Today’s read alike is an underrated historical AU that I am so excited to share with you. I solicited one-shot recommendations on ye olde Twitter and was treated to several delights (stay tuned to this space for more), but an early stand out was The Eagle and the Hawk by Everren.
The Eagle and the Hawk is set during the Roman Empire’s invasion of Brittainia. Kylo Ren is a Roman soldier, Rey a Britain who is captured by his soldiers. Intrigued by a fierce female warrior who bravely faced him down during battle, Ren is delighted when he realizes the prisoner is this same women. He interviews her and they explore the connection they have.
This is one of the few fics I’ve read where the quick ratcheting up of physical intimacy perfectly flows in the story, and the open-ending is exactly what the story called for. Everren weaves history and canon so seamlessly in this story, it’s breathtaking.
A book that reads alike to The Eagle and the Hawk is the Star Wars Legends book Kenobi by John Jackson Miller. I read this recently and was so pleasantly surprised at how good it was. This is post Order 66 Obi-Wan watching over Luke on Tatooine. He is wrestling with guilt, his new role, and how to integrate (or not) into life on the desert planet. The hopeful ambiguity of the story was satisfying in a way that open endings usually aren’t for me.
Another book that is a romance with a happily-ever-after but still leaves lots of room for further exploration is First Comes Like by Alisha Rai. This is third in a contemporary romance series focusing on modern love, but you can read it as a stand-alone. This is the story of Jia, beauty influencer who goes to meet a man she’s been chatting with online only to find out she has been catfished. The object of her erst-while chatting is intrigued by her though, and they end up faking an engagement to pacify her family. This story was so refreshing because of it’s diversity and its portrayal of a non-Western courtship and relationship could work.