This book is actually three novellas, all written under the umbrella premise of Eliza Hamilton collecting stories about her husband, Alexander, in service of recording his legacy. I enjoyed all three of the novellas, but I definitely enjoyed Courtney Milan’s the most (not really surprised there). I’m also not really surprised that I enjoyed Alyssa Cole’s the least, as I’ve not had great luck with her books in the past. But overall, this is a solid trio of romances, set in a time period I don’t usually read romances in.
“Promised Land” by Rose Lerner — 4/5 stars
This one was super surprising! I hadn’t read anything by Rose Lerner yet, though I’ve got one of her series on my TBR. It was pretty unique. You read the premise, and you think you know what you’re in for—woman disguises herself as male soldier, runs into husband who thought her dead, who has been secretly fighting for the Patriots in memory of his dead wife—except, this felt like one of the least tropey things I’ve ever read. Rachel is Jewish, first off, and it’s so rare to encounter a Jewish romance heroine, let alone one in a historical time period. There were all kinds of people in history who weren’t white, but most of them are erased and forgotten. (This collection is aiming to do the opposite.) She was also a pretty angry individual, which came across as very refreshing. This is a second chance romance, with her husband Nathan (also the antithesis of your usual romance hero, being short and very Jewish, and not Typically Alpha Man Heroic). They have genuine issues to work out before they get their happy ending, and it was sort of agonizing!
“In Pursuit Of . . .” by Courtney Milan — 4.5/5 stars
This was so adorable I can’t even stand it. I think it might be one of my favorite things Courtney Milan has written, at least since The Countess Conspiracy, which is still my favorite book of hers. The combination of humor and pathos was just perfectly balanced for me. One hero is taciturn, the other won’t shut up, and they have to travel hundreds of miles with one another, back when that took months. And there’s this thing with cheese that I can’t really explain? I was genuinely worried there at the end, because our heroes have a lot of obstacles in their way, until I remembered that romance novels (novellas, whatever) always contain the promise of a HEA. Anyway, I was practically cackling from glee the whole time I read this. Nice antidote for the angst from the Rose Lerner one.
“That Could Be Enough” by Alyssa Cole — 3/5 stars
Sigh. I just. I WANT TO LIKE THIS AUTHOR’S STUFF. And about halfway through, I did get more into it. I just had suuuch a hard time connecting with the two main characters. Mercy (who works for Eliza Hamilton) and Andromeda (who owns her own dress shop) seem like good characters to me on paper, but in practice, I found Mercy to be too far on the stodgy end, and Andromeda to be too far on the bubbly/quirky end. Neither of them felt real to me. I don’t know, guys. And then she skipped the sexy times!!! I liked that one book Cole wrote, but all her others have been chemistry misses for me. Should I just give up? I don’t want to!
[3.8 stars, rounded up for the whole collection]