Home to Milford College, Prequel
Heat Factor: Not a “hot” book – more of a tender book.
Character Chemistry: Kind of an “us against the world” type love.
Plot: Realie is tantalizingly close to freedom in Canada, but is accidentally shot when she attempts to steal a horse. Lawrence, an upstanding Miami Indian/Negro man and aspiring laywer, is determined to heal and help Realie after accidentally shooting her. These two sacrifice and take great chances to build a life together, and it’s both heartbreaking and beautiful as they strive for their dreams.
Overall: This is a remarkably balanced historical romance. Huguley somehow manages to hold to the truth of history and weave a story of love and commitment between Realie and Lawrence, which is perhaps easier said than done when “happily ever after” can’t ever mean truly “free” for Realie.
This book starts with the jarring moment where Lawrence accidentally shoots Realie when she attacks him in an attempt to steal his horse. Realie is incredibly close to Canada after fleeing slavery, and Lawrence is incredibly close to achieving his dream of being a lawyer – a remarkable feat for someone half Miami Indian and half Negro in 1844.
As Realie heals and tries to maintain some semblance of control over the few choices she has in her life, Lawrence is attempting to study for an exam and fulfill his duties as he rides circuit to provide justice to those who are unable to reach a courtroom in rural areas. The two have to constantly evaluate and juggle those they can trust and those they can’t as Lawrence works to free Realie.
This is not a “hot” romance, nor is it simple or unencumbered. As Huguley carefully lays out for us, even those who are against slavery aren’t necessarily completely open-minded, nor are they selfless. It’s all grey area – even Realie’s freedom. The end of this book doesn’t leave us feeling like things have been tied up neatly with a bow, because it’s not possible. Although Realie and Lawrence are able to secure a future for themselves, it’s clear they’re going to face countless hurdles. The happy ending is simply that they are choosing to face those hurdles together.
I would be very interested in reading more from this series – The Lawyer’s Luck felt like the beginning of a very interesting and nuanced series with great honesty and sweetness.
Buy Now: Amazon
Looking for books with a similar feel? Here are some suggestions:
This is our first book set in the antebellum period, but we here are some Civil War and Reconstruction options
Not all books with characters of color negotiate race this well, but it’s good to have a range of options