Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

January 30, 2015

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From the back cover:

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

My take:

This is the second or third book that I’ve read by Elizabeth Camden. I’ve come to count on her for gripping, historical, well-poised stories involving wonderful women in high profile or unexpected positions. This novel wasn’t short on any of that. This novel felt drastically different from the others I’ve read. I’m not sure if it’s because Mrs.Camden is very well versed in the life of a librarian or if the story was just that wonderful (I’m sure it’s a little of both to be honest.). O’Brien seems to be the “typical” librarian – loves to be left to her books, a little bit of a loner, and tends to shy away from public speaking and limelight. Although all of this was true, she was such a strong, intriguing character. You could picture this entire story so vividly! (At least I could.) Luke’s persona screams a little bit bad boy, a little bit rugged gentleman. (My favorite combination!) His nephew and the rest of his family are very relatable. I’m sure we all have family members we could sympathize with Luke with regarding these issues.

Anna won’t give up with this mystery that she becomes involved in regarding the ship lost at sea. She seems to be shut down on all fronts. I was very interested to see how the story played out. It’s amazing to say the least. (If you are a history buff – this is one of the things you will love Elizabeth Camden for. You remember these topics forever once you read one of her stories!) Luke has his own problems at the moment, but that doesn’t stop him from helping Anna uncover the truth.

The setting – the early US Capitol and the previous and current Library of Congress are VERY unique settings for a story. I would love to see more stories set in this time period. The references to inventions and current technology will bring a smile to your face. It helps you realize how far we’ve come in these areas.

If you are looking for a book that you will have a hard time setting down, love history and a strong female character (and a little bit of romance) – pick up this AMAZING read by Elizabeth Camden (or any of her novels really.)

QUESTION: Have you read any of Elizabeth Camden’s novels? What was your favorite? Please leave me a comment. I would love to add more of her work to my TBR pile.

*I received a free e-copy of Beyond All Dreams from Bethany House Publishers Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

You can check out the book here: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/beyond-all-dreams/348801.

You can learn more about the Bethany House Publishers Blogger Review program here: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers.

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