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Celebrate Lit: Reclaiming the Spy by Lorri Dudley


About the Book

Book: Reclaiming the Spy

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: August 29, 2023


How can he protect her from himself when she keeps winding up in his arms?


She never gave up hope. After ten years of prayers for her husband, presumed dead in the Peninsula Wars, Abigail Emerson is shocked to discover him alive. Yet what should be the happily ever after of fairy tales becomes a nightmare when he coldly instructs her to forget she’d ever seen him. Abigail refuses to let her beloved slip through her fingers again, and she’s willing to battle for his love, despite the walls he’s created to barricade his heart.



Nicholas Emerson’s time as a spy for the War Office has left physical and mental battle wounds. He can never be the charming, carefree man he once was—the man his wife deserves—but when a threat to Abby’s life returns him to their small Midland village, keeping her safe proves more challenging than expected. If only Abby would forget him and remarry, then he wouldn’t have to face the torment of all the tender, buried feelings she evokes. The consequence of his life as a spy means he can never have her again…

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About the Author

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

More from Lorri

When writing stories, I delve into research to provide the best experience for my readers, hoping to transport them to another time and setting, in this case, the lush green rolling hills of England’s Cotswolds at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. However, God had an alternative plan for me during my research and writing of Reclaiming the Spy. To prepare for the beginning scene with Mama Em, I read Glimpses of Heaven by Trudy Harris, RN. Trudy Harris was a hospice nurse and wrote about her clients in their final days. I’ve never sobbed through every book chapter quite like I had this one. At the same time, I was encouraged to hear how many of her patients heard glorious music, observed beautiful scenes, had visions of past friends or family members, witnessed angels, or even saw their Savior, Jesus Christ.


I didn’t realize that God was preparing me through my research for my dad to go into hospice care. In his final stages, my dad spoke of seeing his parents in vivid dreams, and thanks to reading about similar situations in Glimpses of Heaven, I know they were waiting to welcome him into heaven. I’m so grateful for how God readied my heart, and I was able to draw comfort in seeing how He blurs the lines of this realm and the next to make for an easier transition. God is good all the time, and I felt his presence beside me the entire way.

I’d initially titled my manuscript Love Never Fails because Abby and Nicholas struggle to learn the qualities of love from 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind… love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Nicholas’s debilitating spells and nightmares after serving as a spy in the Napoleonic Wars cause him to fear Bedlam and that he may hurt Abby. Post-traumatic stress disorder wasn’t a mental health diagnosis of the early 1800s, but it did exist. Mental hospitals (or madhouses) were frightening places where inmates were often treated like zoo animals. Spectators would come for enjoyment to stare and laugh at the men and women housed there.

While my parents didn’t have a wartime story like Abby and Nicholas, they shared a love that endured through good and bad times and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past year. The last few days my dad was alive, he sang Amazing Grace and to my mom a Doris Day song, I Love You a Bushel and a Peck. They shared a love that never failed, and that is the love I hoped to convey through Abby and Nicholas’s story.


Blog Stops

Alena Mentink, August 30

Betti Mace, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 3

Texas Book-aholic, September 4

Sylvan Musings, September 4

Lily’s Book Reviews, September 10

Christina’s Corner, September 10

Book Looks by Lisa, September 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 12 (Author Interview)

Pause for Tales, September 12

Holly’s Book Corner, September 13



Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


My Review:


I often reserve a five-star rating for those books that really impact me in some way.


I can't say that this book did that--no spiritual epiphany or emotional breakthrough. However, I didn't want it to end. I couldn't even start reading another book that same day...I wanted to keep "talking" to the characters.


In some ways, this was a traditional regency romance...with title characters and an eventful ball. However, the bulk of the story dealt with the effects of PTSD after the Napoleonic wars, even though PTSD has gone through a number of name changes over the years, starting with coward and madness.


I loved how loyal and strong the heroine was, both in faith and in character. She was someone I could appreciate, even though she started off with saying something she never should have said. We are all human, even the best of us.


In the end, I highly recommend this book.


I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of a Celebrate Lit tour, but the opinions are my own.




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