This Chick Read: An Extraordinary Union (Loyal League) by Alyssa Cole #Giveaway

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An Extraordinary Union gives us a glimpse of Civil War era south through the eyes of Elle Burns, a former slave who is an undercover spy on a plantation, working for the Union. I am used to reading historical novels through rose tinted glasses. Caucasian lady, Duchess or lower class girl catches the eye of her also caucasian Duke, Viscount, or sometimes club owner. They meet, don’t want to fall in love, but lust after each other. An Extraordinary Union was a refreshingly honest interracial historical romance. Elle as a spy, is undercover in the role of slave. It was seriously disturbing to read about how slaves were treated as property and animals. How slave women were abused by owners, mistresses and guests, and how their voices were not heard. It also gave impetus to Elle’s character, and why she would put herself back in this subjugated position to fight for others freedom.

Malcolm, her love interest, is an undercover Pinkerton detective, also working for the Union. He is a guest in Elle’s household, there to try to retrieve information from the plantation owner about soldier movements in the area. He and Elle meet, and there is an immediate attraction. However, they both struggle against that attraction because of society’s mores. Elle’s self hatred for being attracted to Malcolm, a white man, made this book ring true and those honest feelings invested the reader in the outcome of that relationship. Rooting for them against all odds. The fact that Malcolm’s background as an immigrant from Scotland, where his family was forced to flee for their lives gave them a commonality that added to his character and gave the reader an understanding of why they would risk their lives for each other. An Extraordinary Union, indeed.

There was more to this book than the interracial relationship. It was also part suspense, mystery and action thriller. Overall, a very good story. However, for me, it was the love story that was told with such honesty that made me enjoy it so much.


GIVEAWAY- A copy of An Extraordinary Union signed by the author! (US only) expires 6/5/17

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Click the link to purchase! An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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This Chick’s Sunday Commentary: Authors could solve the worlds problems…

I love reading fiction for many different reasons; I can escape from reality, I can explore different lands, I can fall in love over and over again, I can learn new languages, I can have great sex, I can can fight oppression, and I can be a hero. The list goes on and on! If you follow my book reviews you know I like books where the underdog wins, women find the power within to beat bad odds, where “race issues” are played out between humans and elves-vampires and werewolves, where basically the world becomes a better place because people WANT to make it better in these books. Of course, there is always a happy ending, or at least a sequel where the characters I love will get to take that battle to the next level.

I love that these life themes are played out in Young Adult books, so girls can learn empowerment and boys can learn how to work with others to change the world for the better (Snow Like Ashes).

I love that romantic fantasy can be between two different races. One race who lives in the day and one in the night, and even though the darker race has large teeth and the lighter race is considered horrifyingly ugly because of the lightness of her skin, they still open people’s eyes to the love in their union. They set a good example for acceptance and unity (Eidolon).

I love that those in power can learn from the humanity in one individual, even if they are an alien,that makes them change their behavior towards an entire race (Star Nomad).

I also love that I can escape into a fantasy world where a small group of individuals battle against an egomaniacal President who is infected with a deadly virus and win that battle (Justice Ascending).

All of these themes, although played out in fiction, give me hope that the light of humanity exists. After all, these authors are writing about things that exist in our every day life- hatred, bigotry, love, war, friendship, honor, and ultimately the power of good people doing great things. These themes must have resonated because these authors are successful and fans buy their books in bundles!

I would like to make a suggestion on the next book our leader should read. Nicola Yoon could teach you about how deportation feels from a teenagers viewpoint in The Sun is Also a Star, or maybe you could learn compassion from a nice interracial love story set during the Civil Rights Movement in Alissa Cole’s Let it Shine. Really, I’d love it if he would read the moment in Rebecca Zanetti’s Mercury Striking when the virus takes hold of the President and he becomes a psychopath, there are some frightening similarities.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that writers have been fighting and solving these real life themes for generations. The books I mention above are all books I’ve read recently, but you can find great ideas in the classics as well. Maybe what we need from our worlds leaders, besides the obvious things like compassion, intelligence, thoughtfulness, a good world view, etc. is also to be well read. Well read in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult novels, Mysteries-all of these genres, and others, have some great solutions to the problems our world is dealing with right now. You may have to look past the fangs to find them, but the solutions are in our fiction novels.

It’s something to think on-

Please click each book below to read my reviews on each, and to link to buy.


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This Chick Read: Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole

Let it Shine is an interracial historical romance novella that takes place during the Civil Rights movement in 1961.  It is effectively told from two perspectives, Sofronia, the young African American heroine, and Ivan, her Jewish love interest.  Sofronia and Ivan meet again, after not seeing each other since childhood.  Her mother was a maid in the Friedman’s house, and Sofie and Ivan used to play together as children.  After her mother’s death, one that shapes both of their lives, they don’t see each other until they meet by chance at a meeting organizing non violent protests. Continue reading “This Chick Read: Let It Shine by Alyssa Cole”