A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel Book #3)

A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel Book #3)

by Elizabeth Camden

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Overview

Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she's finally put behind her--or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town--but he needs Eloise's help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he'd lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it's too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493417292
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Series: Empire State Novel , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 33,435
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Elizabeth Camden is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida. Learn more at www.elizabethcamden.com.
Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida.

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A Desperate Hope 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
blueyz1962 6 days ago
I love Elizabeth Camden's stories and this one was a great one. I wasn't very fond of the H, Alex Duval, sometimes, but he came through in the end. Our h, Eloise Drake, grew up just outside of Duval Springs at her guardian's mansion on the hill. She became fascinated with Duval Springs and it's inhabitants when spying on them through her telescope. While wandering the woods near her summer home, she becomes lost. Alex finds her and helps her get back home. Thus begins a friendship that will blossom into a scandal that leaves Alex beaten to a pulp and Eloise sent of to a convent in Arizona. Twelve years later the town of Duval Springs faces complete annihilation for the construction of a waterway to New York City. Having lost the court battle to stop the project from demolishing Duval Springs, Mayor Alex Duval comes face to face with Eloise Drake who is on the project assigned to assess the value of the homes in town so the state of New York can fairly compensate the town's residents for the loss of their homes and livelihoods. Alex and Eloise bump heads on this project that is ruining the towns people's lives and uprooting families to unknown destinations. The tension is big and Ms. Camden writes the story well and the character's development is slow, but steady. How will the town ever survive after losing the fight to keep their town intact? Will Alex be able to convince Eloise to help him stop the destruction of the town? Will they rekindle their romance of twelve years ago? The answers to these questions and the rest of the story can be found in the book at your local bookstore or library. Check it out. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy! I borrowed this book from my local library.
PianoLady831 6 days ago
Elizabeth Camden novels are simply not to be missed. Camden is an exquisite writer whose stories are always rich in characterization and complexity of storyline, and A Desperate Hope continues that legacy. Inspired by actual historic events, the story opens in 1908 as plans to flood an upper state New York valley and create a reservoir are coming to fruition. Understandably, resentment and bitterness from the townspeople are a major factor, with the determined mayor of Duval Springs and the planning team’s accountant at odds with each other. But the story of Alex and Eloise began one summer twelve years earlier, first as friends, then blossoming into a romance that went too far. Camden has a gift for making the town of Duval Springs and its residents come alive. This character-driven story also has elements of suspense, intrigue, and betrayal. Events from the past have shaped the flawed and relatable Alex and Eloise into stronger people, with an inner strength and drive, even as Alex’s last official act as mayor would be the dismantling of the town he loved. Eloise, a mathematics genius, had a craving to be needed and loved the structure and safeness that being an accountant offered … “Rules were like a trellis that supported a fast-growing vine, letting her thrive and find success in the world.” It would have been fascinating to watch how this technological feat came to be, were we not seeing events unfold from the perspective of the very people who were losing their homes. Just a reminder that meeting the needs of one group of people always comes at the expense of another. Spiritual themes are subtle, maybe a little understated for some readers, but Christian values definitely shine through. A Desperate Hope is a page turner, filled with hope and grace, no matter the circumstances. Recommended to all who enjoy quality historical fiction. I received a copy of this book through Prism Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
DixieJudy 19 days ago
A Desperate Hope is an excellent historical romance, and the writer did her research well. Sometimes making the right decision is very hard. The inhabitants of the small valley town of Duvall Springs had a choice to make. This huge change can either embitter or make them stronger. Most of the residents chose the latter.  Eloise Drake and Alex Duvall, an old flame are brought together again by this difficult choice. Great story of overcoming insurmountable odds......I received a copy of A Desperate Hope by the publisher via NetGalley and I am pleased to leave a review.
sesquius 9 months ago
There is one thing that I can say about Elizabeth Camden, and that is that she is a great writer. I have yet come upon a book that I didn't enjoy, and hope not to anytime soon. This story had me feeling that I was in the middle of a Catherine Marshall book, Julie to be precise. It may be because of the story atmosphere and how the town works together to try and help their town to survive. That said, to be compared with the book Julie is good, it's one of my favorite books along with Christy. The story is about a Eloise Drake who returns to her home town to work about making financial decisions on how much each house gets in return, for the state to be flooding their town. On the flip side, we have Alex Duvall who is equally determined to save his town. What no one knows, is the turbulent history between the two of them. Again, a well written and read story about a town struggling to survive in the midst of the upcoming flooding of their valley. The atmosphere is dark and filled with survival, yet an excellent read. Just stick with it. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.
RockandMinerals4Him 9 months ago
Elizabeth Camden is one of those authors that I always intend to read someday, but end up not reading, and then love when I finally read, and I finally got around to reading A Dangerous Hope! Eloise and Alex have spent the last 12 years of their life apart, after falling in love when they were teenagers. When they were found out, they were separated, and now their paths have crossed again. Alex is the mayor of a small town, she is an accountant in New York City, and she's assigned to burn down his town. They still remember each other with fond memories, but are not sure if they can make their relationship work. At the same time, the small town they need to get rid of needs saving, and Eloise and Alex work together to save it, and . . . Things Happen™. They have to work through a suspenseful situation and battle through lots of adversary to figure out what to do with the town, and with each other. The best part about the Empire State series, in my opinion, was the strong STEM women that are smart and brilliant, but still are soft and sweet and AAAAA. Like A Dangerous Legacy (book 1 of the series), the romance was exactly light enough: it wasn't very lovey dovey, while still showing their chemistry. My Rating- 3/5 Things Liked- Eloise!!! she is a strong badass young woman who's smart, and works, and worked through her past! The suspense! I definitely was not expecting the suspense/mystery aspect of the historical book! I loveDD the chemistry between Eloise and Alex! They were so cute together Things Disliked- There were . . . some mentions of what happened in the summers when Eloise and Alex were teenagers that . . . really didn't need mentioning? also there were just some sin that was just never addressed . . . ?? so ur also the book seemed so long omg it just went on and on??? it worked, and I enjoyed the book and it was still long? This review first appeared on: https://losingthebusyness.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/book-review-a-desperate-hope-by-elizabeth-camden/ Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This booked grabbed me right away and didn't let go. Elizabeth Camden has a significant ability to paint characters and settings then reel the reader in with the strong and emotive plot. Highly recommend,
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
What would life be like if the government decided our land was worth more to the general public than to the individual? (We actually saw this locally when many disgruntled people sold their homes cheaply to make room for a new highway to pass through.) In Elizabeth Camden’s novel, A Desperate Hope, a whole town is being dismantled so New York City can build a much-needed water reservoir. I had difficulty getting interested in these people’s lives at first until I could realize what was truly at stake for this community. Ah, a first love that simmers and never quite gets extinguished. Sounds great for Alex Duval, now mayor of Duval Springs, and Eloise Drake, an accountant and numbers whiz, except they are on opposing sides of the town demolition/reservoir issue. Polar business aims and clashing personalities don’t make for a good love match... or do they? This book has some real surprises and unlikely alliances that made it well worth the read. This is a novel that leaves me ruminating well after the fact, “could this be? Would this work out in real life?!” Discussion questions further stimulate this line of thought. Great quotes: “Your accounting ledgers don’t have a column for the size of a human heart.”- Alex ”You can be brave and scared at the same time.”-Alex ”We’ve got the most important element on our side. We’ve got hope, and hope can build bridges and tame storms and fuel our muscles until drag ourselves across the finish line. We aren’t quitters.” ”We don't have scarlet letters in this town. We have imperfect people who sometimes make mistakes.” ”It is in tackling the new and the scary that we become who we are meant to be.” (Enzo, Italian engineer) I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and via NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are solely my responsibility.
elise_jehan More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book--Camden once again delivers on crafting lovable, yet relatable characters. I enjoy how the heroines are strong and accomplished in their respective fields in all of her books. In this one, Eloise is a mathematical whiz and working as an accountant which is a clear metaphor for her desire for stability in her life. I also appreciate that there is this backdrop of meticulous research done on flooding projects and razing an entire city. It was a nice secondary tension mingled with the tension between the two main characters. The story moves at a good pace with some surprises along the way, making for a clean, tight ending to the trilogy. I only read the first and third books but even though I missed the second book, I was still able to make the connection between the various Drakes. So, even though the book fits in well with the trilogy, it can also work as a stand alone book as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of Elizabeth Camden's books and in the interim, maybe I'll go back and read book #2!
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I loved this historical fiction romance. It was great to see how Eloise and Alex both became better as adults. They learned many things after they were pulled apart as teenagers. I also loved the history that showed how a town can be bought out to build a reservoir to help many. This book was hard to put down and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see what happened. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Can their differences bring them back together...? It's been awhile since I've read one of Elizabeth Camden's books. Too long, as A Desperate Hope is the third book in her Empire State series, which, is actually her first ever series. Maybe it was kind of dumb to start with the third book in a series but that's just how it turned out. Each book appears to be connected but can be read standalone. While I found myself time and again annoyed by Alex, the hero, I did find myself genuinely liking the heroine, Eloise. The real draw for me was the storyline. I have personal connection as I, too, live near an area where several towns were inundated by water when the dam was built. And I even know people who lost land and homes when the decision was made to flood the landscape. While probably not my favorite Elizabeth Camden novel I did find A Desperate Hope to be quite interesting. And the suspense angle was a good addition. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is book three in the Empire State Series, however I do feel like it is a stand alone novel. Eloise Drake and Alex Duval have quite a history. When Eloise is sent back to the town she has always wanted to be a part of, she is not real sure what to expect. When her predictable safe life is turned upside down, will she embrace it or run from it. Alex is not expecting Eloise to walk back into his life, is she really here to destroy his town or will she help him? I love the sparks between Eloise and Alex, both have much to learn.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
Let’s cut to the chase, I loved this book. Author Elizabeth Camden always does a great job with her historical facts and I found this one so interesting. No spoilers here, but the “risky plan” was pretty incredible. This is book three in a trilogy. It’s not necessary to read the other two as this one stands alone just fine but I encourage you to read them. They’re really good! Camden’s characters are well developed and very likeable. They have flaws and suffer hardships just as we do. With a great plot twist through which we see perseverance and care for each other, and a romance that didn’t start out good at all, faith is a common thread throughout. Because this is Christian fiction I would have liked to see some repentance in a couple of high level characters, but life isn’t always that neatly wrapped up, is it? In all, this is a great story about overcoming insurmountable odds. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
MJK108 More than 1 year ago
“I want to believe that dreams really can come true,” she said simply. “I would like to believe that hope and heart is all it takes to make anything happen, but it isn’t.” --Eloise Drake Another captivating historical novel from Elizabeth Camden centers on the small town of Duval Springs, New York in the year 1896. The tiny town took on the state of New York Water Board only to lose their battle against the coming of the Ashokan Reservoir. The battle becomes very personal for two people from opposing sides; Eloise Drake, the accountant for the Water Board assigned to assess the property values of the townspeople and Alex Duval, mayor of Duval Springs. Eloise Drake lives her life by her own personal three R’s: rules, regulations, and respectability. Being an accountant suits her perfectly. There are rules for everything and a precise order to the job. She tries hard to lead her life in the same staunch manner. Alex Duval is a dreamer who challenges the people of Duval Springs to the seemingly impossible task of moving the entire town. In spite of their differences, the two once shared a love of adventure novels, dreams, and each other. Can they put aside their differences and do the right thing for the people of Duval Springs? Read this engaging novel filled with vibrant characters that add depth and personality to the story along with an intriguing mystery that must be solved along the way. Rich in historical detail based on the actual Ashokan Reservoir, Camden weaves fact and fiction together to come up with another great read. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and romance. This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
AtyomenkoReader More than 1 year ago
Where can I begin?  I loved this conclusion to this series, but I would say that they could be read as stand alone books. You understand some more of the main character's story when you have read the previous two books, but you don't have to have read them.  First of all, the history. She knocks it out of the park with the history of an event that we don't know that much about. Water is the theme in all three books, and it continues here. The characters are flawed. In fact, there is not much to like about either of them in the beginning, but as you read, they grow on you.  Pain. Rejection. Love. Anger. Mystery. This book has all the elements intertwined and giving us a picture of what it would have been like for a woman in a position of power, but also for a man in power, but having to work with someone he cared for that no longer cares for him.  Romance? Yes, there is romance. But the focus of the book is the story with the romantic threads. I found that I wanted to follow the story, regardless of the romance.  I would recommend this series for older teens and adults that love unique historical books and want to have their fancy tickled to search for more details.  I obtained this book from the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own. 
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Sometimes starting a new book is like slipping into a warm bath. That was the case for me with this book. I easily fell into this story and Elizabeth’s writing style. I think I have only read one book by her and it was years ago and now I am wondering why. Something about this book really grabbed me and I loved it. The struggle from the past but the hope that lay in the future for our characters. Yes, this is a great read with broken characters that God can redeem and restore. I highly recommend this one. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
EElizabeth More than 1 year ago
How would you move a city? I wouldn't even know where to begin. It seems like an impossible task. Yet, Elizabeth Camden tries to accomplish that impossible job in A Desperate Hope. For that reason alone, I had to give this book five stars. It was fascinating reading about a town moving. There were moments when I found myself very stressed thinking about all the details involved and wondering if they would be able to succeed or not. Why else do I give this book five stars? Well, Eloise is an accountant, and I really admire accountants. Math is not easy or fun for me and so anyone who can spend their whole work day solving math problems has my admiration. Reading about a lady who was a CPA during a time when not many ladies were able to be CPAs made the story interesting. Also, this book if packed full of romance, adventure, and mystery, making it definitely worthy of five stars plus more! I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, romance, and mystery. It is the third book in the Empire State Novel series but I think it could be read by itself. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paula Shreckhise’s review: A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is book set in 1806 Upstate, New York. The New York City Water Board is clearing the town of Duval Springs in order to build a reservoir. Lots of interesting facts are woven into this story about the logistics and emotional upheaval of those involved, from the residents to the engineers. A seemingly impossible task is at hand. Can Eloise Drake and Alex Duval stop clashing enough to get the job done? Eloise, an accountant with the Water Board and Alex, the mayor of the town being displaced, have a less than pleasant history. Can they overcome their past in order to make the future brighter for the inhabitants of a small town displaced by big government? As an accountant, Eloise has ahead for numbers and relishes an ordered life. When circumstances throw her world off kilter, can she learn to adapt or use her strict expectations as an excuse to continue on her lonely path. Alex has a heart for his town and tries to help the people adapt to their fate. Ms Camden gets to the heart if the issues, showing the attitudes and emotions of people in upheaval. I had heard about towns being flooded for dams and reservoirs but this puts a personal slant on exactly what such a project would entail. Such interesting detail shows the author did rigorous research. The story did not just recount the logistical issues but brought some intriguing relationship dynamics and a mystery to be solved. I recommend this to readers who like the unusual in their historical Christian fiction. I loved learning from an excellent storyteller. *I recieved this complimentary book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. * Paula Shreckhise
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Camden delivers again! In the final installment of the Empire State trilogy we are taken once again to Duval Springs in upstate New York. But this time the town is slated to be destroyed. Per usual, Camden's characters are rich and funny. Thanks to her thorough research I learned about the history of an area I didn't know about. A Desperate Hope had twists that I didn't see coming, and I'm hard to surprise! Elizabeth Camden never disappoints!
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
This was a compelling story of love and the industrious nature of humanity. I was drawn into the history of a dying small town standing in the way of progress. Eloise and Alex are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. She is a planner and he is a risk taker. Together they balanced each other but until they began to work together, those opposing personalities were like watching magnets being pushed together at the same poles. 4 1/2 Stars - Full review is at my website. I received this book complimentary as a participant of the Prism Book Tour. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed here are my own.
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
A DESPERATE HOPE is a story of loss, desperation, love and what it means to be family. Readers won't be able to resist falling in love with this small town with all its quirks and charm. The people who live, fight, and love there make it the wonderful place it is and surround these two main characters as they try to navigate being on opposite sides of each other and then work to save this town. There are plenty of twists, a little danger, and a delightful romance to keep things interesting. If you're an historical romance, sweet romance, or inspirational romance fan, this story is highly recommended! From the first page I knew I was going to easily get into this story and that it was going to be good. It did not disappoint. I adored these characters, this town, and the struggle to save what they had. The story of a town being wiped away for a reservoir was quite intriguing, as were the other parts of this story that involved sabotage and danger as well as a light inspirational element. But, the part of the story that captured me the most were these characters. I loved the townspeople with all their individual personalities and how they interacted with each other. Even more, I loved Alex and Eloise who are both so different, but so perfect for each other. The romance was sweet, fun, with fabulous banter and chemistry. There were so many lines that I loved—little nuggets of wisdom that resonated with me or made me smile. Here is one that I especially adored because it really puts things into perspective and felt just right for this story where a detour of water was created in place of a town: "The detour that had been thrown into their lives ended up guiding him and Eloise exactly where they were meant to be." I did have one misgiving with the story. It was how easily Alex dismisses Eloise and what she desperately needs at one point, even being unwilling to help her in any way. I could see things from Alex's perspective, but it was fairly unforgivable and yet Eloise forgives him easily. I felt like that could have been worked through a little more, maybe Alex addressing that better. Although, I loved this story regardless. In the end, was it what I wished for? I loved this story! If you enjoy small-town charm, a slue of unforgettable characters, a desperate fight for survival, some suspense, and an exciting romance, then definitely pick this up! You will love every minute. Content: Some innuendo and references to love scenes as well as some violence, but no descriptive details. Clean. Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
As I read A Desperate Hope I was struck by the fact that in 1908 a young woman in New York City was enjoying a successful career as a CPA and auditor for the state of New York. Eloise Drake was also living a straight-laced life in an effort to atone for a mistake that she made as a teenager. What she doesn't count on is being sent to Duval Springs to help in the project that will eventually demolish that town so that a huge reservoir can be built to furnish water for New York City. Eloise once lived near Duval Springs and it was there, as a teenager, that she experienced her first love affair. Now, her first love is the mayor of Duval Springs and he is determined to protect the town that he loves. Eloise's mathemetical genius knows that this project is feasible but her heart allows her to understand why the people of Duval Springs want to save their town. There are so many facets to this story. Young love, the embarassment and shame of being judged, the loss of innocence. There is also murder, mystery and the question of parentage but what I loved most is the presence of hope. Alex Duval was hopeful that Eloise would join his fight to save Duval Springs and Eloise hoped that her efforts would help because she realized that he and the citizens deserved to keep their homes. As they began to work together Eloise began to understand that God had made her a planner and Alex a dreamer. Loving each other again might not be possible but this was okay because "It was simply the way God had made them, and the world needed both sorts to succeed". I truly enjoyed reading this book and the fact that it is actually based on true events made it even better. There truly were several small towns in New York that were forced to either dissolve or to relocate so that The Ashokan Reservoir could be built. As I read the town people's determined efforts I thought how I would feel knowing that the small rural town that I grew up in might soon be displaced and I could imagine their desperation. A Desperate Hope is wonderful historical fiction filled with hope and faith. Author Elizabeth Camden reminds us that no one is beyond redemption and that forgiveness is possible for everyone. She shows Eloise and Alex's growth from their past hurts and she allows other characters to change also. The way that she chooses to end A Desperate Hope is a wonderful testament to the power of love, both human and divine! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
This story will resonate with those of us who call big-hearted small towns “home” as well as anyone who loves to cheer for the underdog. Camden skillfully crafts complex characters into a rich story of history, romance, mystery, and suspense. Eloise has a painful backstory which enables her to achieve professional success yet leaves her feeling insecure and unmoored. Alex is a former soldier turned small-town mayor. He’s the equivalent of the captain of a sinking ship. The fictional town of Duval Springs may very well be my favorite character in this story and I have no doubt that its dedicated citizens would wholeheartedly agree. A Desperate Hope is an engaging and entertaining story and I’ll definitely be hunting down the other books in the series! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
A Desperate Hope is the third installment in Elizabeth Camden's Empire State series, but can be read as a stand-alone story. I savored this well-written novel and its combination of romance, adventure, enterprise, and mystery. Of all the novel's good qualities, I think I enjoyed the characters the most. Eloise and Alex were so different. Their personalities juxtaposed each other, yet they balanced and complemented each other without one being inferior to the other. Their snappy conversation and delightful flirtation both amused me and deepened my interest in the novel. As the story progressed, the characters developed as their weak areas grew stronger. Likewise, the relationship between Alex and Eloise deepened past flirtation to mature into a true partnership of mind and heart. The story's secondary characters were also well-crafted. I especially liked the author's treatment of Bruce Garrett and the fact that I didn't know the mysterious culprit until the big reveal near the end. For me, the characters, their development, and the conflicted relationships shined brightest in this novel. I recommend A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden to readers looking for an engaging historical fiction story of faith, relationships, and community. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
swissgranny More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Camden takes an interesting slice of history and builds a colorful and compelling story around it. Set in New York in the early 1900s, A Desperate Hope is about a town’s spunk and ingenuity in solving a seemingly insurmountable problem, about dreaming big, and working hard to make those dreams come true. Camden’s cast of characters come alive on the page. Alex Duval is an optimistic, courageous, go-getter whose vision of a way to save his town is inspiring. The heroine, Eloise Drake, is also endearing and fascinating as she tries to find her place in the world. Together, they are a magnificent team that can accomplish amazing things. This riveting tale of courage, faith, optimism, and hope pulled me right in and kept me turning pages. With history, intrigue, suspense, inspiration, and more than a bit of romance thrown in, this story has something for everyone. I would recommend it to those who enjoy inspirational historical fiction. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Phyllis_H More than 1 year ago
Fighting to stem the tide of destruction on their town My rating is 4.5 stars Alex Duval is one of the most endearing and dynamic of heroes! Flawed, sure. No question about that. Yet his almost larger-than-life personality with his propensity to be dramatic, to dream big, to hope big, to love big, and to feel big touched my heart in a big way. He knew how to live life! He and his brother, Hercules, were both prone to weeping at touching moments due to their vast reservoir of emotions. His passion for his town and the people in it overflowed into everything he did. Alex is the mayor who caused Nick so many problems in A Daring Venture as Nick tried to work with him to shut down the town to create a reservoir from the valley in which Duval Springs was nestled. Alex took exception to this and fought him tooth and nail to save the place that was so near and dear to his heart. Eloise is quite interesting. She was also introduced in A Daring Venture. Her childhood story and feelings of not being valued touched my heart. Her love for rules and order arose from the events that drove both her and Alex from Duval Springs twelve years earlier. And her sense of adventure is now restricted to the calculating of figures in her head. She is strong, yet tender inside and a bit fearful of being outside of her element. One of the things I particularly loved about Eloise was the way she hoped the best about her guardian. Despite the way he ignored her and the way the townspeople and those who worked for him viewed him, she was convinced he had something worthwhile deep within and was willing to stand up for him against the entire town. This deeply emotional story tells of the desperate battle Alex wages to save his town. The risky plan he develops is rather amazing, even more so when you realize that it is based on actual historical events. Just don't try to cheat and try to find what that plan was by looking up Duval Springs - the town doesn't exist and never did so you'll be wasting your time. I fell in love with this town that was able to trace its history back to a visit by George Washington. (They even had a chair at the tavern reputed to have been used by him once.) And the tradition at the tavern for the young men heading off to war - wow! As with the other books by this author, there is mystery and danger that kept my interest throughout. The deep love that Alex still had for Eloise after all these years despite what had happened to him was nothing short of spectacular, even if he did make some spectacularly stupid choices. I highly recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction. Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.