Bingo Square: The Collection
I originally downloaded this about a year ago because I wanted to read the Courtney Milan novella before going to see Hamilton in New York again. However, I didn’t quite get around to the other two, and Bingo seemed like a good opportunity to go back and read the entire collection.
The collection kicks off with Rose Lerner’s story, about a young Jewish woman disguised as a man fighting for the Revolution. It’s the eve of the battle of Yorktown, and “Ezra Jacobs” (or Rachel Mendelson) discovers her husband in the camp. Given his previous loyalist views, she arrests him as a spy. While Nathan is shocked to discover his wife is alive rather than dead of yellow fever, he keeps her secret, and with him in jail, they have a chance to analyze what went wrong with their marriage.
Courtney Milan’s novella is part of The Worth Saga since this is the story of the Uncle John (or was it Uncle Henry?) mentioned in passing in After the Wedding. This novel begins midst battle with Corporal John Hunter, a black American Soldier, battling against a rather chatty British officer named Henry Latham. Before Hunter kills Latham, Latham surrenders and soon thereafter the war ends. John has not heard from his family in months and is worried about their safety so he decides to leave for home as soon as he can. Latham believes himself in Hunter’s debt, and decides to tag along though Hunter doubts his ability to keep up.
The final novella is Alyssa Cole’s and it takes place decades after the war. The premise of this collection is that these stories are some of the accounts that Eliza Hamilton collected after Hamilton’s death to preserve his legacy. Mercy Alston is a secretary that is helping to compile and transcribe those stories. Elijah Sutton was mentioned in the other two novellas, and Mrs. Hamilton has been interested in speaking with him. Andromeda Stiel comes in her grandfather’s stead to tell the stories she grew up hearing. Mercy has been closed off and afraid of risk. She fights against her attraction to Andromeda who is a force of nature but eventually finds herself thawing.
Milan was the only one of the authors I had read before, and as usual, I loved the banter and chemistry between her characters. However, as also tends to be the case with most Milan, she went a bit too quirky/corny for my tastes with one of the ongoing bits. There is a whole thing with some horrible tasting cheese, and Henry has a theory that it is simply a matter of acquiring a taste for it. The cheese becomes a bit of a symbol of the men’s feelings for each other but it was too cute for me. Besides that bit of cheesiness, I really enjoyed this story.
I knew Cole’s contemporary romance novels have been a bit hit or miss for people (I love malin’s scathing review of one of them) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I actually enjoyed this one, so I may eventually check out some more of hers, but it seems like I should go with one of her historicals when I do.
I hadn’t even heard of Lerner before this collection but her novella was my favorite one. I’d definitely be interested in reading a full length novel of hers so if anyone has a recommendation for which one to start with, I’m all ears.
Bingo Square: The Collection
Belated Bingo 5 (got this one from the Two Heads that teresaelectro published)! 1st column: Remix (Ophelia), Pajiba (Daisy Jones and the Six), Two Heads Are Better Than One (Feminasty), I Love This (Who Slays the Wicked), Cannonballer Says (Words in Deep Blue)