Behind the Light of Golowduyn: A Cornish Romance (Book 1), by Deborah M. Hathaway — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

Come with me, dear readers, as we travel to the ruggedly resplendent cliffs of Cornwall to visit a lighthouse there called Golowduyn—pronounced goal-oh-DEW-in—and learn what secrets may be revealed by its shining light. Esteemed historical romance author Deborah M. Hathaway has crafted a lovely tale of hope through loss and loneliness in Behind the Light of Golowduyn, book one of the A Cornish Romance series.

The Loyal Lady Behind the Light

In 1815 Cornwall, Abigail Moore’s lonely life as the niece of an ailing lighthouse keeper is one of dedication and drudgery. Every waking moment of her days is spent tending to the light and everything else in her purview. Yet she is fiercely proud to have a purpose, protecting ships and their crews from peril on the rocky cliffs below.

The ocean swirled—a warning to take shelter from the approaching storm.

But Abigail Moore heeded no such warning.

Standing between the lighthouse and the cliffs’ edge, she braced herself against the wind.” (10)    

The Compassionate Captain

Captain Gavin Kendricks has spent fifteen rewarding years in the Royal Navy, but his latest voyage has made him feel restless for more. “Perhaps he knew it was time—time for a change, for something more fulfilling than a life at sea.” (15) When his ship is endangered, however, “he knew what needed to be done. And he would have the courage to do it—if only for his men.” (20)

A Light in the Darkness

Abigail feels the weary culpability of her lighthouse failing to prevent a shipwreck and, despite her fears and against all odds, attempts a bold rescue. Gavin gratefully accepts her aid.

“Who was this woman? This woman who rowed as determinedly as any man and spoke as properly as a lady? This woman who was powerful enough to carry out a daring rescue through blustering waters, yet soft enough to instantly calm a distraught sailor’s nerves?

 “Whoever she was, Gavin was more than impressed. He was astonished.” (33)

Abigail soon finds herself equally astonished.

The captain himself had been the one to jump from his ship in order to rescue his lieutenant? Abigail attempted a look of indifference. She could not show how impressed she truly was with the man’s boldness.” (35)

Theirs is a guarded friendship of mutual admiration between two steadfastly selfless but stalwartly independent souls. When they unexpectedly face the dual threats of death and deception, they must learn to rely upon each other. Will their marriage of convenience be the guiding light they never knew they needed?

Realistic Protagonists

Captain Kendricks is a dreamy hero, to be sure. His gentleness with Abigail and willingness to help others are certainly admirable, as is Abigail’s steadfast determination in the face of seemingly unceasing adversity. But what makes them stand out most is the depth of their emotional internal struggles.

Although it is not essential to the Cornish Romance series, I am glad that I read the prequel novella—On the Shores of Tregalwen—because I liked getting glimpses of those characters in their minor but genuinely useful roles in this story.

Tempestuous Feelings

This tale moved me to tears with its authentic exploration of what it means to trust and how regret and betrayal and shame and resentment all swirl together through the stormy experiences of human lives. I loved the underlying metaphor of the lighthouse as not only a physical beacon, but also a figurative guiding light in a person’s bleak life. “Before she could fully clasp her hope, a disparaging thought hauled it away from her grasp.” (118) A relatable reminder that we all could use a lighthouse in our lives, to guide us toward hope.

At Storm’s End

Admirers of clean and sweet Regency romance will be captivated by the hopeful love story of the captain and the lightkeeper in Behind the Light of Golowduyn.

The light still shines, and the storm will pass.” (254)

5 out of 5 Stars



  • March 18—For the Lady of Lowena: A Cornish Romance (Book 2)
  • April 20—Near the Ruins of Penharrow: A Cornish Romance (Book 3)
  • May 25—In the Waves of Tristwick: A Cornish Romance (Book 4)
  • August 31—From the Fields of Porthlenn: A Cornish Romance (Book 5)
  • September 28—On the Shores of Tregalwen (A Cornish Romance Prequel)


  • Behind the Light of Golowduyn: A Cornish Romance (Book 1), by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Draft Horse Publishing (May 1, 2019)
  • Trade paperback, & eBook (352) pages
  • ISBN: ‎ 978-0985183196
  • Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction


We purchased a copy of the book for our own enjoyment. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Draft Horse Publishing © 2019; text Katie Jackson © 2022,

Hello Dear Readers,

Have you read any of the novels in the A Cornish Romance series, or by Deborah M. Hathaway? If so, please share your thoughts.

If you enjoy historical romance with witty dialogue, engaging plots, and endearing characters, Austenprose highly recommends them.

Drop us a line below and share your thoughts on this review and what you are currently reading! We would love to hear from you!

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor

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