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Customer Reviews for Summerside Press The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5

Summerside Press The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5

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 wavers in her allegiance to the Crown.

On the night the British sail up the James River on a mission to destroy the new capital, Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall. Fearing his identity but unwilling to leave him for dead, she secretly nurses him back to health. The man identifies himself as Nathan, a Patriot—and an enemy. But Lydia’s American sympathies grow, and when British officers return to the plantation, Lydia must help Nathan escape.

American Tapestries Series | Melanie Dobson

Average Customer Rating:
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4.6
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12 out of 1486%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Review 1 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 20, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
About the American Tapestries™ series: Each standalone novel in this line sets a heart-stirring love story against the backdrop of an epic moment in American history. This is the fifth book in the series.
My Review:
The last thing Lydia was expecting when she snuck off to admire British ships in the moonlight was a man. But find him she did, and with her discovery, an entire network of spies, couriers, coded messages, disguises, and operatives. The secret network may be the only thing that wins the war, but Lydia's allegiance lies - by association with her family - with the crown.
Lydia's wavering allegiance to the crown made the story for me. Her uncertainty between what she was told was right and then her startling belief to the contrary got my attention and kept it throughout the entire book. Danger, action, suspense, forbidden romance, and espionage run rampant through the book, and whether or not this genre is your cup of tea - it was a very enjoyable book to read and a perfect recipe for a relaxing evening.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

INCREDIBLE ESPIONAGE TALE OF ESPIONAGE PLOTS....

Date:October 15, 2013
Customer Avatar
barbjan10
Location:Arlington, TX
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie Dobson has eloquently written an emotive story of fictional characters immersed in accurate facts of America history. Imagining myself living in Virginia during the 1780’s, was easy to comprehend how confusing one’s choice of loyal political stance would be. Identifying to any party publically could mean the difference in one’s life or death, and possible seizure or destruction of the home and properties that were God’s blessings. Lydia Caswell’s family are staunch Loyalists, but as in any war, all involved are absorbed in winning the peace; or – solely control.
Insecurity of what the future held….and trust of others, including friends, was always in doubt. This story is of great intrigue about strong characters who believed in what they were doing. It had humor which is always an indication of skilled writing to lighten chapters full of pain and anguish. Romance was not lacking, nor the longing and prayers of hope for those loved ones who left home to fight to return alive. Not knowing where family members were or what might have happened to them was a haunt to all for years at a time. Melanie Dobson is indeed an intricate weaver of several stories intermingled like puzzle pieces that paint a vivid picture when all the pieces come together. The espionage plot is well planned and created an attention-grabbing page turner for this reader.
The women characters in this story about factual jeopardy made me proud of my gender. Each one beautiful in their unique personalities – sensitive, afraid and yet fearless, tender, smart and even little sister was likeable in her own way. Ms Dobson has given each character, male or female, a unique personality quite fitting to that time era – all believable. Most importantly, redemption, reconciliation and belief in the freedom to worship God was shown with such conviction, that only a true believer in our Lord could have written these words to so glorify Him that blesses all. Most of the characters had a relationship with the Lord, and the decision was left open to those that professed no belief.
You might note that I didn’t mention actual names or situations in this review. It would be hard to tell you about one person, one situation….without leading into another. Ms Dobson has written a supreme story with a firm foundation of history that takes you into Caswell Hall as a guest watching the action as though in a movie theatre. Even the music can be heard and the tension felt – a real experience! Yes, I felt this story emotionally and hope you will get The Courier of Caswell Hall to meet all these characters yourself. You will be giving the compliments to Melanie Dobson and the glory to God.
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Review 3 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Unlikely Spies and Romance

Date:October 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
Pam Burke
Location:Potosi, MO
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Courier of Caswell Hall is a touching story of romance and sacrifice set against the backdrop of the American Revolution. It provides an intriguing look at the kinds of personal struggles and difficult decisions families and individuals were forced to make at that crucial time in our country's history.
Historical fiction is a genre that I am coming to enjoy more and more, and this was my first journey into this particular time period. The history lesson woven into such a compelling story filled with rich characters made for a very enjoyable read. This is the first book I've read by Melanie Dobson, but I hope it will not be my last. She hooked me from the very beginning with a touching prologue that gently invited me into the story of Lydia and Nathan. The twists and turns of so many joys and sorrows held my interest to the last page.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 4 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Surprisingly deep and moving historical romance

Date:October 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
Carole Jarvis
Location:Jonesboro, Georgia
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Standalone novel The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson is the fifth book in the American Tapestries line, a series that sets romance against the backdrop of epic moments in American history. This is an extremely well-written and moving novel, one that I highly recommend.
I've enjoyed books by Melanie before, so I was expecting this to be another great read, but I was surprised at the depth of characterization, historical detail, and emotion found within its pages. The Courier of Caswell Hall is an interesting and moving read that captured and held my attention from the first page, but it's not a light read. Yes, it's a beautiful and touching romance, but Nathan and Lydia's love story is secondary to the themes of divided loyalties, courage, deceit, sacrifice, and the realities of war.
The story opens with a prologue that sets up all that happened 45 years earlier, beginning in 1781 on the banks of the James River and the Caswell Plantation, when Lydia risks all to rescue an injured Patriot courier who will only reveal his first name, Nathan. Lydia knows that "right and wrong can be muddied during a war" . . . and Nathan sees Lydia as "a beautiful young woman with a penchant to heal what had been destroyed and to help those who had been wounded."
Melanie brings women's roles during the war to the forefront through the courageous actions of Lydia and Sarah. Though the methods associated with their spying might seem rather innocent - listening to conversations, memorizing details, retrieving notes from behind bricks and passing them through the exchange of books - the penalty if caught was unthinkable.
It was a time when, rather than people being united against a common enemy, families and neighbors were divided and no one knew who to trust. Lydia's brother, Grayson, realized that the British "had no love of freedom, no hope for the future; they just wanted to stop those who did."
And freedom certainly had different meanings, depending which side you were on. Men like Nathan, who refused to ever use slaves, were rare at this time. The Patriots fought to be free from a king's tyranny, while keeping slaves in submission - and the British granted freedom to slaves willing to fight with them, while denying Americans theirs. Nathan reflected: "It was a strange world. The Americans purported freedom for some men while the British talked only of freedom for the Negro slaves."
In The Courier of Caswell Hall, Melanie has created a superb blend of rich characterization, great storytelling, and historical detail. This is a moving story that I highly recommend to all readers.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Summerside Press in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 5 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A realistic look into the Revolutionary War

Date:October 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
Kate
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie Dobson offers such a fantastic picture into the lives of the people in America during the heart of the American Revolutionary War. The portrayal of the ideas of the time are right on target. The focus of the role that ordinary people had in the war was refreshing. War isn't always fought on the battlefield, but with the people behind the scene.
With that focus, we are introduced to Nathan and Lydia, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Deceleration of Independence, July 4th, 1826. After so much that has happened, a celebration was in order, however the celebration is short lived when Nathan collapses in Lydia's arms on the dance floor and we are swept back in time to when the war could have gone either way.
Lydia at twenty-four years of age, is still not married. Her father is a staunch loyalist, who believe that the the British soldiers could do no wrong. He is a proper Englishman, who is devoted to his king and know that the colonies will be restored to their proper place under the rule of King George. Lydia follows his ideas, but not to the passion her father displaces. Sometimes duty is over ruled by compassion, and that is what happens when Lydia stumbles upon a man, unconscious and nearly frozen on their property. Knowing her father would turn in this stranger, Lydia hides him and with the help of two servants, the stranger regains his strength.Over the course of the week that he is hidden away, the stranger, Nathan, starts speaking of his belief of freedom and plants a seed into Lydia's head.
Sarah, neighbor to Lydia, once was a loyalist, but after her brother declared patriot, Sarah knew her thoughts were that of her brother and has become a courier for the patriots. Her actions are secret, but her brothers affiliations toward America are not, and Sarah looses her home to a fire that the British set. Devastated over what has happened to her friend, Lydia's thoughts start to turn away from Tory and agrees to become a courier for the patriots.
Lydia and Sarah are the ladies of their society. They are genteel and quiet, they are what is expected of them in this time. Even though they are quiet, they fight a fierce battle. They risk their lives to help save those around them with the messages they are intrusted. In the time of war, no one really knew who was affiliated with which side, so secrets were precious. Even in Lydia's home, secrets are kept from the family and it is interesting to find out what is driving each character to do what they do.
The historical detail in The Courier of Caswell Hall was fantastic! The uncertentiy of the war is displayed, along with how, only some of the people were for the Patriots, others were for the British, and then some who just didn't care. They were ready for this strife to end. That was all that they cared for. And depending on how one viewed something, could easily tear a family apart. Sons against fathers, brother verses brother. It was a hard time.
It was a wonderfully written story!
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Summer Side Press, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Review 6 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

History Came to Life Right in Front of My Eyes

Date:October 3, 2013
Customer Avatar
Tammi
Location:maine
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The American Revolutionary War brought out strong feelings on each side: both the Loyalists and the Patriots were fighting for control of America. Such strong feelings divided families, with some family members openly fighting for the other side, while others secretly fought by being couriers and spies. The Caswell's were one of those families.
Lydia Caswell was taking one of her nightly walks along the bank of the James River when she found Nathan lying unconscious on the shore. Fearing God more than man Lydia knew she couldn't leave him there, and went in search of help... This one brave act led her into a network of couriers and spies who were associated with the Patriots. The Caswall family's loyalty to the crown is a perfect cover, but the consequences are severe should she get caught.
As Lydia continues to deliver Nathan's messages, her family is housing and entertaining British soldiers. Putting her in a unique position where she can gather intelligence and still keep her cover. But will those who are living under the same roof catch on to her forbidden activities? And where does Lydia's loyalties truly lie? She must decide between what she has been taught and what she truly believes is right.
I loved how history came to life right in front of my eyes. Melanie Dobson used all the correct elements... danger, action, suspense, forbidden romance, and espionage... to create a realistic story that is sure to draw the readers in and keep them turning pages straight to the end.
**The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 7 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 2, 2013
Customer Avatar
lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie Dobson writes with a masterful mind a story placed during our young nation’s history. Her eye to detail, historical figures and researching makes The Courier of Caswell Hall a must read novel plus one to add to one’s personal home library. Woven throughout the tale are faith, divided loyalties, romance, devotion, action and adventure.
The family Caswell decides to remain loyal to the British crown even when visiting soldiers prove less than polite. Lord Caswell is under the impression that because of his loyalty, though kept secret from society, will protect his holdings in Virginia. Lydia once held the views of her parents, but as the war lingers on and with her brother gone, her youngest sister flirting with a major in British garb, where does her own loyalties lie? Nathan is a courier who has assumed many personas as needed to obtain information for the Continental Army. Since one courier has been moved to another state, he must recruit, train and protect the courier at all costs. Nathan finds this most challenging with the major along with his staff constantly moving in, about or off the Caswell property.
Historical fiction tends to draw me into a book for long periods of time; pun intended! I find the attention to detail about a period fascinating and educational. Sometimes a tale is told that includes real people who lived during that era, but with a different spin to what happened to them; however, this novel is not of that nature. Melanie Dobson shares her love of telling stories in a way that captures not only a reader’s mind, but the heart as well.
As I kept turning the pages while reading, various characters whether spies or slaves, Tories or Patriots, intrigued me as to how dedicated the characters were in their devotion toward freedom. Even though both sides had differing views of what freedom looked like, it was how some of them made their choice as to which side they would stand on. Again, I was struck with the cost of war in lives, as well as the cost many people paid for trying to live one day at a time. Many devoted not only their lives, but their fortunes as well to win the war. Please take time to read a well written, passionate book titled, The Courier of Caswell Hall. You won’t regret making time to read!
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Review 8 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Riveting Historical

Date:October 2, 2013
Customer Avatar
AngieArndt
Location:near Columbia, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Courier of Caswell Hall is a well-written historical with powerful characters. Lydia's journey from staunch Loyalist to Patriot spy was intriguing, but my favorite part was how Dobson integrated Lydia's spiritual beliefs into every part of the story. There was no preaching, no sudden cry for healing or deliverance at the climax. Lydia's character relied on God and His word for wisdom not only in times of stress, but also in her "ordinary world," before all the excitement started. Her character arc, the way she changed, was very believable because of her strong faith.
However, when I first read that Sarah Hammond, the other protagonist, ran a four thousand acre plantation and maintained a spy network in the mid 18th century, I was a bit skeptical. But again, Dobson's richly-detailed descriptions and deep characterization made the storyline not only realistic, but compelling.
The Courier of Caswell Hall is a great story and I'll probably read it again. I'd like to thank LitFuse Publicity for the copy in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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Review 9 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

One word ruined it for me!

Date:October 1, 2013
Customer Avatar
Stephanie
Location:upstate NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I was enjoying the Early American time period of The Courier of Caswell Hall as well as the intrigue of spying (women, especially!) for the war.
However, I was sorely disappointed to encounter swearing halfway through the story. The word was not used in a biblical manner, like a preacher referencing judgment. I could not see any reason why the word had to be used.
Unfortunately, one word ruined a whole book for me and despite my past enjoyment of Melanie's books, I could not finish or recommend The Courier.
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*
+1point
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Review 10 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

An interesting look back into history

Date:September 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
crtnybc
Location:British Columbia, Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I recently read another historical fiction book set in the revolutionary war, but this was a take from a whole new angle and I learned more about what that time was like. There were elements of the story that must have been hard to write at times, but it was true to the time period.
Overall I enjoyed this look into history, and the stories of the various characters, but at times it felt like there was too much going on at once, and that the plot tended to circle back on itself. There were definitely some surprises along the way, but a couple times I still felt like haven't we already done this?
I received this book from Litfuse for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Litfuse.
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Review 11 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
About the American Tapestries™ series: Each standalone novel in this line sets a heart-stirring love story against the backdrop of an epic moment in American history. This is the fifth book in the series.
My Review:
The last thing Lydia was expecting when she snuck off to admire British ships in the moonlight was a man. But find him she did, and with her discovery, an entire network of spies, couriers, coded messages, disguises, and operatives. The secret network may be the only thing that wins the war, but Lydia's allegiance lies - by association with her family - with the crown.
Lydia's wavering allegiance to the crown made the story for me. Her uncertainty between what she was told was right and then her startling belief to the contrary got my attention and kept it throughout the entire book. Danger, action, suspense, forbidden romance, and espionage run rampant through the book, and whether or not this genre is your cup of tea - it was a very enjoyable book to read and a perfect recipe for a relaxing evening.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 12 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Revolutionary War, Spies and Romance

Date:September 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie Dobson in her new book, "The Courier of Caswell Hall" Book Five in the An American Tapestry series published by Summerside Press takes us into the life of Lydia Caswell.
From the back cover: 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.
The Revolutionary War and spies! This is the recipe that Melanie Dobson has created for us in "The Courier of Caswell Hall". Up until this point the colonies had never cried out for independence before so this was a premier event. Not everyone was keen on the idea of independence, after all it was treason and punishable by hanging. So there are the Loyalists to The Crown, which promises security but maintains English oppression) and The Rebels who promise freedom with the possibility of hanging. Lydia's family are Loyalists but she manages to fall in love with a Rebel and then acts as a rebel spy. Danger, action, adventure suspense thriller all rolled up in a very exciting read. On top of all of this there is the romance. Ms. Dobson has given us a story that belongs up there with the terrific movies that have come before. These are wonderful characters that live and breathe on the pages and you care deeply for them. This book does not disappoint at all. I enjoyed it and I am sure you will also.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Review 13 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson

Date:September 26, 2013
Customer Avatar
Wanda
Location:NC
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Excerpt:
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?"
"Yes?"
"Thank you for watching over my family."
"Without you, Lydia, I would not be alive."
"I am glad you survived."
My Review:
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!
**I received a FREE copy of this book from the Summerside Press for my honest review**
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Review 14 for The Courier of Caswell Hall, American Tapestries Series #5
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Melanie Dobson Delivers an Incredible Story!

Date:September 25, 2013
I haven't read many books set during the American Revolution, though it's one of my favorite time periods, so I was excited to see that Melanie Dobson had written a tale of spies and romance set during the middle of the American Revolution. She masterfully weaves together a story rich with historical details without losing sight of the more personal aspects of the story.
I enjoyed getting to know the Caswell and Hammond families and seeing how the war ripped apart their friendship and even their families. To be honest, I've never really considered how the Revolution affected the people who lived during that time. It's easy to think of people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other heroes of the time as just that—heroes, rather than people with emotions, lives, and families. To see how difficult it was for some families to decide which side would earn their loyalty and the fear that this decision evoked was extremely gut-wrenching. Dobson really made history come alive for me through this book, and I loved that! There's so much more I could say, but that would result in a 10-page review, which no one would want to read. So let me just say, this is a book you need to read.
I will warn you that I left the book feeling a little melancholy. Dobson provides readers with an epilogue that gives closure to what happens to everyone in the future. While I enjoyed seeing "into the future," it also left me feeling a little sad that I didn't get to see how they got there. (I know, I'm probably the only person who will feel like this!)
In The Courier of Caswell Hall, Melanie Dobson delivers an incredible story—one of the best I've read this year. I couldn't stand for it to be over and would be thrilled to learn that Dobson was working on developing this book into a series. If you enjoy historical novels with a thread of romance, you are sure to love this newest book in the American Tapestries series. [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Summerside Press and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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