Hamilton’s Battalion, by Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole, and Rose Lerner

Publication: Oct 17th, 2017, by Courtney Milan
Length: 394 pages, ebook Genre: Romance | Historical | Anthologies

The premise (from Goodreads):

Love in the time of Hamilton…

On October 14, 1781, Alexander Hamilton led a daring assault on Yorktown’s defenses and won a decisive victory in America’s fight for independence. Decades later, when Eliza Hamilton collected his soldiers’ stories, she discovered that while the war was won at Yorktown, the battle for love took place on many fronts…

PROMISED LAND by Rose Lerner

Donning men’s clothing, Rachel left her life behind to fight the British as Corporal Ezra Jacobs–but life catches up with a vengeance when she arrests an old love as a Loyalist spy.

At first she thinks Nathan Mendelson hasn’t changed one bit: he’s annoying, he talks too much, he sticks his handsome nose where it doesn’t belong, and he’s self-righteously indignant just because Rachel might have faked her own death a little. She’ll be lucky if he doesn’t spill her secret to the entire Continental Army.

Then Nathan shares a secret of his own, one that changes everything…

THE PURSUIT OF… by Courtney Milan

What do a Black American soldier, invalided out at Yorktown, and a British officer who deserted his post have in common? Quite a bit, actually.

* They attempted to kill each other the first time they met.
* They’re liable to try again at some point in the five-hundred mile journey that they’re inexplicably sharing.
* They are not falling in love with each other.
* They are not falling in love with each other.
* They are…. Oh, no.


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.


My thoughts:

I absolutely love the concept of this book. I’m a huge fan of the Hamilton musical, and have tried to consume as much as I could about it despite never seeing it live. I own the Hamiltome and both albums, I tried reading Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, and I’ve spent several happy hours browsing everyone’s amazing fanart and fanvids. But. despite being an avid lover of fanfic, I was never interested in reading more about Hamilton or his love life.

This was more my type of book. The frame of these stories is that Eliza Hamilton is collecting info from soldiers who fought along side Alexander during the battle of Yorktown, and we get a look at these soldiers lives and how they ultimately fell in love.

Each story is a novella, with fully fleshed out characters and world-building. I’m really impressed, especially since I complained in an earlier review about how I was getting frustrated with novellas for not providing enough of a story.

Promised Land: by Rose Lerner

I loved this story so much. I love that it’s about a woman who leaves a confining domestic situation to pursue her passions, and enlists in the fight against the British while posing as a man. And she ends up getting away with it so successfully that she becomes a Corporal. She’s brave and competent.

I also like that so much of this story is about the fact that Rachel and Nathan are both Jewish, how that led to their marriage and its failure, and the many discussions about religion throughout the story. Which mitzvahs are vital and which can be broken? What’s the point of all these rules? Is it enough to embrace these traditions and follow the rules as a way to bind your group together? And is that so different than the many traditions and rules you find in military structure?

There’s also a lovely intersection of identity. Rachel is fighting against being a woman and the constraints therein, about being Jewish in a largely Christian environment, and the possibility of a new start if Americans can win against the British. Rachel is ambitious and she hopes to make a name for herself, one that cannot be ignored, and that includes all facets of her identity.

She saved her passion for helping her people; that startled him most of all. He’d been so angry yesterday when she said, I want to be American. He’d thought she meant, I don’t want to be a Jew anymore. It had never occurred to him a person could be both.

Along with all these fascinating discussions, there’s also no doubt that this story takes place during the middle of a war. The author has obviously done her research for this novella, and I felt as though I had a better idea of what being a soldier might have been like during this time. Who says romance novels can’t be educational?

So, I’m sure you can tell that I really liked Rachel. But Nathan was also a compelling character, he just couldn’t  compete with Rachel. He’s brave and compassionate and willing to change, and he realizes his mistakes and owns up to them. While both characters spend the novella reconsidering their feelings and their behaviour to the other, it’s obvious that both are well-suited for the other, and reading how it comes to pass is a treat.

I really loved this story, and I was hopeful that the following two stories would be just as good.

Also, at the end of the story the author links to a page full of deleted scenes, her bibliography, suggested reading, and amusing anecdotes about Alexander Hamilton. (I was right. She researched the hell outta this book.)


In Pursuit Of…  by Courtney Milan

Okay! Next up we have the story of a Black freed man fighting a war he doesn’t believe in, and a British Officer that’d rather die or desert than return home. This is 100% a story of opposites attract and it’s fantastic.

John meets Henry during the Battle of Yorktown, and spares him. Henry vows to repay him for this service, and John carries on, expecting that to be the end of it since why would a stuffy British officer trouble himself any further with a black man. Instead he ends up taking Henry on a adventure as he returns home to his family, and the two are in forced proximity for weeks. It’s hilarious.

“It’s your turn,” the man said with an unholy degree of cheer. “I remarked on the weather. Etiquette demands that you say something in return.”

For a moment, John stared at the fellow in utter confusion. “I’m bloody trying to kill you. This is a battle, not a ball.”

Henry is brilliant but scatter-brained and it’s impossible for him to keep his mouth shut for any length of time. John is quiet and resolved, and completely unused to white men treating him the way that Henry does; like an equal, like a war-hero, like someone to be respected. It’s no surprise that the story gradually changes from enemies-to-lovers but watching them fall in love and both pursue their goals is gratifying.

Another important aspect of this story is the discussion on slavery.

“No, no. It wasn’t, that’s the thing. It’s still in my pocket,” Henry said softly. “I memorized the parts that mattered to me. We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal.” Those words had shattered him. He’d read them over and over, again and again, shaking them up and down inside his head. They had hurt, making his head ache as he tried to put them in their place. He’d tried to drown them out with chatter. With other ideas.

Henry reads the Declaration of Independence and is amazed by such a thing, especially coming from a noble family such as his (which is only a mild spoiler since Henry is absolutely the worst at lying about it), but even then he still doesn’t consider that slaves should be counted in that as well. I love how he reacts when John brings that to his attention, and the acknowledgement of the hypocrisy therin.

I feel the story does a good job hinting at the lives of black people during this era, while keeping the discussions natural and believable. And of course, like the first book, the author has a few notes on the end about slavery in Rhode Island and the Black Regiment that I found informative.

But despite the serious discussions John and Henry engaged in, this novella was the lightest of the three and kept me smiling throughout. They’re adorable together and… necessary.


That Could Be Enough: by Alyssa Cole

Of the three, I felt that this one was the quickest read, so it may be harder to summarize. I like that the romance was between two black ladies. I don’t see that often enough in fic/romance!

The story mostly takes place from the point of view of Mercy, a young woman who’s had her heart broken one too many times, and now shelters it from the world by working for Elizabeth Hamilton and helping her gather the numerous recollections about her husband from those that met him.

Mercy sometimes wondered who Elizabeth Schuyler had been, and if she’d ever suspected that one day she would be sacrificed on the altar of her own devotion. That was the thing no one told you: great love took more than it gave, and the greatest love could obliterate everything you’d been. It could eat up every bit of you—your past, your hopes and dreams—it was all-consuming, never satiated. Mercy’s literacy and adeptness with words had been recruited to feed that awful hunger on behalf of Mrs. Eliza Hamilton, and thus Mercy’s room had been outfitted with a desk. It was for efficiency’s sake, nothing more.

When Mercy first meets Andromeda, she’s immediately struck by how beautiful she is, and knows she’s in danger of falling again. Andromeda senses this, sees Mercy as a challenge, and pursues her, only to fall just as hard.  This is a lovely story as you watch these women care for each other and together become far more successful and happier than they would have on their own.

Andromeda didn’t know why, but from the moment she’d clapped eyes on Mercy, she’d wanted to take her shears to those taut seams, to snip them one by one until the woman could breathe again. She wouldn’t mind seeing Mercy breathless, too, but under much more pleasant circumstances.



Look, if you can’t tell, I really recommend this book. It’s a great price and completely worth it for these fantastic stories.  You don’t even have to be a fan of Hamilton to enjoy them.

Interested in reading this book? Check it out on Goodreads, and/or your favourite bookseller.


Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related