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That Could Be Enough

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  88 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 4.08  · 
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 ·  348 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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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
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 m ...more
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 in
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well there is a first for everything, and my f/f cherry just got 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
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***
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer
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.
Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
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 st
'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.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 we
Rishika Aggarwal
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,
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
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 - bu ...more
Amanie Johal
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 🙂

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
N.G.Peltier N.G.Peltier
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
Carole V Bell
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 cente
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
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, erasin
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, intelligent
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alyssa Cole does it again! The storytelling was smooth, endearing, and captivating. The magic of this story is that Cole explores how women love in life and death. "Mercy" can't exist without love and love can't exist without mercy. I left this book with a newfound understanding of what it means to be patient and merciful. It is of the utmost importance to extend grace to yourself first and foremost, and to understand how you might be standing in your own way, impeding your capacity to receive l ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading Alyssa Cole just does something to my spirit. "That Could Be Enough" is proof that I can read a novella that feels just as developed as a full length novel. Both main characters were so interesting. Mercy (my favorite) has closed herself off after so many experiences with love lost. She has convinced herself she cannot go through the pain of opening herself up to love and was resolute in her thinking until she meets Andromeda. Andromeda is a force to be reckoned with. She is bold, confid ...more
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.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Hamilton era sapphic love story? Yes freaking please. This was both angsty and fluffy and I loved it
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
an epilogue to hamilton the musical + sweet gays?? sold. (4.5)
ngọc ♡

me, sobbing, pounding my fist on the table: lesbians!!!!!!!!!
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Historical fiction of this time period is not my usual thing but I really enjoyed this a lot!!
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 life experien
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Helen Kord
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f, historical
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 flirting was
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.
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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

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