By Tqwana B.
4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
Romance takes a bit of a back seat in this final installment in Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series.
And that is not a bad thing. It is the slowest of slow burns, focused more on the individuals loving themselves while gradually falling for each other.
The hero and heroine, Daniel and Janeta, go on an intense journey of healing and self-discovery, which worked for me because I had such a hard time sympathizing with sheltered Janeta at first, knowing that her motives were initially harmful to Daniel and the 4L.
But, we should always trust Alyssa Cole. Trust her to know that someone with Daniel’s trauma and PTSD needed time to heal before falling in love. And Janeta needed to come clean with him and herself before doing the same. She needed to come to terms with the ramifications of the way her mother raised her. By the end, I was her biggest fan.
So it was fitting that the ending is more happy for now, yet hopeful and optimistic. We never forget that this was one of America’s darkest periods, and Daniel and Janeta are in the midst of a war that could end with them both in bondage or dead.
*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Synopsis: Janeta Sanchez didn’t pay much attention to the war. She was more interested in balls and potential husbands. In her small Floridian town, she still felt more Cuban than American, and whether the North or South won didn’t make much of a difference to her. However, Janeta’s life changes forever when a man offers her a deal: spy for the Confederacy and ensure her father’s release from prison.
Daniel Cumberland barely remembers the carefree days of his youth, marked by life as a freedman and days whiled away with Elle, the girl he thought he’d marry. Then a dark series of events changed him forever. After Elle refused to marry him, he was captured by slavers and subjected to months of abuse. Even his rescue was a humiliation—-his freedom came at the hands of the man Elle chose to spend her life with instead. The white man she’d picked over him.
Aimless and unmoored, Daniel agrees to join the 4L, a league of covert operatives of color helping to take down the Confederacy. It’s his last shot at doing something meaningful, and a vent for the rage that won’t leave him. When he meets new recruit Janeta, he feels something other than pain and anger for the first time in months. When they’re paired together on an important mission, they give into their mutual passion. But the past is never really the past, and the ghosts that haunt Daniel and Janeta could ruin their chance at happiness—-and the Union’s chance of winning the war.