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That Could Be Enough

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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.

This is an angsty but fluffy F/F novella with a happy ending for both of our intrepid heroines.

107 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 26, 2018

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About the author

Alyssa Cole

45 books5,234 followers
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 Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, RT Book Reviews, and Heroes and Heartbreakers, and her books have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her pets.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,909 reviews4,818 followers
September 5, 2020
Yessss THAT COULD BE ENOUGH...every time I read that title I sing that song from the musical. This was such a beautiful sapphic romance set against the backdrop of a post Revolutionary War America.

That Could Be Enough is a novella that focuses on a budding romance between Mercy and Andromeda who is actually the granddaughter of the main character in Be Not Afraid. I can't tell you how much my little Hamilton junkie heart enjoyed this novella. There were so many references that Hamilton fans will enjoy. But the true stars of this book are definitely our main characters Mercy and Andromeda. They are definitely like night and day, but they truly are meant to be. Mercy works as a maid to Eliza Hamilton while Andromeda is present to provide Eliza with an account her grandfathers experience fighting in the same regiment as Hamilton.

The most beautiful aspect of this book was that it wasn't focused on Black pain and trauma. Our main characters do face issues and discrimination; however, I loved that Cole took the opportunity to truly hone in on matters of the heart and how each character couldn't allow their past to dictate how they could possibly love each other. Watching Andromeda assist Mercy in opening up her heart and assisting her in reigniting her passion for writing was BEAUTIFUL. I connected with Mercy, I've been her, I feel like I'm her right now. It's so easy to close yourself off after you've had your heart broken by so many people, but Andromeda really illustrates that in doing that you often miss out on opportunities. Mercy fought tooth and nail to deny her attraction to Andromeda, but of course that was impossible. Andromeda was so confident, so passionate, and so caring. She really took her time breaking down every wall that Mercy put up and....it was so beautiful.

As always, the writing was poetic and so sensual. I really felt the connection between Mercy and Andromeda. I would definitely recommend this to those that are looking for a short sapphic romance as well as those who are fans of Hamilton.
Profile Image for Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride).
414 reviews3,752 followers
July 15, 2021
From the author's note: “In writing this story I remembered that, above all, the story of America is one of a great multitude of individuals with so many things stacked against them who…lived. And loved. And thrived. No matter the time period, and no matter the obstacles placed before them. People from marginalized groups have always made their way by finding their place within their communities and holding tightly to the things most dear to them. They fight, in small ways and in large. They hope, though common sense may tell them not to, and sometimes America is worthy of that hope.”

That Could Be Enough is a radiantly written snapshot of two independent Black women who couldn’t be more different falling in love and finding a shared passion. The prose was gorgeous, the characters jumped off the page, the steamy scenes were scalding, and the ending had me in tears.

I would highly recommend this to lovers of sapphic historical romance and Hamilton. You won't be disappointed!

Trigger Warnings: loss of parents, homophobia, sexism, racism

VIDEO REVIEW: https://youtu.be/8CMwKdLnhc4

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Profile Image for Shira Glassman.
Author 27 books507 followers
June 28, 2018
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.)

The skeleton is your basic “woman has been hurt Really Badly and finally opens up to love again despite all her fears” trope, but the prose is so approachable and the characters so vividly painted that it felt completely fresh to me. When Mercy first sees Andromeda in the doorway of the house where she works, she’s affected in a soul-claiming way that I don’t often see represented in the romances I read but have definitely experienced in the presence of a gorgeous and captivating lady.

Mercy’s a poet, but she shut all of that down because of the way a previous girlfriend treated her poetry as part of a cruel, fatalistic breakup. “There’d been a time,” Cole writes, “when she’d felt beautiful things acutely.” This is someone who’s natural personality wants to appreciate and worship all the glories the world has to offer, but can we blame her for being terrified and walled-in after such treatment, and with nobody else in her life – before Andromeda – contradicting her ex’s pronunciations about the fate of queer lives? However, when she starts emerging from her shell again, the poem Cole gave her to write is truly beautiful. I’d put it in the review, but I want you to discover it for itself ;-P

In this respect Cole herself is a bit like Mercy, inasmuch as she did some truly stunning things with language. For example, close to the story’s opening, Mercy accidentally wrote “Yearned” in her diary when she was too tired to stop herself. The next morning, she scratches it out, in progressive horizontal lines compared to a wall, and replaces it with “Slept.” That’s some powerful imagery right there. We feel her sense of perpetual retreat.

I also really liked the scene where Andromeda whisks Mercy away to something truly cool that the local Black community is working on, something that feels so in tune with Mercy’s own interests that there’s narration about how “seen” she feels, by Andromeda’s choice. I can relate to that a lot; being truly seen is high on my list of things that I’m hoping will get me out of my current, Mercylike frame of mind, romantically.

It does contain That Old Standard Trope where someone believes the worst and doesn’t ask for clarification, but from misunderstanding to pain to happy resolution there really aren’t that many pages and honestly I can’t say I’d have behaved any better in her place because when you’re scared of rejection, asking frankly is… difficult.

Andromeda is clever and enterprising and devoted to her community, especially to her fellow Black women, and Mercy is sweet and deserves lots of pampering and reassurance and validation after the kind of self-denial in which she’s been wallowing.

Author Alyssa Cole did her research and shows us a dainty, yet earnest portrait of what life might have been like for two relatively fortunate queer Black women in the early days of America. We queer women deserve a part in the costume drama world that dazzles many of our imaginations. So do Black women, not that I can speak for them, obviously. Cole’s plot solution/resolution is completely realistic, which makes it far more enjoyable for me because it’s easier for me, personally, to enthusiastically embrace a happy ending if it’s set up to be a plausible one.

That Could Be Enough fulfills its mission. The setup and resolution affirm that yes, while the road has never been a guaranteed red carpet, it has always been possible for WoC and those of us who are queer to have a far more decent life than the hungry eyes of non-queer white literature with its appetite for exploitative tragedy would have us believe.

Incidentally, the story does contain some bits here and there that will probably make more sense to people more familiar with the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life, but I was mostly able to piece together from context what Mercy’s inner voice was thinking about and don’t worry if they lose you anyway; they’re not key to enjoying the story itself. (He’s not even alive anymore when the story takes place.)

I don’t remember this having any of the most common triggers I usually warn for. It does have a sex scene, so if that’s your preference, enjoy!
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,054 reviews3,460 followers
February 23, 2021
If you're a fan of Hamilton and would perhaps enjoy a sapphic romance during that time period, try this novella! That Could Be Enough is a romance novella set in the 1800's between Mercy- a quiet and straight-laced Black woman who is a servant of sorts to the widow of Alexander Hamilton though she used to dream of writing, and Andromeda, a formidable Black woman who owns a dressmaking shop. They may be opposites, but they find what they need in each other and make their own way in the world, finding people who accept them. It's short and sweet and certainly worth a read. I think my main complaint with all of these novellas is I wish they were longer!
Profile Image for Rachel.
755 reviews113 followers
May 1, 2019
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 ink,” “watching her is excruciating,” “this beauty was painful,” “if marching could be imbued with sensuality.”

This is fitting, because while Mercy Alston may work as maid and personal secretary to Eliza Hamilton, her heart is that of a poet.

“There’d been a time when she’d felt beautiful things acutely. Felt them in her body and heart and soul.” And had written those emotions into love letters and poems.

Mercy lives a quiet life of solitude and isolation. Due to a painful experience in her past, Mercy has closed herself off from forming close relationships. She has set aside her poetry, shutting it out of her life as surely as she blocked out deep emotions and feelings. Until she meets Andromeda Stiel, and her world is turned upside down.

“A wild sensation swelled in her chest; this beauty was painful.”

Andromeda overwhelms Mercy’s senses. She is confident, beautiful, flirtatious, outgoing, talkative, and determined to shake up Mercy’s quiet life. Andromeda is a successful dressmaker and seamstress. She is a Black woman who owns her own shop, is looking to buy property, and has a mighty entrepreneurial spirit. Watching her pursue Mercy is romantic and sweetly entertaining. Andromeda sees Mercy like a challenging sewing project:

“The pattern in Andromeda’s head took on a form that she couldn’t resist—oddly enough, it was precisely Mercy’s measure. Andromeda would have consigned it to the mental trash heap where she placed ideas that weren’t meant to be, but she had the nagging feeling that it just might be her most beautiful creation ever.”

In the beginning, when Mercy is still fighting her attraction to Andromeda, it is beautiful to watch them bond over their shared experiences as creatives. Andromeda tells Mercy, “When I take hold of a threaded needle, or work my shears through a fresh piece of fabric, it’s not just work to me. There’s something in me that, I guess you could say it sings, when I have a needle in my hand. I thought I saw a bit of that in you.”

These two Black women represent an evolution of our American identity, and it warms my heart to read about their tender and affirming experiences. The author’s afterword is an uplifting addition to the story.

This story originally appeared in the anthology Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances, and is now also available as a standalone.

Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,069 reviews13.6k followers
August 31, 2020
Well there is a first for everything, and my f/f cherry just got popped...in a historical read at that! Loved the two heroines and their strength they showed in everything they did. Successful, strong, talented black women getting stuff done in the time after Alexander Hamilton’s death.

“Fragile things often try to appear more frightening than they were to repel predators.”

This described Mercy 100%! She’d been hurt before, and built a shell around her that Andromeda went through like a wrecking ball! Not a super steamy read, but the sensuality was thick. Alyssa Cole can write anything!
Profile Image for lauraღ.
1,487 reviews65 followers
July 22, 2020
Mercy’s letters, read sequentially, were like a flower unfolding, petal by petal. Andromeda wanted more; she wanted the full bloom.

This is about to be a slightly useless review, because while I enjoyed this, I can't quite pinpoint what's stopping me from enjoying it as much as I wanted/expected to. It's historical f/f, the best kind of catnip for me. Queer black women in love, which always makes me happy. It didn't quite do that erasure thing I'm ambivalent about in historicals. (That is, erasing the existence of homophobia altogether. This acknowledges the existence of homophobia, but presents scenarios where these wlw can be happy and somewhat open.) I enjoyed Alyssa Cole's writing as I generally always do, some passages were legit beautiful, and I liked the characters.

I guess it was just a little too insta-lovey for me to really get into it. It's very rare that insta-love works for me, and especially rarer in a novel where there's so little time to track the progression of a relationship. Also, this was part of a trio of romances called 'Hamilton's Battalion'. As one of the 17 remaining people on Earth who's yet to see or listen to Hamilton, I got the feeling that there was a lot of nuance and titbits and callbacks that were utterly lost on me. I was a little... bored sometimes, tbh.

Listened to the audiobook as read by Karen Chilton, and ah, yeah. I didn't really like it. I didn't dislike it, but it must be said that at around 70% I just stopped listening and read the rest on kindle because it genuinely wasn't doing anything for me.

I don't know! There's just something particular that I want from historical f/f, and this wasn't it.

But it was still like, good.
Profile Image for Chasia Lloyd.
699 reviews58 followers
June 26, 2018
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***
Profile Image for Agla.
544 reviews20 followers
November 1, 2022
This was ok, a short (144p) f/f historical between 2 free black women living in the 1820s in New York. The relationship development was rushed and we could have done without the misunderstanding at 80% that led to a stupid "break up" right after they had just gotten together but already think they are in love 🤦‍♀️It did lack depth a bit and they felt more in lust than love but it was still nice.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,092 reviews927 followers
February 22, 2021
I'd been hoarding this one for a long time, and I finally treated myself to it this weekend. I needed to have seen Hamilton to fully appreciate this story of a dressmaker and lady's maid/assistant/writer. SO MUCH YEARNING. I wish it was longer, but their romance was lovely. I need to read the rest of the stories from the original antho now.
Profile Image for Astrid.
270 reviews15 followers
February 4, 2020
I don't often read lesfic for pleasure (part of my job is to read submitted lesfic manuscripts) but this one I did read for pleasure and what a pleasant read it was. An historical lesbian fiction with two WOC as protagonists. Awesome!

Alyssa Cole's writing is top notch and I would have loved to have around 200 pages more to read. So, I guess my solution is to read more books written by her.
Profile Image for Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit.
142 reviews91 followers
October 23, 2019
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 stunning, let me tell you. I found Alyssa Cole's writing to be so beautiful and well placed and I'm glad I finally am reading her work!!

I thought Andromeda was a formidable character who had her own business and carried herself with dignity. She supported black-owned businesses and was completely herself without shame. Mercy is someone who has had her heart broken but she herself is not broken; strong and willful, I loved reading her thoughts and her poetry and connecting with the way she wanted. And them together? I was SOFT, tears in my eyes and heart three sizes bigger than when I started the novella, but I was also highly amused at the way they interacted because they pushed and pulled and it worked. In the end, it's just so good to see queer black women get a happy ending with each other.

4.5 stars - since it is a novella, I almost wish there was a bit more of Andromeda's thoughts (like what was her reaction to reading Mercy's poem? I wish we got to see that) but also I just really loved them and wish there was more lol!!
Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,182 followers
February 23, 2021
I haven't watched Hamilton but I still super enjoyed watching buttoned up maid Mercy falling for impulsive seamstress Andromeda. There’s a great epistolary element with their letters! Just a lovely historical romance altogether.

Character notes: Mercy is a Black maid. Andromeda is a Black seamstress. This is set in 1820 Harlem.

CW: Mercy’s parents died of yellow fever and she was sent to an orphanage, racism (reticence to sell a business to Andromeda because she’s Black and unmarried), war references, death of loved ones (secondary characters), complicated grief (secondary character), ill grandparent (off page)
Profile Image for 'Nathan Burgoine.
Author 47 books416 followers
May 9, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Jenica.
1,141 reviews44 followers
April 21, 2021
This story is about Mercy, Eliza Hamilton’s maid, writer of words, unbeliever of love, and genuinely good person. This is also the story of Andromeda, small business owner, supporting other black women entrepreneurs, resourceful, patient, kind… Okay, I love Andromeda. But I really love Mercy too, I promise! Anyway, so Andromeda comes to deliver to Eliza Hamilton the story of her grandfather (featured in Be Not Afraid, by the way!) and Mercy is like, “holy cow, that woman is a gorgeous angel!” And then Mercy freaks out because she’s been seriously hurt before. And you know, shenanigans ensue.

I highlighted three passages in two pages, which is a testament to Cole’s writing. I love her prose. I’m not sure how to describe it because I’m really bad at that (hah, aren’t you glad you’re reading my review?) but whatever it is, not too flowery and not too plain, Goldilocks style, is perfect. Ultimately, the story of Andromeda and Mercy is one of patience and of hope.

I think this story is important for countless reasons like, hey, queer ladies existed in the early 1800s and they could find places they were accepted because some people actually care more about whether you’re a good person than who you’re sleeping with. A novel concept, I know. Anyway, this story was brilliant and as stated above, though I cannot personally speak to the rep, the black women’s voices is Own Voices representation and the queer ladies did not feel exploitive. It felt sweet and genuinely good and kind. So I loved it. FIVE STARS.

I originally read this one as an e-ARC when it was part of Hamilton's Battalion. Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review!
Profile Image for Solly.
447 reviews31 followers
January 7, 2020
This was a lovely queer historical romance novella!

The two main characters are Black queer (I both read them as lesbians!) women who are very different but both have a strong personality and I loved them both. Well, maybe I liked Andromeda a little bit more, but Mercy was almost as great.

It was a quick read and I enjoyed it a lot. It was historical, but there wasn't a whole lot of racism and queerphobia (there was some, but like, it wasn't central in the book and it was mostly implied). They were both accepted in their small communities and I do love seeing this in queer historical fiction, especially romance.

The only thing that annoyed me a bit is this thing that annoys me in any romance book: the almost break up at the end, often because of miscommunication. However, I thought it was quite well addressed at the end, both characters admitted to reacting badly due to emotions and that they should have asked questions/communicated more. So it wasn't all bad.

Also, my grasp on American History is not bad but somewhat vague, so I don't know if I missed some stuff/names that are historically important (I got Hamilton, I heard about him, nothing about his family or other characters mentionned that might have been real, haha).

TW: not much, but some implied racism/queerphobia/sexism, also mentions of a kinda violent/potentially emotionally abusive break-up
Profile Image for Josalynne Balajadia.
333 reviews7 followers
January 13, 2021
There was a lot to this little story: great chemisty, interesting characters, and lots of metaphors. I felt the story could have been a little longer and some things expanded on for maximum enjoyment but it was still a great ride.
Profile Image for Rishika Aggarwal.
Author 2 books20 followers
June 20, 2020
Originally read in Hamilton's Battalion, review crossposted.

This was a gorgeous story that takes place after the War of Independence, while Eliza Hamilton is compiling her husband's biography.

A love story that features two black women, this was a gorgeous view into a blossoming romance. This features. Mercy, a servant in the widowed Eliza Hamilton's household and her de-facto assistant as she works on compiling stories about her husband that will be part of his biography, and Andromeda Stiel, granddaughter of one of Hamilton's cohort in the war who closer to him than most and dressmaker and entrepreneur extraordinaire. It follows their developing relationship as Mercy fights her attraction to Andromeda, worrying about a repeat of past heartbreaks, and Andromeda works to worm her way into Mercy's life in the same way that Mercy has worked her way into hers.

Mercy's character is lovely, with the way that she fights falling in love and the way she holds her hurts and heartbreaks close to her chest, but also cannot help but be drawn into the orbit of the outspoken and outrageous Andromeda. At the same time, Andromeda finds herself trying to draw Mercy to her just as much as Mercy resists. The heart of this piece is a sweet love story between two women who are headstrong in their own ways, and the ways each has to evolve in order to fit together.

What I really love about this story is the way it approaches the characters not just as women falling in love, but specifically as black women falling in love, and the way that their gender and race has shaped the people that they are. Cole is aware of the reality of being a black person in 1700s America, when slavery was still legal, but at the same time, she strives to not make racism the centre of her narrative. Yes, Andromeda and Mercy both experience racism, but their story exists beyond that. Andromeda is a businesswoman running her own dressmaking shop, and an entrepreneur investing in the businesses of, and uplifting, other black women. The Grove may only be a small part of the story, but it is an effective one in its dedicated to black people, and the sense of refuge the Grove offers Mercy from the first moment she walks in makes the importance of such spaces clear. Furthermore, as a space dedicated to showcasing black cultural products like plays, it is revolutionary in its very nature, both in 1700s and unfortunately also in the 2000s.

Mercy and Andromeda may find themselves in difficult situations because of misogynoir, but they are able to push past. It does not define them, and in depicting Andromeda as a successful businesswoman and Mercy as a skilled writer, Cole points out (as she later does in her author's note) that black women have always managed to find their way. This is a story of women rising above and beyond, uplifting each other, and carving out spaces for themselves in a society that is determined to fight them at every turn. It is a love story and another revolution all in one, and it is a revelation.

4/5 stars - loved it!

As an aside, there are tiny editing issues here, where the characters' names were reversed a couple of times, but enough to be jarring for me.

Profile Image for Victoria (Eve's Alexandria).
664 reviews386 followers
February 15, 2020
A wonderfully sensual and thoughtful novella, originally published as part of an anthology of stories riffing off the musical Hamilton. It’s set over ten years after Hamilton’s death, and follows Mercy, a maid working for Eliza and Angelica, and Andromeda, the granddaughter of a man who fought in Hamilton’s battalion. The pair are very different - Mercy is reserved, and distrustful after a number of painful failed relationships with women; while Andromeda is fiercely impulsive and confident - but instantly recognise their mutual attraction. It’s low heat and low angst, and what I loved was it’s attentiveness to its characters, all of whom are female. Though short the book makes a lot of room for introspection, and for moments of understanding to develop. I especially appreciated the way it drew out, very subtlety, the relationships between Mercy and Eliza, and Mercy and Angelica. While Cole clearly has a love for Hamilton, she also uses these relationships to recenter women’s voices.

A new favourite f/f for me.
Profile Image for No'.
187 reviews4 followers
March 4, 2021
It was really soft and delicate, I loved it. I think the story could have benefit from more chapters to delve more into the characters introspections, it could have make it more slow-burnish and angsty. Still, I really loved it.
The author's note at the end was a nice reminder that I wanted to share here "queer people have always existed, and though society has generally excelled at making their lives difficult and dangerous, there were people who lived as openly as they could and were accepted within their communities". feel like queer historical romance are still difficult to find, but we must not forget that queerness always has been, and it deserves its story to be told at any period ^^
Profile Image for Jen.
144 reviews6 followers
August 14, 2022
Very sweet romance novella, and I really liked Mercy, who wasn’t always likeable, but I understood her reasons for being a bit frosty. I think this book suffered a bit because it was so short. A little more time with the characters would have made their romance a bit more believable. 3.5 stars
Profile Image for thosemedallingkids.
338 reviews40 followers
August 24, 2022
Like most novellas I have issues with, I needed this longer! It would have been great to see a bit more time spent with the heroines, they had great chemistry and banter but it was so short!

Hamilton references galore, I should give it a rewatch.
Profile Image for Lewis.
400 reviews45 followers
April 28, 2021
This was so much fun. The yearning, the time period and the rapport between the main character and her love interest was so well done. I can't wait to read more from Alyssa Cole!
Profile Image for Valeria.
61 reviews14 followers
April 7, 2022
Reading this book felt like a big warm hug.

There was something about it that was just so lovely, charming and enthralling. It managed to make me attached to the characters in just a few pages, and for a novella I felt like I knew these people's stories and their personalities so well.

The love story was beautiful. AND THOSE LETTERS. Ahhhh it made me smile at every page.

I never knew I needed sapphic historical romances so much until I read this. Specially if it's queer joy and the characters get a happy ending <3
Profile Image for Amanie Johal.
208 reviews
July 24, 2020
Yes, I did read this twice in 2 days just to write my review. It's a 3.25h audiobook, so sue me.
Settled on 4 stars, but honestly the pacing was pretty good. I guess knowing that it was a novella kinda helped suspend my disbelief in the whirlwind-ness of it but, hey, even Andromeda says there's no time limit on how quickly one can fall in love.

Overall, a really enjoyable sapphic historical romance 🙂

Profile Image for Ruth.
Author 8 books17 followers
June 28, 2018
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 short, tasteful sex scene. My one regret was that this story wasn't longer, since I think both Mercy and Andromeda are big enough characters to carry a whole novel, but it IS a novella after all. p.s for anyone who doubts the plausibility of this historical queer romance, there's an excellent historical author's note, where she points readers to a real life relationship upon which this story is loosely inspired (Charity and Sylvia: A Same Sex Marriage in Early America - Rachel Hope Cleves, Oxford University Press) I hope there will be more Seditious Sisters novellas, because one is not enough!
Profile Image for N.G. Peltier.
Author 3 books231 followers
September 7, 2019
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 Andromeda.
The description of that meeting was poetryyyy.

Mercy has locked away a part of herself and here comes Andromeda set to mess that all up. This trope is absolutely my catnip. The uptight MC slowing and grudgingly unraveling when they meet the devil may care MC. And this is very much that!

And the letters! That Andromeda writes to Mercy are so lovely, and very much a subtle seduction that just whew, so good. i love letters in historical romance just as much as i adore texting between MCs in contemp. it's the best thing.

And when they finally kiss. It is sweet and just beautiful. I would highly rec this for a quick, lovely read that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Profile Image for Carole Bell.
Author 2 books120 followers
June 25, 2020
That Could be Enough is an angsty and original love story between two Black women in New York in the early 19th century. Mercy is a servant and assistant to Eliza Hamilton. Andromeda is a dressmaker with her own shop. They meet when Mercy interviews Andromeda about her grandfather's service during the Revolutionary War.

The stories Alyssa Cole writes aren't anachronistic though her critics may think so. Cole does her research and they’re told realistically with period detail; her work just centers people who are so overlooked and underrepresented that they’ve been rendered invisible in dominant culture. Andromeda and Mercy seem out of place/time to some readers because of the familiar chronotypes were used to seeing of certain periods. Nonetheless they are definitely worth our time. In fact I would have liked it even more if we had had more time with them after they get together.
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