*I was provided a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review*
Cost of Love is a three-book set of short historical romance stories by G.S. Carr.
I was very careful not to spoil the first book when reviewing the third so you can decide if you want to get the whole series or one at a time.
Cost of Hope: Book 1
With no memories beyond the past five years and a young daughter to take care of Sarah must do everything she can to protect herself and her daughter. The emancipation proclamation declared Sarah free years ago but the local laws still prevent her from leaving the plantation. However, when her master dies and the extremely abusive son inherits the house...and her… Sarah bundles her child and runs away. Lost in the woods being chased by dogs Sarah is doomed until a kind stranger steps in and rescues them.
Alex is amazed when his long lost love comes running into his arms as the plantation owner James chases her through the woods. Soliel has been missing for five years and everyone had given up hope on ever seeing her again. He whisks her away to his home and offers to send her back to her parents in France. With the help of Victoria a childhood friend, Soliel and Alex work on rebuilding their relationship and her memories, one piece at a time.
This was a cute little romance story with some harsh truths about slavery and racism. It was heartbreaking at some points and others had me wishing to go on romantic walks and picnics with my husband. I would've liked more development of the character relationships and of Soliel regaining her memories but since it is a collection of short stories it makes sense how it is.
Cost of Atonement: Book 2
Set before Cost of Hope it follows the story of Victoria as she copes with the kidnapping of her best friend. When everyone has given up on finding Soliel, Victoria turns to helping the abolitionist movement in whatever way she can. When the opportunity to be a conductor on the underground railroad comes with the expectation of marriage she agrees; after all, she can always divorce once they are done with their expedition. However, even a fake marriage comes tangled with feelings, a fake Charles hopes to use to convince Victoria to really love him back.
This story was my favorite of the three! It had the most character growth and an adorable plot. I definitely would love to hear more adventures of them working the underground railroad. There were a few plot holes but for a short story, it is really well-paced. It does feel a little modern with Victoria being so cavalier about marrying just to get a divorce months later but I don't know enough about life in New York at that time to say it is completely wrong.
Cost of Rebellion: Book 3
This book follows Soliel’s daughter Hope as she finds herself in the courts of London. Instead of settling down to marriage and family Hope dreams of sailing the seas. When she rescues a wounded man from an alley little does she know she’ll get her dream, albeit in an unconventional way.
Shaeen Almasi is crown Prince of Zawhar and no witnesses can be left for his crimes, but killing doesn’t have to be the only solution. After suffering an injury Shaeen is rescued by a street urchin. When he wakes up he finds the urchin is actually a lovely woman that catches his fascination. His crew comes to take him home and he kidnaps her as well.
I wasn’t a fan of book 3. The relationships felt really unrealistic and there was no character development. I really wanted to love it after the first two books, but I just couldn’t look past Hope’s foolishness. She is completely reckless and ignorant in ways that are astonishing for even a woman of that time period. The "love" interest Shaeen was extremely emotionally abusive in the beginning and arguably even at the end in a way I find it very hard to overlook.
Have you read these books? Drop a comment below with what you thought!
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