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Love, Theodosia: A Novel of Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton

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A Romeo & Juliet tale for Hamilton! fans.

In post-American Revolution New York City, Theodosia Burr, a scholar with the skills of a socialite, is all about charming the right people on behalf of her father—Senator Aaron Burr, who is determined to win the office of president in the pivotal election of 1800. Meanwhile, Philip Hamilton, the rakish son of Alexander Hamilton, is all about being charming on behalf of his libido.   
When the two first meet, it seems the ongoing feud between their politically opposed fathers may be hereditary. But soon, Theodosia and Philip must choose between love and family, desire and loyalty, and preserving the legacy their flawed fathers fought for or creating their own.    

Love, Theodosia is a smart, funny, swoony take on a fiercely intelligent woman with feminist ideas ahead of her time who has long-deserved center stage. A refreshing spin on the Hamiltonian era and the characters we have grown to know and love. It’s also a heartbreaking romance of two star-crossed lovers, an achingly bittersweet “what if.” Despite their fathers’ bitter rivalry, Theodosia and Philip are drawn to each other and, in what unrolls like a Jane Austen novel of manners, we find ourselves entangled in the world of Hamilton and Burr once again as these heirs of famous enemies are driven together despite every reason not to be.

384 pages, Hardcover

First published November 2, 2021

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About the author

Lori Anne Goldstein

6 books40 followers
Also publishes as Lori Goldstein

Lori Anne Goldstein is a creative writing instructor, manuscript consultant, and the author of four novels for young adults (SOURCES SAY, Penguin Random House, 2020, which Kirkus calls "Entertaining, thought-provoking, and heartwarming"; SCREEN QUEENS, Penguin Random House, 2019, which Kirkus calls “a fun and uplifting story that celebrates female friendship and empowerment”; and the VOYA-starred BECOMING JINN series (Macmillan, 2015, 2016). She credits her BA in journalism with giving her the skills and desire to devote herself to the research that forms the core of her adult historical debut, LOVE, THEODOSIA. She’s never met a beach she didn’t love, a book she wouldn’t read, or a strange food she wouldn’t try. She lives in the Boston area and can be found online at: www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com, Instagram: @lorigoldsteinbooks, Twitter: @loriagoldstein, and Facebook: LoriGoldsteinAuthor.

Sign up for her author newsletter at: https://bit.ly/3uDuFr1

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 85 reviews
Profile Image for Annette.
743 reviews321 followers
August 23, 2021
NYC, 1800. Theodosia Burr grew up with parents both supporting women to have education the same as men, even being active in politics. Thus, with her scholarly mind and the skills of a socialite, she charms the right people on behalf of her father – Senator Aaron Burr. The fight for the New York’s electoral college is fierce as this would likely secure the win for Thomas Jefferson against the current president John Adams.

At a social event, Theodosia meets Philip Hamilton, the rakish son of Alexander Hamilton. Their attraction is not very attractive at first, but then it changes. Due to their fathers’ rivalry, their affections must remain in secret.

Theodosia is a strong female character, but at the same time sometimes it felt like she was blending with the historical background and her father’s battle against Federalists. I wanted her to stand out more from the background.

Overall, this is a witty historical romance brimming with intrigue and potential scandal.

Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Karren  Sandercock .
740 reviews144 followers
October 25, 2021
What would happen if Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton fell in love, and author Lori Anne Goldstein explores this scenario in her first novel? Unlike most women of the time, Theodosia Burr is well educated, fluent in four languages, and has a mind of her own. Her father Senator Aaron Burr, is running for office in the 1800 presidential election, possibly in debt, and desperate to keep the family home Richmond Hill.

Philip Hamilton is the charming, handsome and eldest son of Alexander Hamilton. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton are political opposites and bitter enemies. Theodosia and Philip fall in love, having to choose between loyalties to their families, preserving the legacy their fathers have created, and changing their destiny.

Love, Theodosia, is a “what if story” about the possible romance between Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton, attracted to each other, do they succumb to desire, or do they walk away and do what’s expected of them? Being Australian I didn’t know a lot about the Hamilton era, I read the book, authors notes and she did extensive research, with help from my friend Google, I worked it all out, and I now know a little more about America's first families. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, it’s a tastefully written romance, and four stars from me.
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Profile Image for Cathy S. .
43 reviews16 followers
January 2, 2022
This book has everything I love. Detailed, accurate history which was not sacrificed for other aspects of the story. Tension between characters, I mean what greater rivalry in the history of the United States exists then that between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr? A romance that promises controversy and tension. Requesting this title was a no brainer! So why did I not like it more?
The storyline is simple, what if there had been a romance between Theodosia Burr, Aaron’s daughter and Phillip Hamilton, Alexander’s son? I really like the premise. The romance just didn’t seem plausible in the beginning. Theo was a well educated, serious woman Phillip a ne’er-do-well irreverent young man. Given their families animosity there really wasn’t much to draw the two together. Add to that the groan worthy dialogue between them existing almost entirely of “oh Philips” on Theos part and I just couldn’t see them as a couple. As the book progresses and more of their personalities emerge the story did get more interesting and i found myself rooting for them. The dialogue and prose did continue to cause the occasional groan to escape though. I mean lines like “Theo felt like a bottle of champagne uncorked and bubbling over.” Were Just a little cheesy! But cheer them on I did.
My second issue with the book was how it handled and revealed the history of Hamilton’s and Burr’s rivalry. How it developed and continued to burn. Much of this and the politics of the day were presented as internal expositions by Theo. Most of which came off as dry history lectures. Perhaps presenting this info as conversations between Theo and Phillip might in the beginning have been more interesting and go a long way in drawing the two together.
I’m giving this book 2.5 stars rounded up to 3, since I did end up enjoying the romance somewhat and the accuracy of the history.
Recommended for historical romance fans.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, OrangeSky Audio and Netgalley. This fact in no way influenced my review.
Profile Image for Stephanie (Bookfever).
976 reviews113 followers
August 27, 2021
Everyone knows the story about Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton by now, made popular in recent years by the hit musical Hamilton. But what if Burr and Hamilton's children had a story of their own to tell too? That's where Lori Anne Goldstein created a beautifully written and poignant love story about Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton.

I'm a reader that prefers her historical fiction to be as accurate as possible so I wasn't entirely sure this book would speak to me but I shouldn't have worried because I was completely and utterly mesmerized by the story. The first thing I noticed was the absolutely gorgeous writing. I really couldn't get enough of it. And then there was the main character, Theodosia Burr. I absolutely loved reading about her, her life with her father Aaron and how she navigated society in the early 19th century as a clever young woman. Theodosia was also very much the feminist which made me adore her even more.

In this book Theodosia's romantic relationship with Philip Hamilton was entirely fictional but still the author managed to write the characters and romance so well that they just took my heart and ran with it. Their initial conversations and meetings had an enemies to lovers vibe that I really enjoyed and I couldn't help but love their banter. The forbidden love as well as Romeo and Juliet vibes were very much present as well.
The relationship between Theodosia and her father was also a really significant one in the story. He clearly doted on her and I loved that Aaron made sure his daughter was as educated as any male child would've been. This didn't mean, though, that he didn't use her to further his own career. And at a certain point there was no turning back for Theodosia either.

Although the romance between Theodosia and Philip was imagined that doesn't mean that everything else in the book was. Lori Anne Goldstein clearly did a lot of research, which she goes more into with the author's note so I would highly recommend to not skip that if you decide to read this book. It was also super fascinating to read. I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up in my top 5 favorite books of the year.

What more can I say than I completely fell in love with this book? I do have to warn you that it's a very tragic love story but I still couldn't help but jump into it with everything I had. An exquisitely written historical fiction with an unforgettable story featuring star-crossed lovers, Love Theodosia by Lori Anne Goldstein is a page-turner to forever cherish.
Profile Image for Joan Happel.
170 reviews67 followers
November 10, 2021
Heavier on romance rather than historical accuracy, Love, Theodosia is a portrayal of Theodosia Burr, daughter of the notorious Aaron Burr and a supposed romance with the rogue Philip Hamilton, son of Burr's enemy Alexander Hamilton. Set in New York City amidst the backdrop of the contentious 1800 Presidential election, the story follows Theodosia, an educated, intelligent young woman, juggling potential suitors and finding herself drawn to the most ill-suited of them Philip Hamilton. She tries to hide this romance from her father, knowing his feelings about the Hamilton family and their rivalry for political power in the new nation.

This is a Romeo and Juliet like story, with witty dialogue from the protagonists and some interesting historical notes thrown in. A wonderful "suppose it happened that way" premise and some well drawn portrayals of some of the key player of the time. I recommend this to fans of early American historical fiction, romantic historical fiction readers, as well as fans of the musical Hamilton.

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing and NetGalley for the e-ARC
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,095 reviews70 followers
November 15, 2021
This was every bit the heartache I thought it would be and I did enjoy it. It gave me a lot of insight to what the times were like. A time I could not hope to understand and I realize that marriage wasn’t really a choice for many. Being a part of the government meant one had to be completely devoted to the cause, sacrificing all for the future.
I loved the romance and could identify with Theodosia in every way. I highly recommend this and chose to listen to this book on audio. Allyson Voller was the narrator and she was lovely. This was 13 hours and 31 minutes long.
Thanks OrangeSky Audio via Netgalley.

#LoveTheodosia #NetGalley
Profile Image for Katie Bogdan.
312 reviews5 followers
November 16, 2021
1 star

I wish that I had nicer things to say about this book. I really, really do. Unfortunately, there was precious little that I enjoyed about this book. I will touch on three of them for the sake of brevity.

My first glaring issue is the fact that Goldstein spends an unnecessarily large number of pages contextualizing everything that is happening political during this time. If it had been more subtly woven in, I don't think it would have been as much of an issue; however, it is set up in such a way that the plot just stops while Theodosia gives us a history lesson. While there were a few times that getting the context was necessary, the overabundance of facts really dragged the book down.

Theodosia herself is my second biggest gripe. We spend so much time in the book talking about how smart and scholarly she is and yet, we watch her make some of the stupidest decisions that I have ever seen in a book. It was honestly to the point where Goldstein just obliterated any sympathy for her main character just for the sake of introducing conflict. By the time I got 75% into the book, I had completely stopped caring about Theodosia in any way, shape, or form.

This might have been somewhat mitigated if the book's pacing hadn't been completely all over the place. The book starts off with a great prologue and then gets bogged down in excessive amounts of exposition. It's a pattern that repeats over and over again both in the overall novel and in the central relationship. Philip literally pops in for a scene or two and then we don't hear from him or about him for several chapters. Their conflict gets so stretched out that the climax comes at the 98%, leaving the epilogue - the details of which should have been the last 25% of the book - to hastily wrap everything up.

I sincerely hope that someone out there finds enjoyment in this book. It would make my despair a little worthwhile.

Thank you to NetGalley and Arcade for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!
Profile Image for J'nell Ciesielski.
Author 9 books715 followers
July 27, 2021
"Nothing had ever been so simple. Nothing would ever be as complicated. Perhaps that was how the best love stories began." And so readers will fall in love with star-crossed Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton as they fight for a happiness that was never meant to be. Exquisitely researched yet tenderly layered with romantic what-ifs, this is the story I never knew I needed.
Profile Image for Beth.
914 reviews1 follower
April 12, 2022
Okay so I misread what I was getting into. I thought this book was a romance of Theodosia and Philip so I was greatly disappointed. Yes they wanted to be together but they were barely in the same room with each other throughout the book, so that was my fault. I was here for the forbidden lovers romance, but this book is about a year and a half of Theodosia's life, which was awful. The whole second half was just awful for Theodosia. I didn't like at all what was happening to her. She is supposed to be this educated, strong, independent woman, but yet she does whatever her father asks. Aaron Burr is awful. He just wants to be president and will do anything to get there. Even making his daughter marry someone she does not want to marry. I don't know if in real life she loved her husband or not. One thing I did enjoy was the author making sure to point out how Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were against slavery but both had slaves. I always love the author's note at the end of historical fiction. Theodosia Burr and her father wrote back and forth almost daily so it is a real shame a bunch of their letters were lost in the river. So much history gone. The author recommended reading "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr" and that just happens to be my next read.

"But is it so awful to want to please those closest to us?"
"It is when what will please them has no resemblance to what will please us."

"With Vanderlyn you would have been happy. With Philip, you are alive."
Profile Image for Christine O'Boyle.
437 reviews2 followers
September 20, 2021
I received a DRC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Love, Theodosia is a historical romance novel that asks what if Aaron Burr's daughter and Alexander's Hamilton's son fell in love? Right in the middle of Aaron Burr's presidential campaign? This novel takes place in New York City in 1800. Theodosia Burr is a well educated, intelligent young woman that falls in love with Philip Hamilton. They must keep their love a secret because it could jeopardize Theodosia's father's political aspirations.

This novel was incredibly well researched. It is impressive how the author did not miss a single detail, not to mention that it was beautifully written. I truly felt like I had been transported to the period where the novel took place. This is not an easy task to accomplish and the author did so flawlessly.

I really enjoyed the picture the author paints of both Burr and Hamilton. She really brought them to life. Burr as a power hungry politician that does not care what or whom he has to sacrifice to obtain what he feels he is owed, and Hamilton, an intelligent, hardworking, and successful family man that regrets his past mistakes. That glimpse into what kind of men these two historical figures were like added so much to this novel.

Since this is a romance novel, I will add that I enjoyed reading how the relationship between Theodosia and Philip developed and blosomed. You can clearly see their love grow. The romance scenes were beautiful, classy, and tasteful.

This book was just beautiful and I enjoyed every word of it. I highly recommend this book to all Hamilton fans. They will not be disappointed!
Profile Image for Amy.
38 reviews3 followers
December 15, 2021
We all know the animosity between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. But, have we thought at all about the lives of their children? How they may have been connected in ways their fathers never could have imagined, or wished for. Love, Theodosia is a romantic historical fiction read going deeper into the lives and families of A dot Burr and A dot Hamilton. A forbidden romance between Theodosia Burr, an incredibly educated and wise young woman and a playboy, if you will, in Philip Hamilton. I wanted to love this story so much more than I did. It was a very slow moving plot and even though the narrator was fantastic at bringing each of the character's to life, it left me wanting more. So much more. I would give this a 2.5 star rating, rounding up to 3. I do want to explore more from this author. A huge thanks to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for an advanced audio copy of Love, Theodosia in exchange for my honest review. *Review was posted to both Amazon and Barnes and Noble (awaiting final approval).
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,102 reviews4 followers
November 28, 2021
Love, Theodosia looks at the children of some of America’s founding fathers, imagining – What if Theodosia Burr had fallen in love with Philip Hamilton, the son of her father’s rival?

Despite the fact that the romance in the book is fictional, the author did extensive research to make sure the rest of the book is historically accurate. I have to say, it made me glad that this was not an actual romance, as anyone familiar with the Hamiltons and Burrs knows that this story could never have a happy ending. I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but the second half of the book was very frustrating for me. I believe this book will appeal to fans of Hamilton the musical and to historical romance lovers.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an audio ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
80 reviews5 followers
November 25, 2021
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
This review is for both the audio and ebook version.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the early listen and ARC!. The narrator and the author did a superb telling of star crossed loves. I was pulled into the story and was lucky enough to have the ebook and the audiobook so I could still read when listening wasn't practical! Enjoyed the love story between Theodosia Burr and Phillip Hamilton. Loved meeting all the characters and all were essential to the story. Highly recommend
Profile Image for Janilyn Kocher.
3,258 reviews58 followers
November 1, 2021
Goldstein wrote an artful rendition of a famous daughter and woman, Theodosia Burr. I so wanted the end to turn out differently, although I knew it would not. I delved into some background research once I began reading, much of which the author provides in her historical notes at the end of the book. I was fascinated by Burr’s extramarital affairs and the life of his first wife, which would make for another great book. What jumped out at me was the extreme selfishness of Aaron Burr, whom I have never been a fan. Read this book for great insight into the early American republic. Thanks to Arcade and.NetGalley for the early read.
Profile Image for Alysia Wolfe.
75 reviews
May 4, 2022
I'll be the first to admit, I only read this because of Hamilton. I mean, that's why she wrote it, right? But, it completely surprised me! Although the romantic entanglements of Theodosia Burr and Phillip Hamilton were the fiction part of the historical fiction, it felt so real. It defiantly had a Romeo and Juliet feel to it.
Profile Image for Christy.
201 reviews
June 10, 2022
A light, fun read with an interesting perspective on how things COULD have played out between these two families. Quick and easy and a different look at history that you might enjoy if you loved LMM's Hamilton.
Profile Image for Evie.
384 reviews200 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 25, 2021
This is the most boring book ever IMO.
Profile Image for Tristan.
480 reviews22 followers
June 19, 2021
An emotional look into the lives of Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton. I really enjoyed this Romeo and Juliet-esque, "what if" imagining of history. We may never know what the real history between these two people was, but I personally love this version.

Thank you so much to the author for the digital ARC! All opinions expressed are completely my own!
Profile Image for rina.
11 reviews2 followers
December 18, 2021
I don’t judge novels basing on their historical accuracy. At the end of the day as long as novel doesn’t try to make you believe that it was careful with historical narrative it doesn’t matter. So I’ll try to minimise mentioning how little it has to do with history and how shallow author’s study of it was. It’s not like there’s no other problems to choose from.
We’ll start from the good stuff since there’re few. Not gonna lie, I can get enormous pleasure from bad books if they’re funny and some specific lines in this one actually made me laugh out loud. Needless to say all of them were connected with dynamic between Aaron and Alexander. I do love this tendency of literally every author that tries to paint them ending up insinuating in one way or another homosexual nature of their relationship. It clearly was not intended but I appreciate this part since I view their relationship in this light (goes without saying). The other good part for me personally was the way author painted Theo and Philip mirroring their fathers’. The sheer weight of his parents legacy Burr carried on his shoulders, constantly encountering people that expected certain things from him, certain line of behaviour. Desperate wish of Alexander to prove himself, constantly dealing with a feeling of inadequacy. Fear of Theo that she’s nothing without her father. All very familiar, right? All of this is good for a book, I have to admit. But that’s genuinely upsetting how many objectively bad things in it.
1. First problem for me is misogyny which surprised me not a little considering pretty feminist views of Burr for his time. Just imagine. A guy who stated that he wants to prove that women have souls. Man who stated simply and outright that women are as capable to study as men. The one who stated that women at least equal with men, even superior in some instances. Man who lived in 18th century. And you, a woman from 21st century decides that to paint one specific woman special you need to put literally every other women down. This is exactly how the book starts. With her painting other women in a salon as cruel dumb bullies from 00s comedies. Come on. This must be so embarrassing. Especially since she keeps trying to give you a feminist narrative after it. We know Theo was special but you don’t need to make other women look like shit to show it, I promise. It makes all your other narrative choices in this direction look stupid.
2. The whole narrative of Hamilton being a good guy, Burr being a bad one is over-simplistic and boring. it’s 2021, most of the sources are available for free, you can actually create an interesting story without spitting on graves of so many people at once and it would be original and pleasurable to read. I’ve been doing my reading on Burr for a while and frankly speaking I’m gonna get ibs if I see another bland story about him being immoral piece of crap, hungry for power and full of vengeance. I’m not saying he was a saint, god help me, far from it but you could have actually bothered to show him anything but weak, manipulative and cruel. Trust me all that you can think of Cheetham has done it before you. And he has done it better. Not to mention Alexander was a quite complex person, with his extremely annoying traits, insecurities and cravings that lead him to be a person he was. Long story short he was an ass and everyone who read his letters know it. His contemporaries knew it. One of his friends didn’t know what to say on his funerals because “he was vain and opinionated”, “said to be opposed to duelling but he has fallen in a duel”. I know that author obviously tried to take a common route and please fan base of the musical (nothing wrong with it in principal) and it costed Hamilton his entire personality somehow.
3. And to the main problem for me now. And this is the part that drove me insane and ruined my mood for a whole time I’ve been reading it except for small moments of Hamilton and Burr being their usual dumb selves. The main problem is the way Lori portrayed the whole relationship between Theo and her father. The worst thing I’ve seen in a few month and I read passage about Thomas Jefferson and masturbation a few weeks ago. She completely missed the mark here. Reminded me of My Theodosia, pieces of which I saw a few times. This is the situation when a person has no clue what they’re talking about and with each word make situation worse and worse. The whole time I’ve been reading the novel in question I had flashbacks to all their letters and interactions. They were two people who basically lived in each other’s pocket, who were so close because of their loss, who stocked to each other, desperately at times. I agree that if Theo was in any position to have some personal space it would have been better because it’s in people’s nature to need a brake and more freedom but this is a field I’ll die on, Aaron Burr wasn’t this terrible person Goldstein portrayed him as and he definitely wasn’t this terrible father for Theo. Yes, he definitely had problems with control (most of them did really) and he did depended on her a lot. But there’s no way that after reading their correspondence or his diaries you’ll end up thinking he was so deeply egoistical and cared only about his well being at his daughter’s expense. I kept thinking about this passage from his diary when he had to sell his belongings to survive his stay in Europe and he started selling coins he bought for his grandson and small little things he bought for Theo’s amusement. How he “kissed” these things he was going to sell “and begged her thousands pardons”. The way they were searching for each other in desperate times. These small little moments of affection that you can see in their letters. There’s nothing right with this whole part of the narrative, the same way there’s nothing right with the idea that Burr would have said that his daughter is the only woman who can actually be equal to men, the same way there’s nothing right with the idea of him burning her work and selling her to Alston solely for his benefit. Never in my miserable life you’ll be able to make me believe that Aaron would have hurt his sweet special daughter he adored so damn much. There’re many things I can handle calmly in fiction but this part of their biographies isn’t the one from the list.
4. Gampy is a child of Philip Hamilton? Yeah, sure, let’s bring an innocent child into this fever dream, why not.

Can’t resist but to compare this novel with The Amorous Intrigues and Adventures of Aaron Burr by Unknown author. it’s the 19th century piece of writing. Quite bad, no one really worked on this one. Very simple and low quality porn, it’s clear that it was written by a man and that the guy have never made woman come in his life. And somehow I think this book is much better despite the fact it portrayed Burr in rather unflattering way. The reason is that this book doesn’t really tries to mask its real nature. It’s a small story you can’t take serious no matter how much you try to and it’s actually quite entertaining and funny. Here we have a novel that tries so bad to pass as empowering story about 18th century lady and Romeo and Juliet type of romance between characters and ends up being a poor written story that gives you nothing new from the story’s perspective and just thrives on popularity of the musical. Such a waste of paper.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Colleen.
141 reviews7 followers
June 28, 2021
What if the children of the men involved in the first big political rivalry in American history fell in love? Lori Anne Goldstein imagines just that in Love, Theodosia, a historical romance novel set in 1800 New York high society. The novel has at its heart a romance between Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton, the children of the two men involved in the most famous duel in early American history, quite probably in all of American history. Due to the political climate in the nascent country and the rivalry between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, the romantic relationship is beset by difficulties. Goldstein sets up a convincing attraction between the two lovers, weaving in the fashions, social customers, and manners of New York City society .

Admittedly, I was ambivalent at the start of the novel and uncertain how long my attention would last. There are some parts that seem to wedge instructional paragraphs about the procedures for the presidential elections of the time, which detracted from the story. I think these could have been cut down or at least woven in more to the story using dialogue or, even better, the novel’s plot. These sections are luckily few and far between. Initially, I also wasn’t sure there was a convincing case for Theodosia’s preoccupation with Philip after the first interaction between the two. But then, enter an Austen-inspired ballroom scene, which set up a good deal of tension and attraction between the two. After this scene, which occurs within the first quarter of the novel, I needed to know how the story was told, despite knowing historically how Philip Hamilton met his end. First reservations aside, I read the novel in a single sitting, so that says something!

What drew me to this novel was the love of Hamilton the musical; I think musical fans hungry for more story will love this, as will historical romance fans.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lynette.
66 reviews4 followers
June 29, 2021
This historical romance imagines a love story between Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton, children of rivals Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Classic love story too - girl can't stand boy, boy keeps on keepin on until one day a slight brush of skin ignites something within. They are sworn to secrecy due to their father's rivalry, which is difficult given the socialite circle they move in. They are smitten, but completely aware of how this will affect their families and fathers if their secret is revealed. Their fathers ultimately betroth them to others, one for political and financial reasons, the other due to a secret, however, that doesn't immediately turn off the feelings that have blossomed.
Part Romeo & Juliet vibes, part Bridgerton. It was exciting to watch this budding romance yet, the unfolding of events and ending was heartbreaking. Not only was the love story emotional and the reader easily becomes invested in their happiness, the rivalry added another layer of emotions unveiling why this love could never be.
Love story aside, the other consistent aspect of the story is Theodosia's strong female lead and her confidence in going after what she wants out of life. She speaks her mind in a time when women were seen, not heard. She lets her education shine through, which is evident in her letter correspondence. The author carefully weaves in the political climate of the time and her extensive research of the real Theodosia shines.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,793 reviews125 followers
December 14, 2022
I picked this up on a whim because, well, I'm a fan of Hamilton, and I wanted to see what this had to say about Theodosia Burr. And it lived up to my expectations.

I was intrigued by the idea of Theodosia and Philip Hamilton being together, even if it was historically improbable. It still seemed like an interesting concept and it played out quite well. It does have Romeo and Juliet undertones, since their fathers are, well, who they are, but it's also tied quite closely with the actual history, so it does stray from the trope to its own thing. (Though I will say, there are quite a few Hamilton lyrics sprinkled into the book if you're familiar enough with the musical.)

Theo, as her friends call her, is incredibly smart. She's fluent in at least four languages, well versed in literature and mathematics, and a proficient writer. For her time, she's an oddity. And she's been taught to vilify the Hamiltons, despite the fact that she used to be somewhat friendly with a couple of the older ones. So while Philip accidentally reenters her life, she finds her world turned upside down. Philip--drunken rake that he is--turns out to understand Theo completely. He understands the pressures of being the child of a famous founding father. He understands the strange complexity of the relationship between their fathers--the friendship that soured but still challenges each of them. Thus a friendship is born between them. And something more.

I thought the characters were quite interesting. I liked that Philip wasn't perfect, that he was this philanderer and drunkard in the beginning. I liked that Theo was so smart and didn't mind that this bothered other people. I liked that Aaron Burr's complexities were all on stage for us to see. No one was perfect and that made them fascinating. You never quite knew how things were going to go.

The plot can be a little slow at times, but the scenes that stand out are definitely the ones that really got into Theo's experiences. Some of them are her time with Philip, but others are about Theo's attempts to change the world around her. And I found that plot to be just as interesting as the love story.

This was good. Maybe not the best Hamilton-related book I've read, but I do really like that it's about their children and not the parents this time around. It's a fresh spin on a story I've heard many times.
Profile Image for Ginny Hawkenson.
34 reviews1 follower
January 26, 2022
SInce the first time I heard the Hamilton soundtrack - long before I saw the show - I've been hooked on the story. I have been a history buff and musical theater fan forever and a show that combines them, well yeah, I'm going to be all in. In the last year or two ( thanks pandemic) I have picked up several books centered around the Hamilton family Love, Theodosia being the most recent. I'm not even sure how I stumbled on it to be honest. I think it found me rather than the other way around. I truly love a work of historical fiction that is based on fact, I'm the reader who looks up the characters and reads about them all - I'm good at trivia because of this. This book is a little different than others I have read because it seems to have started with a What If. Ms. Goldstein posits the question " what if Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton knew each other and fell in love?" She creates this world of young adult children of New York's political elite and their parents who expect the kids to choose friends that will further their own political agenda. By the time Theodosia and Philip are at this age A.Ham and A.Burr are sworn political enemies expecting these offspring to carry the pitchforks forward.
Nowhere in the annals of history do we read these two knew each other though certainly the would have been in the same social circles, NYC was more of a crabapple in 1800 than the big Honeycrisp fully ripened it is today. It is an entirely reasonable daydream to think these two not only knew each other but there might have been some crushing or admiring from afar, after all it is written that Philip looked like his dad who by all reports was quite the looker ( the Clint Eastwood and his ridiculously handsome son of yesteryear, maybe?). It is fun to let your mind wander into that world and think of these two defying their warring fathers to fall in love, sneaking around the city and the vast Burr estate for clandestine meetings.
The ending was heartbreaking and the book hangover created by thinking about Theodosia living another 12 years pining has been nearly unbearable especially in light of the other things history tells us she endured. All in all this is a good book, it is well written with an interesting premise.
Profile Image for David Dunlap.
800 reviews40 followers
July 25, 2022
Let me say this at the outset: I liked this book; I really enjoyed reading it. -- That said, this is something of a difficult review to write, because of the admixture of the admirable and the imperfect (at least from my point of view). First, the excellencies of the book: The basic premise is brilliant! Theodosia, the carefully cultivated daughter of the widowered Aaron Burr, falls in love with Philip Hamilton, the oldest son of her father's arch-rival, Alexander Hamilton. It is an 18th century Romeo and Juliet story (with echoes of the Beatrice and Benedict dynamics from 'Much Ado About Nothing'). The author draws her characters well -- we can truly feel (as well as see) the conflicts that arise in the hearts of both (most especially Theodosia, since she is the focus of the novel) and sense the danger in the shifting political and personal alliances. We also see Theodosia's dawning realization that there may be more to her beloved father -- whom she loves deeply as well as respects highly -- than she had realized. We feel for Theodosia's growing sense of panic as her father's political plans begin to impinge upon -- and threaten -- the course her heart wants to take. All this is laudable. -- However, there were occasional sentences here and there throughout the novel that made no grammatical sense. (And I'm not sure where the author got the idea that 'tsunami' was a word in 18th Century parlance!) There are also historical interpretations made that seem, to this reader, at least, questionable if not outright erroneous. -- But, of course, that is the privilege of the historical fiction writer. In this instance, Ms. Goldstein has been aided and abetted by the fact that many, if not most, of Aaron Burr's papers went down with the ship Theodosia was taking from South Carolina to New York City in 1812. Perhaps I have read too widely on the subject of Aaron Burr to be entirely comfortable with the interpretations the author makes of his actions and character. À Chacun Son Goût, as the French say. -- I've now come full circle: I liked the book and I recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in the events and people in the Hamilton/Burr sphere in 1800s New York.
Profile Image for Lori Sinsel Harris.
461 reviews11 followers
October 31, 2021
First, have a box of tissues on hand. Now we can start. Having totally missed the whole Hamilton musical thing I went blindly into reading this novel. The only thing I knew was the basic history you learn in school about Hamilton, Burr and the rest of the founding father gang. I did know that Philip was Hamilton's son and I therefore deduced that Theodosia was Burr's daughter. Nothing more.
Even though there is no known proof or suggestion of a romance between Theodosia and Philip, the author gives us a touching, heart-wrenching portrait of what could have been. Though the romance is strictly a product of the author's imagination she does a wonderful job of setting the time and place, sticking to the actual timeline of events as they occurred in history we are transported back, feeling as if the reader is a part of this history and making it possible that yes, this really could have happened. It feels totally possible as you read the novel, it just feels right, like it really did happen this way as heart-breaking as it is.
Theodosia Burr was a real woman and an enigma in her time. She lived at a time when women were only "educated just enough" to be companions to their husbands, and when reading novels were monitored by men for women because women "were prone to confusing fiction with fact". Aaron Burr made sure his daughter got the same education that he had, and perhaps she even got more than he did. She was highly intelligent and as such she stuck out as different from the other women of her time and social class.
Because Hamilton and Burr ended up adversaries on different ends of the political spectrum, this set the stage for a star-crossed romance between Philip and Theodosia.
This story is full of historical facts about our political system in the early days of our country, educating the reader as it entertains. I highly recommend this story, it is wonderfully written and broke my heart. As I said have those tissues at the ready!
Thank you to the publishers at Skyhorse Publishing and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.
Profile Image for Shawna.
115 reviews
November 26, 2021
I am one of those few people who have yet to see the "smash hit" musical Hamilton, so I really had no idea who any of these players were, outside of Hamilton himself (who doesn't appear in this book very much). As I was reading, I did a quick online search to read about each person as they were introduced to help me connect the characters to each other. If this story were just a story about a random boy and girl, I might have liked it more, but because it was based on real people it just felt forced and dare, I say an unflattering representation. I really felt sorry for Joseph Alston, who was Theodosia's real-life husband as he is portrayed in this novel as a horrendous man. After reading this and a few other historical fiction novels about real life figures this year I have realized I'm just not a fan. I did not like any of the characters in this book, including Theodosia, who thought so highly of herself that I would have had to dig deep to tolerate her arrogance had I been a character in this book. This story just dragged on for me, but all the other women in my reading group LOVED it so I think it is more about me and my preferences than about this book in particular. If you are a Hamilton fan, a Romeo and Juliet fan, or a fan of American History and politics then this book is probably right for you, and you will find much enjoyment in it. If you have a hard time separating fact from fiction and do not enjoy made up scenarios about real people, then I would recommend you pass this book on to someone else. Thank you to NetGalley, Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade, and author Lori Anne Goldstein for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and do not reflect any brands I represent.
Profile Image for Rachelle.
805 reviews17 followers
March 9, 2022
Love, Theodosia imagines a romance between Theodosia Burr (daughter of Aaron Burr) and Philip Hamilton (son of Alexander Hamilton).

Theodosia is a strong, smart woman in a time when women are expected to be quiet and docile, mostly because her father Aaron Burr has raised her to help him in all his political maneuverings. She slowly falls in love with Philip, who is more rebellious but also freer in his affections, willing to admit where his own family falls short.

The story is definitely reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, with the lovers belonging to feuding families. Theo especially struggles with pursuing her own happiness while also pleasing her father, who is using her for his own gain. Aaron Burr does not come off well in this book. The relationship between Theo and Philip is full of tension and wit, especially as they grow closer while having to hide from their families. There's an especially great scene that involves Philip hiding in Theo's bedroom while she's having to change.

I listened to it on audio and loved it in that format. The book is written in a more formal style, which is fitting for the time period, and listening to it really helped me become immersed in the story. Although I will admit that I became a bit confused with some of the politics, mostly because I just had a hard time remembering who was a Federalist and who was a Republican, something I probably would've remembered better in print.

As expected from a book that compares itself to Romeo and Juliet, the ending is both beautiful and tragic. I've read a few books now set in this time period, both fiction and nonfiction, and I'm really loving learning more about America's early years!

Thank you to the author for my copy of the book.
Profile Image for Mike Shoop.
608 reviews13 followers
March 1, 2022
3.5 stars. Well researched, leisurely paced, totally fictional story about a romance between Aaron Burr's daughter, Theodosia, and Philip, the eldest son of Alexander Hamilton, Burr's greatest rival. Completely fabricated romance, but interesting to ponder, as the two children actually grew up together, attended the same school, moved in the same social circles in New York. The author sets her tale in 1800, a fateful election year, and covers about a year and half. I found her characterizations of all the principals well done, her Romeo and Juliet plot was clever, and she did well with setting her fictional events within the timeline of real history (she includes a bibliography and author's note at the end). My only problem was really with the pacing--the first 100 pages just dragged, too much detail, too much explanation. Once the interactions between Theo and Philip started in earnest, then the pace increased and the story went well for me.
Goldstein did a great job for making this reader feel the pain and anguish of two young people caught up between their powerful fathers, wanting to help them achieve their ambitions, shoving aside their feelings for each other, trying to keep from betraying their parents' trust. They were two attractive, educated, forthright, bright young people who found each other, then got caught up in political and emotional manipulation that was just heartbreaking. I rooted for them, wanted them to find a way to make their relationship work. The author really made me care.
Profile Image for Heidi Gorecki.
324 reviews14 followers
September 16, 2021
Such an interesting read on a potential scenario for the children of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The two fathers have so much history and information we’ve come to learn in the past few years but we know so little about their children, though I’m sure it would be very interesting and intriguing, with the houses they grew up in.

Love, Theodosia painted a brilliant picture of love forbidden because of family and political animosity. In a time where politics was cut throat (not that it often isn’t nowadays, just on different levels), these two decided forgiveness and love could cross over ambition and bitterness.

The beginning was a little wordy for me and for a few chapters was a little hard to get into but after that you got pulled in, rooting for both Theodosia and Phillip and dreading what you knew historically was going to eventually happen. It was so difficult to watch their choices when you knew if they just decided otherwise, their fates would have been so different.

The author also paints a very vivid and compelling picture of Aaron Burr, initially making him seem not all that bad, until you realize how his behavior in being manipulative, obsessively ambitious, and self-seeking came to light.

I enjoyed the book and an alternate filling-in-the-gaps story of these two characters and the inspiring story of love and forgiveness they painted.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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