I, ELIZA HAMILTON by Susan Holloway Scott (Kensington TP/October 2017/978-1-4967-1252-3)

 

“Scott (The Countess and the King) stands to capitalize on the popularity of the Broadway hit Hamilton with this story of the founding father’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler, who proves not only a passionate guardian of her husband’s home and children, but a protector of his legacy. “Love is not easy with a man chosen by Fate for greatness,” Eliza writes at the opening of this novel, and Scott expertly handles the complex history and complicated romance, moving the personal and political plots briskly. The story follows Eliza’s head-over-heels love of the ambitious, gifted Alexander, through a marriage tested by his boundless energy and attraction to beautiful women, including Eliza’s talented and vivacious sister, Angelica; the grueling fight between the well-equipped British and ragtag Continental armies; the foundering Federalist union; and, finally, the emergence of a new nation after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. “I will see that he receives all the honor that is his due, and that he will always be remembered by the country he loved and served so well,” Eliza writes five years after Alexander was killed in a duel with political rival Aaron Burr. Readers will be captivated by the affecting portrait Scott has painted of Eliza as an American patriot who was witness and counsel to Alexander’s enduring legacy and a heroine tested by his romantic recklessness. “What you dismiss as gallantry might be perceived as more by others.... Think of how openly he flirts even with me,” Angelica warns Eliza. Yet Eliza acknowledges only the “true and lasting brilliance” of a husband who saw his own valor mirrored in her. “You crave liberty and have no more patience with injustice or tyranny than I,” he tells her, even as she realizes “that these dreams and glories exact a terrible price.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

 

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HIS PERFECT PARTNER by Priscilla Oliveras (Zebra Shout MM/October 2017/978-1-4201-4428-4)

 

“Oliveras’s outstanding debut tangles romance into family life in present-day Oakton, Ill. Dancer and teacher Yazmine Fernandez left Broadway behind to care for her ailing father, Reynaldo. Single father Tomás Garcias and his young daughter, Maria, struggle to balance Tomás’s advertising career with Maria’s needs. Tomás is sure romantic love does not exist and is convinced his impulsive attraction to Yaz is a mistake. Though strongly attracted to Tomás in return, Yaz is still smarting from betrayal in New York and feels her duty to her father comes first. However, they inevitably draw closer as Yaz helps with Maria’s childcare and Tomás supports Yaz through her father’s illness. Helping each other leads them to reconsider their narrow ideas of the future, and to find love together. The realistic, multifaceted characters have interesting nuances, and Oliveras never stoops to employing contrived misunderstandings, instead creating real obstacles with meaning and depth. Moving familial relationships and splashes of Puerto Rican culture round out this splendid contemporary and bode well for the future of the series.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

 

 

 

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