Beyond All Dreams

Beyond All Dreams

by Elizabeth Camden


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"...[a] captivating, emotionally charged journey through America's past."—Publishers Weekly starred review on With Every Breath

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764211751
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/06/2015
Pages: 364
Sales rank: 464,445
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Camden is the author of six books and a RITA and Christy Award winner. 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. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website at

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Beyond All Dreams 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always love her books of strong, confident and capable women in a time when women were thought to be weak.
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
A peek into the history of the Library of Congress, a mysteriously inaccurate naval document that no one would discuss, a particularly persistent librarian, timid but with fire in her blood, an annoyingly arrogant congressman from Maine, and the circumstances that precipitated the Spanish American War are all ingredients that make this book a fascinating read. Add a generous amount of romance and the book becomes irresistible.  Anna O'Brian was one of only a handful of female librarians allowed to work at the Washington D.C. location of the Library of Congress in the late nineteenth century. For her, it was a dream come true. Anna's responsibilities were to care for the library's maps and to conduct research for congressmen. Occasionally librarians even provided expert advice and testimony for congressional committees as well as for individuals. It was her attention to detail and her persistence that made her an excellent researcher. It also got her into trouble with the US Navy when she noticed an error in the reports of an incident that occurred 15 years ago. It also happened to be the same incident in which her father, a cartographer, disappeared with the ship he was sailing on. There was a definite mystery and she wanted it solved. Anna's retiring yet understated fire also caught the eye of Lucas Callahan, a fairly new congressman from Maine. His youth, energy and brashness were all the talk of the town. His rivalry with the Speaker of the House got him removed from the US Budget Committee and reassigned to the committee on Fisheries. Their former war of words had hiked up a notch. But under all his fuss and blunder was a man with principles, who understood the hard-working laborers, the every day man, because his own roots were from the lumber industry. His family's newly gained wealth was only a thin veneer that barely covered a darkness he wanted very much to escape. When he met Anna, he discovered her naturally placid nature brought a peace and calm to his turbulent one. But getting Anna to accept his suit was a challenge. It was not until he became entangled in her mystery document and the affairs of the Navy that she realized how serious he was. The truth behind the mystery had the potential to either drive them apart forever or weld them together.  What I enjoyed most about this charming historical fiction was the author's use of wit and humor. Because of her nature, Anna just could not refrain from delivering a not-so-gentle reprimand to the presumptuous congressman who attempted to summon her services and expertise by snapping his fingers. Later, when he began to pursue her with the idea of courtship, she couldn't imagine why. She described herself as a "short, ordinary girl who had a voice like sandpaper and the habits of a hermit crab." Luke himself described her as his opposite. "She never did anything impulsively and liked the safety of her map room in the attic of the Capitol. She hid up in that room like a princess in a castle tower, surrounded by a fortress of books and maps."  Some of the historical events in the book are based on actual occurrences. The author created a personal link to the tragic loss of life in the event that eventually helped to fuel the flame of American sentiment against Spain--the link that lead to the Spanish American War. Anna's father lost his life in that tragic event, creating an inner conflict between her desires to avoid war and the loss of more lives and revenge for such a loss in her young life. I was touched by the author's empathetic writing. Many readers today will be able to relate to such a conflict.  The author wasn't heavy-handed with spiritual lessons learned during a character's development, but it was there, nevertheless. One doesn't have to talk about God's work to know His Presence is evident through their thoughts and actions. Each of the people we grow to love in this book had to face basic personal challenges. Not only did God meet them in their growing pains, He used other characters to assist in bringing them to maturity faster, much like a jeweler chips away the dross to find the diamond inside. I enjoyed how the author made this happen with every interaction between Luke and Anna.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. 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.”
JoHuddleston More than 1 year ago
This historical romance is set in Washington, D.C. the late 1800s. The story is about Anna O’Brien and Luke Callahan, opposites in all aspects. Anna is content to hide away in the Library of Congress and fulfill her position in the map room while Luke is the arrogant politician. But quiet Anna and flamboyant Luke find an attraction to one another long before admitting it to each other. Families, secrets, and the general political atmosphere of their city make for a bumpy ride for them as a couple—hurdles they must meet head on and overcome if they are to have a life together. Great characterizations and setting descriptions. Elizabeth Camden spins a yarn that holds the reader through the last page.
Lindz2012 More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely story. Though it stay on history and what is going on with senate. It about woman named Anna who wants finds a mistake and want to correct it. Though when she goes to font the Navy. She hit roadblocks along the way. She wants to know the truth. Anna want to find out what happen to a ship that disappeared at sea. Luke is also struggling with his spot in Congress. Anna and Luke run into each other. Anna wants the information on this ship. Everyone around her is in the cover up. What could be the real reason of the ship disappearance? There is twist and turn each time you turn the page. What are the secrets that got Anna and Luke are in embroiled in. Will the truth put the nation at risk. What will happen to Luke and Anna. Luke is dealing with many problems of his own. Can he raise this nephew Philip. What is going on in Luke hometown that he repentant in Congress in Maine. Luke deal with the loss of another family member. Can Luke control his temper?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PollyBennett More than 1 year ago
There is nothing better than getting lost in an Elizabeth Camden book. This one is so special. A view of the National Government through the eyes of a Library of Congress Librarian right after the civil war. This is my favorite to date.
Writer4God More than 1 year ago
I inched through this book very slowly at first, but I think it was more due to me not being in much of a reading mood over the winter. Then I picked it up last night and finished it off! I loved the setting and the plot and charatcers were likeable. I especially liked Luke, and Anna reminded me a bit of myself. There were parts that I found to be a bit slow, and then it seemed like the end was on the rushed side, but overall I thoght it to be an enjoyable read. This was the second book I've read by Elizabeth Camden and it surely won't be the last! I like her writing style and she seems to choose very interesting topics, settings, and characters. Her style seems fresh and a little different from your typical Christian historical romance. I don't think I liked this book as well as the other I read by her, "With Every Breath", which I thought was amazing, but this one was still good! I definitely recommend this author to others! I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Writingsof_Rosie More than 1 year ago
This book was a dream! Ms. Camden does so well with her historical novels. I've been impressed with each novel I've had the pleasure of reading. In this particular story I thought she did a superb job handling the historical information so that you weren't bored, but rather fascinated. She touches on a place in history that I am unfamiliar with, so I found the story enchanting overall. In Beyond All Dreams we meet Anna O'Brien (whose last name had me thinking of Downton Abbey!) and Luke Callahan. Both characters felt extremely well-rounded and each seemed real. Anna had a rough childhood, losing both her parents as well as experiencing great trauma. Luke, on the other hand, suffered a different kind of childhood, which was equally unpleasant. In my humble opinion I feel it is critical for a character to act according to his/her background and personality, and I felt like Ms. Camden accomplished that with both lead characters. In conclusion, I loved getting this up close look at the United States of America in the late nineteenth century. Each historical aspect was handled with care and presented well. I loved that, even though the mystery was fictional, Ms. Camden seamlessly wove it into this time period. I look forward to reading her future books! I checked this book out at my local library; no review required.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I really loved this story. I loved the romance and the mystery in this book. Anna and Luke were so great together. They had many good things happen to them and some bad things that happen to them but will they overcome all of these. It is so interesting to see what really happened to Anna's father on his last voyage. I received this book from book for a fair and honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great read. I didn't know that the Library of Congress was once housed at the Capitol Building Though I should have known since it was sort of implied by the name. I never reallized what all the job of a librarian at the Library of Congress entailled. The era of the latr 1800's was fascinating as well. Overall, a great book!
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Beyond All Dreams is another riveting read by author Elizabeth Camden. In this one we have Anna O’Brien working as a map librarian at the Library of Congress in 1897. A bit of a lonely woman, she has one dear friend and an estranged aunt that she visits infrequently. Having had her voice damaged due to an unfortunate childhood accident, Anna likes to stay quietly too herself working on the requests given to her by the congressmen. Then one fateful day she is called to sit in on a hearing where she and a certain congressman from Maine, Luke Callahan, have a memorable first meeting. Luke is a very hard working politician who is dealing with raising his nephew and controlling his anger which has plagued his family line for years. Determined not to follow in his late father’s footsteps and not to forgive him either, he is instantly intrigued by this quiet librarian with an alluring voice. Deciding that she is the perfect match for him, he intends to pursue and court her. She on the other hand has reservations. But when she uncovers some wrong information concerning the Navy’s records of the ship that her father supposedly sank with, she turns to Luke for help. Neither of them would ever have guessed what they have begun to uncover. This was a sweet romance and I really liked Luke’s tenacity and how he would not give up and let Anna go. The mystery in this story and why exactly the government would go to such great lengths to prevent Anna from knowing the truth about what happened to the ship her father sailed on kept me turning the pages quickly. Again, I really enjoy Ms. Camden’s books and her very unique characters and their situations. I have received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden is a sweet Christian romance novel. It is 1897 and Anna O’Brien is a map librarian with the Library of Congress. Anna has worked in the Library of Congress for six years. There are only eight women working in the Library of Congress (out of the 40 employees). Anna got her love of maps from her father who was a cartographer with the Navy. Anna’s father died when she was twelve years old. Anna was told that the Culpeper (the Navy ship her father was working on) and her crew went down during a hurricane. Anna has found a discrepancy in the official report and she is determined to get the error corrected. Anna wants to know what really happened to the Culpeper and her father. Anna has not had an easy life. Her mother died in childbirth and after the death of her bather, she was raised by her Aunt Ruth and Uncle Henry. Unfortunately for Anna, Uncle Henry liked to drink. One night he could not find the soap to wash out Anna’s mouth (evidently she had a foul mouth when she was younger) and used lye instead. It burned her throat. She could not talk until surgery helped restore her voice. The one person who has always been there for her is her best friend, Neville Bernhard who works in the U.S. Patent Office. Anna loves new technology. Lucas Callahan is a young Congressman from Bangor, Maine. One day he is in a meeting of the Committee of Fisheries when he notices Anna O’Brien. Luke is instantly taken with her and sets out to get to know her better. Luke ran for Congress to get away from his family. The Callahan family has trouble with alcohol. Luke is also the guardian for his nephew, Philip. Luke’s sister, Julia gave birth to Philip out of wedlock. Because of her trouble with alcohol and depression, Luke felt it was better for Philip to be in Washington. Luke grew up with a father who had a horrible temper and it was worse when he was drunk. His younger brother, Jason also is too fond of drink. Luke wants a better life. He would like to have a wife and family. I give Beyond All Dreams 4.25 out of 5 stars. It is a delight to read. There is romance, humor, mystery, and a happy ending. I also enjoyed the setting—Library of Congress! Beyond All Dreams is an appealing and engaging story. I look forward to reading more books by Elizabeth Camden. I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads program.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Another winner from Elizabeth Camden! Elizabeth Camden's novels are so rich in historical detail and a pleasure to read from page one to the last. I was totally immersed in the world of 1890's Washington DC and I could almost see and touch the Library of Congress. I loved Anna and Luke's witty words and barbs and I literally laughed out loud at her very first comment to him. There were many memorable lines in Beyond All Dreams. A couple of my favorites include: “Keeping track of books and protecting them from insect damage, humid air, or pilfering fingers, was her duty. Mr. Callahan was speaking heresy, but his position had merit.” and “...Reading was my liberation, my Magna Carta, from hopelessness and tyranny.” One of the lessons I really took to heart is that sometimes God uses the most uncomfortable and disappointing circumstances to push us out of our comfort zone and into the new direction He wants us to go. All around Beyond All Dreams was great book. I really liked the characters, the attention to historical detail, and I loved the suspense element with Anna's investigation into the mysterious disappearance of the Culpeper. If I wasn't already familiar with Elizabeth Camden's excellent historical fiction Beyond All Dreams would have hooked me good. A definite must read! (I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
Why can’t we all fall in love with a poet?  Beyond All Dreams was a great book based in the late 1800’s in our countries capital, Washington DC.  Anna and Luke are opposites in almost every way.  Yet they are drawn to each other with needs they don’t realize they have.  Camden made it pretty much impossible for me to stop reading.  I was almost late picking up my kids because I was so engrossed in another time and place.  Full of romance and mystery Beyond All Dreams will leave you captivated and satisfied.   Anna’s life was good.  She had her dream job at the Library of Congress to keep her busy through the week, and her best friend Neville to spend time with on the weekends.  They have been best friends most of their lives, and he just gets her.   When Anna discovers something wrong in a report she read, she wants to get to the bottom of it.  Why is the Navy blocking her every step?  Doing so only fuels Anna’s curiosity, and causes her to believe there is something they are hiding.  Since meeting Luke, Anna’s life has started to change.  Could a man as perfect as he seems really care for her?  Will he help her get to the bottom of what really happened to her father?   I loved getting to know Luke and Anna, and I know you will too.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, with a little Suspense mixed in.  I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and TBCN.  All opinions expressed are my own. 
VicG More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Camden in her new book, “Beyond All Dreams” published by Bethany House brings us into the lives of Anna O’Brien and Luke Callahan. 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? I have to admit it I am a big fan of Ms. Camden, have been from the start. Whenever she comes out with a new book it is a must have for me to read. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I tell you that this may be her best story yet! Anna is a librarian in 1897 trying to uncover the reason why the ship her father was on disappeared. No one is willing to help except Luke, a scandal-clad Senator, who joins forces with her to investigate. Now the excitement and the danger begins. Anna and Luke are fighting against a brick wall with no one wanting them to succeed. Ms. Camden has given us a suspense filled thriller that will keep you flipping pages as fast as you can read. Let me assure you that once you start reading you are not going to want to stop until you finish. On top of all this there is a romance. “Beyond All Dreams” is a thrill-ride that will keep you guessing. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”
seersuckersass More than 1 year ago
My grandmother was a librarian, so I was drawn to this book right off the bat!  As a bookworm myself, I really related to Anna and why she felt so comfortable in the library.  I love how this is not only a love story, but a story of Anna coming into her own. I think my favorite part was how the romance starts out seeming to be an "opposites attract" type of deal, but as the story progresses, Anna and Luke seem to discover that they have more and more in common. This story is heart warming and a romance in the purest sense.  Once I got into it, I couldn't stop reading!  I am so excited to read Elizabeth Camden's work in the future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed “Beyond All Dreams”!  It captivated me, and was just an overall great read.  I felt a connection to Anna, and was rallying behind her in her efforts to uncover the truth.  I also love history, and so I loved the rich historical component of this book (because, truthfully, I don’t remember too much about the Spanish-American war from school).  Luke was not quite as easy for me to naturally like.  Both Anna and Luke have things in their past that could destroy them, and I found it interesting to see how different people can react in different ways – Anna forgave, while Luke held his anger close, but of course, it spilled out to all those around him.  I thoroughly enjoyed this read and highly recommend Elizabeth Camden’s writings! *As a Litfuse blogger, I received this book for review purposes.
GiveawayLady More than 1 year ago
-Elizabeth Camden has quickly become one of my favorite turn to authors for historical novels. They are interesting, vivid in details and the characters are quirky but totally lovable! And Beyond All Dreams set a new standard for my historical novels. This one folks I got so involved in that I finished it in one day and literally didn't do anything but read for several hours:) The heroine is one of the best yet and Anna is so funny. I love how she can talk to Luke and get his mind off whatever is bothering him. She is a librarian in the great Library of the Congress which has strict rules on relationships, so, afraid of losing her job, she rebuffs Luke when he tries to get close. I just want to say a big "kudos" to Luke for seeing what he wants and being patient enough to woo her. Neville, Anna's best friend since childhood, makes you respect him and at the same time, see people for who they really are. The author takes the reader on a journey filled with danger, romance and most of all, learning. I definitely learned things not only from history but as a person. We all have quirks and problems that we don't want others to see or maybe we feel like if people know the real us, they may not like us. Believe me, been there many a time and I am sure it will come again. Either way, this book made me realize a few things. Again, an excellent page turner from Elizabeth Camden!! I received a copy of this book from the Litfuse program. All thoughts are 100% mine. 
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
A historical fiction book with a librarian as the heroine -- how could any librarian like kmyself pass up the opportunity to read such a book? From the first page when I realized that Anna O'Brien worked at not just a library, but THE LIBRARY, The Library of Congress, I knew I would be fascinated by the setting of the book. I was not disappointed. Miss O'Brien is one of several female librarians given a temporary status at the library in the late 1890s; her particular specialty is maps. Within days, the library will leave its quarters in the Congress and move across the street to the grand new building dedicated solely to the library. Details like the political disagreements over the cost of the new facility, Congress's dependence on the library for pertinent factual information on a daily basis, and the precarious life of a single working woman gave life to this turn of the century Washington D. C. tale. The young Congressman Luke Callahan from Maine adds intrigue and a hint of scandal. Clearly his hot head and rash actions cause many of his problems, but his immediate attraction to the quiet,but feisty Anna is not an action he regrets. Knowing that any hint of impropriety could cost her beloved job, Anna vows to stay away from his charms. But she suspects a cover up of how her father and the entire crew of his navy ship died fourteen years earlier, and when her attempts to learn the truth are roadblocked, she turns to Luke for help. Mystery and a smacking of political intrigue with a cover up, a fresh historical setting (one not overdone by others) and a romance between a likable, but flawed pair --- these elements blend smoothly into a captivating novel which I am sure will remain one of my favorites for 2015. I believe Elizabeth Camden intended this to be a stand-alone story, but I would love to see Anna back at the Library of Congress helping Congressman Callahan figure what is best for America as the country faces the dawn of the twentieth century. If you agree, let's tell Camden; perhaps she will craft a sequel. I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Books for review purposes. I
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
I love the historic detail that Elizabeth Camden incorporates in her novels. Beyond All Dreams is a beautiful story filled with little known pieces of information about history. The storyline kept my interest from start to finish, the main characters had a complex relationship that had its ups and downs throughout the book, and I finished the story knowing so much more about this time period than when I first began reading. Anna O’Brien is a woman who has persevered through some terrible situations. I admired her strength, ability to forgive, and intelligence. However, even though Anna was well aware of her accomplishments, she was not snobbish. Instead, she sometimes felt inferior to those around her due to an old injury. Learning Anna’s backstory really endeared her to me and I wanted her to be able to achieve her dreams and solve the mystery that came her way. Luke Callahan was a man on a mission. He desired to help others and bring peaceful resolutions to issues through his seat in Congress. Knowing his history helped me to like Luke, even when he was behaving in ways that I did not approve of at all. I did appreciate that he worked to change his attitude and behavior, even though there were many times he slipped and some situations that he did not handle well at all. Luke was a very interesting hero. He loved God, poetry, and peaceful resolutions, yet struggled with anger and an unforgiving attitude. I really enjoyed Beyond All Dreams and definitely recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through Litfuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
There is just so much to enjoy about this novel! It was fascinating to learn about how the movers and shakers in Washington DC worked together and against each other during the turn of the century. All the characters, even minor ones, are portrayed in a way that I could visualize them vividly. Anna's position as one of the first of a small handful of females to work as librarians for the Library of Congress is inspiring since she does not take her job for granted and reveres the work she does. Her first interactions with Luke are hilarious, and as she works more closely with him she learns to stretch beyond her comfort zone professionally and personally as well. There are a variety of political dynamics at play that impede Anna's search for the truth, and the story just keeps growing more intense as loyalty and trust is threatened and priorities are tested in the face of an impending war. (Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Sprinkle23 More than 1 year ago
Anna O'Brien loves her position as map librarian at the Library of Congress. Preserving historical details and assisting those who need such information gives her great satisfaction. When Anna discovers a discrepancy regarding the demise of the USS Culpeper, the ship on which her late father was stationed, Anna immediately alerts the navy. Surprisingly, the navy has no intention of correcting the error and Anna's preoccupation with the USS Culpeper heightens. Her search for answers leads her into partnership with Luke Callahan, a dashing and powerful congressman, who wants more than friendship. As the mystery and danger deepen so do the feelings between Luke and Anna. Will their relationship survive when the truth is revealed? Read more in Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden. Beyond All Dreams is my favorite novel by Elizabeth Camden. The original plot, combined with romance, historical mystery, and poetry references created an enjoyable story that I intend to read again in the future. The book lover in me appreciated the setting of the Library of Congress, perhaps more than others would. However, other aspects kept me reading. I could identify with Anna's respect and affection for books and details. Luke Callahan's character was a powerful force in the story and the romance between Luke and Anna was complicated, but sweet. The mystery of the USS Culpeper was unpredictable and remained a mystery to me as long as it was to Anna. Overall, reading Beyond All Dreams was a wonderful experience. I recommend it to fans of inspirational fiction who are interested in a tale of mystery and romance with just the right amount of depth. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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."
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Anna O’Brien is pretty much alone in the world. She has learned since being left an orphan as a child to find her solace in books and order. That is why her reference librarian job at the Library of Congress is a perfect fit for her. She can hide amongst her maps and books. It is only when addressing groups of people that her confidence fails her as well as the voice that was tragically damaged in an act of vengeance when she was a child. Into her ordered world comes Congressman Luke Callahan. Luke has been banished to an obscure Congressional committee because of an altercation with the powerful Speaker of the House. Luke plans to enlist Anna’s skills to dig up some scandal about the Speaker so that he can regain his powerful leadership in the House of Representatives. Luke has his own demons. He is burdened with many family issues and he has a volatile temper which he can barely keep in check. Despite these issues, Luke desperately wants to be a man of peace. When war with Spain over Cuba looms on the horizon, Luke faces his greatest challenge. I am a big fan of Elizabeth Camden. I have read all her books and find them to be wonderfully written with believable characters. The slices of history about which she chooses to write are more isolated topics, making them more enjoyable for their new information. This was a wonderful read! I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
busymomoftwo More than 1 year ago
I have really been enjoying Historical Fiction lately. Most of the Historical Fiction that I have been reading is set in England, so when I was given the chance to check out a new book by Elizabeth Camden set in Washington D.C. in the late 1890s called Beyond All Dreams, I jumped at the chance. The book jumps right in to the story in the first chapter, introducing Anna O'Brien and Luke Callahan. We are also given just a bit of background to help set the stage. The story starts out a little bit slow, but then quickly gathers momentum pulling the reader into the story. I felt that the story really said a lot about being content and what happens when you push beyond normal boundaries and experiences. The outcome of doing so certainly is not always what you had hoped or expected, but as the title suggests, sometimes the outcome is beyond all dreams. I really enjoyed the balance of historical fact inter-mixed with the fictional tale. You could tell the author had done her research, from the opening of the new building for the Library of Congress to the Tourmaline mine in Maine. The history going on around the story helped to make the characters and events in their lives more real to me as a reader. The story is told in third person, yet there are plenty of insights offered by the narrator into what the characters are thinking. This really helped me as a reader get to know the characters and allowed a nice balance of learning about more than just one character's inner thoughts. I really enjoyed the book and found the experience of reading it satisfying. I would recommend the book to others that enjoy historical fiction or romance. I haven't read any of Elizabeth Camden's other books, but based on my enjoyment of this book, look forward to reading others. (I received a complimentary review copy of the book)
HappyReader50 More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a very good book I have not read any other books by Ms. Camden, but after reading Beyond All Dreams I will be looking for more of her books. I have to say, I was a bit surprised that I picked up this book and got into the story line so quickly as I generally do not pick books that relate to our history. It was a very nice surprise. Ms. Camden starts the book with a sense of humor and quickly develops the story line from there. She has based this book on some true history and has added the fiction to make it a very good read. She was able to keep the suspense going throughout the book and I didn’t want to put it down to sleep or attend to other household chores as I was curious as to what was going to happen next. I found myself wanting to know more and more about the characters and to have a sequel to this book would be the icing on the cake. I would highly recommend this book.