A Distant Magic should be on the High School or first semester Black Studies reading list because it's about slavery and its abolishment. Putney confesses in the Authors Note, "Though I've taken some liberties, many of the incidents involving historical characters are real."
The magic used was mostly for transporting Jean and Nikolai to locations and dates where their good vibes helped abolitionists equalize the bad vibes that pro slavers were putting out. Ms. Putney should have included the magic as a way to get rid of the bad guy's; this would have made the book more fun and thereby diminished the feeling of reading a documentary.
The love scene/sex act, in Chapter 33, comprises maybe 3 paragraphs, and supposedly strengthens their magic forces to fight against slavery.
I would not list this as a romance novel because I want to see more than a handful of kisses at least. I like reading romance.
Jean Macrae was born into a leading Scottish Guardian family. Her father and brothers are masters of the extraordinary powers that all Guardians use to protect their homeland. But what magic Jean can muster is painful to use, and she seldom calls upon it. During a visit to Marseilles to attend a guardian wedding, Jean meets a handsome stranger who kidnaps her, claiming the Macrae family owes him a blood debt. Her abductor Captain Zander threatens to sell her into slavery on the Barbary Coast. Will he follow through, or as her Guardian magic subtly suggests, can his mind be changed by a woman with whom he is swiftly falling in love?