The Love Letter
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.
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 mediate 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…
Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.
She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.
Visit her at
Book Review by Bree Herron
I always know that I will find myself loving a book by Rachel. The Writing Desk was by far my favorite or so I thought. Enter The Love Letter, a story with hearts that needed love, a letter that went unanswered and a movie to tie it all together. It was riveting, it was enthralling and as only Rachel Hauck can do, it was enchanting.
We have many characters in this novel to love. I really loved all of them but Jesse (surprisingly) stuck out the most to me. I usually love the historical characters, and the females because you know, more relatable for a female reader. But Jesse gave this book life, with his family’s letter that started the movie to the character that Chloe would work to portray. Jesse carried such a heavy burden on his heart, and like many who carry burdens, they and he learn to heal and accept. His growth and learning create a huge part of this story.
Chloe and Jesse were at Jesse’s first rental. Over looking the ocean and vast skies. Chloe is waiting for a car to pick her up, when they start to talk a bit about Jesse’s past. He points to the stars and says ” You can’t capture the light of the stars…” this of course is just one moment in the book that will make a reader dig deeper into the story.
Hollywood and South Carolina, I really think we can’t get more different in settings. Now add in the fact that Hollywood is present time and South Carolina is the past, add a dash of love, a pinch of history. Voila! there is your settings.
“One look into his eyes reflecting the golden sky and she knew she would wait forever.”-The Love Letter, pg 47.
One page into this book I knew i would be in love with it. I would not wait forever to finish it or reread it. In fact, I know have read the book three times, because for single gals it is one of those heart melting, hope giving romances that we will all find our Love letter. For readers looking to have a book that takes reading to a new level, for readers wanting love that spans decades and for readers needing a new feeling of joy from the end of a novel, this is your book. This book will move you, change you and remind you that we don’t need to settle for anything less than our one true love.
“Love. Yes, hello love. That’s precisely how it felt.” -The Love Letter, pg 69.
Have you ever received or written a love letter?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
- Among the Reads, June 21
- Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21
- The Avid Reader, June 21
- Genesis 5020, June 21
- ansel book blog, June 22
- Blogging With Carol, June 22
- Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22
- Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23
- The Power of Words, June 23
- Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23
- Janices book reviews, June 23
- C Jane Read, June 24
- Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24
- Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25
- Faithfully Bookish, June 25
- By The Book, June 25
- Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25
- Kat’s Corner Books, June 26
- Maureen’s Musings, June 26
- Ladybug Chronicles, June 26
- Carpe Diem, June 26
- Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27
- Mommynificent , June 27
- Godly Book Reviews, June 27
- God’s Little Bookworm, June 28
- Radiant Light, June 28
- All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28
- Have A Wonderful Day, June 28
- Novels corner, June 29
- Blossoms and Blessings, June 29
- Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29
- Bigreadersite, June 29
- Pause for Tales, June 30
- Bibliophile Reviews, June 30
- Splashes of Joy, June 30
- Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 1
- Simple Harvest Reads, July 1
- The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1
- A Baker’s Perspective, July 1
- Remembrancy, July 2
- amandainpa, July 2
- To Everything A Season, July 2
- proud to be an autism mom, July 3
- Texas Book-aholic, July 3
- Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3
- Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4
- Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4
- Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4
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!!
Find out all the details and enter to WIN at The Love Letter Celebration Tour Giveaway.
Professional Reader Affiliates
I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. Your support in purchasing through these links supplements the costs of keeping my website up and running, and is very much appreciated!