Disclaimer: Yes, Kianna Alexander is my friend in real life. Yes, I paid for my copy of this book. No, I’m not afraid to write an honest opinion of this book.
Folks, we have a new African-American historical romance novella hot off the electronic presses. 1849 pre-Civil War setting. A hottie doctor for a hero and a runaway slave heroine. And, published by Ellora’s Cave. Ooh-wee!
Freedom’s Embrace is not Kianna Alexander’s first published title. She has 6 self-published titles out, 2 of which are also historical romance (the sweet novellas Kissing The Captain and The Preacher’s Paramour). This one is still a little different. In Freedom’s Embrace, my girl – FINALLY! – gives us a peek behind the bedroom door. I have been harassing emailing this poor woman for the last year demanding to know when she was going to give me my “good parts.” Well, here they are at last.
I love that this story touches on colorism, the tension between runaway slaves and free people of color, and the threat that the Fugitive Laws posed to all African-Americans north of the Mason-Dixon line. I do wish that Kianna had played more with her hero’s ability to “pass” – when a person of color’s skin is light enough to be mistaken for a Caucasian. I think that would have cleared up the confusion I had about the hero Jonathan’s appearance. We are told that he sometimes “passes” when it is convenient but then he is later described as having a caramel complexion.
I loved our heroine Naomi’s spirit. I couldn’t help but admire her bravery. Thank you, Kianna, for giving us a realistic glimpse of the runaway slave’s physical AND emotional journey to freedom. My biggest complaint about Naomi was that she could’ve spent more time acting on her feelings about Jonathan instead of doing all that thinking about them. The same goes for Jonathan too!
Overall, I think this was a good early work of a developing talent. You will get a great sense of the historical setting with a nice dose of sexy time toward the end. I look forward to watching you grow as a writer.
Link to the publisher’s page for Freedom’s Embrace: http://www.ellorascave.com/freedom-s-embrace.html