- Title: The Rigel Affair
- Author: L M Hedrick
- Genre: Adventure, Romance, Military
- Length: 328 pages
- Publisher: Black Rose Writing
- Publication Date: December 27, 2018
The Rigel Affair Book Trailer
The Rigel Affair – Synopsis
I love how the author explains in detail all of the main characters’ beginnings, interweaving the different stories to skilfully tie them together at the finish… I loved this book! 5-Stars!! ~ Anthony E. for Readers’ Favorite
Abandoned by his part-Cherokee Ma, Charlie Kincaid escapes servitude with his uncle. He jumps a boxcar, accompanied by his schoolmate Roxy, who is escaping troubles of her own. Charlie becomes a US Navy Diver. Mattie Blanc is from a genteel New Zealand family. But when her brother’s friend persuades her to take a ride, it all goes horribly wrong. Desperate, she flees her family’s stifling expectations for a new life in Auckland. After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Charlie sets sail for Auckland aboard the USS Rigel. And there she is, the girl of his dreams. Mattie is everything that Roxy isn’t— sophisticated, tender, and patient. But the war intervenes… Rigel embarks for the Pacific war zones. Charlie’s letters are sporadic. Mattie is tormented by doubts; did he truly love her, or was it only a dream? The Rigel Affair produces a rip-roaring wartime romance and chilling danger unknown to most.
A young Naval officer must decide between the love of a schoolmate and the love of a soulmate in the historical romance novel, The Rigel Affair by L.M. Hedrick. U.S. Naval Diver Charlie Kincaid’s life instantly changed the moment he met young beautician Mattie Blanc; it was love at first sight. Despite the war and their lives going in separate directions, Charlie and Mattie’s love continued to grow. Only able to communicate through love letters, Charlie and Mattie experience the war separately, but together in spirit. After not hearing from Charlie for several months, Mattie tries to discover his location without any luck. At the same time, Charlie decides his life is not worth living if he can’t have Mattie by his side. Now that Charlie is on secret missions and far from Mattie’s New Zealand, will their relationship disintegrate? Or will love find a way to bring them back together?
Fans that enjoy reading stories written by Emily Baker Loring, and other wartime romance novels will also delight in reading The Rigel Affair by L.M. Hedrick. Viewing Charlie and Mattie’s authentic connection gave me hope. Despite having to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Charlie and Mattie’s passion for each other only deepens. Based on a true story, this book inspires its readers to not give up on love despite one’s impossible circumstances. I love how the author explains in detail all of the main characters’ beginnings, interweaving the different stories to skillfully tie them together at the finish. I appreciated how the author researched the era beforehand, drawing on letters from a family member; it shows beautifully in her story. I loved this book! I recommend The Rigel Affair to more mature readers as this novel contains adult content.
This almost biographical account of a man’s life in the Navy is compelling and interesting. In The Rigel Affair by L M Hedrick we follow along the path of Charlie Kincaid. We begin where Charlie begins: Mississippi in 1937. These are not easy times for a young man, especially a poor young man, but Charlie perseveres. This is a tough time: a time when war is pounding on the doorstep of America and Charlie steels himself towards his future. It’s not only Charlie we learn about, but Mattie Blanc too. Soon, their worlds will collide with each other and create a wonderful story that is as old as time. A poor boy, a well-off girl: a romance in a terrifying time.
Hedrick has done her research and it shows. The details that are poured into this novel are real, not fabricated, which pulls ever more at the heartstrings. Hedrick tells this tale of her mother’s love for her World War Two beau, our Charlie. This tale was inspired by letters and anecdotes from the author’s mother, but it is very much a treasured glimpse into what the world was like in the 1930s and 40s. These are the intimate tales that are becoming lost to the world as more and more veterans pass away.
Hedrick doesn’t sugar coat events or try to change personalities to suit her story. This is a very real retelling of events. Even if readers were not aware that the inspiration for this novel came from real individuals, Hedrick writes in such a way that readers would swear that the characters were about to jump off the page at them. By allowing readers to feel a connection with her characters, Hedrick allows them to surpass time and experience what it was like almost first hand. Historical romances have the unfortunate reputation of embellishing facts and events to suit the story the writer wants to tell. This can cause characters to be just that: characters. There is no reality to ground them or connect them to the reader. Hedrick goes above that. She uses the resources from her mother and goes further to clarify her understanding by contacting museums and doing compelling research. This gives birth to a story that is unlike others: a fiction with strong roots in the real world.
Readers who are looking for a compelling romance with a historical flair will not be disappointed with L M Hedrick’s The Rigel Affair. This book was expertly put together; based on research and real-life anecdotes. This is not a messy, fanciful romance that was crafted just for entertainment. This is a passionate, human look at what two lovers could overcome as World War Two rained down around them. This unique look brings the reality of war and the hardship of love together with the romance of fiction to tell a story that many might recognize hearing from their grandparents or other veterans. With our veterans disappearing around us, stories like this will become even more important to read, learn from, and cherish.
While The Rigel Affair is a work of fiction, it is based on the author’s mother’s life. LM Hedrick thanks her mother, Mattie, in the acknowledgements. The story is about Charlie Kincaid and Mattie Blanc. The first half of the book chronicles their separate lives until they meet. They only meet because of World War II. Charlie is American, while Mattie is from New Zealand. The war serves as the backdrop for their love affair.
Charlie grew up in Falkner, Mississippi. He has been abandoned by his mother and taken in by an uncle after a fire at the orphanage. The uncle basically treats him like an indentured servant. It is a miserable life, one from which Charlie cannot wait to escape. While attending school in Falkner, Charlie meets Roxy, a girl who needs an escape as badly as he does. Together, they end up running away, leaving Falkner far behind.
Mattie comes from a completely different world. She comes from a wealthy and privileged family in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is leading a very happy life until an encounter with one of her brother’s friends that shatters her ideal existence. After the incident, she decides on a new path for her life. She will move to Auckland and become a hairdresser. The new path will lead her to Charlie.
Charlie ends up joining the navy as a diver after a brief time working on cargo ships. This leads him to Hawaii, where he experiences the attack on Pearl Harbor. After that, he is sent to Auckland, New Zealand. In New Zealand, Charlie and Mattie meet and it is an instant connection. Mattie is working as a hairdresser there, after graduating first in her class. She ended up in Auckland because her brother and his wife moved there.
I am giving the book a 4 out of 5. It is well written and engaging. Once I started reading, I found myself invested in the lives of Charlie and Mattie. I wanted to know what happens to them. I would classify the book as historical romance/drama. It was an interesting story that seemed incredibly believable. Scenarios like the one in the story probably played out many times during times of war.
Like so many stories during war times, it is not a straight path. After Mattie and Charlie fall in love and spend as much times as possible with each other, the war ends up taking Charlie to a completely different part of the world. After that, the two have to keep in touch through letters in a time before that was even all that reliable. The story is about what happens to them before, during and after the war. It was very engaging and definitely worth a read. I did feel like I was right in the middle of the action. The author definitely did the research about the time period. Overall, this is a solid book.
About the Author
Lynette grew up listening to her mother Mattie’s stories about her WW2 love for US Navy Diver Charlie. She used Mattie’s 30 letters from Charlie, and together with her insightful editor/advisor husband, Bud, they completed extensive research to give reality to The Rigel Affair. Lynette has published multiple short stories for NZ magazines. Both Lynette and Bud have completed numerous Creative Writing courses at Auckland University. Lynette is an accomplished expressionist Artist, with works sold internationally.