An Open Love Letter to Alyssa Cole’s Books
By Silvana Reyes
Dear world, you know that feeling when you have butterflies in your stomach and a smile that doesn’t go away even if you try? Yeah? I have that right now. I blame everything to Alyssa Cole and her books. And let me tell you why.
Everything started one night on December 2016. Actually it was the 31st. Between the old year and the new year, I picked up a book from one author who will continue from that point on to bless my life with love stories. That author’s name is Alyssa Cole and the first book of hers I picked up was Let It Shine, a short story about a Black woman in 1961 who wants more, and a Jewish boxer ready to fight for her. I would be lying to you if I told you I remember the moment I decided to pick up this book, but I’m just glad I did. I’m glad I now know Alyssa Cole because her books change lives for the better.
From that point, the next titles I picked up by her were two historicals. Both of them enchant you with luscious storytelling and the romance itself will give you permanent heart eyes. Historical romances, as I see, are filled with white narratives in romance fiction. Some authors claim that there were no people of color at that time, wherever they set their story. (Usually on England). I’m tired of authors erasing narratives, especially of people of color who lived at that time.
The two titles I mentioned above are Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight, set in Medieval Scotland about a black heroine whose kiss happens to be the prize of a tourney, and An Extraordinary Union, set during the Civil War about two spies on an undercover mission. Actually An Extraordinary Union was the first novel I read by Alyssa Cole, all the others before that had been novellas. But nonetheless, I believe after that, I became a fan. I carved a heart professing my love for her books and whenever I read a new book by her it fills up. It fills up with memories and memorable characters, with love stories and growing up. If you ever find yourself in front of an Alyssa Cole book, don’t even think, just pick it up.
When A Princess in Theory announcement came, I couldn’t hold my excitement. Avon Romance was going to release a book about a Black princess finding her prince. Everyone was talking about it, including me. My support for this book started so early on and continues to be one of my favorite books nowadays. I think I will never stop talking about it and I’m kinda glad I won’t. It has all my favorite tropes including a STEM heroine and a prince as protagonists. So it’s not a surprise when I put it on top of my list of “Books I Will Forever Treasure”.
And let’s not forget about the gorgeous cover.
Royal romances are the thing right now, people. If you were one of those people who loved the #RoyalWedding and wants more love stories that feature royalty, A Princess in Theory is one to watch. My dream of ever marrying a Prince or a royal was lovely fulfilled with the beautiful romance in this book. I cannot not mention and give thanks to Avon Romance because they provided me a copy of the sequel, A Duke by Default. It’s as magnificent as the first one.
But if you’re not into royal romances, Alyssa Cole has a book for everything you like, I swear. You like historicals? Try her novella in the Hamilton’s Battalion anthology (written with fellow authors Courtney Milan and Rose Lerner) or A Hope Divided, published by Kensington.
You like more of a contemporary setting? Try her Reluctant Royal series, published by Avon, starting with A Princess in Theory and then the sequel A Duke by Default, coming soon on July 31st.
If you’re not into contemporary or historical, she also has your back. She wrote a dystopian, apocalyptic series starting with Radio Silence, published by Carina Press, about how everything just stops one day, no cellphone, no running water, and this group of people will try to keep their lives going. This is the only series I’m missing to read, but no worries, I already own the first book! (I’m that type of person that buys every backlist title from an author you love).
Dear readers, this open love letter is just something I wanted to write to express my undying love for Alyssa Cole and her work through these years. If I ever become an immortal vampire, you bet I will tell my deadly vampire family that they have to read Alyssa Cole to be part of the team. Alyssa Cole is my royal pick for every single trope and category in romance fiction and she should be yours too.
ANOTHER GREAT READ FROM SILVANA:
CHECK OUT THESE PIECES BY ALYSSA COLE:
About the Author
From Silvana Reyes: Hi, I'm Sil! 21. México. she/her pronouns. I am the owner of the book blog, The Book Voyagers, where I blog and review books. Mainly, I focus on recommending and reviewing diverse books written by marginalized authors. You might also know me for doing book aesthetics and just shouting in capital letters about new books releasing. I'm a big fan of Adult Romance, but I also love Young Adult especially contemporary fiction and fantasy.
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