When a feisty, Cherokee beauty and a strong-willed, male, runaway slave lock their destinies together in a headlong pursuit of freedom, they unleash forces that deny their liberty, threaten to destroy their love and propel them into dangerous exploits. Displaced by a presidential edict in 1838, Awanessa, and her entire Cherokee tribe, must leave their homeland in the Southeast United States to march thousands of miles on the arduous Trail of Tears. Meanwhile, Awanessa wages a personal battle that leads her to rescue Jeremiah, a slave on the run, who is being attacked by trackers and bloodhounds. As the couple’s lives intersect, they yearn to find their place in an intolerant world.
In a desperate race for survival, Awanessa and Jeremiah flee the Smoky Mountains to the Okenofee Swamps of Georgia with the Seminoles, and later, St. Augustine, Florida. By a twist of fate, they end up in post-emancipation Jamaica where they discover a new world of possibilities while confronting jealousy, mistrust, deception and obeah. As they boldly stake a claim for their future, vengeance strikes, loyalties are put to the test, a life is perilously at risk and they wonder, what price will they have to pay for freedom?
Mid 19th century/Frontier period
Romantic Historical Fiction
Heat Level – 1
Rating – 5 Stars
Guest Review by Chanta Rand
I would probably have to say this is the best historical romance I’ve had the pleasure of reading – and I’ve read a lot! And with this book, I must admit, I got more than I bargained for. I laughed. I cried. I cursed. But I couldn’t put this book down. This novel about a Cherokee woman who falls in love with a runaway slave, had all the elements of a great saga, like Roots, or North and South. There was something for everyone: murder, mystery, adventure, romance, voodoo, and of course, history.
Jeremiah, an articulate slave with an unparalleled talent for making furniture, runs away from his cruel master. He has run away before and been brought back and made to pay the consequences. This time, however, Awanessa (A headstrong Cherokee maiden) comes to his rescue, wounding the slave catchers and offering Jeremiah sanctuary in her people’s camp. Cherokees owned slaves back in the day, so Nessa is met with a lot of opposition from her tribe for sheltering a slave. But she’s a strong heroine, and despite everything going on around her (including the removal of her people during to the famous Trail of Tears) she develops a relationship with Jeremiah. To cut a long story short – the two are hell-bent on changing their destinies, and so they embark on a journey filled with a series of adventures.
Having just returned from a tour of the John Sharp plantation in Falmouth county in Jamaica, I was delighted to find this book was filled with plenty of historical details that were accurately described for this time period. The author not only provides us with a heart-touching romance, she educates us about the relationship between Blacks and Indians during the slavery era. What I like best is that she doesn’t limit the characters’ experience to the USA; the novel chronicles Nessa and Jeremiah’s turbulent journey across the ocean to Jamaica.
This story is well written. And the characters aren’t perfect. Each one has their flaws, their insecurities, their biases, and their ambitions. But their love truimphs all.
I love the imagery the author uses and the detailed descriptions of everything from food and plants of the era to tribal customs, clothing and politics. I consider myself an avid history buff, but the author managed to school me on quite a few things. The Author Notes at the end are chock full of interesting historical tidbits detailing what was happening in the world at the time. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different in the romance genre, and I can’t wait for the sequel.
** This title is currently available in digital format for $4.99**
About the Reviewer:
I’m a multi-published author of sizzling-hot African-American romance. I’m also a Walking Dead fan and a recovering shoe addict. I never met a stiletto I didn’t like! I’ve always been an avid reader of all romance genres. A few years ago, I decided to share my knowledge of Egypt and Nubia by publishing my first African-American historical romance, entitled Pharaoh’s Desire. Then, in November of 2010, I published my first urban romance, The Highest Bidder. Whether I’m writing historical or contemporary romances, I always try to educate my readers and teach them something they may not have known before. When I’m not writing, I enjoy doing anything artsy, collecting Native American pottery, and indulging in my one true obsession – shoe shopping! I live in Dallas, TX with my husband, photographer Kerry Rand.