The Rigel Affair Video, Awards & Editorial Reviews!

★★★★★ “…Most of my attention was taken up by the compelling narratives of the two protagonists. Easily my favorite part of the book was the detail given. It’s obvious the author has great love for this time period, and it shows on every page. One of Charlie’s missions will always stick out in my mind… 5 Stars!!”   by Jo Niederhoff for San Francisco Book Review

★★★★★ “…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. 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 loved this book! 5-Stars!!”    by Anthony E. for Readers’ Favorite

“The Literary Titan Gold Book Award is bestowed on books that we found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written novels.”


☆☆☆☆☆ A young Naval officer must decide between the love of a schoolmate and the love of a soulmate in the Historical Thriller Romance novel, The Rigel Affair by L M Hedrick. US Navy 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 Emilie Baker Loring, and other wartime Thriller 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 information from their travels, archives, museums, shipmates and family members; 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. ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 STARS!!

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Reviewed By Anthony Elmore for Readers’ Favorite


☆☆☆☆☆ Many novels of wartime romance and battle open with predictable scenarios, but picture an initial Huckleberry Finn-type feel of adventure in The Rigel Affair, and then be prepared for more. Its young protagonist faces big changes during his story, which is set in World War II and steeped in the atmosphere and world of both Mississippi and wartime America.


Hedrick first builds Charlie’s character with an early portrait of the sights, sounds, and smells of his world (“Dry dirt boiled up from the wheels as a steady reminder of that waiting hoe. Timber buildings, lonesome in the vast landscape, stood in a row parallel to the track. The last building was Bill Rogers’ general merchandise store, adjoining the Bank of Falkner, with its wide-swept timber porch bearing the hopeful message of Welcome in the break of day.”).  She takes the time to craft a setting in which Charlie escapes a life of drudgery with his uncle, embarks on a cross-country journey with schoolmate Roxy, becomes a US Navy diver, and finds himself voyaging to New Zealand after Pearl Harbor is bombed.


Hedrick excels at bringing readers along for Charlie’s ride, which is replete with observations of foreign lands and infused with national pride: “Hawaii: the very name excited the troops onboard, and the constant bouts of vomiting were soon forgotten as early morning brought the shores of Waikiki rising above the horizon off the port bow. A green land, thick with vegetation, ablaze with hazy pink and chocolate-colored mountains, drastically changed as the ship rounded the corner of Pearl Harbor and slowed to five knots. Charlie ogled the first fleet of battleships that circled Ford Island. The USS California gave reason to their mission. A feeling of respect unexpectedly fell upon him as he stood there in amazement, his eyes fixed on the strength and the size of the battleships. A symphony of whoops and hollers lifted from the decks surrounding him, men proud at the power before them.”


Those who expect a quick read may find the buildup and attention to the details of Charlie’s pre-war life to be slow precursors to the action; but this is a major attribute of a story which takes its time, resulting in the payoff of depth in a thoroughly absorbing read.


Romance takes an unusual turn as Charlie considers and contrasts different romantic possibilities, but becomes increasingly committed to New Zealand girl Mattie. Torn apart by war, Charlie and Mattie conduct much of their romance via correspondence until Charlie’s letters stop, leading Mattie on a desperate search to find him.


Perhaps one reason why their story is so hard-hitting and evocative is that it’s based on real-life events. This background, combined with well-researched information about events of the times, lends an authenticity and rich profundity to the story line. Quite often this sense is transmitted through small details: “I saw you looking around with your fork upside-down… not very American.” “If you’d like to know,” Charlie scratched his head, and tried to act the perfect gentleman. “I eat with my hands. We all do on the ship, I mean. We can’t keep cutlery, it’s not allowed. Shows up on Jap radar. This is top secret.”

Graphic descriptions of battle and other encounters capture scenes and translate to descriptions of romantic connections and military associations alike: “Wipe that smirk off, Kincaid.” He twitched his crop. “None of you, and I repeat, none of you, have the balls to become a Navy Diver.” He paced and slapped the riding crop against his thigh, “That’s my job—to give you balls and turn you into the best. We will soon uncover the pussies.” The Chief pivoted again to Charlie, “Why did you come here?” “The Navy’s my home.” Charlie answered, and promptly wanted to erase the words.”


Historical fiction readers who like more than a light touch of romance in their wartime reads will find The Rigel Affair a vivid portrait of the times. Waiting, hoping, dreaming, and struggles to survive on many levels permeate the love story of Charlie, who is torn between two lovers and two worlds. When even an engagement becomes bittersweet, what can mend the heartbreak of loss?

The Rigel Affair is very highly recommended for its blossoming adventure, relationships, and characters who grow, change, and confront their worlds.

☆☆☆☆☆ 5 STARS!!

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Reviewed By Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review


☆☆☆☆☆ It’s the beginning of the mid-1900s. The Second World War has started in Europe, but America is not yet (officially) involved. In New Zealand, men are preparing to ship out for combat.

And in the middle of all this, Charlie Kincaid and Mattie Blanc will be thrust together.

It’s a convoluted path they take to reach one another, but as the story is told through their alternating points of view, it was almost a given they would meet. The question, at least at first, is how. Charlie is a runaway from Mississippi, while Mattie is an ambitious young woman in New Zealand. Even with the war and the two of them likely traveling, I couldn’t tell exactly how they would meet.

Lest you think I spent the whole first third of the book consumed by this question, let me set the record straight: this was an idle fancy, something I considered between reading sessions. Most of my attention was taken up by the compelling narratives of the two protagonists. Mattie’s story of overcoming trauma and pursuing a career will speak to any young woman, even as the details strike true to the time period. Charlie’s story will be just as interesting to young men, or to anyone interested in military history. He becomes a diver for the Navy and is stationed at Pearl Harbor just before the day the Japanese attacked. Meanwhile, Roxy, a young woman he met while running away, drifts in and out of his life, a constant reminder that you can never truly leave home behind.

Easily my favorite part of the book was the detail given. It’s obvious the author has great love for this time period, and it shows in every page. One of Charlie’s diving missions will always stick out in my mind. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, divers went down to rescue men trapped in the sinking ships. The taste of oil and water, and the horror of knowing some wouldn’t be saved, was startling and enthralling. I was also struck by the historical accuracy of the characters’ opinions. Some of the characters are bigoted and racist, and while that might leave a bad taste in some readers’ mouths, this was the 1940s. Such opinions were more openly expressed then, especially in such a tense situation as wartime.

The Rigel Affair was the first historical fiction book I read in 2019, and while it almost certainly won’t be the last, it was an excellent start to my reading year. As we draw ever closer to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of the war, I highly recommend reading fiction (and non-fiction) about it to see how much has changed… and how much hasn’t.

☆☆☆☆☆ 5 STARS!!

– 5 Stars!! Reviewed by Jo Niederhoff for San Francisco Book Review

The Bottom Line: Based on a true story, this World War II adventure is the American answer to “All The Light We Cannot See.”  Highly recommended!


The Rigel Affair  tells the globetrotting adventure of impoverished orphan Charlie Kincaid, who escapes an abusive life on a Mississippi cotton farm. After surviving boxcars and dockyards, Charlie ends up in New Orleans, where he joins the navy a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor draws the U.S. into the Second World War.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Mattie Blanc, the daughter of well-to-do socialites, is savagely raped by a family acquaintance.  When war breaks out, the family fears invasion by the Germans and Japanese, ultimately leaving their quiet villa for Auckland, where Mattie plans to enroll in hairdressing school.

Like Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See”, LM Hedrick’s lush novel about the wartime relationship between two young people, told in alternating points of view, focuses on the timeless themes of courage, love and survival. Hedrick’s gift for historical writing tugs at heartstrings while offering waves of suspense throughout. In particular, the early chapters — in which both Charlie and Mattie show their mettle against older predators — work especially well. Impeccably written and researched, The Rigel Affair – named after Kincaid’s ship – is a big tent book that will appeal to readers from all walks of life. Highly recommended!

– Highly Recommended by Best Thrillers


☆☆☆☆☆ Mattie Blanc believes from an early age that her past will forever haunt her and will be the ultimate cause for her life alone leaving her starved for true love. Charlie Kincaid, on the other hand, has true love chasing him across the world, but his is a one-way relationship in which he is not a willing participant. Both Mattie and Charlie have pasts that haunt them and have overcome almost insurmountable odds to become successful and proud in their fields; Mattie has received an education and is employed by a hair salon, and Charlie is a diver in the United States Navy. The one thing missing from their lives is each other.

Inspired by events in the life of the author’s own family, The Rigel Affair by L.M. Hedrick, traces the lives of Mattie and Charlie as they grow up in very different corners of the Earth to their eventual chance meeting as adults in Auckland, New Zealand. Once the two meet, their lives are never the same, and Hedrick makes clear from their first outing together that the two are destined to be together. This primarily historical fiction book is laced with romance and a bit of intrigue–just enough to appeal to multiple groups of readers.

Not knowing how much the character of Roxy is based on real events, I can only say that if her portion of the story is true, it is indeed fantastic. To believe that Charlie and Roxy, a childhood friend who practically mourns for Charlie’s love, could so easily run across him in the 1940’s without the convenience of modern day technology is little far-fetched. Happening across Roxy in two very different parts of the world years apart is a bit of a stretch. If it is indeed part of the truth of Hedrick’s story, it’s fascinating and makes the tale that much more rich.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect, and one of the most well-integrated in the story, is the portion about Mrs. Frisken. Though her truth is never fully revealed, Hedrick successfully gives readers cause for pause and inspires some rereading of text. (I love when an author makes me second guess my own opinions of a character and his/her intentions.) I have to say that I didn’t foresee the ending regarding Mrs. Frisken happening in quite the way it did. Though sad, it was a wonderful addition to Mattie’s story-line.

Hedrick has written a book that requires patience on the part of the reader. I desperately wanted Mattie to get the gumption to go against her overbearing father. Her inability to make a decision without her parents’ input frustrated me. In addition, readers may find it difficult to watch as Mattie and Charlie’s letters pass each other in delivery without making it to one another causing much heartache for the two as they are pulled further and further apart.

Hedrick is handing readers a perfect blend of historical fiction and romance. The text itself is heavily laden with historical truths and gives fans of both genres something to appreciate and remember.
5 STARS ☆☆☆☆☆

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Literary Titan


☆☆☆☆☆ The Rigel Affair by L. M. Hedrick is a tale of war and romance spiced with true historical events. The novel is set in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. It is a World War II era narrative that recounts the story of a US Navy Diver, Charlie Kincaid who was assigned to the USS Rigel. Hedrick writes a thrilling and deeply moving novel that explores the bonds of friendship, the resilience of a young Naval Officer, and the strength of the human spirit when called upon.
Ensign Kincaid is given a mission that is absolutely critical to the war effort. It is an arduous task that will require him to enter deep within enemy territory off the coast of New Guinea. If he is caught, he will be tortured and killed. To help him accomplish his mission, the Navy provides him with an altered Chinese Junk named, “The River Snake,” and a crew of aborigines to help sail it. The operation is an exciting adventure into the jungles of New Guinea and the climatic part of the book. The difficult mission provides Hedrick a canvas to illustrate war’s cruelty and unflinching bravery of those who were destined to fight in it. In one horrific scene described by Hedrick, Kincaid finds himself impotent in stopping a bloodbath and has to bear witness to the Japanese military executing his fellow naval comrades one-by-one and pushing their bodies into the ocean.
The book also unravels a love story about Kincaid tumultuous affair with his childhood friend Roxy who loves him and his new love Mattie Blanc, a beautiful New Zealand woman who he meets in Auckland. Ensign Kincaid buys a large diamond ring but which one of his ladies will finally wear it? He had known Roxy since elementary school when he lived in Falkner, Mississippi and they had shared many adventures together. Mattie, was just one of those wartime accidental meetings. Mattie is also lugging around some emotional baggage from an event that happened to her as a young woman. Can she rid herself of those haunting memories and trust this new man in her life?
Hedrick’s depiction of the events and those who lived through the 2nd World War era appears very accurate and authentic. Much of the book is about Charlie and Roxy’s odyssey as they fled the small town of Falkner, Mississippi in an attempt to build a better life. During their travels, they experience great hardships but also some lucky breaks that advance them to a much better place in the world. There is a lot of nostalgia woven into the story, and Hedrick uses her novel to pay homage to the Greatest Generation. The Rigel Affair is an intoxicating blend of historical flavored sweet romance; if you loved movies like Pearl Harbor, you’ll love The Rigel Affair.

5 STARS ☆☆☆☆☆

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Authors Reading


☆☆☆☆☆ 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.

The Rigel Affair is an exceptional novel that has to be one of the best military fiction novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The Rigel Affair is a thrilling and poignant novel that is the perfect novel for those looking to be taken on an adventure full of compelling and emotive moments. The story the reader will encounter in The Rigel Affair is unique as well as sensational and is a novel that readers will struggle to put down.

The Rigel Affair for me was thrilling, captivating and addictive right from the start and I felt this from beginning to end thanks to the bewitching literature courtesy of the author, L M Hedrick who from the start hooked me with her compelling story. Already I would recommend that you lovely readers have a read of The Rigel Affair however if you need more convincing then continue to read to learn more about the sensational The Rigel Affair.

Charlie Kincaid and his schoolmate Roxy jump a boxcar leaving Falkner, Mississippi, and their troubles, behind. Charlie fled a life of servitude with his uncle, taken in after a fire at his orphanage and abandoned by his part-Cherokee mother, Charlie was forced into a life of misery. Roxy was escaping her own dire circumstances.

Mattie Blanc has known a happy life of wealth and comfort with her privileged family in Dunedin, New Zealand. She had a wonderful life until her brother’s friend persuaded her to take a ride with him that had devastating consequences. Breaking free from her family’s suffocating expectations following the incident, Mattie moves to Auckland, where her brother and his wife live, to become a hairdresser and carve a new future for herself.

After a brief stint working on cargo ships, Charlie joins the Navy as a diver. Charlie sails to Auckland, New Zealand aboard the USS Rigel having just witnessed and survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Mattie has just graduated at the top of her class and is working as a hairdresser when she meets Charlie. It is kismet. They devote all of their free time to one another, but in times of war, time is finite. The USS Rigel is ordered to the Pacific Theater and Charlie with them.

In-love and separated by the beckoning of a raging war, Charlie and Mattie desperately try to keep their love alive and hope in their hearts through the letters they pen one another. Delivery is unreliable and sporadic during wartime and Mattie is haunted by uncertainty, is their love real or was it all just a dream?

The story of The Rigel Affair is well-developed with many layers that are all intricately well-developed as well as intriguing which will keep readers hooked from start to finish. L M Hedrick is an incredible author because she manages to pull the reader into the novel, captivate them and compel them to read from beginning to end quickly and Hedrick does this by lacing twists and turns throughout her book which will keep readers on edge and left wanting more. I tried to predict the plot many times, but Hedrick’s story is so unpredictable that I could never once guess it correctly! The fact that the plot is so unpredictable makes it enthralling from beginning to end, and this is all thanks to the genius writer L M Hedrick.

The Rigel Affair is incredibly captivating thanks to its incredible story and the author’s book stellar writing. L M Hedrick can only be described as a literary talent as she knows how to captivate her readers from the start. Hedrick is a writer who does not hold back, she thrusts her reader into the thick of the drama very early on, and she keeps them turning the pages thanks to her impeccable descriptive powers. Hedrick perfectly describes the scenes in her book as well as her characters, and this correctly places the reader in the thick of the story as the reader can imagine every place and event perfectly.

L M Hedrick is soon becoming a favorite author of mine, and this is thanks to her gorgeous, and rich literature that will perfectly enthrall a reader. The literature laced throughout this book can only be described as compelling thanks to the glorious descriptions of the places and the characters the reader encounters. The readability of Hedrick’s book is terrific, and the reader will find themselves turning the pages into the early hours of the morning… I know I did!

Overall The Rigel Affair is a stunning piece of fiction that will thrill and excite its readers, and so I have no choice but to award this brilliant book Five Stars! If you are a reader who is looking to get lost in a fascinating historical tale mixed with themes of military and romance then The Rigel Affair is for you! The Rigel Affair is not available just yet however… it is being released December 27th Paperback and January 3rd E-Book, so be sure to grab a copy then!
5 STARS ☆☆☆☆☆

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Red Headed Book Lover

☆☆☆☆☆ 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 Thriller 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 Thriller 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 Thriller 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 Thriller 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.   ☆☆☆☆☆   5 STARS!!!

– ☆☆☆☆☆ Sarah Nantais for Goodreads


☆☆☆☆ While The Rigel Affair is a work of fiction, it is based on the author’s mother’s life. L M 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 Thriller Romance. 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 the Pacific War Zones, where he and his Divers are sent on secret missions. 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.   ☆☆☆☆ 4 STARS!!!

– ☆☆☆☆ Kim for Goodreads

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Tell Your Friends!