Saturday, June 23, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

About the Book

Title: The Love Letter   
Author: Rachel Hauck  
Release Date: June 12, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary  
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations ...

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career. 

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny. 

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart. 

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

My thoughts

Rachel Hauck knows how to tell a story that tugs at the heartstrings, and The Love Letter is an interesting and enjoyable read. For the longest time, the dual storylines, separated by 240 years, seemed to have no connection, although I knew there would eventually be a link – and what a great one it was! Chloe and Jesse’s story is a contemporary one set in Hollywood, while that of Esther and Hamilton takes place during the Revolutionary War era.

“This conflict has robbed us both. But it is just a course
in the vastness of human events. It will end
and peace will come. Fight in a time of war
as the man you want to be in a time of peace.”
- Hamilton’s Aunt Mary

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy the story of Chloe and Jesse s much, not because of Hauck’s storytelling or writing, but because I just don’t care for Hollywood themes. As for Esther and Hamilton, however – well, I wished for a whole novel about them! The American Revolution is my favorite historical setting, and Hauck did a wonderful job with this time period. There’s something compelling about a time when close family ties were broken over the taking of sides in the war.

In our time of social media, e-mail and texting, the concept of a handwritten letter passed down through generations is so very appealing. I even pulled out some meaningful and treasured notes and letters that I’ve received over the years, and plan to write a few myself.

Faith is always a key part of Hauck’s writing, and The Love Letter is essentially a story of love, sacrifice, redemption. I did enjoy it overall and look forward to more of Rachel Hauck’s stories.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. 

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner. 

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like: 

”Really? So why did you do that?” 
”Have you sought help?” 
”Was it love at first sight?” 

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.” 

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound! 

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible. 

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS. Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family. 

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart? 

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers. I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!) 

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?” 
”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.” 

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll meditate on for awhile. However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress. 

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick. I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination. 

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter! 

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one? I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one. 

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you? I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter? 

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets. There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections. Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind? 

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society. Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018? Saw you at your window. You looked hot. Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.” 

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—” 

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month. Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe— 

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

-- Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 
-- Semi-Grand prize of a book basket 
-- 2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click the image above or the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
C Jane Read, June 24
By The Book, June 25
Carpe Diem, June 26
Mommynificent , June 27
Radiant Light, June 28
Novels corner, June 29
Bigreadersite, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 30
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Remembrancy, July 2
amandainpa, July 2


  1. I loved this book! Thanks for participating in the tour.

  2. Great review thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway!

  4. I love Rachel’s books! Looking forward to reading her latest one. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  5. This is on my wish list and what at fantastic contest for the chance to win a copy plus so much more! Thank you.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  6. This is on my wish list, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  7. I enjoyed the synopsis of the book. Sounds like a great read, added to my TBR list.

  8. I have loved every one of Rachel Hauck's books and am eager to read this new one!

  9. Very much looking forward to reading this!

  10. I love dual-time lines! I'm excited to read The Love Letter.