Cover image for An unconditional freedom
An unconditional freedom
1st Kensington trade paperback ed.
Physical Description:
270 pages ; 21 cm.
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.


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Daniel Cumberland's uneventful life as a freedman 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.

Author Notes

Alyssa Cole is a science editor and romance junkie who lives in the Caribbean. She founded the Jefferson Market Library Romance Book Club and has contributed romance-related articles to publications including RT Book Reviews, Heroes and Heartbreakers, Romance at Random, and The Toast.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cole completes the Loyal League trilogy with a hopeful look at interracial romance during the Civil War. Daniel Cumberland, a detective for the pro-Union Loyal League, has recently been reliberated after he was kidnapped back into slavery. He wants to kill the men responsible for his suffering. Janeta Sanchez, descended from Cuban immigrants, has never truly understood her own tenuous relationship to slavery. Forced by her former lover to spy for the Confederacy, Janeta infiltrates the League and joins Daniel on a mission to uncover Britain's involvement in the war. Janeta and Daniel's love story is a slow burn as Daniel deals with the echoes of past trauma and Janeta learns the true meaning of slavery. Both characters have much more on their minds than romance, which is exactly what makes the romance so real. Neither is perfect, and they still see the good in each other. Even a slightly hurried ending can't diminish this triumphant conclusion to an outstanding series that has redefined the possibilities of historical romance. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

After being kidnapped, sold into slavery, beaten, and broken, Daniel Cumberland is now free and wants his revenge. Torturous memories of what he endured on the plantation before he was rescued and brought back home to Illinois make it impossible for Daniel to live a normal life. Anger and trauma provoke him to join the Loyal League as a rogue agent hell-bent on destroying the Confederacy and, in some ways, himself. But then he meets his new League partner, Janeta Sanchez. The light-skinned daughter of a rich Cuban man and his enslaved wife, Janeta is more able to blend in, but her secret motive for joining this underground spy network is to protect her family, not to save her people. Once she finally sees the harsh reality of slavery, however, she realizes that she must decide which side of this uncivil war she is truly on. Their relationship grows slowly as Janeta and Daniel pursue their mission and try to determine if they're fighting for the same noble cause. This third and hopefully not last installment in Cole's Loyal League series, following A Hope Divided (2017), is historical romance at its finest.--Kristina Giovanni Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Review

The third book in Cole's (A Duke by Default, 2018, etc.) Civil War-era Loyal League series pairs a broken man bent on retribution with an inexperienced but courageous double agent.Daniel Cumberland was born free in Massachusetts, but his education and professional status did not protect him from being kidnapped and sold into slavery, an experience that destroyed his faith in God, country, and himself even after he's rescued. At night, memories of his time in captivity haunt him, but by day he is a detective with the Loyal League, one of the North's most important spy rings. Daniel is ruthless and heartless, motivated by an all-consuming thirst for vengeance that sets him apart even from his fellow spies, with their nave optimism that the war can bring about a better life for people of all races. Janeta Sanchez had lived a pampered and privileged life as the daughter of a Cuban plantation owner who had settled in Florida. But when Yankee soldiers imprison her father and quarter themselves in her home, she agrees to travel to Ohio to infiltrate the Loyal League and spy for the Confederate cause. In unfamiliar terrain, where others' perceptions clash with her self-image, Janeta "was coming to understand both her place in this country and her own inner geography better; she was recharting the map of herself." Cole conveys the ways Janeta's and Daniel's layered identities pose challenges while affording them strengths of insight and character. Cole weaves a tense and gripping plot into a tapestry of fascinating and authentic historical detail, told from the distinct perspectives of people of color, without skimping on the growing feelings and strong desires that bring two lovers together.Forbidden attraction and the threat of betrayal are the initial hooks for what turns out to be a sumptuously written and meticulously researched tale of a country at war with itself and two damaged people who find themselves in each other's arms. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Born free, captured by slavers, and then rescued, law student Daniel Cumberland-disillusioned, angry, and embittered-wants nothing more than to bring down the Confederacy. A member of the Loyal League, the shadowy organization of black detectives and spies who freed him, Daniel finds himself on a dangerous mission to Mississippi, saddled with Janeta Sanchez, a green-as-grass and far too curious recruit. Yet Janeta, pampered daughter of a -Cuban plantation owner and his freedwoman wife, is more than just an annoyance-she is a double agent, coerced into spying for the South in exchange for her imprisoned father's freedom. The journey brings sometimes painful truths to them both. VERDICT A heroine torn by conflicting loyalties and a vengeance-driven hero haunted by the past struggle to come to terms with reality and their feelings in this emotionally compelling, information-rich story. Very nicely done. Cole (A Hope Divided) divides her time between New York City and -Martinique. [An editor's pick, p. 22; previewed in Kathryn Howe's "Love Changes Everything," LJ 10/15/18.] © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.