Cassandra Channing once had it all; a loving family and a privileged life. But the war of 1812 stripped her family of their wealth and ripped her family apart, and in the absence of her father and brothers it falls to Cassandra to take care of her family. With precious little money left, Cassandra realises the only way she can provide for her family, without getting married simply for security, is to invest in a privateer. The only problem is, the men of Baltimore refuse to do business with a woman.
Luke Heaton has always had a hard life. Bearing the guilty of his parents’ death, Luke has gone through life taking pleasure wherever he could find it. Notorious for his love of women, gambling and drink, Luke is the undisputed rogue of Baltimore. When his drinking gets out of hand, Luke is fired from Noah Brennin’s ship. When all seems lost, Luke wins a ship of his own through his gambling. Unfortunately the ship is not fit for privateering and nobody in Baltimore will risk going into business with the likes of Luke.
With no other option available to either of them, brought together by mutual desperation, Luke and Cassandra become partners. Cassandra provides the initial funding, and Luke sets about making both of them a fortune in privateering. It seems their partnership is doomed from the beginning; the people of Baltimore are scandalised that a proper lady like Cassandra would consciously be associated with the town rogue, and outside forces work together to see them fail – the man who will do anything to secure Cassandra’s hand in marriage (including sabotaging her precious investment and forcing her to live a life dependent on a husband), and the man who will do anything to exact revenge on the man who “stole” his ship (including setting Luke up to be caught by the British Navy - again).
Despite the uncertainty and danger that surrounds them, despite the rules of propriety that must separate them, Luke and Cassandra grow closer as they get to know each other. Luke discovers Cassandra is not the aloof socialite he always saw her to be, but a brave, intelligent, compassionate woman, and Cassandra realises that Luke’s tough exterior hides a wounded soul with a generous heart. Despite Luke’s belief that Cassandra is out of his league, the way she sometimes looks at him makes him wonder; is it possible that against all odds, Baltimore’s most eligible beauty could come to love the town rogue?
Just when it seems a happy future is secure, extreme circumstances force Luke to turn traitor and aid the British with supplies, risking everything and everyone he holds dear. Can he hide his treacherous activities from a woman as smart as Cassandra?
When the money sustaining her family dries up and Cassandra must seriously consider marrying a man she cannot stand, she sets about finding out what Luke is really up to. If she were to find out Luke was a traitor, would she ever be able to forgive him? And more importantly, when Luke and Cassandra are separated and placed in the most dangerous of circumstances, when they feel the most deserted, is that when they will finally come to realise that they have never been deserted at all? Can the God they both believe has forsaken them use them to make history?
MaryLu Tyndall’s Surrender The Dawn is the third and final book of the Surrender To Destiny series. It follows Surrender The Heart, and occurs more or less simultaneously with Surrender The Night. In this instalment we follow Luke and Cassandra, both of whom we have met in the previous two books.
Tyndall’s writing effortlessly combines action, intrigue, romance and faith. Once again she combines fact and fiction so perfectly, it's very easy to believe Luke Heaton and Cassandra Channing truly existed and had a special role to play in the war of 1812. Luke and Cassandra’s relationship is very accurately depicted considering the time, and the rules of propriety that goes with it. The obstacles between them are very real; the struggles they face in their daily lives, their relationship and their faith is very realistic, making both Luke and Cassandra very real, relatable characters. Their doubts and fears don't make them weak - it makes them real and believable. While their desire to love and be loved is powerful, their respective unnamed and unacknowledged desires for a relationship with the God they believe doesn't care about them is the most touching part of the story. The way God provides for them, cares for them and protects them (even when they can't see it) is beautifully done, and their tentative first steps in the direction of the Lord is a joy to experience.
Tyndall’s flawless imagery takes you back to 1812, and places the reader in the middle of the war. As she describes events you can feel the cold, smell the smoke and experience the devastation. Equally, she makes you feel the passion, the joy and the elation in equal measure. Tyndall’s writing is always a pleasure to read and this instalment is no exception.
Title: Surrender the Dawn
Author: MaryLu Tyndall
Number of pages: 320
Publisher: Barbour Books