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That Could Be Enough

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  43 reviews
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 i
Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Seditious Sisters
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  147 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Shira Glassman
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review originally appeared on The Lesbrary That Could Be Enough, Alyssa Cole’s lesbian offering in the early American romance collection Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances, is everything a gentle historical f/f romance should be. Both characters, Mercy the servant/secretary and Andromeda the dressmaker, are fully fleshed out even within the novella’s small scope — it feels fully complete and I truly felt like I watched their courtship unfold even though it’s less than a hundred pages (in my Kindle app, anyway.)
Dedicated [to] “anyone with a heart of glass—shattered glass possesses its own kind of beauty.”

Stunning. This story is simply beautiful. Alyssa Cole is a phenomenal writer, and this story exemplifies her talents. There were moments when I was reading a passage, highlighting a phrase, when I had to stop and reread the words, just to roll their delicious taste around in my mouth and savor their exquisite beauty.

Phrases scattered among the prose read like snippets of poetry: “the dark bruise of i
Chasia Lloyd
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This f/f historical with two Black women is so incredibly emotional and sensual. I loved Mercy and Andromeda passionately. An absolute must read.

***originally read in Hamilton's Battalion***
Scarllet ✦ Underrated Lit Warrior
Mercy’s letters, read sequentially, were like a flower unfolding, petal by petal. Andromeda wanted more; she wanted the full bloom.

This short novella had a lot of things that I loved: a focus on queer black women, angst, soft love interests, & the historical setting. Not to mention the letters! Oh, how I adore love stories that feature letters! I was clutching my chest at the back and forth letters between Mercy and Andromeda, their softness and unbidden desire making me feel complete. It was s
Nathan Burgoine
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, glbt
I really liked this, and Alyssa Cole's novellas are fast becoming a go-to. It's a little painful that I got this one shortly before the release of a four pack of her audio novellas (for the same one credit, I could have had all four) but whatevs, I'll grab it for the other three.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novella is an utter delight. I've been a fan of Alyssa Cole's writing since I read An Extraordinary Union last year, and have always admired the fresh life she breathes into history, and how artfully she walks the line between historical accuracy, and a frolicking, fun, fast paced (and hot) story. Even within the short span of a novella, Cole imbues both her heroines with lively personalities, heart-aching back story, and bookoodles of banter. It's mostly angsty flirtation, but there is one ...more
I loved this story. It's such a sweet f/f love story.

Mercy and Andromeda could not be more different. Mercy is the personal secretary to Mrs. Hamilton and her job mainly is to record the history of Alexander Hamilton as told by various people who knew him and served under him. She leads a rather quiet life and doesn't allow herself anything beyond what she's doing. Especially in the area of love. She has closed herself off due to a painful experience in the past.

Andromeda is strong,
A beautifully written historical romance, between two queer black women! Alyssa Cole always give good story, and this was no exception. Mercy and Andromeda's story is so lovely. From chapter 1 I was hooked.

We are presented with Mercy who has given up on pouring her heart into her writing. She writes still but it is perfunctory, to the point, no feelings allowed. That scene where she crossed out Yearned for Slept was so powerfully rendered. Alyssa is a master at this. And then when Mercy meets A
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so nice. That Could Be Enough is a wonderful nineteenth-century sapphic historical novella about two black women figuring out what they want, and fighting for it. I really appreciate the little historical note Alyssa Cole added about how stories about historical minorities don't have to be tragic, because so many people lived their lives and carved out nice things for themselves, even if they were structurally disadvantaged.
Inspired to read a romance as part of the Bookriot Read Harder challenge and I am so happy I picked this up. Cole’s writing artfully builds a world that you are placed within and I felt invested and connected to her characters.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I've had this book on my TBR list for a while and I don't know why I waited so long. It's perfect. Lovely, romantic, heat and cold and tears and laughter all throughout.
Smut Report
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Review also available at The Smut Report.

Heat Factor: Subtle due to historical context and euphemistic in the sexy bits

Character Chemistry: I’m not sure their want for each other exceeds their need for each other

Plot: Emotionally constipated woman finds polar opposite for true love

Overall: Too short for the necessary emotional development of the story

Set in early 19th century, That Could Be Enough is the story of Mercy Alston and Andromeda Steil, a servant and a seamstress.

Mercy’s li/>:/>:/>Character/>Heat
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Favorite quotes:
"There'd been a time when she'd felt beautiful things acutely. Felt them in her body and heart and soul. A flower pressed between the pages of a book had given her sustenance that even food could not."

"If you have a chance to mend your heart, or someone else's, do not wait. If you have a chance to forgive, or be forgiven, do not wait."

"For anyone with a heart of glass--shattered glass possesses its own kind of beauty."

"Ascending the stairs into gloriou
Biscuits & Bodices
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ratings (out of 5)
Chemistry: 💥💥💥💥
Heat: 🔥🔥🔥
Humor: 🤗
Mercy Alston, servant/secretary to Eliza Hamilton, perhaps seems shy and a little dour but, much as she might try to tamp down her emotions, they’re always simmering powerfully, always threatening to shift the carefully placed lid she’s put over them. So, when vivacious dressmaker Andromeda Stiel swans into Mercy’s life, that lid is ready to blow.
Andromeda pursues Mercy subtly, teasingly, openly, and seductively
Antresha Holmes
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was not enough, I wanted more!

This was a refreshing story to read, mostly because of its depiction of a woman, who is black, an entrepreneur AND a lesbian. Then, to make it even better, she is both out AND accepted by her community. I haven't come across this storyline before now and I must say, it filled me with pride because I share 3 of those 4 traits as well. I wish this story had been longer and dove more into the progress of Mercy's poetry and writing as well as the play she was wor
Helen Kord
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, f-f
I've been rereading this book and I still love it so here's my original review:

I have to admit that I share Mercy’s annoyance at her employer’s absolute devotion to her late husband, but I loved the way it was handled. I felt for her desperation, her feeling as though she’s throwing her life away, at her unwillingness to open up her heart again. I loved Andromeda, with her charming ways and strong will. Their romance was very sweet, the way Andromeda sweeps Mercy off her feet. Their
This was a short and sweet little novella about Black women, loving women. I liked both the main characters, I thought in the short time I had with them they were quite fully realised and their coming together made sense and was lovely.

My only quibble, and it's one that I have with a good deal of Romance media (which is why I don't read it that much), is the use of the Tragic Misunderstanding. You know the one, you're 75% of the way through the book and everything's going right, welp
Beautifully written, emotionally acute, and if you're into Hamilton, there's a lot of evocative resonance in the themes here (Mercy as a writer and how love can be created and destroyed with words, legacies and imperfections, and jfc Eliza that devotion to a man who couldn't even clear your monstrously low standard of "Come home to me at night, and that'll be enough"!!).

Also: oh no I've now run out of Alyssa Cole historicals left to read. :(((
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will admit that I doubted. I should have known that a Romance Queen of Colour could take the basis of a story about a dead white guy and create a superbly beautiful, historically accurate romance about two strong, brilliant women of colour in post-revolutionary America.

I will never doubt you again
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely and well-considered

Mercy and Andromeda are two queer heroines who survive and uplift each other through the difficulty of their times. Their love story is hard won and well deserved
Writing Black women's literature continues to transform my heart. Not only is this book an excellent study on writing compelling short romantic stories, but also an amazing portrayal of how queer Black women have lived in history. I love it.
Heidi Hart
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This story was well-paced and well-written, but it suffered from my usual complaint about novellas: the backstory is too slapdash, and the characters are not fully-developed, likely because the form doesn't allow time for more showing rather than telling.
Molli Moran
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it

Mercy and Andromeda stole my heart in this novella. Cole’s writing is clear and lovely, as is this quiet story of Mercy daring to open her heart again after a great heartbreak. I’ll absolutely have to read more from her.
I love Alyssa Cole’s books! Amazing characters and wonderful stories!!
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f-romance
Beautiful on every level.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This was very nice and Mercy and Andromeda were lovely characters.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very cute
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Talk about a delicious slow burn. I really hope Alyssa Cole writes more f/f.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who could have known that this lesbian romance was the Hamilton-adjacent story I really wanted? Me. I knew.
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Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her Civil War-set espionage romance An Extraordinary Union was the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award’s Best Book of 2017 and the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, and A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018. She’s contributed to publications including Bust ...more