Historical Romance, Interracial Romance, Civil War
For all of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her—until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
Unbeknownst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love—and freedom—before they ever cross state lines.
This book was harder for me to read than the first one in the loyal league series. It’s for a personal reason too. My great great grandmother was an escaped slave, and my great grandmother, who I knew, was mixed-race like the character in this book. Marlie is black and white, and both, and neither, and reading her story helped me see into what my grandmother’s lives must have been like. Even more than my own.
I’m mixed-race too, but I don’t look it, I pass, and was taught to pass by my grandparents. Considering they left the rez to avoid residential schools I’ve never blamed them for that.
But reading Alyssa’s words about how Marlie feels, what her struggles were like during the Civil war, it made it all so real for me. So heartbreaking and perfect and beautiful and ugly and gah. You need to read this book if you like historical romance and especially if you like Civil War historical romance.
It’s fresh, well-written and almost perfect. I did feel the climax was a little rushed, it took place in about one chapter, and it felt like it could’ve been drawn out a little more, but other than that it’s a perfect book.
I coded the hero in this one as autistic, and in little ways that I’m not sure the author herself knew were signs of autism. It makes me wonder.
This story takes part in the same family on the hero’s side as the first one, the hero is the baby brother of the hero in book one, so it has that enjoyable family line feel to it. Ewan is definitely autistic, and in this one, I think he’s meant to be. The rep is SO REAL and I loved it so much.
I can’t wait for book three in THE LOYAL LEAGUE series, is it Feb 26th yet??
Readability: 5/5 I had so much trouble putting this book down! Kept me up late two nights running and I blew off working on my own books to read this one. Reading is part of working as an author, right? It is, I said so.
ARCS: 5/5 Beautifully detailed character and story arcs intertwined to make the author’s words come alive. Gorgeous.
CRAFT: 5/5 other than that little hiccup with the climax being too rushed, I really can’t find a thing wrong with this book. I can’t help but see mistakes, editor brain and all, but I didn’t find any.
Buy the book!