“A Hope Divided” – Alyssa Cole

Amazon Buy Link here: http://amzn.to/2GGf9QM

These are not easy times and Alyssa Cole does not go easy on these Characters. Marlie is a Free woman, Half Black, Half White. She is raised from an early age in her white family’s house with most of the privileges & protection that come with that. She’s taken all the herbalist knowledge her mother taught her in her youth and enhanced it with a love of science. Her semi peaceful life is shattered with the arrival of her secessionist sister in law who aids the Home Guard putting Marlie’s life in jeopardy. Ewan McCall, Unionist Soldier, escapes from prison, where he’d met, admired and discussed philosophy with Marlie. He finds himself a refugee at Marlie’s house, hidden away in her sanctuary, both of them trying to survive.

As someone who didn’t grow up in the US my Civil War knowledge is exceptionally limited. I love this series of books as they drop you into the difficult lives of African Americans experiencing the harshest of times, and yet they leave you with the knowledge that even in the most treacherous of times, there is still family and love and hope to be found.

AhopeDivided

“A Princess in Theory” – Alyssa Cole

Amazon Link Here: http://amzn.to/2GH3VLW

Totally lived up to the hype. Had a very “Coming to America” feel with the mistaken identity & personal assistant hanging around, but without the wide-eyed wonder. Thabiso is a cultured well travelled man. The blurb gives you the jist of the book.
I loved Naledi, our heroine, smart, sassy, vunerable, dealing with all the BS women deal with on a daily basis, plus being a woman in STEM? Turn up that dial to 11. I really loved Likotsi, Thabiso’s assistant (gosh I hope she gets a book), was 1) a woman 2) played the line of long time friend/employee so well, 3) well that’s a spoiler so figure it out 😀
I really enjoyed how the book dealt with a lost heritage and the tension of being *from* a place, but not *of* a place, without falling into the trap of “this is where I’m from I feel 100% at home here”. This wasn’t Ledi’s home, it was just where she was from and navigating that isn’t easy. Absolutely loved it. Can’t wait for Portia’s story!

PrincessinTheory

29th SeptemberBook

Amazon Link: Let Us Dream
Alyssa Cole’s Historical Romance set in 1917 Harlem. Nightclub/brothel owner African American heroine. Muslim Indian blue collar hero. Utterly delightful and so reflective of current issues affecting women, immigrants and people of colour.