The Patriot & the Loyalist is the second book in the Hearts at War series by Angela K. Couch. (My review of the first book, The Scarlet Coat, may be read HERE.)
Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
Why This Book:
The hero of this book, Daniel Reid, was a secondary character in The Scarlet Coat and left quite an impression on me. Thus I was very interested to see where the author would take his story.
South Carolina, November 1780
Daniel Reid slowed his horse and sucked air into his lungs as he reined to the road’s grassy edge. Blood pulsated behind his ears but in no way drowned out the pounding hooves of the approaching soldiers, the green of their coats almost deceptive.
This book wastes no time throwing its readers straight into the action. From the first page, the hero’s life is in danger and that tension never lets go. Our heroine enters on page 6 and it is clear from the first that we have two very strong-willed, intelligent, passionate characters whose goals are at odds in a very real and dangerous way. Shortly thereafter, we realize that our heroine, too, is playing at a very perilous game – one that could cost her her life.
If you’ve read, The Scarlet Coat, you know that Daniel Reid has trouble controlling his temper. To say the least. While the consequences of his actions in the previous book continue to haunt him in The Patriot and the Loyalist, and his temper is far from gone, Daniel is certainly a changed man. Like many of us, he is aware of his character flaws but still struggles to overcome them. He is also plagued with self-doubt in the area of women which only serves to complicate matters in his relationship with Lydia.
Lydia Reynolds is nearly the last survivor of her family which has seen more than its share of tragic loss over the years. This loss has left her fearful of emotional attachment and desperate to flee the memories which haunt her home in Georgetown. Though a highly astute and intelligent woman, her desperation has set her on a one-way track and pushes her to make decisions without always fully considering the consequences.
Gabe Marion & Colonel Francis Marion – Gabe is Francis’ nephew. Both are actual figures from history, and members of the rebel army. It is interesting to see them brought to life through the author’s skillful writing.
As always, there are a few more characters I could mention here, but I don’t wish to reveal their unexpected importance to the story.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
Confession: I lost several hours of sleep to this book!
If you’ve ever read a book where the suspense is so great you cannot put it down, yet the writing is so well-done – every word so important to the story – that you don’t even consider skipping a single word to hurry ahead, then you’ll understand the powerful read that is this book. There is no urge to skip ahead because there is never a moment where something important isn’t happening.
Elements I especially liked/disliked:
It is extremely evident that this author has done her research! Every detail was so rich and realistic, I felt I now knew what it might have been like living in Georgetown during the revolutionary war. Every movement of either army which was relevant to the story was relayed in such a way as to feel organic and easily understandable. Never once did I sense a notorious “info dump” or get the slightest impression of a history lesson. Yet, I still feel as though I learned something about the war which birthed our country.
I also very much enjoyed the true historical characters involved in the story and seeing their lives play out as a thread woven into the lives of the fictional characters. Again, it felt natural to have this bit of actual history included. They were written so well, that had I not known they were true historical figures, I would not have been able to separate them from the fictional characters.
BONUS: Although the Lydia in this novel is entirely fictional, did you know there was a real revolutionary war spy named Lydia?
The Patriot and the Loyalist grapples with issues of truth, deceit, trust and, of course, loyalty. In a setting where right and wrong can seem blurry, these characters are not cookie-cutter people. They face authentic, difficult choices and don’t always make the best decisions. In fact, they often make poor ones, which naturally lends itself to the topic of forgiveness and the struggles involved with moving on after being hurt or hurting others.
When the book was over I was disappointed not because the ending wasn’t satisfying (it was!) but because I didn’t want to leave Daniel and Lydia’s world. All the important threads were tied up, and those which shouldn’t realistically be tied were left undone (i.e. the war continued). I felt joy and satisfaction in this ending and couldn’t wait to tell others about the book. There isn’t much more you can ask from a novel.
As I mentioned, I was reluctant to leave Daniel and Lydia’s world. So, I am so excited to note that this is not the end of the Hearts at War series! Angela K. Couch has another book in the series, The Tory’s Daughter, coming out soon!
5 out of 5 stars
Be sure to check back on Monday, May 1st to catch my upcoming interview with Angela K. Couch!
Have you read any of Angela K. Couch’s books? Which part of this novel most appeals to you?
(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)
Confession: I lost several hours of sleep to this book! ~ @KathleenDenly #bookreview
“And I would hardly mistake you for a gentleman.” #bookreview @KathleenDenly
Richly written & thoroughly researched, this historical romance has it all! ~ @KathleenDenly #bookreview
Spies! Battles! Love! A can’t miss read! #bookreview ~ @KathleenDenly
Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos in this post for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !
As a special thank you to our readers, Angela and I have decided to offer a giveaway!
The winner will receive BOTH of the Hearts at War books!:
The Scarlet Coat
The Patriot and The Loyalist
- 1 digital copy of The Scarlet Coat by Angela K. Couch
- 1 digital copy of The Patriot & The Loyalist by Angela K. Couch
Already own The Scarlet Coat? Not to worry! The winner’s copy of The Scarlet Coat will be emailed in gift card form, so that if you already own it, you can exchange it (btw Angela has another book out) or regift it to a friend who hasn’t read it yet.
HOW TO ENTER:
- Sign up to become a member of Kathleen’s Readers’ Club HERE. (Which automatically makes you eligible for my exclusive KRC giveaways!)
- Sign up to receive Angela’s newsletter for information on new releases HERE.
- Comment on this post with the answer to this question: Which part of The Patriot & The Loyalist most appeals to you?
Make sure to use an email address you check frequently. If you win, I will use the email address you provided when signing up for my KRC to contact you and send you your prizes.
All 3 of the above steps must be completed to count as your ONE original entry.
BONUS ENTRIES: If you share this giveaway on any social media, reply to your original comment with the link to your post/tweet and it will count as an extra entry – but ONLY if you have already completed the first 3 steps. Each share will count as an extra entry. IMPORTANT: We don’t want to spam your friends, so you may only share to each social media site once per day!
You MUST complete ALL 3 STEPS to enter. Multiple entries are allowed, providing they fulfill the above entry requirements. All entries must be complete by 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017. Winner will be announced Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 on http://www.KathleenDenly.com and contacted directly within 24 hours via the email address they used to sign up for Kathleen’s Readers’ Club. Winner must acknowledge the congratulatory email within 48 hours, otherwise an alternate winner will be chosen. I’m excited to say that since this giveaway involves no shipping, it is open to both U.S. AND International entries. Void where prohibited.
How it works:
I will assign a number to each entry (1 number per original comment, plus 1 number for each bonus entry). I will then enter those numbers into Random.org‘s Random Sequence Generator. Whichever number comes up at the top of the list will be the winner. I will then verify that that person has completed all 3 steps and that the links provided in their bonus entries are valid. If they have not completed all 3 steps or their links are invalid, they will be disqualified and the process will be repeated until a valid winner is found.
Remember: Check back May 3rd to see who won! Or just subscribe to receive my blog updates by email and have the announcement delivered to your inbox!
Update 4/28/17: Hi everyone! Please remember that in order to complete Steps 1 & 2 you must CONFIRM YOUR EMAIL by going to your email and clicking on the link in the confirmation email sent to you at sign up. I haven’t checked with Angela yet, but I’m noticing a lot of comments by people who seem to have entered, but whose emails are not in my list of KRC Members. I would hate for you to miss out because of this tiny but important step!!!