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Introducing the Hiltons of Boston ~ A Post for the Like a Ship on the Sea Launch

by Kellyn Roth |
September 9, 2023

Today’s post is an intro for a few characters who haven’t shown up in a novel I’ve written yet. Scroll down to read all about the Hiltons of Boston!

Also, I’d like to apologize to all the bloggers/Instagrammers/etc. I haven’t checked in with/commented on/so on. Suffice to say, I will never be having my wisdom teeth out again. Full stop.

Before that, here’s the normal launch tour stuff . . .

About Like a Ship on the Sea

If God asks you to confront a storm, how dare you stay in the harbor?

Lady Mary Cassidy O’Connell has a dream that can be summed up in three connecting ideas: a loving husband, adorable children, and a home of her own. Her mother’s lack of care makes life difficult for Cassie, and an escape is necessary. The plan? Marry Aubrey Montgomery, the man her parents have chosen for her, and find the peace she craves.

Unfortunately, Cassie is uneasy about marrying Aubrey. Her apprehension grows as she witnesses her dearest friend’s loving marriage take place. At this wedding, she catches the eye of Patrick Hilton, son of a wealthy American. Like Cassie, he’s also set to marry a woman chosen by his parents—only, Patrick claims, he is content with this choice.

Torn between her desire for happiness and the knowledge that God is leading her in a different direction, Cassie confronts the impossible decision. Is a loveless marriage of obligation better than being alone, or will she set sail on a voyage without a safe harbor?

Like a Ship on the Sea is the first novel in The Hilton Legacy, a stand-alone trilogy featuring characters from the author’s first series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.


About The Hilton Legacy

The Hilton Legacy will be a trilogy (with perhaps one standalone spin-off, depending on how I decide to do this!) set in 1880s and 1890s America and Europe.

The first novel, Like a Ship on the Sea, which is the one we’re celebrating today, features Patrick Hilton and his eventual love interest, Cassie. Of course, we know all about this novel!

The second novel, Like the Air After Rain, will feature Lorelei Hilton and her love interest and will primarily take place in England. There’s going to be a marriage of convenience angle that will be a lot of fun, methinks!

The second novel, Like Lightning in a Bottle, will feature Gwendolyn Hilton and her love interest and will primarily take place in England and America. This one is a little bit of a wild card, but we’re gonna have fun with it.

The Schedule

Monday, September 4th

“Why You Should Read Like a Ship on the Sea” by Kellyn Roth

Book Spotlight by Abby Johansen

Review by Coralie Terry

Author Interview by Naomi Sowell

Tuesday, September 5th (LAUNCH DAY!)

“All the Launch Day Celebrations” by Kellyn Roth

Book Spotlight by Faith Blum

Book Spotlight by E. G. Bella

Wednesday, September 6th

“About the Gilded Era” by Kellyn Roth

Interview by Anna Galicinski

Review by H.S. Kylian

Thursday, September 7th

“Tackling Tough Topics with Tact” by Kellyn Roth

Friday, September 8th

“A Guest Post by Alice Strauss” by Kellyn Roth

Book Spotlight by M.C. Kennedy

Book Spotlight by Bizwings Book Blog

Saturday, September 9th

“Introducing the Hiltons of Boston” by Kellyn Roth

Monday, September 11th

“How The Hilton Legacy Fits in with The Chronicles of Alice & Ivy” by Kellyn Roth

Author Interview by Amy Ullrich

Review by Pens, Pages, and Pulses

Author Interview by Jane Mouttet

Book Spotlight by Rhys-Marie Whitnell

Tuesday, September 12th

“All About Book Two, Like the Air After Rain by Kellyn Roth

Book Spotlight by Grace A. Johnson

Review by Naomi Sowell

Interview & Review by Saraina Whitney

The Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! There will be a USA and International Winner, so even if you don’t live in my country, ENTER ANYWAY, because I made a prize just for you!

US-Only Giveaway: a signed paperback copy of Like a Ship on the Sea, a themed candle, two bookmarks, three character art prints, a themed charm bracelet, and extra special bonus scenes.

International Giveaway: an ebook copy of Like a Ship on the Sea, extra special bonus scenes, a themed phone wallpaper, and the first chapter of book 2.


Or paste this link into your browser: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cbb544c921/ 

The Bookish Tag

With the help of Grace A. Johnson (who is way too kind to me), I am hosting a bookish tag! This can be done on any social media profile (or even your blog) and is a fun way to join together to celebrate the launch! Starting today!

I’m doing the prompt on my Instagram and Facebook profiles, and I may try to repost some of these to Twitter, too!

The Prompts

Sept. 4 //  a book set in your dream destination

Sept. 6 // your favorite swoon-worthy romance

Sept. 8 // a book with themes that inspire you

Sept. 11 // a most remarkable heroine

Sept. 13 //  a beloved mentor character

Sept. 15 // a hero with an inspiring arc

Sept. 18 // your favorite fictional sibling dynamic

Sept. 20 // a ship that took you by surprise

Sept. 22 // a theme that touched your heart

Sept. 25 // a series spinoff you loved

Sept. 27 // a topic you love to read about

Sept. 29 // your favorite historical time period


  • There are prompts for every other weekday in September, but you’re welcome to share whenever you can and catch up at any time.
  • Feel free to use any social media, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and Youtube.
  • Share about books that fit into the categories, and have fun!  
  • Don’t forget to use the hashtag #likeashipontheseatag and tag Kellyn (@kellynrothauthor on Instagram & Facebook or @kellyntheauthor on Twitter) to be shared!

Introducing the Hiltons of Boston

The Hiltons are an old money sort of family from Boston who have run a shipping company called the Hilton Shipping Company (so creative …) for probably a good hundred years or so if not more. Given the heavy focus on “The Hilton Legacy” (hence the trilogy title), it is clear that if they did come from low origins, everyone has forgotten.

Patrick Clarence Hilton

Ah, our hero! Well, more or less. At the beginning of the novel, Patrick is struggling with a number of different character flaws, including ignoring God’s prodding in his constant drive to keep his sisters safe, even if it means entering an arranged marriage with a woman who … well, you’ll see. Let’s just say they’re ill-suited for now.

Patrick is your typical big brother type character, only even more wildly protective. He adores his sisters, Lorelei and Gwendolyn (who go by Lore and Winnie, as a sidenote), and he also has a dog named Bellona “Bell” … and not much else. Because his whole life has become the Hilton Shipping Company.

To please his parents, and presumably keep his sisters safe (though how Patrick hopes to accomplish this is a little delusional, but I’ll leave that to the book), Patrick pours himself into everything his parents ask of him. Exhausting himself working for the company with little/no pay. Practically raising his younger sisters. Marrying the woman he doesn’t love. All of it, he’s more than willing to do to avoid conflict, a constant smiling mask in place.

But if I were to actually characterize what Patrick wants in life? Well, not that he’d tell you, or even admit to himself that this is really what drives him, but honestly, all this dude wants is a home, a family (particularly, lots of chubby little babies because yes, he is the most baby-obsessed man ever), and … honestly, he wants to work. I’m pretty sure he would’ve contentedly worked for his family’s company forever if he’d had the option. (This is the point as which we use a literal deus ex machina to give him no option.)

And honestly? I love Patrick. I didn’t for a while, but I’ve come to … kinda-sorta like him more than Peter? Okay, okay, that sounds CRAZY. But hear me out. More than any of my characters, he’s just a sort of average guy with a lot of character flaws (character flaws I’ve observed in real-life friends, no less) who is doing his best with some noble goals (raising and loving his sisters) which are probably masking some less-than-noble goals (avoiding conflict, keeping himself safe, not having to make any big life changes). And at the end of the day, I think we’d get a long better than Peter and I would?

Like, I adore my husband, and I’m not saying someone like Patrick would be better for me than Matthew (actually, I’m pretty sure Patrick and I would just exhaust each other, lol), but I must admit that if Matthew had never existed, and I didn’t know how great we are together, I would say Patrick is totally my type.

But yeah, again, Patrick and I would exhaust each other.

Anyways, here are some things I really like about Patrick:

    • Okay, actually, is this the reason I like Patrick?
    • … maybe.
    • But he is a dedicated “I WANT TO HOLD THE BABY” kind of man who just wants to be a dad someday & give his babies the childhood he didn’t have. Yes, he was written by a woman, why do you ask?
  • His relationship with Lore and Winnie.
    • He loves his sisters but is also moderately annoyed by them constantly. I’m a big fan of half-decent brothers, lol. I have two, though they’re younger (actually, the book is dedicated to one of them), and we have a very different dynamic, but basically, we need more realistic sibling relationships, in my opinion.
    • Also, you can tell Lore and Winnie know him well, because they take one look at Cassie, and are like, “… okay, so we’re professional matchmakers now.”
  • Him just laughing when … well, spoilers.
    • When I say I was giggling while I wrote it …
    • Speaking of that situation, he is such a little weirdo, because he’s just like, “Fine. Take her. I don’t care. This doesn’t even effect my friendship with you. Like, I still consider us close. I will come to your house with six puppies in the middle of the night.”
  • How he immediately gets so happy and light-hearted when …
    • Okay, that’s a major spoiler.
    • But basically, joyous Patrick is so contagious in my mind, and I really want to write more scenes with him.
  • #RedheadMenFTW
    • I mean, I’ve characterized him as having reddish brownish hair, but meh.
  • Also, I get the vibes that he is wildly nervous around Peter Strauss, which I just find funny.
  • But just random things I find cool about him:
    • He’s driven.
    • He genuinely enjoys his job and is good at it.
    • How confuzzled he is by genuine compliments, poor boy.
    • How attracted he is to Cassie.
      • I know this may not be a point in his favor for some, but I just think it’s cute, and I like writing characters who get to be with the person who is, to them, the more attractive person in the world (in every way, though physical attraction is a part of it), because I certainly did, and I want everyone to have the same joy.
      • Also, I do think his attraction to her is super pure. Like, more so than Jordy, he has a handle on it, and more so than Peter, it’s not ‘… and now I’ll do whatever she wants, to a degree.’
      • I feel like Patrick finds Cassie objectively gorgeous but falls for her character … and then realizes what a great bonus it is that she’s Practically Perfect In Every Way (from his perspective, anywho).
    • The obsessive need to be near water when he makes decisions.
    • “I know we’ll have a shaken-up life for some time. But I wouldn’t want to live that shaken-up life with anyone but you. Not now, not ever. I love you.”
      • … see, now, this is the kind of thing I find romantic. Is it really romantic? IDK. But I think it issss.

Mr. Clarence Robert Hilton

Patrick’s father and the owner of The Hilton Shipping Co., Mr. Clarence Robert Hilton is a piece of work. He’s just … gah. I don’t even want to talk about him. He doesn’t love his kids. He doesn’t love his wife. He obviously cares about nothing that his dumb shipping company, and even then, Patrick says he’s making dumb business decisions and risky investments lately out of paranoia, so there you go.

No part of his life is good.

Go figure.

That’s what a bad character gets you, Clarence.

Anyways, his backstory is that he was raised in Boston where he presumably grew up with Philip Knight* (whose parents also lived in Boston after moving there from England – see The Dressmaker’s Secret).

*Why is Philip long-time friends with him? I don’t know. I feel like his younger self might’ve been a little less obviously despicable, for one thing, and they also went through a whole war with each other, so like … I guess they bonded some more.

His parents were Robert and Anne Hilton, and he is an only child. Though not mentioned in the novel, both his parents have died, leaving him in sole control of the Hilton Shipping Co.

Clarence married Lynnie (see below) when he was quite young, and their whole relationship is founded on a shaky foundation as he basically promised one thing to her and her family (to support them and the south during the American Civil War, which probably meant also using his shipping network to do blockage running and such in the long run) and then changed his mind (or just had no intention of keeping to his word) after he married her and removed her from her family.

Which means he abandoned a very young woman in an unfamiliar town with no friends or family in the middle of the war shortly after getting her pregnant. And we wonder why Lynnie is messed up.

ANYWAYS, the only nice thing I can say about him is he probably thought Hazel was a decent human being. (Did you catch that Easter egg?)

Also, if anyone complains that I only write “good”* northern-sympathizers when discussing the American Civil War … well, here’s one.

*trying to never write good/bad characters in general, but sometimes we do need a villain, and this man is a villain.

The odd thing is, even Parker doesn’t rouse this kind of anger in me, but something about seeing a man actively emotionally abuse his family and never suffer consequences is so … darned … frustrating!

Mrs. Dorothy Lynn “Lynnie” Hilton (née McCullough)

Lynnie, or Mrs. Hilton, is the mother of Patrick, Lorelei, and Gwendolyn, and the wife of Clarence. She is characterized for much as the novel as being somewhat frightening (to the point where Philip Knight is mildly intimidated by her, but let’s be honest … Philip is not super … well. He’s Philip), but compared to her husband, she definitely has a deeper desire to at least … not have her children die?

She’s a cold, selfish woman, but at the end of the day, she does care somewhat the children she brought into the world don’t DIE. So that’s something

The truth is, much as Lynnie is definitely responsible for her own issues in some ways, she is a woman trapped in a hellscape of a marriage to a man who hates her, and … that can’t be fun. Is that a good excuse to ignore her children and basically leave them to their own devices? Not particularly. But is it the situation she has found herself in? Yes.

Also, there’s the small point that it’s kind of implied that if they hadn’t had children (in particular, Patrick), Lynnie might have run home to her brother, which … do we blame her? (Yes, sort of. But at the same time … gah. Yeah, see, I know how all this ends up, and yet at the same time, we’ll see how I pull it off.)

One of her childhood friends who she may or may not have treated awfully because, let’s be honest, she is a bully, was Hazel Bailey, who you may recognize from The Dressmaker’s Secret. That’s also, coincidentally, how Philip met Hazel, as she stayed with the Hiltons after the war because, much like Lynnie, she lost pretty much everything … only unlike Lynnie, Hazel was left reliant on her brother as she was still unmarried at that point, but I’m getting distracted by this sideplot, so let’s stop.

It’s not specified in the novel (or talked about at all), Lynnie is definitely one of a large family, all of whom have died by the time Like a Ship on the Sea takes place with, possibly, the exception of her brother Patrick. I’ve always believed she was the second oldest, after Patrick. I also have a mild head-canon (and I’m the author …) that Lorelei and Gwendolyn were sisters of hers, but who knows? (But really. I’m not making that canon unless it makes sense at some point.)

Her family were definitely Scots-Irish, though given that they probably immigrated in the early 1700s, there’s some gray area on exactly WHAT they were anymore. 100% Gaelic decent, though.

Also, Patrick and Gwendolyn get their red or reddish hair from their mother, and all three children have her gray eyes.

Lorelei Anne Hilton

I love Lorelei! I won’t go on too long about her since she’ll get her chance in book 2. But I think she’s great. She’s a little sarcastic, super independent, and pretty girly, which is fun because usually girly girls are written as shallow or gentle, and … I would say she’s more … straightforward.

Okay, she’s blunt. She’s blunt, and it’s so much fun.

One of my favorite scenes is when she confronts Patrick on his obvious “doing the wrong thing for his dumb reasons” with Blanche, and she CRIES, and though she does instantly deny it, you can just tell she loves him so much that she’s in tears over Her Idiot Brother, but she’s also so fiercely protective of him.

The following quotes from this one conversation:

  • “It’s a ring.” “I know what a ring box looks like.” “I wondered, because I never saw Blanche with one.”
  • “Don’t lie to me, Patrick Clarence Hilton. You never have been able to, and that won’t start now.”
  • “I won’t marry a man who won’t provide me with my own ring, and a nicer one than that, so it’s no sacrifice.”

Also, just for fun, here’s some Lorelei quotes from the draft I’m writing of book 2:

He had gotten out. And she had said she’d be fine. And she had meant it. And she had cried herself to sleep that night for the first time since she was a baby.


Lord, show me how to live this life as myself. Show me how to find my place here—with my family or in my own family. I can’t be a piece of driftwood anymore, reliant on the strength of a mightier wave to force me to whatever beach it sees fit. Take me somewhere grand, and don’t let me leave it.


She’d frankly have preferred something a little more intimate—unlike her brother, she was not suited for the social element of making connections. She’d rather be calculating than polite.


“She opened the house just for us, so I hope you’re going to be polite and on your best behavior.”
Winnie sat up. “I am always on my best behavior.”
“Really? Your best always vaguely resembles a three-year-old who’s gotten into the sugar bin.”


“I am becoming quite respectable. Mother says I’m almost a lady.”
“She says that because you seldom act like one.”


“I don’t know if my mother ever mentioned it—or if you heard the gossip at all—but I am now the heiress of a significant portion of my father’s fortune and properties, not to mention my portion of his company. I am also, as of yet, unengaged, and I would like to change that—on my own terms. I know a lady wouldn’t mention such things, much less anything monetary, but I am American, and I presume everyone here, yourself included, expects me to be a little crude. Well, I’m not that, but I do think I live in a harsher world—and yet, also, a world where I can make a future for myself if I try.” She smiled and took another determined sip of the vaguely bitter leaf-water. “I hope you’re not too taken aback by my honesty, but as my host, I couldn’t help but feel you deserved it.”

Gwendolyn Anne Hilton

Gwendolyn, or little Winnie, is actually going to be our heroine in book 3, so again, I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s a sweet summer child with a dash of magic (actually, I think in book 2, I have Lorelei describing her as a wild fairy child), and honestly, she’s the child who seems to have received the least scars from her upcoming.


But in truth, she has been largely very sheltered, and I think the more time she spends without Patrick hovering over her, the more she will grow.

That said, she is a somewhat-vapid young teenager who doesn’t want to grow up. And like, I find her charming but … chime in in the comments below! Was she annoying? Did you get anything interesting from her? Or was she just sort of lumped in with Lorelei?

Mrs. Patrick Hilton

Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said … hint-hint … 😉




Well, do you think you’d like to get to know any of the Hiltons? (If you say Mr. and Mrs. Hilton, I will be confuzzled.)

Are you interested in getting to know me & my books better?

I want to invite you to my super secret club. I mean, it’s not really a secret, because I’m telling you about it now, but here goes.

Join Mrs. Roth’s Society Column, my street team! We’d love to have you along for the ride!

What do you think of my thoughts?

7 Responses

  1. “I know we’ll have a shaken-up life for some time. But I wouldn’t want to live that shaken-up life with anyone but you. Not now, not ever. I love you.” YES KELL THAT IS SO ROMANTIC. And I was also dyyyyying at the scene where he laughs at you-know-what. That was so hilarious and so Patrick.

    I loved Lore and Winnie and I’m SO excited for their stories!!! And I am LIVING for those snippets from book 2!! (Don’t mind my fangirling lol XD)

    1. YAY! I am glad I am not the only one who thinks so because I live for that line (and for Patrick’s constant devotion to the idea that everything is going to better if Cassie will just follow him around lol)!

      YAY! I’m glad! Lorelei has been a blast so far, if only because she’s sooo blunt!

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