Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on November 28th 2017
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oA masterful tale.o -Kirkus, Starred Review on An Extraordinary Union a The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor-but for one scientist spy and her philosopher soldier, war could bind them together . . . a For three years 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. a Unbeknowst 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. a When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie's freedom on the line,a 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. a Praise for An Extraordinary Union o(B)rimming with vivid characterization, heartfelt dialogue, and sensual sweetness.o -Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW oCole spins a tale that will pull you in from the very first page. A true treat!o -RT Book Reviews, 5 stars,aTOP PICK
Alyssa Cole does it again!
A Hope Divided is the second book in her Loyal League series and it is simply divine. I adored An Extraordinary Union and it set the bar so high that part of me thought I may have had too high of expectations for this novel.
A Hope Divided is a fast paced and harrowing tale of Marlie Lynch and Ewan McCall (Malcolm’s brother from An Extraordinary Union) during The Civil War. Marlie provides healing to soldiers and aid to runaways on their passage to freedom. Union soldier and escaped prisoner Ewan is hiding out in Marlie’s home laboratory as a vicious man takes residence in Marlie’s home; a place she thought, despite everything else, that she would be safe.
Marlie was drawn to Ewan from the times she visited the prison and offered him books, that is part of the reason why she shelters this quiet man at a time where it is the most unsafe to do so.
Marlie and Ewan grow close and when family secrets are revealed and Marlie’s life is in grave danger, she has to make the decision to run away with Ewan as he makes his way back home. While these two run for their lives, they discover than the men threatening their lives isn’t the only thing to be afraid of, it’s the unexpectedly fearless love that threatens to swallow them whole. While love wasn’t necessarily in the cards for either one of them, it promises to be the best thing they’ve both ever known.
These two complemented each other well. I liked Ewan’s character. He was complex; logical and quiet but dangerous and sinister. Marlie was immensely talented and the aid she provided to help the sick went far beyond what she was even willing to comprehend at first.
While trying not to compare, I will say that the romance was less prominent in this book that in An Extraordinary Union. It seemed to take a backseat to the plot points in the book but considering all of the backstory and revelations readers were left to uncover, it was understandable. It will also be evident to all readers that this novel is incredibly well researched. Cole is unflinching of her portrayal of the Civil War era and the attention to detail and accuracy should be applauded.
Once again Cole provided everything I needed in this historical romance. It was romantic, brave, and heartbreakingly resilient.
If you haven’t picked up her Loyal League series, I suggest you do that ASAP.