The Love Letter: A Novel

The Love Letter: A Novel

by Rachel Hauck

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310351009
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 65,237
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Chloe

Present-Day Hollywood August

You see, love stories never worked for her. She never got the guy. In life or on screen. Instead, she died. In nearly every major role she landed.

Last year Variety dubbed her "the queen of the death scene." What a stellar endorsement.

But today she determined to do something different. Stop waiting for change and go for what she wanted.

Driving her '64 red Mustang across Bel Air, the convertible top down, to the great Hollywood director Jeremiah Gonda's home, Chloe had high hopes.

Easing up to a red light, she powered up the radio.

"What you want, baby, I got it ..."

The wind caught the loose ends of her ponytail as a black BMW pulled alongside. The driver, with his cut and chiseled profile, stared ahead, then glanced toward her with a flirting, cap-toothed smile. When their eyes met, his grin faded and he faced forward.

Chloe snarled and boosted the music.

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

The light flashed green and he shot off the line. Poser. Like she'd want that fake-toothed pretty boy. Please. She'd eaten them for lunch when she was a teenager. (Not really, but that sounded good, didn't it?)

No, today was not about her past, the scandal (oh shudder), or her resumé of death and dying, but about what she wanted to accomplish. For the first time in her twenty-year career, she was asking for a part, not waiting to be called for an audition.

Yeah, you bet she'd called in a family favor. Why be the daughter of Hollywood legends — Academy Award-winning director and actress — if she didn't call in a few favors?

Her sordid career had her dying all over stage and screen. Not in slasher flicks or horror shows but on soap operas, coming-of-age films, Broadway, and in one Shakespeare in the Park.

She'd turned down at least three roles due to the dying nature of the character she was offered. Because at twenty-nine, she began to wonder if she'd cursed herself.

Dying so many times, making some unseen agreement with death. She died a hundred and fifty times her year on Broadway. A hundred and fifty!

Could such a role produce an unseen effect on her life? On her soul?

Because after Broadway came the scandal. The death of her reputation. Chloe turned the music up louder, forcing the ugly ordeal to the back of her mind.

Pulling up to the Gondas' gate, she pressed the speaker button.

"Chloe Daschle to see Mr. Gonda."

"What? I can't hear you."

Chloe lowered the radio volume. "Chloe Daschle to see Mr. Gonda."

With a click, the ornate iron gate swung open and Chloe eased up the stone driveway, following the curve to park in the shadow by the front door.

Jeremiah and Laura Gonda, another pair of dynamic duos, were like her parents, an award-winning director married to an Oscar-winning actress.

They were one of Hollywood's anomalies. Happily, faithfully married for twenty years and raising seven kids practically made them a sideshow.

Chloe's parents, also happily together for thirty-five years, had never married.

After stepping out of the car, Chloe released her ponytail, fingered the knots from her hair, and reached for her bag. At the door she rang the bell, then stood back, waiting, the thump of her heartbeat drowning her thoughts.

Hey, Jeremiah, I'd like to read for Esther.

Surprise! Listen, I got hold of this script, Bound by Love. Have you cast Esther yet?

Please, please, please let me read for this part.

She'd heard of Jeremiah's latest film from a friend of hers, Smitty Barone, an actor-slash-Realtor in town who popped into her life every now and then. She couldn't even remember where she first met him. Acting class?

The breeze kicked up, and Chloe glanced toward the trees lining the gated grounds. Bel Air hosted a legend of stars in its day. Mary Pickford, Ingrid Bergman, George Reeves, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson. Even the Beatles during their '65 tour.

In years to come, her parents would become part of Hollywood's storied past. But she, Chloe Daschle, didn't ache for immortality. She wanted to work, do something meaningful with her craft, impact hearts for good.

And if she was so blessed, break the mysterious curse of death she'd somehow enacted in her life and find personal happiness. True love. Was that too much to ask? To believe for?

The door of the angular, glass Frank Lloyd Wright home swung open. Jeremiah stood on the other side with his newest daughter, eight-month-old Eva.

"Chloe, come in, come in." He stepped aside, smiling. The grand marble foyer featured a Gone with the Wind staircase, a high wood-beam ceiling, and a nine-foot chandelier. "Thanks for coming to the house. Laura's reshooting some scenes this week so I'm on deck all day."

"I'd rather come here than your office." She wrapped Eva's little hand around her finger. "You're so beautiful."

"And she knows it too. Ezra?" Jer called to his oldest. "Come take your sister." A gangly, cute blond teenager came around the corner, stuffing a piece of sandwich meat in his mouth, and reached for the baby.

"The nanny has the middle kids at gymnastics and dance." Jer motioned for Chloe to follow him. "So we'll have some quiet." He entered his office, the western wall of glass framing a spectacular view of the valley. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"Um —" Chloe hesitated, her leather bag swinging from her elbow. This was crazy. If he wanted her to audition for the part he'd have called. But he didn't. No, instead, he called the likes of Ginger Winters and Sabrina Fox.

Even if he miraculously wanted to cast her, the studio would balk. She was, to her regret, typecast. The girl who dies. He'd be crazy to —

"Chloe? Something to drink?" Jer stood by the fridge built into the wall.

"Um, sorry, yes, please, Diet Coke." She entered the room, set her bag on a plush leather chair, and strolled to the window. "I'm not sure I'll ever tire of this view." Her father's office at the Daschle mansion had the same one. But from her apartment in the mansion's north wing, Chloe saw only backyard trees and the guesthouse.

"Laura and I love to come in here at night, after the kids are in bed, put on some music, and just watch the lights." Jer dropped ice cubes in a crystal glass and popped open the Diet Coke before handing it to Chloe. He retrieved a bottle of Perrier for himself, coming around to the long, deep red couch. "So you're interested in Esther?"

Chloe joined him, taking the time to sip her drink before setting it on a coaster.

"Am I too late?"

He shook his head. "You're not. She's the only one we've not cast. How'd you get the script?"

"A friend of mine, Smitty Barone." She'd run into him one Sunday. After church. Which he did not attend on a regular basis. But in the last five years she'd grown accustomed to Smitty's strange comings and goings. "He said the screenplay was from a new writer. Said I should go for it."

"Smitty Barone?" Jeremiah sat back, arm resting on the back of the couch, his expression molded with concern. "Never heard of him. I'm not sure I like the idea of someone I don't know pitching my script around."

Chloe reached for her soda again, taking a drink to hide her nerves. "I-I hope it's okay I called."

The script had captured her from the first line. She felt Esther, as if they'd sat together on the L.P. rooftop in West Hollywood and talked through the sunset to the sunrise.

If Jeremiah would let her read, she'd give Esther every ounce of her twenty years' experience.

"As a matter of fact, we just passed on Sabrina Fox for the role. She's —"

"Too beautiful." Chloe knew Sabrina. Talented, yes, but her striking looks proved to be a distraction. "She's not a colonial girl, but I am, Jer."

"We auditioned Marilyn West but passed on her too. We've been wondering where to go next." Rising from the couch, Jeremiah slipped on a pair of glasses, then retrieved a copy of the script. A prodigy of her father's, he'd risen to directorial greatness with the Oscar-winning King Stephen I and now the smash romance novel adaptation Someone to Love. One day he would be a legend.

"I get Esther Kingsley, Jer. I am Esther. A girl looking for love who doesn't believe she's worthy."

He regarded her for a long, intense moment. "That brouhaha with Haden really messed with you."

Understatement of the year. The last three years.

"Can I audition or not?" She scooted to the edge of her seat. "I'm tired of hiding. Tired of dying. I know, I know. I'm stereotyped and a risk, but if you give me a chance ... Jeremiah, just let me read for it." Chloe dug in her bag for the script and drew it out, flipping through the pages, eyeing her notes. "I loved this story. I can't believe it's from a new writer. There's so much heart and truth in every word. It's hard to believe he didn't actually live in 1781, backwoods South Carolina."

"Jesse Gates? Yes, he's talented. Why do you think I'm making a movie of his script? He's playing the part of Flanders too."

"Who's playing Hamilton?" The hero. Esther's love interest.

"Chris Painter."

Chloe collapsed against the couch back. "Ah, I see." She kept her eyes averted. Painter was an old flame from her teen years when they both played on the TV show High School Follies. Chris grew up to be the current hottest actor in Tinseltown.

"Is that going to be a problem?"

Chloe found her bravado and leaned forward. "Is that a problem for you?"

"No. But I don't want any drama on the set. I don't want any romances among the cast. Clive Boston nearly cost me King Stephen I when he fell for one of the actresses playing a lady-in-waiting. It was chaos."

"Done. Chris is with Ginger Winters and I'm with ... well ... nobody." She'd recently started a faith journey and was learning how to love God first, then others. Including herself. She'd need supernatural power to achieve the last one. "Trust me, romance is the last thing on my mind."

At least for now. In this moment. And for the duration of this film, should she get the part.

"All right. Let's see what you got, Chloe Daschle." Jeremiah flipped open his script. "Oh, hey, speaking of romance." He chuckled softly. "You going to the Steinbrenner wedding this weekend?"

"Of course. I'm a bridesmaid." Violet Steinbrenner was one of Chloe's best friends. Her father headed a major production company while her mother shuffled super talent through her boutique talent agency. "You all are going too?"

"Violet talked Laura into singing a solo." Jer grinned. "She's a frustrated Broadway star, you know." He held up the script. "So, Esther ... She is strong, and she needs a strong actress to play her." His comment hung over Chloe in the form of a question.

Chloe stared across the room. "I have to do something different, Jeremiah. I can't be the one who dies again. I feel like I'm becoming that girl and it's affecting every part of my life. I have to be, must be, the woman who lives." She peered at him, shaking her head. "I don't know, maybe it's time to give up acting, do something else. Write. Direct. Teach."

"I hate what this town can do to a person's soul." Sincerity gripped his confession. "Don't give up, Chloe. You're typecast to be sure, but you're also a talented actress."

"Do you think you can sell me to the studio? I-if you like me for Esther?" She ran her fingers against the edge of the script.

She'd auditioned hundreds upon hundreds of times. She knew the routine. If the studio, in other words the money, didn't like an actor, no matter how brilliantly he or she played the part, it wasn't going to happen.

"I have some leeway here." He motioned to the script. "Let's read."

Chloe flipped to the emotional scene where Hamilton visited Esther to tell her he was going off with the South Carolina militia.

Closing her eyes, Chloe rolled back time to 1781, to an unsettled land, a rough log cabin where the scent of baking bread nearly made her stomach rumble. In the barnyard, chickens scratched and the dogs bayed. A horse peered from a stall window. Cattle wandered the winter hills.

The war for independence had moved south and settled in the colony where classic backwater folk were farmers and hunters, traders. Hardworking, raw people carving out a life for themselves.

ESTHER: You cannot go ... not with the militia. Father will speak to General Cornwell. You may join his troops.

HAMILTON (With heated emotion.): You've heard what Huck and his men did at Hill's Ironworks ... the raids on the Presbyterian churches. From York to Ninety Six. Can I just sit by like a coward? Must I remind you what those redcoats did to my pa?

ESTHER: I've not forgotten. But you should aim to do some forgetting, a bit of forgiving. Riding off into the battle will not bring him back. Nor will it ease your pain. I think he'd thank you kindly to live a long life and give him grandsons to carry on the Lightfoot name. Dare I ask about the pledges we've made to one another? Do I not matter? Do I not have a say?

HAMILTON: Am I going back on my word? Have I made a promise I am now breaking? If I sit aside and watch my countrymen, yes, my American countrymen die, how does that speak of me as a man, as a friend and neighbor?

ESTHER: Yes, you go back on your word when you join a fight that cannot be won. What if you find yourself at the end of Tory musket or bayonet? How can you marry me if you're dead, rotting beneath the ground? And for what? A few tax dollars? A cup of tea? Independence from our homeland that has been so good to us?

HAMILTON: England? My homeland? Nay, Esther, the soil in which you claim I'll rot be my homeland. My heritage is here, in the upcountry. What of England? A land I've never seen. Nay, I say: what of America?

ESTHER: Your friends and neighbors fight for the Crown. You dare raise your musket against them? Against my father? Against my family? You may as well aim at me.

HAMILTON: I cannot help which side they have chosen. They fight for tyranny. But I speak for myself and my family. We fight for independence.

ESTHER (Glances about, lowers voice): Speak not of this treason in my father's house. There's no more devoted Tory in the colony. Have you forgotten he loves you like a son? If you join the militia you will break both of our hearts!

HAMILTON (Reaches for her): Now you break mine. How will I resolve this conflict of love and war?

ESTHER (Falls into his arms weeping): Choose me, Hamilton. If you love me as you say, choose me.

Chloe lowered the pages with a glance toward Jeremiah, who stared at his script without expression.

Falling into his arms ... begging him to stay.

She'd lived that scene with Haden Stuart. In fact, she felt certain Esther's last line was taken from her viral video. Had Jesse Gates seen it? Hard to say, but when the video reached twenty million views, Chloe gave up hiding out and defending herself. She stopped resisting the truth that her crushing humiliation had become a part of pop culture.

"Well ..." Jeremiah sighed, tossed the script to the table, reached for his water, and took a long drink.

"What?" Chloe said. "I overplayed her, didn't I? Let's read it again. I can tone her down. I wasn't sure on the accent. More British or more Southern? Geez, I don't want to do a Scarlett O'Hara. That's not right." She forced a smile. "I'm so used to the drama of dying and ... Know what?" She stuffed the script into her bag. "It's okay. I don't regret trying. Thank you for reading with me, Jer. See you at the wedding."

"Sit down." Jeremiah pointed to her chair, using his director's voice. "You're not going anywhere."

Chloe stumbled back, tripping down into the chair, a jittery flip-flop tumbling through her.

"I can't believe I didn't audition you. Wow, Chloe, you are so much better than you know. Better than I knew." His eyes glistened as he spoke.

"I-I ... What? Really?" She smiled. "You want me for the part?" A carnival with trumpets and balloons paraded through her. "H-how will you explain me to the studio?"

"You let me worry about the studio." He offered his hand. "Welcome to Bound by Love, Chloe Daschle. I'll e-mail the offer to your agent. Chip Mac, right?"

"Yes, the lovely and endearing Chip Mac." She started to leave, then turned into Jeremiah with a hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I won't let you down, Jer. I'm going to act my heart out. Just you wait and see."

Outside, the sky seemed bluer, the birds' song clearer. This movie was going to change her life. She felt it in her bones.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Love Letter"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Rachel Hauck.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Love Letter: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Ryebrynn More than 1 year ago
I’ve previously read and enjoyed several of Rachel Hauck’s books, but time jump stories always confuse me and I tend to rate a story lower if it features a time jump storyline. But, in my opinion, this is Rachel Hauck’s best written, strongest story yet. Rather than adding confusion, the time jump storyline works well with the rest of the story and ultimately makes it stronger. (also, when I say “time jump storyline” I’m referring to stories that jump from something 20-200 years ago to present day regularly throughout the story, often alternating chapters) So I’m sure you’re wondering—if time jump storylines confuse me so much, why do I keep reading them? I honestly think it’s so I can find one like THE LOVE LETTER. It’s a time jump storyline at it’s best. I love the idea of something being passed down, of the story that some small object can hold, and how things like that can connect people. I think, as much as I loved Esther, loved Jesse, Chloe really is the one who holds the role of my favorite character in this story. I related so much to her wishes for a “true love”, and I feel like, out of all of the characters, she and I are the most similar. There’s so much packed into this story, meaning and romance, yet it doesn’t feel dense or rushed at all. I flew through it in 2 hours, and every time I got up to do something else I found myself drawn back to the book, unable to function doing anything else. I loved the inclusion of the revolutionary war in the story, it added so much history to the story, making it that much richer. You could tell just from reading that the setting had been meticulously researched, and there was an air of respect for the time it took place it. I went through a whirlwind of emotions while reading this story. I laughed and cried, and in the end, felt wholly satisfied with how the story ended. I think the love story that was woven was beautiful and it felt nearly like a movie come to life, except it was something more real. Overall, this was a beautiful story that spans generations, explores love in every form, and y’all. It’s a time jump story that doesn’t confuse me!
BookwormMama2014 4 days ago
Why oh why have I not gotten my hands on one of Rachel Hauk's books before? I am so glad I chose The Love Letter as my first one. Woven with words that intoxicate the soul, Hauck brings us a story of pure beauty. Heartache and passion drive Chloe. She longs to change the way that people see her. But it may be a harder task than she first imagined. The connections through history were so cleaverly created. Time-slip novels have become my favorite. With each page you are longing to discover the connection between the two timelines. And when the realization finally hits, it's a glorious moment to behold. Jesse is such a wonderful hero. Handsome, flawed, talented, and bit of a history nut. Travelling back to the American Revolutionary War, we meet Hamilton and Esther. Oh my goodness. Their story is one your really must discover for yourself. With the heart of the story coming back to Christ and Love, readers will fall in love with the settings (in both eras), the characters, and the passion. The depth and characterization found on the pages of this book will move you and speak to the heart. I received a complimentary copy of The Love Letter from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
rkfall 18 days ago
The Love Letter was a great book in that it was a book about the present and the past all at one time. This guy looks back at his family heritage and brings it to the present. I really liked all the switching between the story’s original timing and the present timing of how the family story was being seen and experienced. The romance was fun to watch unfold with all the twists and turns. As a historical enthusiast, the historical Revolutionary War side of this book was really captivating because of the sides that can be taken. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
pianosue 3 months ago
This turned out better than I thought it would. Chloe Caschle is an actress who has been type cast as an actress who dies in her films. She wants to bring this mold. The falls in love with a script "Bound in Love" set back in the 1700-1800's. She wants the part of Esther. The story is a love story set during the start of the war and the beginning of the Declaration. Will she win the part and be able to break into new films? She's also looking for love but will she finally find it? And is true love in a person or in God? Jesse Gates is a new screenwriter who wrote the story of Bound in Love. He and Chloe hit it off and share alot of their past. Will he be able to move on from his past? Will he be able to stick with the film and see it to completion or will a new studio owner throw their plans off the rail? A good story! Enjoyed reading it.
More_Than_A_Review 4 months ago
The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck is a beautiful romance. Similar to other books by Rachel we have dual time frames revealing a beautifully woven story. The historical story is about the war of 1812. It reveals how it tore families apart. Made me think of the politics of today. The contemporary story is about 2 couples in Hollywood. Hamilton and Esther are the two historical characters. Hamilton ends up fighting in the war. Esther’s father is totally against the war and is not a good character. Their story is heartbreaking. Chloe and Jesse are the modern day couple. Jesse is a screen writer and dealing with guilt from his past. His story was also heartbreaking. I felt it could happen to any of us. Chloe is an actress that has had a string of bad luck and playing parts where she dies. She is determined to not die in her next film. Rachel does not disappoint. She delivers a touching love story from both time periods. I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
Jennybug52 5 months ago
5 stars- I think this is my favorite Rachel Hauck book yet. This was a wonderful, romantic, bittersweet story that I couldn’t put down. Chloe, Jesse, Esther & Hamilton were all well developed characters full of emotion & tons of baggage. It was fascinating to read each of their stories & explore 2 completely different generations that were bound together by one letter. Imagining with Jesse the meaning of his ancestor’s letter and creating his own version of events and then being privy to the “real” story was intriguing. Too bad “Bound by Love” isn’t a real movie! And the ending was bittersweet, yet perfect in many ways. I also really enjoyed learning more about the Revolutionary War. This is a time period that fascinates me so I am eager to read more about it. I was a bit surprised by a couple of choices by some of the characters and Chloe at times needed to stop badmouthing herself so much. Chin up, Chloe! But I enjoyed reading how each of the characters grew and matured and I was able to close the book at the end with a satisfied sigh. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Cynthia181 6 months ago
History I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. Rachel writes a book with so much heart in it. This love story start with a young man using a little written from his 6 times great grandfather that was never mailed to whom they thought was his sweetheart. He decided to walk away from his Engineering degree he had after the death of his girlfriend. Well 8 years later his story is being made into a movie. Chloe's family in Hollywood legends and she has been stuck in roles where she always dies. But she goes to the director of the moving "Bound by Love" she wants the part of Esther. The screenwriter/Jessie will be part of the movie but not playing his ancestors part. The books goes between what they thought happened to Hamilton & Esther to the filing of the movie. You get to a point in this story that you want everything to work out for everyone, both in the past and now. I won't give away anything else. Thank you Rachel for another wonderful novel.
D-does-reviews 6 months ago
This book tells a beautiful story about two couples whose lives are connected by a love letter that was written on a battlefield during the Revolutionary War in 1781. If that doesn’t grab your attention, let me tell you a little more. The first couple are childhood friends who become sweethearts and plan to be married very soon but are tragically separated by circumstances they never could have imagined. The second couple are a modern day actress and a screenwriter who meet by chance only to meet again while working together on a movie loosely based on the first couple’s story. I think it’s an absolutely brilliant idea! I enjoyed the story so much that I read this book a second time and enjoyed it even more. If you’re looking for a book you can really get lost in I highly recommend you read this one, whether you’re a romance fan, a history buff or just someone who appreciates a finely woven tale with characters who will truly touch your heart. I read an early copy of this book through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
SeasonsofGrace 8 months ago
I'm a sucker for genealogy, old family stories, and a good real life gritty romance. So this book was a hit with me. An old love letter from the family history, what gets better than that, swirl in some modern day romance and a Hollywood production and Bam! a great story told by an amazing author. I was caught up in Chloe's tale from the beginning. Rooting for her and Jesse to make it past their differences and be together, while also rooting for the ancestors to do the same. Which ones will get their love story? You will have to read it to find out, but I can guarantee it will be worth it. I definitely recommend this book as other books I have read by the same author. She sure can weave a tale! I was blessed with an advanced copy of this book by the author and Thomas Nelson Publishers. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to review this book positively.
CindyFW 8 months ago
This was a hard book to read for me. It follows two couples: Chloe and Jesse are the contemporary couple and Hamilton and Esther are the couple from the 18th century. The narrative goes back and forth among these four characters (apart from one scene or chapter in Hamilton's mother's POV, which didn't need to be included). For some reason, I really couldn't get into the historical narrative. Maybe because this is an historical period that doesn't interest me too much and therefore I didn't connect with the characters. I did like the update on Hamilton and Esther toward the end. The contemporary narrative with Chloe and Jesse was easier to follow up, despite the uneven relationship between them. There's kind of a revelation towards the end that was interesting as a resolution to both stories. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
amybooksy 9 months ago
The Love Letter is a pretty good read and the newest release by Rachel Hauck. I especially was intrigued with Hamilton and Esther’s plot of the book. It was fascinating how their centuries ago story intertwines with modern day characters Jesse and Chloe. I would give The Love Letter 4 stars. I recommend it for those who love a good, sweet and clean historical. Looking forward to more like this one by Rachel Hauck in the future. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
JanineRos 9 months ago
This novel offers two powerful love stories for the price of one. Ms. Hauck is the queen of the time slip, entwining stories across generations so both historical and contemporary fans are pleased. The 18th century story has everything that a good separated-by-war story needs. And Hamilton Lightfoot is a hero for the ages. The 21st century story is set in a place not necessarily known for its long-lasting romance: Hollywood. Yet, this story is so refreshing and sweet, it will have you believing in timeless love again.
LucyMR1 9 months ago
Just finished this and was impressed as always with how Ms. Hauck weaves two time periods together and ties them up with a red bow to present them to you as a gift. My favorite character is Hamilton and the sacrifices he makes for love of country and the woman he loves. His greatest strength is when he learns to follow......I love that the love letter is preserved through the ages and is woven into both plots to make for an interesting read. I was more invested in the historical side, as I’m not a fan of Hollywood, but it worked. These characters all faced real struggles with feelings of inadequacy and learning to move on to the path God has planned. I needed tissues a few times over Hamilton and Esther’s story. Another home run for this author. I won a copy of this book and was blessed. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
JennGrand 10 months ago
I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Hauck, and her latest book definitely does not disappoint! In this book, you will meet charismatic characters that cross centuries, you will fall in love with falling in love, and of course the written words of love letters.  The book begins introducing you to Chloe, an actress who is trying to get out of a rut, and auditions for a role in a love story. When Chloe meets her onscreen love interest Jesse, a man who is afraid of love after heartbreak, she wonders if their onscreen chemistry is real or just an act.  Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary war, you'll meet Hamilton and Esther who fall into a forbidden love. You'll love reading how the two storylines intertwine, and how Hamilton and Esther's love impacts that of Chloe and Jesse, and you will not want this book to end! 
VillaSyl 10 months ago
The Love Letter is a contemporary, historical novel, with two well-drawn couples worth rooting for. Rachel Hauck’s dual timeline was well done with enough surprises to keep the reader interested. One story of a historical romance that was thwarted by war, boundary disputes, and family loyalties. The second about current day Hollywood actors trying to make it big in their profession and all the emotional baggage they both carried from their past. Rachel cleverly intertwines the two stories, builds suspense, and creatively unveils a connection you won't see coming. The story weaves lessons of freedom through forgiveness that each character must embrace for others and themselves. Another delightful book from Rachel Hauck, you will not be disappointed. A great summer read if you like historical romance with a twist you will enjoy this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
sandralb 11 months ago
Rachel Hauck is the queen of intertwining contemporary and historical settings in such a flawless way. Her latest novel The Love Letter is no exception. Many times with novels like this, you are drawn to the historical story and not so much to the present day. Or if you are not a history lover, it is the opposite and you like the present day version better. Rachel does a wonderful job of blending and tying in the characters, that the transition from one to the other is flawless. There are four main characters or two different couples and their love stories that make up this novel. Chloe and Jesse from present day and the historical couple from 240 years ago Esther and Hamilton. Both couples are so adorable you can't help but fall in love with them. From the twist and turns I never knew what would happen next. I found myself on the end of my seat until the very last page of this book. I tried the audio version but kept getting lost. I would miss something and have to go back and listen again. I enjoyed the book and didn't want to miss a thing, so I put the audio away and read it instead. One of my favorite quotes from this book “ She laughed, bold and free. Love broke chains, Unlocked doors, Healed wounds.” I loved reading this book and would recommend it.
MeezCarrie 11 months ago
4.5 stars This book did not go at all the way I thought it would. And I’m giddy about that. Giddy at the power of story. Giddy at well-woven plot lines. Giddy at redemption and restoration and stories that don’t turn out the way we plan but are all the better for it. From word one, I was captivated by Hamilton and Esther’s story. How could I not be? Star-crossed loves whose families are on opposite sides of the War for Independence, both hoping to avoid the conflict altogether and both failing to do so. Both are strong characters, though I dare say that Esther is the stronger of two. (Sorry, Hamilton!) Fast forward a couple hundred years and we meet Chloe and Jesse as they prepare to tell Hamilton and Esther’s story the way Jesse – Hamilton’s descendant – imagines it to be. I loved watching their instant heated attraction mature into a deep and heartfelt friendship even as they tried to put their growing feelings on the back burner. And perhaps most compelling to me in this present day timeline is Chloe’s redemption story – its newness to her yet its absolute rightness in her spirit, the way I can see it shining in her eyes even though she’s “just” a character on a page. Not to mention a couple of surprising plot twists that I’m still gushing about (quietly so I don’t give away any spoilers lol). It was also fun to see a nod to Hauck’s Royal Weddings series tucked away for faithful fans. Which brings me to how much I love love love Rachel Hauck’s stories for the way she seamlessly weaves in divine nudges and supernatural winks throughout the plot. Bottom Line: The Love Letter is incredibly poignant, hopeful, redemptive and yes, entertaining. The cast of memorable characters (even the supporting ones) will linger with me for a while, and their stories certainly will. This is a great story, a sweet romance, and an intriguing dual timeline plot. But what makes this a must-read is the message! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
KrisAnderson_TAR 11 months ago
The Love Letter is the latest novel by Rachel Hauck. Chloe Daschle is auditioning for a role that could change her career. She has become stereotyped into roles where she dies, and it is time to change her fate. She gets the role of Esther Longfellow in Bound by Love written by Jesse Gates. The other thing Chloe longs for is her one true love. After several disastrous romances, she wonders if the right man is out there for her. Then Chloe meets screenwriter and actor, Jesse Gates at a friend’s wedding. Based on a letter from an ancestor, Jesse wrote Bound by Love. When Jesse meets Chloe, he wonders if she is the woman for him. He is not sure that he deserves a happily ever after because of what happened eight years prior. Esther Longfellow has been in love with Hamilton Lightfoot for many years. She has returned from two years in London with the hopes of marrying him. However, war is breaking out and their families are on opposite sides. Esther’s father, Sir Michael is a loyalist who will not allow his daughter to marry someone unworthy of her much less a patriot. After a devastating death, Hamilton goes off to war and sees many horrors. One night before a big battle, he pens a love letter to Esther. Four people, two stories, one letter. The Love Letter is a novel about finding someone who will love you, complement you, be there for you during the good times and the bad times. Finding someone to love can be easy but finding your soul mate is a different matter. I thought the story was nicely written and the author takes readers on a journey. The Love Letter is a dual storyline novel that is told from four point-of-views. I did find it jarring with the four POV’s in the beginning (trying to keep the characters and their stories straight). It became easier as I progressed through the book. I found Esther and Hamilton’s storylines more compelling. The author did a wonderful job at capturing the time-period (starts in 1781) with the descriptions of the area, the clothing, the various Revolutionary War battles and attitudes. It was clever how the author connects the four people together (I do not want to spoil it for you). The Christian elements are light but present throughout. Having faith is the main theme. You need to have faith that God has the best plan for your life. I appreciate that the author did not make the characters perfect. She made them realistic with their own flaws and struggles. My rating for The Love Letter is 4 out of 5 stars. It is a lovely story, but I did find the pacing to be slow and the transitions were not smooth (as we switched from character to character). The Love Letter is a satisfying romantic Christian story with an unpredictable, heartfelt ending.
ASimplyEnchantedLife 11 months ago
Rachel Hauck is one of my favorite authors. She weaves past and present in a seamless and cohesive story that leaves you absolutely breathless. I'm going to be honest, the direction that The Love Letter took in the past tense, it's one that makes logical sense. But...I really struggled with accepting things. The romantic in me wanted a happy ending for everyone. This isn't in any way a knock on the book as it is beautifully written. I just fell in love with the characters so much that I wanted a happy ending for EVERYONE and it wouldn't have made much sense for that to happen. That's not to say that this book ends with sadness. The author does give us a happy ending. I couldn't have asked for any better for a feel good-redemption and hope story than this one. Rachel Hauck proves time and time again that she's a master at crafting emotionally gripping stories with characters you cannot help but love. I honestly wasn't sure if I could enjoy a book more than I had enjoyed The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck last year but The Love Letter is every bit as good. If you love historical and contemporary love stories, then you definitely should check out The Love Letter. This book was provided to me by The Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Deana0326 11 months ago
This is a beautiful love story that reaches into the depths of your soul. It lingers there as you feel the emotions and become one with the characters. I loved the transition from present day with Jesse and Chloe to the past with Esther and Hamilton. The author does an amazing job of transporting readers to the Revolutionary War where we find two people deeply in love. I wanted Chloe to have her forever soul mate so bad I cried though each scene. Have you ever loved someone so much it hurt to be away from them? That is what Esther felt each time she was apart from Hamilton. Their story is powerful and I loved how the author captured their feelings with words, looks and a special letter. Do you know what it is like to want to be with someone you love, but obstacles get in the way? The author makes Esther and Hamilton come alive with her compassionate writing style. Jesse and Chloe are in the present and their story is just as fierce as Esther and Hamilton's. Chloe has had a hard time as an actress and finally finds a part in a film that could boost her career. This is where the story for me really made an impact. I can't tell you how many times I have lost at love and had my heart broken. When Jesse and Chloe share intimate moments from their past, their vulnerability was the meat of the story. To trust someone so completely with pain from your past, is the start of a true relationship. I loved how their story ran parallel with Esther and Hamilton's. The story is emotional and one that captures you with a quiet peace. The author explores what happens when pride overtakes you and forgiveness is hard to accept. I loved how the characters were easy to connect with. This is in my opinion the best book the author has ever written. There are so many lessons to be learned throughout the story and shows how love is one of the most treasured feelings we can have and receive. "When a man loves a woman, nothing can hold him back. The same is true of women. When she is in love, there is no force more powerful." I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Deana0326 11 months ago
This is a beautiful love story that reaches into the depths of your soul. It lingers there as you feel the emotions and become one with the characters. I loved the transition from present day with Jesse and Chloe to the past with Esther and Hamilton. The author does an amazing job of transporting readers to the Revolutionary War where we find two people deeply in love. I wanted Chloe to have her forever soul mate so bad I cried though each scene. Have you ever loved someone so much it hurt to be away from them? That is what Esther felt each time she was apart from Hamilton. Their story is powerful and I loved how the author captured their feelings with words, looks and a special letter. Do you know what it is like to want to be with someone you love, but obstacles get in the way? The author makes Esther and Hamilton come alive with her compassionate writing style. Jesse and Chloe are in the present and their story is just as fierce as Esther and Hamilton's. Chloe has had a hard time as an actress and finally finds a part in a film that could boost her career. This is where the story for me really made an impact. I can't tell you how many times I have lost at love and had my heart broken. When Jesse and Chloe share intimate moments from their past, their vulnerability was the meat of the story. To trust someone so completely with pain from your past, is the start of a true relationship. I loved how their story ran parallel with Esther and Hamilton's. The story is emotional and one that captures you with a quiet peace. The author explores what happens when pride overtakes you and forgiveness is hard to accept. I loved how the characters were easy to connect with. This is in my opinion the best book the author has ever written. There are so many lessons to be learned throughout the story and shows how love is one of the most treasured feelings we can have and receive. "When a man loves a woman, nothing can hold him back. The same is true of women. When she is in love, there is no force more powerful." I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
amandainpa 11 months ago
This was a beautiful love story with an interesting premise. The story jumps from past to present with the reader following Chloe and Jesse, an actress and screenwriter in present day and Esther and Hamilton, 2 friends in love on opposite sidelines during the Revolutionary War. The stories parallel each other in many clever ways. I loved Esther and Hamilton’s story…it was tragic and reminded me somewhat of a “Romeo and Juliet-esque” forbidden love trope that I often enjoy. The descriptions of the time period were very vivid and the story moved quickly. Chloe and Jesse’s story was sweet…they were each dealing with ghosts from their past and helped each other through. I loved Chloe’s view on marriage and how the author emphasized how special and sacred marriage is. This is something that is so rare in fiction today that I really appreciated it. There was a lot of faith content and some supernatural scenes that were very special. One issue I had with the story was that one character was saved and the other wasn’t and it was never really mentioned as an issue. Being “unequally yoked” is very problematic to relationships and although things were resolved in the end, I wish it would have been mentioned at some point earlier in the story. I also found Chloe at times to be a bit materialistic, which was a bit off-putting. Certainly, she was born and raised in a very wealthy environment but a few of her comments made her a bit unlikable to me. Overall, I would highly recommend this book and will definitely dive into more of Rachel’s stories. She is a very gifted author. My Rating: 4 stars I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Kathae 11 months ago
Author Rachel Hauck has penned a beautiful novel that brings together two couples separated by 250 years. This book is filled with heartbreak and joy as both couples must navigate past or present obstacles to love. The transformation of each character was amazing to witness. I especially loved Chloe for her courage, perseverance, and faith. It was so neat to see how her life positively affected those around her. I loved this book, and hope to re-read it soon. Again, Chloe just got to me on so many levels. I also adore the heavenly touches that Hauck adds to her novels. Fans of historical and contemporary romance will enjoy this story. Those who want a Hollywood insider's perspective of that life will be thrilled. I received an e-ARC of this book for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
ARS8 11 months ago
Wow. This story or stories, I should say, were intricately told and tied together. This is a time slip novel with the historical story taking place during the Revolutionary War and the modern story part of the time on a Hollywood movie set. I enjoyed both stories. The name at the beginning of the chapter would tell us what viewpoint was next. This story was told in four points of view: Hamilton and Esther, and Jesse and Chloe. Sometimes I would not be ready to be done with one part of the story before I was suddenly taken away into either the past or the future. However, I ended up liking that part as it made the story seem breathless and everything that was happening was important and intertwined. All four individuals are seeking to be loved, by that one special person. I really liked how the author defined marriage, and she did so a couple of times. In the modern times we are shown just how shallow relationships are, and how marriage is not honored the way it should be. Chloe’s own famous parents are not married but have lived “happily” together for many years. Chloe was different; she did not just want a promise or a superficial relationship. She wanted an abiding love, a covenant promise kind, which God joins together. The story of the past made me think with honor and thankfulness all the more of the sacrifices those who lived and died during the Revolutionary War gave so that we may have the freedoms today that so many of us take for granted. That was a darker part of the story as because of war there was hatred, violence, death, and grievous wounds. As I was reading I was thinking how blessed we are as Americans to not have war happening right in our backyards like it did during the Revolutionary War. I cannot even imagine living in such a time as neighbor against neighbor, family against family. There is so much more to this story, but my review is long enough. I highly recommend this engrossing read of love and sacrifice, and learning to let go and trust God has our best interests at heart. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
SBMC 11 months ago
I’ve read most of Rachel Hauck’s books and she never fails to amaze me. Every time I pick up her book, I come away astounded. The same is true of her newest offering. The Love Letter is beautifully written with an intricately detailed dual timeline plot that fits together like a puzzle. The characters are relatable, human, oh-so-flawed with painful pasts and incredibly lovable. If you love dual timeline romance, this book is definitely for you! Rachel Hauck has the ability to write emotionally-charged, heady romantic stuff without saccharin and with plenty of life-altering, soul-hurting events in her characters’ lives. As in most of her dual timeline novels, there is intrigue (as the delicious storyline slowly reveals itself), plenty of romance and angst, and gasp-inducing plot line twists. Chloe, our contemporary heroine, is a unique actress who is down-to-earth, sweet, kind, and thoughtful though she is born and bred in Hollywood. Her quest to find true love lands her at rock bottom and she meets Jesus there. Jesse, our contemporary hero, is a brilliant techie turned actor/screenwriter who is still battling his demons from the past and hides out in Hollywood. He is gentle, loving, and so tender-hearted but can’t let go of his past. Jesse’s first screenplay about his ancestor Hamilton and his first love Esther gets made into a movie and brings Jesse and Chloe together. Hamilton and Esther, the historical hero and heroine, get their own story through the screenplay as well as flashbacks. The lessons of faith that all four main characters learn throughout the book are applicable to all of us. Chloe’s faith is admirable and she finally learns to have freedom from fear. Hamilton and Esther’s faith that propels them to “come and follow Me” even when it means leaving everything they hold dear is a calling for all of us who believe. I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.