Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: "Be Not Afraid" by Alyssa Cole

Be Not Afraid
TITLE: Be Not Afraid
AUTHOR(S): Alyssa Cole
SERIES: Stand-alone

Historical Romance -- American Revolution
PUBLISHER: Seditious Sisters
PUBLICATION DATE: February 2, 2016
SOURCE: Purchased from Amazon
LENGTH: 63 pages
DATE READ: January 2017

2017 TBR Challenge, 2017 Backlist Reader Challenge, 2017 New To Me Reading Challenge, 2017 Historical Romance Reading Challenge

CHARACTER ARCHETYPES: Beta Hero, Tormented Heroine

TROPES: Captivity/Imprisonment



Brooklyn, 1776

Elijah Sutton is no fool, despite his love of a country that enslaves people like him. When he's offered land, livestock, and—most importantly—his freedom if he fights in his Patriot owner's stead, Elijah believes he'll soon have everything he ever wanted...and then he meets Kate.

The Crown has promised freedom to slaves who escape their Patriot masters and join the British side, and Kate intends to take them up on it. She's eager to leave America—and the painful memories it holds for her—far behind...and then she meets Elijah.

Their attraction is undeniable, but their goals couldn’t be further apart. When Elijah is captured by the British while helping Kate, they're thrown into close proximity and forced to choose between their hopes for the future and their hearts.

Why I Read It...
I have been wanting to read an Alyssa Cole book for awhile and also am continuing my efforts to read historical romances that are not set in Regency/Victorian England.  So, when it came time to pick a book to start off the 2017 TBR Challenge with the January theme of Short Shorts, I decided to give Be Not Afraid a try and I was not disappointed.

What I Liked About It...

1. I have always been into the American Revolution as a time period so the setting automatically grabbed my attention.  I thought the idea of having the protagonists be on opposing sides of the conflict due to their individual beliefs on who could offer them a better life out of slavery was a unique and important aspect.  I knew a little about the various promises the British and the Patriots gave to slaves during the war, but really felt like I came away from this book knowing more and wanting to know more.

2. Elijah was such a sweet guy!  He has been through a lot in his life as a slave, but, somehow,  maintained a gentle personality that paired well with his protective instincts.  I liked reading about his convictions and also that he was willing to rethink them when he was presented with other ideas.  It is always great to read about stand-up heroes in difficult situations who definitely deserve their happy ending.

3. Kate was the pricklier side of the romance, but that doesn't mean I didn't like her.  Her life has been difficult and she learned to survive by shutting her emotions out.  I admired her ability to keep going after the tragedy she suffered while trying to run away years ago.  Like Elijah, she had strong opinions about who would provide her with the best opportunity to succeed after the war.  It took some coaxing, but she also showed that she was intelligent enough to rethink her ideas when presented with evidence to the contrary.

4. The romance was full of tension, but also had plenty of sweet moments.  With Elijah and Kate being on different sides, there was a forbidden aspect that amped up the drama which I liked.  I enjoyed reading about their conversations and how much they respected one another.  It became obvious how much they wanted to rely on the other for happiness and I spent much of the book wondering how they would get their happily ever after which is always a good sign for me.

What I Disliked About It...

1. The only thing I didn't care for regarding Be Not Afraid was the page length.  It is pretty short and has a lot to pack into those few pages.  I thought Alyssa Cole did a good job with the pacing early on and towards the end.  I did feel like the middle part was out of place especially when the story jumped forward in time.  I think that time was important to the development of the romance and I would have enjoyed seeing more of it.

Would I Recommend It...

I definitely would recommend Be Not Afraid to readers who want a different type of historical romance and an introduction to Alyssa Cole's writing.  I definitely want to read more of her backlist and I am happy that this was my first experience.


  1. This sounds amazing! I think I would fall so quickly for Elijah. So glad you enjoyed this, even though you wished it were longer.

  2. Great find for our shorts challenge - putting it on my wishlist because you have me intrigued. :)


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