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An Extraordinary Union
An Extraordinary Union | Alyssa Cole
As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . . Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South--to spy for the Union Army. Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he's facing his deadliest mission yet--risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia. Two undercover agents who share a common cause--and an undeniable attraction--Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost--even if it means losing each other . . . Praise for the novels of Alyssa Cole: "Rich in atmospheric details and rife with unexpected dangers."--RT Book Reviews "Sweet, sensual, and suspenseful . . . rousing and entertaining."--Publishers Weekly
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CoffeeK8
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#7days7covers #coverlove I could list all of Alyssa Cole‘s covers but I stuck with 2.

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CaitZ
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Pickpick

Set during the Civil War in the South, two spies work to disrupt Confederate plans. Elle, a strong, intelligent woman risks everything posing as a deaf-mute slave in a Southern Senator's household. Malcolm poses as a Confederate soldier to ferret out information for the Union. A romance blooms.

It is a well written and researched story. I'm not a big romance reader, but I will definitely read more of Alyssa Cole's books.

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Corar
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Pickpick

I liked the characters a lot. The beginning was a bit slow. I expected more intrigue in a book about two spies. Overall it was a good summer read.

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Hestapleton
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Pickpick

Work is slow, so of course it‘s prime reading time! This is my first Alyssa Cole and, while a bit slow in the beginning, it was heartwarming and suspenseful all at once. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Book 30/30 for #BFCR2 !!!

StayCurious You crushed that reading goal! Amazing job! 3mo
67 likes1 comment
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Auntynanny
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Pickpick

I read this to complete the task on Bookriot's Read Harder Challenge, a Historical Romance by an Author of Colour. I don't usually read much romance, but I love historical fiction. This was a really interesting story about the American Civil War, and I must admit, the sex scenes were pretty hot 🙃

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annahenke
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I've been saving this for a rainy day. 🌧 It's sunny, but I'm feeling blue - so I'm diving in! How 'bout you? What are you most looking forward to reading and what are you waiting for??

Auntynanny I have this on hold at the library! 4mo
annahenke @Auntynanny exciting!! 4mo
Scochrane26 I‘m excited about the new lady Sherlock book but think it‘s not coming out for a few more mths. 4mo
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annahenke @Scochrane26 I don't know which one you mean. Is it by Alyssa Cole also? 4mo
Scochrane26 @annahenke the lady Sherlock series is awesome, it‘s by sherry Thomas (she‘s an immigrant from Asia & English is her 2nd language). She started out writing romance but has now started Sherlock. It‘s same time period as Sherlock but flips it to being a woman. I love them, there‘s 3 out right now. Also, your tagged book is good, one of the few romance I like now. Waiting on the 3rd at library. 4mo
annahenke @Scochrane26 oh, I know the one you mean! Fun!! Good to know! 4mo
86 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Caterina
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Whoops! I read this book the whole time I was at the lake in my hammock, and then before bed I thought I'd read just a bit more...and now it's midnight and I'm 67% into the book in one evening. I'm going to tear myself away and save the rest for morning, but first I think I might need to check if the library has the rest of the series... 😂😍❤️ #romantsy #BookFitnessChallenge #BFC @wanderinglynn

Cinfhen How are you feeling post surgery??? 4mo
DebReads4fun Gorgeous photo! 4mo
Scochrane26 I read this for a book challenge, then quickly read the next one. Waiting on hold for the 3rd. 4mo
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Owlizabeth Just picked up book 3 from the library yesterday - I love this series so hard! 4mo
TheSpineView Doing good on your step total! Audio books just make the steps fly! 4mo
Caterina @Cinfhen I'm doing really well, thank you!! ❤️😘 Healing is going better than expected and I'm stitch-free, which is a great feeling. Thank you for asking! 😊 4mo
Cinfhen Great news!!! 4mo
52 likes7 comments
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Caterina
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Walked to the lake to read in my hammock. 😊 I can't put this book down! I started it a few hours ago and I'm at 30%. Cole might be the only romance writer I like! I started A Princess in Theory in the fall and was loving it too, but bailed when I was unceremoniously dumped at Christmas. Hopefully my heart is ready to finish this one. 🤞
Hit 10,000 steps and 100 active min with the walk to the lake! #BookFitnessChallenge #BFC @wanderinglynn

wanderinglynn Way to go! ❤️ And that looks like a lovely place to have a hammock and read a book. 4mo
BookwormAHN Gorgeous lake! Also dumped at Christmas, what a jerk. You deserve better 🌻 4mo
57 likes2 comments
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Caterina
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I may be dead tired today, but there's fresh blueberry crumble made from our own blueberry bushes and an entertaining book to dive into. 👍
All my working out this morning has me too tired to get many more steps today, so I'm rewarding myself with a lazy afternoon. 😊 #BookFitnessChallenge #BFC @wanderinglynn

BookwormAHN Looks good 😺 4mo
MrBook Whoa! Coool! 😳😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4mo
wanderinglynn Looks yummy! 4mo
CouronneDhiver 💙💙 4mo
Chrissyreadit Yum! 4mo
60 likes5 comments
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Kathrin
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Pickpick

This might be the first #romance novel that I have liked in my life. So much so, that I am considering to read the other books in the series. Gasp!! 😂😂😂

#RHC Task 16: An historical romance by an #AOC

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BookInMyHands
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Pickpick

Elle has lived for years with her family as a free woman in the North, but she chooses to serve as a spy and goes back to the South posing as an enslaved person to spy in a Confederate senator‘s house.

There she meets Malcolm McCall, a Northern spy posing as a Confederated captain. There are a million reasons they shouldn‘t be together, and yet...

#romance
#readingwomenofcolor2019

54 likes1 stack add
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Verity
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Pickpick

Loved this so much. So good. Lots of peril, lots of romance, on the right side of history and a happily ever after. What‘s not to enjoy?

22 likes2 stack adds
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stephothebesto
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Read Harder Journal inspirational!

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Verity
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Saturday night library book!

annahenke I‘ve been itching to pick this up today! 6mo
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Tonton

I‘m not a romance genre reader, haven‘t ever been. But now this article makes me want to explore: more diversity than I ever thought! Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/apr/04/fifty-shades-of-white-romance-nove...

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SkeletonKey
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Currently reading. I would never have picked this one up if it weren‘t for Bookriot‘s Read Harder challenge. But this satisfies the historical romance by an aoc and it‘s quite good so far! Lots of vivid history and the romantic interest isn‘t overdone.

#aoc #poc #historicalromance

Kathrin I read this for the same prompt and I liked it for the same reasons. 4mo
SkeletonKey @Kathrin - Glad you liked it too! 4mo
42 likes2 comments
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CharissaWeaksAuthor
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Currently listening. :)

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

Along with building a relationship, Cole builds intrigue in this romance. The spy plot makes it a little denser than most historical romances I've read. Cole brings the action to the forefront, which actually helped me buy the romance better honestly, since I'm not huge on love-at-first-sight. It did take me a long time to get invested in this one, but I liked it well enough to consider the rest of the series one day.

Liatrek I‘m reading book three in the series now. I highly recommend the other two books 😊 7mo
jmtrivera @Liatrek Oooh, thanks for telling me! 7mo
25 likes2 comments
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sebrittainclark
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Pickpick

4/5

I love Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series, so I was super excited to get started on her historical romance series. An Extraordinary Union is great. The romance is fantastic and the high stakes of spying during the civil war had me so worried for the characters that I couldn't put the book down. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

It's an excellent choice for the #readharder historical romance.

#readharder16

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unabridgedchick
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Pickpick

The romance was super hot, the attraction electric, and best of all, the main plot line (or, I suppose, secondary plot line to the romance) was super exciting and as interesting as the romance. Many elements of the story are based on true events or figures, which made it even more interesting to read.

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cariashley
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Pickpick

Yesssssss this book. One of the best historical romances I‘ve read and unique in that the stakes are significantly higher than usual. Excellent and I can‘t wait to read more Alyssa Cole! Vacation read number two down 🤗 #romantsy

LaurenReads She‘s such a great author! 8mo
AlaMich I want to be wherever you are...it‘s 19° where I am! ?? 8mo
Ashley_Nicoletto That water. 😍😍 8mo
cariashley @AlaMich the Bahamas. I know, I feel bad even posting these - I was so desperate to get away from the cold myself! 8mo
mdemanatee Yesss!! Alyssa Cole is one of my fave new romance author discoveries of the last couple years 8mo
65 likes5 comments
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Carolyn11215
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Bailedbailed

I tried but I‘m struggling to find the thread of the story under all the quivering flesh. Giving up about 1/2 way through. Confirms that romance novels are not for me...not even historical ones. Seems I am to be defeated by this Read Harder prompt for 2018.

whippoorwill815 I don‘t like romance either, your description of “quivering flesh” made me laugh 😂 8mo
Carolyn11215 @whippoorwill815 I had hoped the story would be strong enough in this one to pull me through but nope, nope, nope. This was the one that kept coming up when I told people I hated romance novels and was trying to find a book that would work for romance written by a POC prompt for Read Harder 2018. 8mo
cobwebmoth I don't know if this would be any more tolerable for you, but Shawntelle Madison writes quirky paranormal romance books.(One series is about a werewolf who has a hoarding problem.) 8mo
Carolyn11215 @cobwebmoth, if there‘s a strong story and it‘s quirky and paranormal, that might help. I‘ll look her up. 8mo
21 likes4 comments
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Lauredhel
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Pickpick

HOW GOOD is this book?? Romance in the Resistance.

suzisteffen SO want to read this. Love Alyssa Cole! 8mo
LaurenReads Loved this book! 8mo
Carolyn11215 I have this one from the library. Still trying to finish up last year‘s Read Harder challenge! 8mo
84 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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unabridgedchick
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Soooo excited to start this one!!!

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saresmoore
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Mehso-so

Well, this is the best historical romance I‘ve ever read. Okay, it‘s the only historical romance I‘ve ever read. I did it for the challenges & I hate-read it from beginning to end. I love the idea of the protagonist—she‘s strong, independent, fiercely dedicated to the cause of eradicating slavery, and very human. The story wrapped up nicely and Alyssa Cole did her research, presenting a fresh perspective. But, as it turns out, I HATE romance.

Hestapleton Girl, we are picking all the same books for our challenges! I‘ve got this one for #readingwomenchallenge too! 9mo
saresmoore @Hestapleton Heck yes! What book(s) are you most looking forward to? 9mo
See All 22 Comments
Hestapleton @saresmoore this one, Everything is Beautiful (mental illness), Gold fame citrus (nature), dread nation (YA by AOC), and Boy snow bird (author from Nigeria or NZ) for #readingwomenchallenge. I‘m double dipping a lot of these with #popsugarreadingchallenge and #booked2019. What about you?! (edited) 9mo
8little_paws Why did you hate it? 9mo
8little_paws I'm also doing read harder and reading women challenges! 9mo
RachelO 😂😂 I love your review! 9mo
LauraBeth 😂 Save your last line for this year‘s Valentine‘s Card 💘 9mo
emilyhaldi LOL 9mo
batsy 😆 Dare I use a heart emoji for this? 9mo
saresmoore @8little_paws I think the plot being propelled by a romantic interest is a bit nauseating to me. Also the sex. So many penis euphemisms. 😑 Yay for all the reading challenges! 🙌 9mo
saresmoore @Hestapleton Those are great picks! There are SO MANY, but I‘m probably most looking forward to Circe, Freshwater, and 9mo
8little_paws I'm not a big romance fan either. They're all, by nature, about the journey and not the destination, and when I know the destination i'm just not as excited to pick up the book. 9mo
Lindy @saresmoore Keep romance away from me too. [holding up crossed index fingers to ward off evil]. 9mo
saresmoore @8little_paws Yes! Well put. I was almost wishing the man would just die at the end. 😬 But, alas, they lived happily ever after. 9mo
Suet624 You‘re so funny. I can‘t imagine you actually reading a romance novel. 9mo
saresmoore @Suet624 There was a fair amount of vigorous page turning accompanied by 🙄. 9mo
Reggie @LauraBeth Lolololol 9mo
sprainedbrain 😂😂😂 9mo
Cinfhen I‘m with you!! I can‘t do the “romance” either 😬or the “cozy” 😬😬😬 9mo
92 likes1 stack add22 comments
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Nicki_McCall
Pickpick

Romance novels are probably among my least favorite genres, but I am so glad I took the time to read this one.Intelligent multi-layered characters, the heroine wasn't a virgin and the book didn't end with the lead character getting pregnant.I loved it and I am looking forward to reading more of the authors books.

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LaurenReads
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Pickpick

It was so good! Why did it take me so long to read this book?!?! 😀 #romance #romantsy #historicalromance

elizabethlk I only just got to this one myself but it is soooooo good. 10mo
sprainedbrain I‘ve had this book for so long! I need to get to it very soon. 10mo
66 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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elizabethlk
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Pickpick

Loooved this. I bought it last year and I can't believe how long I took to get to it. It had all of the romance and history and adventure and intrigue and sex and emotion that I wanted. I will definitely be reading the sequel and other Alyssa Cole books.

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ness
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Pickpick

Holy smokes, Alyssa Cole packed a bunch into one book! It‘s definitely heavier than her contemporaries (I mean, obviously; it‘s about a free Black woman going undercover as an enslaved woman during the Civil War), but it‘s so good! One caveat—it‘s something I haven‘t see a lot of people talking about—Elle pretends to be disabled while undercover, and I hate that. It feeds the narrative that disabled people are faking it. Stop doing shit like this.

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ness
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A little historical Alyssa Cole for book club this weekend.

15 likes1 stack add
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Deborah42
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Pickpick

Excellent historical romance set during the US Civil War. Elle Burns is a free black woman posing as a mute slave in the household of a southern senator. She is a Union spy with an eidetic memory who (unwillingly) teams up with Malcolm McCall, a Scottish Pinkerton detective posing as a Confederate soldier. They feel an instant attraction, but Elle doesn‘t trust Malcom.

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Jas16
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Pickpick

I will admit that I liked the second book in this series more but this story about a freed slave spying in the house of a Confederate senator and falling for a Scottish Pinkerton detective is still a resounding pick. Elle is smart, determined, sharp tongued, and everything I want in a heroine. She was the best part of this book for me. #reversereadathon

ErinSueMreads Alyssa Cole is a super pleasant human too! I met her at RWA last weekend and she was just lovely 1y
Jas16 I saw your RWA posts and was so jealous! I am glad she is just as great in person as I would imagine. 1y
67 likes2 comments
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daniwithtea
This post contains spoilers
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Bailedbailed

I was already having a hard time with some of the premises of this book, but HER HAIRPINS STOPPED THE BULLET? Seriously?! “Some combination of wind resistance, trajectory, and weakness of gunpowder” MY ASS.

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jen_hayes7
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Pickpick

I‘m not a romance reader. Nothing against the genre, I just am not inclined to seek them out and in the past haven‘t really enjoyed the very few I‘ve read. This makes me think I‘m missing out. I loved the characters. Elle is full of smarts and sass; a heroine I can get behind. And Malcolm is funny, sweet and strong; pretty close to a perfect combination. Three cheers for the #readharderchallenge getting me out of my comfort zone, yet again!

Drnkpnkprincess I have this on my kindle and it‘s been on my #tbr for almost a year— I just can‘t seem to get started 😩 1y
jen_hayes7 @Drnkpnkprincess I know how that goes!!! I hope that when you get to it, you enjoy it as much as I did!! 1y
MaggieCarr I'm working on my #ReadHarderChallenge too :) 1y
jen_hayes7 @MaggieCarr Awesome!!! It‘s such a great challenge. Hope you‘re enjoying the ride so far!! 1y
32 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Liatrek
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Really enjoyed reading this article as a huge fan of Aylssa Cole and romance novels. https://www.buzzfeed.com/bimadewunmi/meet-the-black-women-upending-the-romance-n...

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Amanda.T
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2. I live just outside Sacramento, so the arrest of the Golden State Killer is a pretty big deal around here.
3. Not officially, but definitely planning to sneak away from the husband and toddler to get in some solid reading time.
4. How do you wake up Lady Gaga? Poke her face! Bad jokes are the best jokes, right? 😂

#friyayintro

DebbieGrillo 🖒😂 1y
Thndrstd 👍 1y
Itchyfeetreader 😂👍🏻😂 1y
25 likes3 comments
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ElishaLovesBooks
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Pickpick

Liked, but didn‘t love this book. Elle is an African-American spy for the Union who goes behind enemy lines. She returns to slavery in order to get as much information as she can for the North. She meets a fellow detective spying for the North-they have to team up to complete their missions and while doing so, fall in love. Loved the history and the interracial romance but just could not escape into this book the way I wanted to.

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ElishaLovesBooks
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I‘m not sure what happening in my brain right now 🧠👀 This is quite an interesting selection of books I‘ve got going on.📚 Maybe I‘ve hit a reading slump?? I‘m trying to work through it-I‘ve been so excited about all of these!! Plus, I have a few days of reading time coming up!!

#GoAwayReadingSlump #FirstWorldReadingProblems

TricksyTails Nooooooooo! I hope it‘s not a reading slump and it‘s just over excitement from all the great choices! 🤞🤞🤞 Sending ninja slump killers your way! 😘 2y
ElishaLovesBooks @TricksyTails I think your ninja slump killers worked!!! 👏👍💪I read a bunch of things this weekend!!😊📚 2y
TricksyTails That makes me so happy!! Woohoo! 👏😆📚🤘🤜🤛 2y
68 likes1 stack add3 comments
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heikemarie
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Yesss this book taking on the white savior complex!! Reading with my favorite friend 🐈

taraWritesSci Cute friend! And I'd love to see your review of this when you're done. 2y
SamHeartCoffee Our kitties match! I have an orange tabby as well! 2y
heikemarie @SamHeartCoffee He‘s the sweetest 💜 I‘ve never met an orange tabby I didn‘t like! 2y
52 likes3 comments
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Juli
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book. I found the story itself to be interesting and fun. I liked the characters and how their lives intertwined. And I found the adventure and romance to be well paced. A great read on a snowy spring day after sitting through day 2 of supervisors training.

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Juli
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Enjoying a little reading this morning with my daughter‘s little bunny, Tulip! Happy Saturday to everyone!

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Susanita
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Steamy #unconventionalromance and Civil War spy thriller in one story? Yes please! It should be a movie!
#Booked2018

I would be a terrible spy. Sooner or later I‘d say something tart and cranky that would totally blow my cover.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I would too!!! 🤣🤣 2y
Cinfhen Woohoo 🎉 another prompt for you!!! 2y
42 likes2 comments
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Juli
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Starting this book for my book club this month. I am not a big romance reader, but I am really enjoying this so far.

Chelleo This is on my TBR list. Need to move it up! 2y
25 likes1 comment
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Susanita
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Part two of weekend #bookhaul is from the new Politics & Prose where my sister and I went after having #brunch a few blocks away. I requested this book through Maryland‘s ILL platform before Christmas, but I got tired of waiting for it! I also left my planner thing on the Metro 😱 so I bought this weekly to-do list pad as a temporary substitute.

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AlizaApp
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Mehso-so

I don‘t read a ton of romance novels, but I did enjoy this one, about two spies during the Civil War. Elle is a former slave back in the South undercover, and Malcolm is a Pinkerton detective posing as a Confederate soldier. #5book5bingo

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Nessavamusic
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Day 16 #riotgrams #blackhistory this a great historical romance that highlights former slaves who risked their lives as spies for the union. @bookriot #dogsoflitsy #glorytotheguild

23 likes2 stack adds
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SW-T
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Pickpick

Enjoyed this historical novel featuring a very diverse cast of characters. Liked how Ms. Cole talked about the Civil War and how she portrayed Elle Burns as a free person of color versus her role undercover as a slave. Her ability to remember everything she reads or hears makes her a valuable spy for the Loyal League. Malcolm was also a well-drawn character and made a good match for Elle.

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KassKho
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I‘ve been having a hard time reading physical books unless they‘re graphic novels, which means I making the most of my Scribd account. Trying this @bookriot favourite

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BennettBookworm
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Mehso-so

I liked this book. I did. Maybe I just need more time to get used to romance novels? Or maybe it's just not really my genre?