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Book Review: Hamilton's Battalion

Updated: Mar 17


As a fan of American History, I was keen on seeing where this set of novellas would take me. The series uses the framing device of Alexander Hamilton’s widow collecting stories about her husband from those who knew him and fought with him during the Revolutionary War. Besides you know that the Hamilton Bandwagon is only beginning.

I will review each story in turn. 1. PROMISED LAND by Rose Lerner Donning men’s clothing, Rachel left her life behind to fight the British as Corporal Ezra Jacobs–but life catches up with a vengeance when she arrests an old love as a Loyalist spy. At first she thinks Nathan Mendelson hasn’t changed one bit: he’s annoying, he talks too much, he sticks his handsome nose where it doesn’t belong, and he’s self-righteously indignant just because Rachel might have faked her own death a little. She’ll be lucky if he doesn’t spill her secret to the entire Continental Army. Then Nathan shares a secret of his own, one that changes everything… I really liked the premise of this. But I wasn’t as happy with the execution. The historical details were fine. But at times it felt like the author was shoehorning in details about Judaism rather than seamlessly including them. And I really didn’t like the husband. At all. This was easily my least favorite novella in the book. Which is hilarious since it’s the only het romance of the bunch. 3 stars.

2. THE PURSUIT OF… by Courtney Milan What do a Black American soldier, invalided out at Yorktown, and a British officer who deserted his post have in common? Quite a bit, actually. * They attempted to kill each other the first time they met. * They’re liable to try again at some point in the five-hundred-mile journey that they’re inexplicably sharing. * They are not falling in love with each other. * They are not falling in love with each other. * They are…. Oh no. Oh how I loved this story and the protagonists. Henry is the Gracie to John’s George. Watching the two fall in love was a joy and I completely bought into both the history and the characters. Seriously I would have read a whole novel about these two. Here’s a taste of their awesomeness:

1. Find John. By his uniform, he was a corporal, most likely in the Rhode Island Regiment, although Henry had not been able to verify that for certain. Family name? Hometown? All unknown, but that was no reason to discard a perfectly good first step, especially when the rest of his plan looked like this.

2. …?

3. …!?

4. …

5. Cheese? Maybe cheese. Cheese was good.

How perfect is that? I mean seriously.

There’s also this gem:

John was beginning to suspect that Latham was something of a puppy – earnest, exuberant, and utterly devoid of house training.

This also incredibly well researched and, unlike the the first novella, the facts are woven into the narrative and not shoehorned in because the author liked them.

5 stars.

3. THAT COULD BE ENOUGH by Alyssa Cole Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like “love” and “hope”: avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman’s stubborn desire to preserve her late husband’s legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks. When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather’s stead, Mercy’s resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker. Andromeda has staid Mercy reconsidering her worldview, but neither is prepared for love—or for what happens when it’s not enough. I liked Mercy as a character, but I was less fond of Andromeda. Probably because I am not fond of one of the love interests not respecting the other’s boundaries. Andromeda kept pushing Mercy’s buttons and getting into her personal space. Yes, being in Mercy’s head we knew she sort of liked it, but if you weren’t in the woman’s head the body language would be sending off fear signals.

I did like how the author did her research. As well as the fact both women were Black and came from very different backgrounds. 3.5 stars.

This is a solid book that features historical LBGT characters. All of the stories are well researched, however how they apply that research varies from story to story.

Four stars.

***I received a copy of this book on NetGalley.

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