This book is the opener for a Patricia Potter trilogy; see below for other volumes. Ive read most of what Ms. Potter has written and this isnt one of her best. However, this is her first published novel and it is an interesting mix of early American history with a romance intertwined.
Samantha Chatham and Brendan O'Neill were going to elope even though their families were embroiled in a bitter feud. Samanthas father got wind of it and challenged Brendan to a duel; the younger man was killed on his wedding day. Samantha was devastated and fought bitterly with her father for months.
Mr. Chatham, a devout Tory, plots to kill off the rest of the ONeills. To that end, he gets a British officer to arrest the two remaining ONeills and put them on a British prison ship a quick ticket to the next life. That British officer takes a fancy to Samantha and Mr. Chatham tries to force Sam to marry him. Samantha is horrified by the prospect and runs away after cutting her hair and altering her appearance and clothing.
She goes to the secret cave where she and Brendan had spent so many hours as children. Connor, Brendans older brother, had shared the secret with them while they were all youngsters. When Sam gets there, she finds Connor, who has escaped from the prison ship. He is seriously wounded and Sam takes care of him until he recovers.
The young boy named Sam (Samantha in disguise) asks Connor to take her along to Francis Marion (the Swamp Foxs) hideout. The Swamp Fox and a group of expert American marksmen are conducting guerilla tactics against the British. This is the story of the British control of the Carolinas during the Revolutionary War.
This book is more interesting as an explanation of this portion of the Revolutionary War than as a romance. One of my least-favorite romance conventions is to use the Big Mistake that separates the two lovers; it is used in this book.
On a more positive note, Patricia Potter has 2 new offerings coming in April 2014: The Soldier's Promise (2014) in book form and a double-book available via the Kindle the same month.
1. Swamp Fire (1988)
2. Samara (1989)
3. The Silver Link (1991)
Driven by desperation...
Samantha Chatham fled her Carolina home in
disguise. She had no optionâit was the only way
to escape the bitterness and betrayal that had
shattered her world.
Imprisoned by circumstance.........
She was trapped in her own deception. And tested
each day by her love for Connor O'Neill, the man
who had given her a place to hide. The one person
who must never learn her true identity.
Locked in a battle of revenge and lies...
Connor had a score to settle with her family
And Samanlha knew that when she dropped her
disguise, Connor's feelings could too easily turn to
hate. But passion had a way of unmasking
more than one deception,,..