Staff Pick & Review by Michelle F.
You know that moment when you hear about a book well in advance of its publication and you can’t stop thinking about it? That was me with An Extraordinary Union. From the time it was first presented in our internal meetings, I knew I had to read this book—and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Civil War is a tough time period to read, for obvious reasons, but Alyssa Cole handles everything with brilliance. While she doesn’t sugar-coat the injustice of the time, it’s also never garishly splashed across the page. History blends seamlessly with romance, with intrigue, with deception and mystery. It has everything I wanted. Agents undercover who, because of the nature of their roles in 1861, can’t be seen together in public. A Scottish Pinkerton agent and a freedwoman undercover as a slave, both gathering intel for the Union, trying desperately to turn the tide of war. All while falling in love in what seems like impossible circumstances. It’s romance mixed with suspense mixed with historical fiction: An Extraordinary Union blurs genres and completely exceeded my expectations.
Fans of historical romance should read this book. Fans of historical fiction should read this book. Fans of mystery, suspense, and spy novels should read this book. Honestly, everyone should pick up this book and read it for themselves to see why I fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s exceptional writing, and with Elle and Malcolm’s incredible journey. Enjoy!
As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past . . .
Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South—to spy for the Union Army.
Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he’s facing his deadliest mission yet—risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia.
Two undercover agents who share a common cause—and an undeniable attraction—Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost—even if it means losing each other . . .
Praise for the novels of Alyssa Cole:
“Rich in atmospheric details and rife with unexpected dangers.”—RT Book Reviews
“Sweet, sensual, and suspenseful . . . rousing and entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly
“With its richly detailed setting, heart-stopping plot, and unforgettable characters, An Extraordinary Union is everything you can ask from historical fiction. Alyssa Cole has taken an unforgettable hero, a uniquely resourceful heroine, and mixed them together for some truly combustible chemistry. Brava!”—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author