Hold Me Close

Book One of Revolutionary Faith

Time: Fall, 1772 – Spring, 1773

Setting: Charles Town, South Carolina

The leisurely life Louis has intended does not include Revolution.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1772—Louis Lestarjette arrives from France without purpose or plans beyond reconnecting with family and making a profit. Finding the town questioning its alliances, Louis must make decisions about the direction in his life, even as he tries to avoid all political conflict. He wonders if he will be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence. When decisive events confront him, Louis finds himself torn between staying with the woman he loves or escaping the coming conflicts.

Elizabeth Elliott trusts that God will hold her close in uncertain changing times. Faced with difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, he challenges her role in the political battle. She must decide what actions she can take for the cause, if any at all.

Exciting trip back into colonial history through engaging characters.

5.0 out of 5 stars.

Hold Me Close brings to life the real struggles of our nation as it is formed through the lives of characters that are real and memorable. It was a good read that leaves you wanting more.

This is a world on the brink of war. Everyone can feel the tension as sides are chosen and lines are drawn. I find it wonderful when a book immerses you in history while weaving a love story.

Highly Recommended!

I am thoroughly impressed with the author’s research and details of life in the late 1700’s. This is a fascinating read with regards to the feelings and actions of people on either side of the upcoming war, and how little say most women had in their families and towns until they begin to meet and share knowledge. The author brings color and texture to a vital time in our history, and the reliance on the Lord by those who dedicated time, resources, and lives to fight for our country’s independence. This is a must read to those who appreciate Christian historical fiction; I highly recommend it!

Left me wanting more!

I loved Gray’s examination of gender roles and the historical context of each relationship. I was left considering how each of these characters would have lived/behaved in different times and I just LOVE a story that leaves me wanting more or pondering it between bouts of reading.

Rich in Historical Context

“Gray’s voice is clear and the language completely entrancing. Watching such dynamic characters’ stories entwine and play out left me so excited for the next book in the series.”

Well-written Historical Romance!

5.0 out of 5 stars.

Hold Me Close is a sweet romance set during the volatile times leading up to the American Revolution. Although a work of fiction, some of the events are real, and many of the people and places existed. Partially told through the viewpoint of Louis, a Frenchman and outsider, readers are exposed to both sides of the issues that thrust the colonies into war with their motherland. Description and dialogue effectively evoke the flavor of the era.

~Linda Shenton Matchett, Author

Colonial America is not a time period I typically read, so I appreciated the historical information woven throughout the story. Christian themes of God’s love and forgiveness, as well as dependence on God are evidenced through the character’s lives without being overly preachy. The novel ties up all the “loose ends,” but does include a bit of a cliff hanger. Historical notes, sketches, and photos give readers additional insight into the characters and time period.

Great things to Come from this Author!

5.0 out of 5 stars.

This book is rich in history that I was transported back to 1772. I loved Elizabeth Elliott. She was true to her feelings even if she was sacrificing the love of her family. She could very easily pretend her loyalty to the crown. But she knew she couldn’t do this….

Hold Me Close Quotes

“Keep your eyes open, young man. This New World is about to become a major figure in the lives of your king and mine.”

HMC, Mr. Raley

“His heart told him to take hold, find a firm grip, and not let go. ”

HMC, Louis Lestarjette

“It seems so simple here where the roots of families don’t go back centuries. The money is new, the land abundant, the dress less formal.”

HMC, Jeannette Wilson

“Just listen and wait. The masks may not be behind wigs and makeup and fashion, but nevertheless, they are there. Beware.”

HMC, Elizabeth

“Something has to change, Father, and it will.”

HMC, Elizabeth

“This new George in my life is a sore spot.”

HMC, Elizabeth

“The crèche. The birth of Jesus. So simple but what a life changing event for everyone.”

HMC, Elizabeth

“Dashing isn’t all it is cut out to be when I couldn’t be myself.”

HMC, Elizabeth

“Was he a Patriot or a Loyalist? Neither. He was a Frenchman with no country, no roots, no loyalists…and no struggles. ”

HMC, Louis

“At least I’m honest and say I support neither cause.”

HMC, Louis

“This won’t be easy, Elizabeth. The obstacles are great.”

HMC, Louis

“He was more loyal to the Wilsons, Christopher, and Elizabeth than to a king. Any king—Louis XV, George III, or King Jesus.”

HMC, Louis

“My love for you hasn’t changed. But you need to know where I stand on this issue.”

HMC, Elizabeth

He waved goodbye to a place he now called home, Charles Town. To a life and to a world he had never expected to cherish.

HMC, Louis

Research for Hold Me Close:

Research began in 2005 with determination to find out about my eight times great grandfather from France who lived in Charles Town, SC as an adult. So many questions! Why did he leave France for the colonies? What did he think about the brewing conflict? Why would he stay? I spent a week in Charleston by myself walking the streets and researching. As I wrote about my finds, a story formed in my imagination: The story begins in Hold Me Close. After reading 25 resources, I wrote this installment and considered a series. Louis and Elizabeth’s story continues as did my research.

I spent hours in the South Carolina History room at the South Carolina library in Charleston, St. Philip’s Church, and the South Carolina Historical Society Library. More trips and research occurred with each additional novel.

I LOVE Charleston!

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