Date Published: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Summerside Press
Author: Melanie Dobson
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance
Book Source: I received this book for free from Summerside Press, a division of Guideposts for my honest review.
An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution. As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women’s families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted. One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages—a network that may be the Patriots’ only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family’s protection and her own heart’s desires. As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.
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Melanie Dobson is the author of twelve novels; her writing has received numerous accolades including two Carol Awards. Melanie worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides with her husband and two daughters in Oregon.
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A memory returned to her—Sarah had asked her to deliver a letter to Mrs. Pendell, and Mrs. Pendell sent one in return. Had her friend been supporting the Patriot cause as a courier as well, before her home was destroyed?
Was no one who they seemed to be?
Lydia tapped her shoes on the floor of the gazebo. “Is my friend safe?”
He paused. “Which friend?”
“I do not believe you want me to say her name.”
“Yes, she is safe in Philadelphia.”
She sighed with relief. At least Sarah was with her aunt now. “Before she left, she had a letter from…from the woman you just named.”
“She delivered it to me.”
“I am glad of it.” Lydia tapped her toes again. “Has my friend found her Negroes?”
“There is no word.”
Her gaze roamed over to the pink blossoms that bubbled atop the cherry trees. Could Elisha have found Morah and his son by now? She prayed so. No family, black or white, should be torn apart.
“How will I deliver the—”
He stopped her. “She exchanged the messages in books.”
Sarah had an entire library of books, but Lord Caswell’s library didn’t contain nearly as many, and he would miss any she borrowed. Perhaps she could think of another way to take them to Mrs. Pendell.
His voice grew serious. “You must be careful, Lydia. They may search your person.”
She thought of the British officers that had detained their coach in March. “I shall not let them—”
You may have no choice.”
She pressed her hands together. “Nathan?”
“Thank you for watching over my family.”
“Without you, Lydia, I would not be alive.”
“I am glad you survived.”
It is the year 1781 and the Revolutionary War is ravaging the colonies. Williamsburg, Virginia is home to Lydia Caswell and, with the exception of her brother Grayson, her family remains loyal to the King. But when a mysterious man washes up on the river’s edge severely injured, Lydia knows that no matter what side he is on she must help him survive. Lydia soon begins to question in her heart whether they are on the right side of the war. Her betrothed, Seth Hammond, left to join the Patriots in their fighting and, unbeknownst to Lydia, Seth’s sister and Lydia’s best friend, Sarah, is a courier for the Patriots as well. When Lydia remains in constant contact with Nathan, the mysterious stranger from the river, she soon realizes that she no longer hopes to marry Seth but longs to be with Nathan, the man who has stolen her heart. Meanwhile, Sarah has loved Lydia’s brother Grayson since they were children. Grayson fled from his home four years earlier and became a privateer for the Patriots. Sarah yearns for Grayson to return so she can tell him how she feels but until he does she is determined to help the cause as much as she can. Being a courier is dangerous but Sarah is a brave woman that has the strength to fight for freedom. After the devestation at her plantation she is more determined than ever to help in any way she can to win the war. Can two women make a difference in such a destructive war? Just how far will they go for the men they love and for freedom?
When Nathan Lewis washed up on the river’s edge he knew his chances of survival were slim. He soon opened his eyes to find beautiful Lydia Caswell watching over him. Lydia helps nurse him back to health even though she knows he is helping the Patriots. Nathan vows to protect Lydia and her family while Lydia vows to help Nathan deliver the important messages needed to help win the war. It’s not long before Nathan falls in love with Lydia and longs to make her his own. But will her bethrothed stand in the way? Will they ever be able to be together?
Grayson Caswell fled from his home, family and the woman he loved. Grayson fell in love with Sarah Hammond when he was only 15 but had kept it a secret. Not a days goes by that he doesn’t regret not saying goodbye to Sarah and he hopes that some day he can forget the past and return to her. Grayson is a privateer for the Patriots and he knows in his heart they can never be together because Sarah is on the opposing side… or so he thought. Little did he know that Sarah has joined the cause for freedom. But when Grayson and his men are captured by the British, Sarah proves just how far she will go to save the man she loves.
I have to say that when I read the prologue it was so beautifully written (I read it with tears streaming down my face) that I just knew the rest of the book couldn’t measure up to the high standards I had already set. I was so very wrong and so thoroughly pleased. This was a beautiful story of love and loss, hope and strength, devestation and yet, beauty. I felt like I was IN the story fighting along side of Nathan, Seth and Grayson. Delivering messages with Lydia and Sarah. The Revolutionary War was brought to life within the pages of this book. When there was death I cried with those left behind. When there was even a small victory I rejoiced along with them. I don’t think I have ever read a story that has evoked such emotion in me. The Courier of Caswell Hall is a book that you will want to read again and again. It will take you on an emotional journey that you will never forget. I VERY highly recommend reading this book!
**While I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion, I was in no way compensated for this review**
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