Author: Elizabeth Camden
Genre: Historical Romance
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.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third book in her An Empire State series. Luckily it is a standalone book if you did not get to read the first two.
First, I loved the whole concept of moving a town. The author kept me intrigued and was very detailed oriented in that I could picture the work, mud and the effort the characters were giving in trying to save their town from the State of New York (who had plans to flood it). I was quite shocked that this was a real thing. I loved the ingenuity of the town and especially Alex (the Mayor) who was bound and determined to move his entire village, to higher ground, all while trying to win back prim and proper Eloise, whom he hadn't seen in years. Unfortunately, the fair Eloise is one of the people representing the State who intend to flood the town.
There are many subplots in this book that are very interesting, and they will keep you reading, however, it is the lack of Christian content and opportunities for messages on repentance and redemption that bring my rating down. The issue of premarital sex was a shocker for me. Yes, in real life these things happen, so why can't they occur in a Christian book? Well, when they occur and the only remorse the characters show is that someone might find out (not how their relationship with God will be), it bothers me. Alex seemed to show no remorse for his actions, which seemed to turn Eloise into a prude. And later in the book when other characters engage in premarital sex without guilt, I was taken aback. It was almost as if this type of behaviour was condoned. So this bothered me a great deal.
While the book was clean in that nothing was scintillating or explicit, the author missed an opportunity for sharing a message of repentance and restoration with God. I expect these things in a Christian book; otherwise, why market it as such?
While the underlying mystery and move of the town were intriguing, I couldn't get into the romance of Alex and Eloise because of their past indiscretions and Alex's cavalier attitude.
I received this book courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and Baker Publishing.