Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Beyond All Dreams - A Review
Author - Elizabeth Camden
Title - Beyond All Dreams
Format - ebook, paper
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Anna O'Brien loves her job as a map librarian at the Library of Congress. She loves being surrounded by maps and helping patrons with their research requests. When she is asked to sit in on a Congressional committee meeting, she unintentionally captures the attention of Luke Callahan, one of Congress's rising stars. Luke has been "demoted" from the prestigious Budget Committee onto a committee involving Fisheries. But Luke is determined to show that the Speaker of the House is corrupt and asks that Anna be the one librarian who pulls all of his research requests. When Anna stumbles across a discrepancy between a map and the Navy's report regarding the shipwreck her father died in, she ends up enlisting Luke's help. Before long, both of them are involved in something far more than a simple error. Anna's afraid to trust her heart and Luke's in danger of loosing his. Will these two manage to figure out what the future holds for them?
One of the things that I've discovered I love about Elizabeth Camden's books is the rich historical detail. Last year's With Every Breath wowed me to no end. And then I spied the cover of this one. I love the spiral stair case and added it to my to read list. When this one came up for review, I snatched it up. I couldn't wait to delve back into a novel rich in history.
Yes it is rich in history. But what I found was that it was a little more slow moving than I was accustomed to. I wasn't sure how I initially felt about either of the main characters. My first impression was probably that Anna seemed a little stiff and schoolmarm-y while Luke was a conceited jerk. Yet what changed my impression of Anna was when she put Luke in his place at their first meeting. And I admire that. I also enjoyed the fact that Luke had to pursue her. He had to get to know her. He had to make it a point to figure her out because she didn't fall for his charms initially.
I've also enjoyed the fact that this story wasn't built entirely on their romance. Each of the main characters had busy lives and it showed. I mean, Luke was a Congressman and involved in several different bills while at the same time being a parent to his nephew. And for Luke to decide that Anna was important to him meant that he had to make time in his busy schedule for her.
Still, I enjoyed the book. I keep being told I need to read Camden's Against the Tide and maybe one day soon I'll be able to get to that one. I enjoyed the look into the Library of Congress in the late 1800's as well as what Congress was like then too.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of historical fiction, Elizabeth Camden, Jody Hedlund, Laura Frantz
Rating - 4 stars