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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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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??? 5d
DebReads4fun Gorgeous photo! 5d
Scochrane26 I read this for a book challenge, then quickly read the next one. Waiting on hold for the 3rd. 5d
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Owlizabeth Just picked up book 3 from the library yesterday - I love this series so hard! 4d
TheSpineView Doing good on your step total! Audio books just make the steps fly! 4d
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! 😊 4d
Cinfhen Great news!!! 4d
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. 5d
BookwormAHN Gorgeous lake! Also dumped at Christmas, what a jerk. You deserve better 🌻 5d
56 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 😺 5d
MrBook Whoa! Coool! 😳😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 5d
wanderinglynn Looks yummy! 5d
CouronneDhiver 💙💙 5d
59 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!

2 likes1 stack add
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Verity
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Saturday night library book!

annahenke I‘ve been itching to pick this up today! 2mo
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. 6d
SkeletonKey @Kathrin - Glad you liked it too! 6d
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 😊 3mo
jmtrivera @Liatrek Oooh, thanks for telling me! 3mo
25 likes2 comments
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sebrittain
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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

60 likes2 stack adds
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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! 4mo
AlaMich I want to be wherever you are...it‘s 19° where I am! ?? 4mo
Ashley_Nicoletto That water. 😍😍 4mo
cariashley @AlaMich the Bahamas. I know, I feel bad even posting these - I was so desperate to get away from the cold myself! 4mo
mdemanatee Yesss!! Alyssa Cole is one of my fave new romance author discoveries of the last couple years 4mo
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 😂 4mo
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. 4mo
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.) 4mo
Carolyn11215 @cobwebmoth, if there‘s a strong story and it‘s quirky and paranormal, that might help. I‘ll look her up. 4mo
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! 4mo
LaurenReads Loved this book! 4mo
Carolyn11215 I have this one from the library. Still trying to finish up last year‘s Read Harder challenge! 4mo
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! 5mo
saresmoore @Hestapleton Heck yes! What book(s) are you most looking forward to? 5mo
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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) 5mo
8little_paws Why did you hate it? 5mo
8little_paws I'm also doing read harder and reading women challenges! 5mo
RachelO 😂😂 I love your review! 5mo
LauraBeth 😂 Save your last line for this year‘s Valentine‘s Card 💘 5mo
emilyhaldi LOL 5mo
batsy 😆 Dare I use a heart emoji for this? 5mo
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! 🙌 5mo
saresmoore @Hestapleton Those are great picks! There are SO MANY, but I‘m probably most looking forward to Circe, Freshwater, and 5mo
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. 5mo
Lindy @saresmoore Keep romance away from me too. [holding up crossed index fingers to ward off evil]. 5mo
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. 5mo
Suet624 You‘re so funny. I can‘t imagine you actually reading a romance novel. 5mo
saresmoore @Suet624 There was a fair amount of vigorous page turning accompanied by 🙄. 5mo
Reggie @LauraBeth Lolololol 5mo
sprainedbrain 😂😂😂 5mo
Cinfhen I‘m with you!! I can‘t do the “romance” either 😬or the “cozy” 😬😬😬 5mo
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. 6mo
sprainedbrain I‘ve had this book for so long! I need to get to it very soon. 6mo
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

ErinSueGreads Alyssa Cole is a super pleasant human too! I met her at RWA last weekend and she was just lovely 11mo
Jas16 I saw your RWA posts and was so jealous! I am glad she is just as great in person as I would imagine. 11mo
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 😩 13mo
jen_hayes7 @Drnkpnkprincess I know how that goes!!! I hope that when you get to it, you enjoy it as much as I did!! 13mo
MaggieCarr I'm working on my #ReadHarderChallenge too :) 11mo
jen_hayes7 @MaggieCarr Awesome!!! It‘s such a great challenge. Hope you‘re enjoying the ride so far!! 10mo
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 🖒😂 14mo
Thndrstd 👍 14mo
Itchyfeetreader 😂👍🏻😂 14mo
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.

73 likes1 stack add
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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! 😘 1y
ElishaLovesBooks @TricksyTails I think your ninja slump killers worked!!! 👏👍💪I read a bunch of things this weekend!!😊📚 1y
TricksyTails That makes me so happy!! Woohoo! 👏😆📚🤘🤜🤛 1y
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. 1y
SamHeartCoffee Our kitties match! I have an orange tabby as well! 1y
heikemarie @SamHeartCoffee He‘s the sweetest 💜 I‘ve never met an orange tabby I didn‘t like! 1y
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!!! 🤣🤣 1y
Cinfhen Woohoo 🎉 another prompt for you!!! 1y
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! 1y
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?

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SarahSaysRead
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YESSSSS my new #bookriot shirt came and those ISBN numbers at the end of the arrows belong to books by 2 very fabulous romance authors!!
😄❤📚😄❤📚

#isbnthinkingaboutyou #bookswag #romance #outofprint #bookishtee #VDay #booklove #ISBN

SilversReviews I like it...very clever. 1y
48 likes1 comment
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KaraDunn
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Pickpick

Yes! It‘s hard to find a good historical romance that is both steamy and has substance. This delivers all around!

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Suetara
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2018 is shaping up to be my year of “Why Didn‘t I Read This Sooner?”. There‘s so much stuff in my digital and physical book hoard. I really need to read more of them instead of all the new, shiny books on my radar. Loving this one so far.

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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Pickpick

What a great book! Cole strikes a delicate balance between American Civil War intrigue and steamy romance that worked really well. I loved the heroine and the hero (well, maybe I loved her a little bit more-- I mean, she's like hella smart and talks sharply and has an eidetic memory!). The historical setting was fascinating and the dynamics of a relationship between a black woman and a white man were intricately and thoughtfully explored.

51 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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Just getting in some quick reading time before my Sunday shift at the library starts! This book is so good I had a hard time putting it down last night to go to sleep. This is also a great read for Black History Month although I wasn't planning that. #Romantsy

brennahawleycraig It‘s next up on my list. So excited to read! 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @brennahawleycraig Hope you enjoy it as much as me! 1y
41 likes2 comments
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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This book is great so far! Really into the characters. I'm also learning a lot about the American civil war, since I didn't know much of anything before, being Canadian. #Romantsy

LectricSheep I‘m reading this too! 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep How are you liking it? 1y
LectricSheep I‘m only about 15% in and it‘s really far outside of my genre wheelhouse, but I‘m enjoying it! 1y
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep Romance is out of my genre wheelhouse too! I'm actually doing a romance reading project right now to broaden my horizons. 1y
LectricSheep Ooh! What‘s the project? I‘m very interested! 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep Oh nothing fancy! I just got a bunch of romance recommendations from a few trusted sources and am working my way through them planning to write an article after. I can share what recs I've got if you're interested! 1y
LectricSheep Yes please! I feel like other people would be interested too! 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep One fav I've read so far. Erotic contemporary, with great characterization! 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep The best historical I've read so far, also great characters with the time period integrated instead of just a backdrop. 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep Others highly recommended I haven't got to yet: Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins (historical w/ black heroine!), Sanctuary & Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon (WOC author, Treasure is f/f), Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell (m/m contemporary), Nine Rules... by Sarah MacLean (historical). 1y
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian @LectricSheep I'm on Goodreads as Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian if you want to look at my "romance project" shelf. There are like 40 books on there now! 1y
LectricSheep Whoa! Awesome! Thanks for sharing these! 1y
45 likes3 stack adds13 comments