Beyond All Dreams
by Elizabeth Camden
Historical Romance with a Touch of Mystery
I’m beginning to like this type of story. Typical romances are beginning to bore me, because I’ve read so many of them. I like romantic suspense, and I read quite a bit of them. But I also like historical, so this book combines them a degree. The suspense isn’t there, but there is a mystery. The historical time period is the star of this show, the characters are interesting.
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.
What the back cover doesn’t tell you: That Anna’s father was on the lost ship. The time period is 1897. Fifteen years previous, the ship was reported lost in a hurricane, but the more Anna re-reads her father’s last letter to her, the more she suspects that lies about the ship’s fate are being told by the Navy. Luke promises to help her get to the bottom of it.
Luke is a man who can’t control his temper, one of a long line of such men. His father physically and verbally abused him as a child, now Luke is on the verge of doing the same with his nephew, who lives with him in Washington.
Here’s what I liked: the mystery, time period, although I like westerns a bit better, and the main characters. They are flawed, but throughout the course of the story, they come to find their faith in God and put their trust in Him. Their romance road is indeed bumpy, and it was interesting to see how the author worked it all out so they could be together.
I said that the historical time period is the star of this show, and it is. Set just before the Spanish-American War, Camden paints a picture of the times nicely. Her research shines throughout the book, but, unlike some historicals I’ve read in the past, doesn’t overwhelm us with the details of all her exhaustive, just enough. That’s an art.
I give this four stars. I liked it. If I say I like it, I really do. I rarely give five stars to any book, because I think it’s overdone. But I liked this book. I really did. I was given a paperback copy of the book by the publisher for my honest review. I love reading books and reviewing them, to help others choose wisely.