Recently, as in December 2017, I started picking up romance books again. I wanted something fun and light and I just adore the way romance novels make me feel all gooey and warm inside. For the month of February, I’m also trying to read more black authors (if not all black authors) for the February Blackout challenge. Awhile back, I had picked up Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union on a Kindle deal and thought that would be a great place to start this month.
The novel follows Elle, a free black woman who is spying for the Loyal League, a Union spy organization. In order to spy for them, she has gone undercover as a slave on a plantation. While spying on the plantation, she encounters a Scottish Pinkerton detective by the name of Malcolm McCall. He’s roguish and highly attracted to Elle, and she is attracted to him despite her own misgivings. The novel follows them as they try to uncover a Confederate plot and help the Union, as well as follows the development of their relationship.
I really adored this novel a lot. It wasn’t a straightforward romance, where there was instalove and they were ready to be together right away. I felt like Elle’s misgivings about getting involved with a white man in the time and place she’s situated were realistic and well-written. I also felt like Malcolm was well-developed and enjoyed that the perspective shifted between the two of them. Both of them had very realistic voices and I just adored Elle as a protagonist. She’s sassy and strong and all around wonderful.
The other parts of the plot were also pretty well developed, which I appreciated. There was spy intrigue and other happenings that didn’t detract from the romance, but simply added to it. There was a depth here that you don’t always find in romance novels, and I really liked that a lot. I found myself wanting to know the outcome of the spy mission almost as much as I wanted Elle and Malcolm to wind up together.
Overall, if you enjoy historical romance, this is definitely worth picking up. It has a strong and sassy protagonist who jumps off the page and is just someone I want to be friends with. It also has a romance that isn’t always simple and a lot of historical intrigue as well. I can’t wait to pick up the next one in the series!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars