Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Let Us Dream” as Want to Read:
Let Us Dream
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Let Us Dream

by
4.1  ·  Rating details ·  169 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
A rebellious cabaret owner and her stubborn chef pursue, life, liberty, and happiness in 1917 Harlem... and find love where they least expect it.

After spending half her life pretending to be something she’s not, performance is second nature for cabaret owner Bertha Hines. With the election drawing near and women’s voting rights on the ballot, Bertha decides to use her per
...more
Kindle Edition, 179 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Seditious Sisters (first published February 27th 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Let Us Dream, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Let Us Dream

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest


Women helped each other in ways small and large every day, without thinking, and that was what kept them going even when the world came up with new and exciting ways to crush them (164).



Reading this book made me so happy. I'm so glad I "buddy read" it with Korey, even though I was way too slow and she finished it a week before I did. As she said in her review, this is a satisfying read in Mango Mussolini's America. Two people of color, fi
...more
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
4.5 "I worship at the altar of Alyssa Cole" stars rounded up.

Let Us Dream is intense and affecting. I found myself wanting to highlight like mad - and I'm not a highlighter. I found myself moved to tears - and I'm not much of a crier. If you're not rushing off to read this, you really should.

Alyssa Cole is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Whether historical or contemporary, full-length novels or novellas, her work is smart and stirring. Let Us Dream follows the romance between Bertha,
...more
Lexxi Kitty
I attempted and failed my first time to read this book. Though, to be fair, it was more of a glance to see if I'd read this one right then and there or something else. So I hadn't really gotten that far before turning to something else. Despite that initial failure, I did find that first attempt to tease me with potential. And, once I actually came back to this book, I found the book addictive, unexpected, and quite good and fun.

It is interesting to read a multi-racial book that contains not a s
...more
Skye Kilaen
A satisfyingly political romance set in 1917 Harlem between Bertha Hines, a determined African-American woman who owns a cabaret called The Cashmere and organizes for women's suffrage, and Amir Chowdhury, a Muslim Bengali immigrant to the U.S. who's hired at The Cashmere as a chef after discovering that the "American dream" isn't really open to people like him. Bertha is So Over Men, for good reasons, and both she and Amir are extremely prickly people, also for good reasons, but they somehow man ...more
Korey
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cole has been on my radar as an author since she released volume one of her Civil War series "An Extraordinary Union" in March, I've been meaning to check her out, and Nenia's suggestion to buddy read this was just the motivation I needed to take the plunge.

Bertha is a former prostitute and current nightclub owner who is a passionate advocate for women's suffrage. She has to contend with not only the racism and sexism of the anti-suffragists, but even her fellow suffragettes who look down upon
...more
Stephanie
This was genuinely one of the best novellas I've ever read. If you like smart, feminist romance - or just really good historical fiction! - you should absolutely check it out. I loooooved Bertha and Amir, I loved the rich setting in early 20th-century Harlem, and I adored all the different women working to help each other in different ways in this story.

Between this and An Extraordinary Union, Alyssa Cole has rapidly become my very favorite historical romance author, which is saying a lot. And
...more
Frida
"Can I help you, Amir?"
"May I sit?" he asked.
She nodded and he settled into the seat in front of her desk. She tried to read his expression to determine whether he was going to quit, demand a raise, or try to give her some friendly advice, as men were wont to do.


Alyssa Cole is awesome and this is my favorite so far (Let It Shine a close second). Because suffragettes!

"One day I just couldn't stand another minute of it. Of being told what to do and how to do it and that I'd better do it with a sm
...more
Amy Cousins
This book is SO GOOD. Gah. It makes 1917 Harlem come alive, with the politicians and nightclub owners, the prostitutes and church ladies, the immigrants and the police, the number runners and the hairdressers, all moving in and out of each other's orbits in a tight-knit world of labor and corruption and gossip and kindness. Bertha is magnificent. She is fierce and demanding and controlling and care-taking. And Amir is angry and judgmental and kind and sexy as hell. I just loved the both of them, ...more
Rhode
Awesome. I so appreciated this glimpse into two non-white New Yorkers' lives 100 years ago. Plus, deliciously feminist. And the hero works for the business-owning heroine.

It's frustrating though, thinking how much hope folks had about getting the vote and how much we are still fighting the same battles.
Gaufre
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF 52%

This is a historical romance, emphasis on historical. The setting is interesting, the characters are engaging and the details paint a good picture of the time. So why just two stars? Because there isn't much story. It is too militant.

Ankita
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, romance
This book was so good. A bengali immigrant and a black woman in Harlem. The story is beautifully written and their struggles are real. Also ironic that so many years from the setting of the story and our society has the same issues around race, immigration, sex work, women's rights as then. I looved reading it. I didn't even know that there was something like the Bengali Harlem. Thank you for writing this awesome story.
Miss
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-author
at this point alyssa cole is a courtney milan tier author for me, she is just so consistently GOOD

i love how embedded in their time and communities her characters are, i honestly feel like i get a historical education just reading her

(also an expanded reading list because she shares her bibliographies. idek how i feel about this because on the one hand, yessss give it to me but on the other hand isn't my tbr list long enough already????)

anyways this was basically a 100% perf romance novella, get
...more
Lakshmi
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful novella by Alyssa Cole. Historical romance readers know how hard it is to find books featuring people of color, so it was especially nice to read about how Bertha (an African American woman) met and fell in love with the Bengali immigrant Amir. Cole mentions Vivek Bald's 'Bengali Harlem' in her sources section, which reminded me that book has also been on my to-read list for a while now.
Jess
I would have liked more relationship development. Because of length, the declarations felt more than a little sudden. But the time period and circumstances of this were incredibly compelling.
Vendela
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS. Fucking LOVE this. Politics and social movements and bright people coming together and oh my god. My kind of fairytale.
Maya B
Nice read to pass the time. The story could have used some more details as far as women suffrage and the love story between Amir and Bertha. I just felt like I needed more to make this a complete story
feux d'artifice
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alyssa Cole is very good at what she does. the only flaw was that it was too short!!!! I want moooore
Melissa
This is a novella that was originally published in the anthology Daughters of a Nation.

I read this for reading challenge; the story takes place in Harlem (in 1917) as the state of New York prepares to vote in the November elections, especially the amendment to the state constitution giving women the right to vote. Bertha is a business woman running her own restaurant/night club/whorehouse and is working hard to help the suffragettes get the vote. She also has to fight off some men who were forme
...more
Sally Kilpatrick
I decided to dive into this novella because it was set in Harlem and I may or may not have been watching Luke Cage. Yes, I understand modern Harlem is different from 1917 Harlem--all the better!

Bertha owns a cabaret and Amir becomes her cook. What I loved about this book most are the vulnerabilities of these characters who are living life in a system stacked against them. Bertha is a black woman who runs a segregated club where she dances and her proteges may be even more accommodating. Meanwhil
...more
Grace
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The romance is wonderful. But my favorite part was the portrayal of the suffrage movement, the portraits of the diverse and brave array of ladies involved (especially the accountant/moneylender who RULES Harlem). And I usually am not super into books that lean heavily on descriptions of food (just let me eat the real stuff!). But here it was really well into the plot and the romance and the character arcs. Another winner for Alyssa Cole. I hope that we're all lucky enough to get one of these eve ...more
Deena
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a good read!
Sarah
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short fun historical romance story. Well-researched, fun characters and an antagonist to lovers relationship where the two leads actually respect one another: what more could you ask for?
Xanthe
Sometimes the right book finds you at the right time, such is the case for Let Us Dream, which I read and loved and just felt oh-so-satisfied after reading. I loved all the specific details of the time, 1917 New York City on the eve of a vote to confirm women’s suffrage and the personal investment in such a vote by Bertha, former sex worker and current Harlem nightclub owner. Using her powers of influence, she works to ensure that the tide turns and women get the vote at the same time she guards ...more
Molly
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
NOT ANOTHER WHITE CHICK IN A CORSET! That alone is super refreshing in a genre that is a sea of whiteness. Added to this, it's well-written, well-researched, and super engaging; I'd like these people no matter what book I found them in.

This book stands as a call-out of everything that is wrong with historical Romance - we see the same old settings with the same old duke-rakes and the same old rich people problems book after book, and it's really crazy making! I like a deep dive into my favorite
...more
Michelle Athy
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
A few months ago, I read an article about Bengali immigrants settling and intermarrying into the black, African-American, Puerto Rican, and other families who were already living in Harlem in the twentieth century. I had no idea about this part of history. Lo and behold, it must've caught Alyssa Cole's imagination, because "Let Us Dream," a historical romance novella, is about Bertha, a performer, former prostitute, and an African-American woman who now runs a club in Harlem and is interested in ...more
Amelia
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Despite the short length this book packed in a lot. It had two very strong and strong-minded lead characters and a whole tapestry of compelling side stories, set in 1917 New York. The side stories could drive novels of their own. Bertha is campaigning for women's right to vote and struggling to keep her nightclub open and free of vice cops. As an illegal immigrant, Amir has to keep a low profile, and he's struggling with the decision of whether or not to return home while also on his own politic ...more
Crisp
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate  K. F.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Let Us Dream though for me, I didn't find it didn't effect me in the same way that Let It Shine did. I think part of that is the complicated story behind the heroine, Bertha who's a former sex worker that now owns a club and is working to prove that she's worthy. She's a fascinating character, strong and one that doesn't take anything, the hero, Amir meets her at every step and their relationship takes a lot of turns within the short length of the story. I completely believed their sto ...more
Judith Rich
Jul 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
I read this as part of a reading challenge, so it's not the kind of thing I'd usually choose to read. There were some things I liked about it - the unconventional and feisty heroine (I love it that she's a madam! I get so sick of the virginal heroines) and the unusual historic setting in a period about which I know nothing.

However, the romance was still pretty conventional for this type of novel and the happy ending felt kind of tacked on and false. I can't help thinking the two characters would
...more
Sarah
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alyssa Cole is one of my buy-it-now authors, and she's as brilliant as ever in this one. She has an incredible talent of introducing her characters and telling you only bits and pieces about them while actually revealing so much about them. Not even halfway through, I felt that I knew who Bertha was without knowing that much about her. Cole deftly weaves the history into the narrative and makes the political and historical contexts of the time contemporary for her audience to subtly comment on h ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Hype Lit Book Club: February: "Let Us Dream" by Alyssa Cole 12 11 Mar 03, 2018 03:46PM  
670 followers
Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC and island-paced life in the Caribbean.

In addition to writing, she has hosted a romance book club and taught romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching cat videos on the Internet with he
...more
More about Alyssa Cole

Romance Deals

  • The Wedding Shroud (Tales of Ancient Rome, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Release Me (Stark Trilogy, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Better Off Without Him
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Veronica's Dragon (Icehome, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • No Prince Charming (Secrets of Stone Series Book 1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice, #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Surrender (Steel Brothers Saga, #6)
    $7.99 $2.49
  • Forged in Smoke (Red-Hot SEALs, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hunted (The Warrior Chronicles, #2)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • A Husband's Regret (Unwanted, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Be My Reason
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Cuffed (Honor Bound Book 2)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • His Unlikely Lover (Unwanted, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Love Me Sweet (Bell Harbor, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Forged in Ember (Red-Hot SEALs, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Taking Catie (Temptation Saga #3)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • Desire After Dark (Gansett Island, #14)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Scotch King (Scotch #1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • This Love of Mine (Mirror Lake, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Your Scandalous Ways (Fallen Women, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The End of Feeling
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Seaside Hearts (Love in Bloom: Seaside Summers #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Forgotten Secrets (Singing River Legacy, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Knight (Endgame, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Storm Warrior (Grim, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bayside Passions (Bayside Summers, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Misadventures with a Rookie (Misadventures, #11)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Finding Libbie: A Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love at Last (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor, #6.5)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Nitro's Torment (Sydney Storm MC #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Only You
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Lily and the Duke (Sex and the Season #1)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • A Girl's Best Friend
    $9.99 $1.99
  • My Once and Future Duke (The Wagers of Sin, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Surrender/Submission Bound Hearts 1 & 2
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Burn (Steel Brothers Saga, #5)
    $7.99 $3.49
  • Mistress of Magic
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • INK: A Love Story on 7th and Main
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures, #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Ruthless Proposition
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hearts at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hometown Girl
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Flight (Up in the Air, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Mind (Trinity Trilogy #2)
    $6.99 $2.49
  • Rhapsodic (The Bargainer, #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • The Room Mate (Roommates, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Surrender My Love: Cole Braden (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor Book 2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Decaying Empire (The Vanishing Girl, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Forgiving Hour
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Fixer Upper
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Room for More (Cranberry Inn Book 2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Chasing I Do (The Eastons #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Forever Hunted (Forever Bluegrass #9)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Slow Dance in Purgatory (Purgatory, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Cafe by the Sea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • That Month in Tuscany
    $6.99 $2.49
  • My Brother Michael
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Something in the Way (Something in the Way, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Elect (Eagle Elite, #2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Just Friends
    $7.80 $2.99
  • To Taste Temptation (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ghosted
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Dodging Temptation
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Billionaire's Final Stand (Billionaire Bachelors, #7)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Billionaire's Dance (Billionaire Bachelors, #2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Find Me (Corrupted Hearts #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Blackmailing the Billionaire (Billionaire Bachelors, #5)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Hunger (The Energy Vampires #2)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Healed By Love (The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor #1; The Bradens #13; Love in Bloom #32)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Billionaire Falls (Billionaire Bachelors, #3)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Runaway Heiress (Billionaire Bachelors, #6)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Treading Water (Treading Water, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Life Next Door (Love Not Included Book 3)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Undeniable Love (Journey Of Love Book 2)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Bittersweet
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Mr. Perfect (Mister, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Made for You
    $3.99 $1.49
  • The Light In Summer
    $5.99 $1.99
  • For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Collision Point (Brute Force, #1)
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Journey Home
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Heirs of Grace
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Storm Bound (Grim, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unforgettable Love (Journey of Love Book 3)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Prom Night in Purgatory (Purgatory, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Valiant (Spy Girl Book 4)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Dear Aaron
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Running Barefoot
    $5.95 $2.49
  • Wrecked
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Sapphire Heist (Jewel, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Other Side of the Story
    $10.99 $1.99
  • One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Out of Focus (Adams Grove, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • What If
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Journey's End (Gilded Promises)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Light After Dark (Gansett Island, #15)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies (Adams Grove, #4)
    $4.99 $0.99
  • How To Marry A Werewolf (Claw & Courtship, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Women helped each other in ways small and large every day, without thinking, and that was what kept them going even when the world came up with new and exciting ways to crush them.” 9 likes
“I’m sure you know this, but power dynamics rooted in social status are a system designed to separate people instead of bringing them together for the greater good.” 0 likes
More quotes…