Ingalls Publishing Group, Inc; February 26, 2011
Lilyan joins Patriot spies in British-occupied Charlestown, SC, to rescue her brother from a notorious prison ship. She’ll lie, steal, kill or be killed she promises Nicholas Xanthakos, a scout with Francis Marion’s partisans, who leads the mission. In Nicholas’ arms she discovers enduring love…a home. But that home is a long time coming. Her journey requires she save the life of one British officer but kill another to protect her Cherokee friend Elizabeth. In escaping bounty hunters, she treks miles of wilderness and very nearly loses everything before finally reuniting with her true love.
Romantic Historical Fiction
Heat Rating: 1
REVIEW RATING: 4.5 stars
REVIEW BY: Helena
The Chamomile, by Susan F. Craft, is an action-packed historical fiction novel with strong romantic elements. The story is set in colonial South Carolina, a time when the British occupied the colonies, and the American patriots were fighting for their independence.
Our heroine, Lilyan, learns that her brother Andrew is captured alongside other patriots, and is charged with being a traitor to the British Crown. Since this is his second capture, and he is now considered a traitor who broke his oath to the British, his punishment is much more severe. He is transferred to one of the British prison ships, where he faces being forced to leave the colonies and join the British Army.
Lilyan is determined to rescue her brother from his uncertain fate at any cost. She becomes a rebel spy pretending to be a British Loyal, and uses her position as an artist to pass along any information she comes across that might help further the cause. Despite her brother‘s eventual rescue, her continued journey is not without perils. Her cover is blown when her friend and constant companion, a Cherokee Indian named Elizabeth, is attacked by a British officer. She and Elizabeth must then flee for their lives and avoid being captured for the bounty on their heads.
Along the way, she meets, falls in love with and marries Nicholas Xanthakos, a member of the American Militia who fights alongside “The Swamp Fox,“ Francis Marion. While she never questions or doubts her love for Nicholas, we see the hardship of falling in love with a rebel soldier. She endures lengthy time away from her husband, and at times does not know when or if she will see him again.
The Chamomile is an incredible novel, with wonderful depth and historical accuracy. The author’s love and respect for the time period shows on every page with her meticulous attention to detail. The peek we are given into life during the colonial time period is absolutely fascinating.
The characters, as real as flesh and blood, are easy to fall in love with. You will find yourself rooting for them and worrying for them, and so engaged in their story that you won’t want to put this book down. Lilyan is a top notch heroine, whose courage and bravery are to be admired.
The Chamomile is one of the best historical romantic fiction novels I have read so far this year. I look forward to reading what Susan F. Craft comes out with next.
**Susan has kindly offered up a copy of her novel, The Chamomile to be given away to one lucky reader of this blog. To be entered in the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post with your email address. A winner will be selected at random on 8/15/12 **
I am a thirty something year old who often feels like she was born in the wrong era. By day I am the office manager of a small accounting firm, and a full time student working towards becoming a CPA. By night, I enjoy losing myself in the past by watching classic movies and reading historical fiction. I am also an avid knitter who loves spinning her own yarn. I enjoy reading books set in all different eras, but my personal favorite era is the early 1900′s through the first World War.