freedom

An Unconditional Freedom

by Alyssa Cole

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Overview

An assassination plot that could end the Civil War, and a hidden enemy that could destroy a secret league of unsung heroes …
 
Daniel Cumberland, born free in Massachusetts, studied law with dreams of helping his people—dreams that died the night he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Daniel is rescued, but he’s a changed man. When he’s offered entry into the Loyal League, the covert organization of Black spies who helped free him, he seizes the opportunity for vengeance against the Confederacy and those who support it.
 
When the Union Army occupies the Florida home of Cuban Janeta Sanchez, daughter of an enslaved woman and the plantation owner who married her, her family’s wealth does not protect her father from being imprisoned. Under duress and blaming herself for the arrest, Janeta agrees to infiltrate a group called the Loyal League as a double agent—and finds a cause truly worth the sacrifice.
 
Daniel is aggravated by the headstrong and much too observant new detective he’s paired with, and Janeta is intrigued by the broken but honorable man she is tasked with betraying. As they embark on a mission to intercept Jefferson Davis and thwart European meddling, their dual hidden agendas are threatened by the ghosts of their pasts and a growing affection that could strengthen both the Union and their souls—or lead to their downfall.  

Praise for Alyssa Cole
 
“This book is fantastic.”
Kirkus STARRED REVIEW on A Hope Divided
 
“Thoughtfully portrayed characters with deep minds and passionate hearts make this …sparkle.”
—Booklist STARRED REVIEW on A Hope Divided

 
“Brimming with vivid characterization, heartfelt dialogue, and sensual sweetness.”
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW on An Extraordinary Union

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496707482
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Series: The Loyal League Series , #3
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 168,226
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary romance, and SFF romance. She’s contributed to publications including Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, RT Book Reviews, and Heroes and Heartbreakers, and her books have received critical acclaim from Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can often be found watching anime with her husband or wrangling their menagerie of animals. Visit her at www.alyssacole.com.

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An Unconditional Freedom 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
BoxerLover2 9 months ago
Daniel Cumberland, a freeborn Negro, a student of the law, finds himself sold into slavery. He is rescued by the Loyal League. He joins them in their mission to assist the Union. Janeta is a Cuban heiress who wants to avenge her father and gather information for her Confederate lover. She infiltrates the Loyal League and is teamed up with Daniel. Together they (eventually) unite to help their people. The feels this book creates! The writing hits you in the heart. Do not read this without a box of tissues close at hand. “Hate made good kindling, but hope burned much brighter.” I have one question. Why are these books not on the magic teevee machine as a mini-series? 5 Stars
RobinLovesReading 9 months ago
Janeta Sanchez has an incredibly difficult role. She is about to become a double agent. Her father has been unjustly accused of treason and imprisoned and if she succeeds, she hopes to get him released. Janeta will be working with a spy named Daniel Cumberland, but he doesn't realize that she is working at cross purposes. Daniel definitely has challenges. For one thing he is trying to come to terms with the fact that his beloved now belongs to someone else. But the real issue is his assignment. He has the opportunity to take down the Confederacy. The Civil War is raging, but then, so is Daniel. His objective makes him aim high, so Daniel is forced to bury his own anger. Meanwhile, both Daniel and Janeta grow in attraction to one another. But, this is no easy romance because their missions are secret to one another and this will no doubt bring conflict. Just as this is not a simple romance story, this is not a simple tale. The times are hard because of all of the goings on at that time. The horrors of slavery and the fact that Daniel was born free, then later sold into slavery is just so sad. While it is a fact that he was freed again, the angst he feels is very real. Overall, the story takes place during the abolition of slavery and Daniel's experiences illustrate just how terrible slavery actually was. Conversely, Janeta's experiences are entirely different. As a matter of fact, her situation was just so difficult it was very hard to imagine her and Daniel ever coming to terms, never mind succeeding at love and the chance for a future together. Reading all three books in this series in quick succession - An Extraordinary Union, A Hope Divided, and this titles, An Unconditional Freedom - was an eye-opener and a good, if not painful, reminder of a time in history when race and equality for women was utterly unbalanced, to say the least. There were some serious difficulties Alyssa Cole no doubt faced when writing this story, even this entire series. In this case, for starters, she wrote a heroine who may have started off unlikable to many. She had to help this heroine evolve in the eyes of readers. Much more serious, however, was the fact that she tackled issues like the following - and this limited list is from her author's note at the end of this book - white supremacy, neo-Nazis, Confederates and slavery. Make sure to read the note in order to see the unfortunate but true comparison this well-informed author makes. There is also an excellent bibliography included. Many thanks to Kensington Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
KelsieAL 9 months ago
An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole is book three in The Loyal League series. Cole has re-exposed the ugly side of American history in these historical fiction novels. This series highlights the civil war and the efforts of individuals working to end the institution of slavery and restore a united nation. Though part of a series, this novel is a standalone. However, I do recommend reading the two previous books for connecting details and added depth. This book brings the story full circle. Daniel Cumberland was born free but was captured and sold into slavery. He is eventually freed and joins the Loyal League, an organization seeking to realize victory for the Union, and thereby the end of slavery. Daniel is consumed with rage and is determined to reap vengeance upon the system that took his freedom and destroyed his soul. Janeta Sanchez is of mixed heritage but was raised privileged on her father’s sugar cane plantation in Cuba. Her family relocates to Florida, where her father is imprisoned for crimes against the Union. In an effort to free her father, Janeta infiltrates the Loyal League to spy for the Confederacy. She is confused and disturbed by the truths she now faces with regard to the institution of slavery, perhaps she has been lied to by those closest to her. Daniel and Janeta are partnered together in the Loyal League, though neither is happy about the pairing. A growing attraction complicates the relationship. Can they save themselves and their future, whether together or separately? Once again, Cole has done her research and gives a realistic depiction of Civil War America. Real people and entities are featured, which makes the story more believable and compelling. The plot held my attention from start to finish. An Unconditional Freedom lives up to the standard Cole set in the first two books and I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. I find this edition of the series reminiscent of Solomon Northup’s novel, Twelve Years a Slave, recently released as a full-length film. I recommend this book and the entire series to fans of historical romance and American history buffs, especially those interested in the Civil War era. My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
apeape 4 months ago
I'm not going to get into a deep, complex review here- just what I liked and didn't like about the story. Likes: Although this book is the third of a series, it reads fine as a stand alone. It does reference the previous books, but does it in such a way that it doesn't feel like "here is some exposition for you," it feels like a natural part of the story. The two main characters, Daniel and Janeta, were complex, flawed, and grew over the course of the story, and I cared about what happened to them. The historical events were well researched, and I learned about aspects of the Civil War that I didn't know about before, such as international impacts of the war. The romance was a slow burn, which was understandable in the situations of the characters- Daniel getting over a lost love, and feeling like he doesn't deserve to be loved, and Janeta figuring out the man she thought loved her was using her, and coming to terms with who she is. When they finally get together, it felt right, like they had worked out some (not all) of their personal baggage before moving forward. I enjoyed the two of them together, and feel like they'll get their HEA, not just a HFN. Dislikes: nothing, really. Janeta did take a while to figure things out, but honestly, in her situation, I might've taken a while too- it's hard to unlearn what you've been brought up to believe. I really enjoyed this book, though some of it is hard to take; it's important to know, and to think about.
Historical_Romance_Lover 9 months ago
I really enjoyed Dainel and Janeta's story! I really enjoyed this story for the romance of it as much as the historical aspect of it. I normally read historicals set in Europe and those set in the US don't normally include the Civil War, so the history that I learned was an added bonus! I really enjoyed watching the growth of both characters. Janeta had been raised wealthy and had never really experienced the prejudices that she experienced when she moved to the states. She ended up having to reexamine her whole life and the reality of the world. Daniel on the other hand, had grown up a free man and been sold into slavery. He had to get over a whole lot of anger about how his life had changed. I've not read the other books in the series, but after reading this one, they are one my TBR list!
Timitra 9 months ago
Rated 4.5 Stars An Unconditional Freedom is in no way, shape or form an easy book to read. The opening scene of had me pissed to hell off, it only took a few minutes for me to go from zero to angry. It had nothing to do with the writing which was great as always but everything to do with the subject matter. All the books in this series are difficult to read for that very reason. Although they're set in the past they're in a lot of ways mirror images of present day America and other parts of the world which makes for some very uncomfortable reading but in no way takes away from the fascinating stories this weaves. These characters didn't have the easiest go of it as every part of their journey was wrought with danger, lies and deceit among so many other things. I loved that despite all of this love was able to sprout under the most inhospitable and unlikely conditions. As difficult as it was to read I loved it and highly recommend it.
LeighKramer 9 months ago
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 Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review.