History Romance

Re-read A Hope Divided

Read A Hope Divided (The Loyal League, #2) by Alyssa Cole

For three years of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her–until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.

Unbeknowst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.

When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love–and freedom–before they ever cross state lines.

Fourth time reading, first time since 2019, still loved it! Ugh, that cover is gorgeous.

I’d still guess the hero to be autistic, but potentially also have ADHD, which are often co-occurring. He mentions his inability to stop moving several times, his constant nervous energy.

This year provides an interesting context to re-read this story — the hero and heroine are trapped together in a small room, not for quarantine, but for both of their safety from Confederates. Added another layer to my read of their confinement.


Read The Threefold Tie

Read The Threefold Tie

Shy Civil War veteran Jack never expected to be involved in an affair du coeur. It seemed like a minor miracle when he and his comrade-in-arms Everett became lovers – and a painful return to reality when Everett married his sweetheart, Sophie. And the situation is only more complicated now that Jack has fallen in love with Sophie, too.

When Everett found himself in love with Sophie, the proper thing for him to do was to end his dalliance with Jack and marry her. But even though everyone says it’s impossible to be in love with two people at once, Everett has never really gotten over Jack.

Sophie’s unconventional family has shown her that love is not always simple. But she’s still startled to find herself responding to Jack’s very obvious crush – and to realize that Everett, too, still has feelings for Jack. How can they navigate nineteenth century romantic conventions and still find a satisfying arrangement?

I really enjoyed Briarley by Aster Glenn Gray, so I’ve been meaning to read more of her work and finally got around to this novella, now I’ve got a Kindle Unlimited subscription I’m trying to maximize. While I didn’t like it quite as much as Briarley, I thought it was well done.

The storytelling style felt different than I’ve read before, moving between the present and past quite a lot, but not in a confusing way.

The Civil War and post-Civil War seem to be a neglected time period for historical romance (Alyssa Cole’s Loyal League series was fantastic), and I’d love to see more.

Though this was short, it felt a good length and had a satisfying ending.