Freedom's Path (Deerbourne Inn)

Sidonie Demers is well aware that her life could have been that of a slave. Born in freedom, and with her white father’s features, Sidonie has the perfect cover as a maid in the Deerbourne Inn to aid escaping slaves travel the Underground Railroad to freedom. Colin Crawford has come to Willow Springs many times as a salesman and befriended the lovely maid, but can Sidonie trust him with her abolitionist ideals and feelings or will he turn from her in favor of the law? Colin Crawford has been hiding his true identity — an Army Corporal searching for abolitionist groups.  While he is very interested in Sidonie, he knows his duty to the law and his country. Can their shared attraction be enough to convince Colin to share Sidonie’s ideals, or will their true identities destroy their new love?

A short but vivid historical novella, “Freedom’s Path” is a glimpse into the life of a conductor on the Underground Railroad and those pursuing the slaves and abolitionists. With a relationship already begun before the story starts, the romance is light but purposeful. The story is straightforward, although the conflict is minimal and the characters make abrupt decisions that drive the plot but feel too quick or underdeveloped. Additionally, the story length provides little room to develop depth, limiting reader attachment. However, the details of this historical movement, the attitudes of the different people before the civil war, and the blossoming romance between Colin and Sidonie is bright, engaging and well worth reading!  

Sarah E Bradley