A Desperate Hope (Empire State, #3)
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.

A Desperate Hope (Empire State, #3) Details

TitleA Desperate Hope (Empire State, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherBethany House Publishers
ISBN-139780764232107
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Christian

A Desperate Hope (Empire State, #3) Review

  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    After reading this book it has once again proven why I love this author's books. It kept me engrossed the whole way through. A very tough,straight-laced,prickly heroine who despite being a carefree wild child has matured into a mathematical genius and is now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. She'd rather be tallying spreadsheets than dating. When she is assigned to her coming of age town for work the memories coming rushing back no matter how much she After reading this book it has once again proven why I love this author's books. It kept me engrossed the whole way through. A very tough,straight-laced,prickly heroine who despite being a carefree wild child has matured into a mathematical genius and is now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. She'd rather be tallying spreadsheets than dating. When she is assigned to her coming of age town for work the memories coming rushing back no matter how much she may try to hold them at bay. I could feel her angst as she is assigned to displace these people in the town that she has come to care about and love. Such an incredibly hard choice to make. What was absolutely fascinating to me is this was based off of historical happenings of several towns very similar to this. I live in a small village myself and could empathize with the towns people and the shock and disappointment they went through all having to move. It would be like having cold water thrown at your face and not know it was coming. What's next for this author? I don't know but I know I can't wait to read it as her books are automatic reads for me. Published February 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Clara
    January 1, 1970
    I love Elizabeth Camden's books and I think she's done an outstanding job with the Empire State trilogy.I've been looking forward to Eloise's story since finishing A Daring Venture and even more intrigued since finding out Alex Duval would be the hero. There's been much hurt and trauma in Eloise`s life, how will a hot-headed but honorable mayor be able to show her what it means to truly be loved and respected? Especially when these two have a twelve-year-old story full of regrets.Eloise's fiery I love Elizabeth Camden's books and I think she's done an outstanding job with the Empire State trilogy.I've been looking forward to Eloise's story since finishing A Daring Venture and even more intrigued since finding out Alex Duval would be the hero. There's been much hurt and trauma in Eloise`s life, how will a hot-headed but honorable mayor be able to show her what it means to truly be loved and respected? Especially when these two have a twelve-year-old story full of regrets.Eloise's fiery red hair is probably the only thing that Alex can relate to the girl he once knew. As he sees the choices she makes that will only put a bigger chasm between them, can he convince Eloise it's never too late? Her dreams can be achieved to the full and achieved with him? Filled with danger and mystery, Camden once again pens a story as deep in history and passion as it is in character development. I'm very much looking forward to what she will bring next.* I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kacie Woodmansee
    January 1, 1970
    Eloise Drake's past comes back to haunt her as she must return to the town so near where she spent much of her childhood and the man she fell in love with so many years before. Her relationship with Alex Duval ended badly 12 years ago, but Eloise is bound and determined to keep her heart safe and follow the rules as she works for the state on a project which will demolish the town Alex grew up in and is currently the mayor of.I really wanted to like this book, but there were too many big problem Eloise Drake's past comes back to haunt her as she must return to the town so near where she spent much of her childhood and the man she fell in love with so many years before. Her relationship with Alex Duval ended badly 12 years ago, but Eloise is bound and determined to keep her heart safe and follow the rules as she works for the state on a project which will demolish the town Alex grew up in and is currently the mayor of.I really wanted to like this book, but there were too many big problems for me. As a clean read fiction I'd give it a solid 4 stars. The characters are interesting, if infuriatingly hard-headed, and the emotions are definitely rampant with everyone involved. I don't think the characters really grew enough for my liking, but I had a really big problem with people overlooking big sins and character flaws.I will preach God's grace until he takes me home, but if that's the only part of the gospel that you get then you're in big trouble. Eloise and Alex had some youthful transgressions which are more or less brushed off as just that. I don't want characters to live in guilt, but Alex, at least, didn't even acknowledge that what they had done was wrong. It seemed justified because they were in love. The same goes for Eloise's guardian. He's not a good man. He has some redeeming qualities and acts at the end, but there seems to be no repentance for any of the characters. They brush off their sins as everyone makes mistakes and as long as you do some good deed here and there then you're all right. A very works based religion.So if you read the book as a clean read romance then you'll probably enjoy it. If you're looking for even a hint of biblically based spiritual truth then you will not find it here. The Christianity is sparse and seems thrown in to appease the publishing house, but it would have been better off left out all together.I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    A story to make my introverted heart sing!Camden's characters are always so real, with flaws and struggles that make them relatable. Alex and Eloise were no different, bringing to the page a flare and charisma that is wonderfully trademark for this author. I related so much to Eloise and her need for security at the end of the day, but also her bone-deep desire to dare just a little and enjoy an unlikely adventure that would grow her and give her a taste of living beyond herself. I liked Alex an A story to make my introverted heart sing!Camden's characters are always so real, with flaws and struggles that make them relatable. Alex and Eloise were no different, bringing to the page a flare and charisma that is wonderfully trademark for this author. I related so much to Eloise and her need for security at the end of the day, but also her bone-deep desire to dare just a little and enjoy an unlikely adventure that would grow her and give her a taste of living beyond herself. I liked Alex and his zest for life that was contagious, pulling me into the community of Duval Springs and seeing us through another day's struggle to save the entire town. I felt a part of them, shared their hopes and concerns, and waited alongside them to see how it would end.Third in a series, this could actually read as a standalone. Having already read the first book but not the second, I started out a bit mystified over Eloise sharing a last name with the characters from A Dangerous Legacy. But everything was explained without giving too much away. I would still enjoy going back to read book 2.I always thoroughly enjoy Camden's ability to take obscure job descriptions and combine them with forgotten moments in history to create an unforgettable reading experience. This one was truly "one for the ages."I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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  • Vera Godley
    January 1, 1970
    As the conclusion of Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Series I found the book interesting. I personally didn't care for the "thug" characters in the book and their actions and influences on others in the community. But that is the story and that is the 1896 time element portrayed on the pages of A Desperate Hope.This is the story of the destruction of a small community and surrounding woods in order to create a reservoir for the growing city of New York. About 100 miles north of the city the wate As the conclusion of Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Series I found the book interesting. I personally didn't care for the "thug" characters in the book and their actions and influences on others in the community. But that is the story and that is the 1896 time element portrayed on the pages of A Desperate Hope.This is the story of the destruction of a small community and surrounding woods in order to create a reservoir for the growing city of New York. About 100 miles north of the city the water is pure and plentiful and containing it in a large reservoir and transferring the water via an aqueduct to New York is the solution that the water commission of New York decided upon. Years of legal battles by the residents of the small town against the legal might of New York were fraught with failure and the demolition of the town is now about to take place.A team is sent to Duval Springs to manage the destruction of the structures and build the aqueduct. There are teams of engineers, hundreds of laborers, and several "camps" for housing them built. Clandestine subterfuge takes place in the camps, an attempt on the life of Emily is made, and despair is rife amongst the inhabitants.Rather than demolition, a quickly devised plan to actually move the structures to the higher elevation where the new village will be is put into place. Deemed an impossible task, the brawn, wisdom, and tenacity to accomplish the impossible carries them through.The book is written in the genre of Christian fiction (historical) and the historical research and information is quite well done and interesting. However, the young couple that comprise the main protagonists are involved in an immoral liaison prior to the beginning of the book. Also, in the story and inappropriate relationship takes place between a middle aged couple. No "scenes" but the reference to the occasions is there. A small piece of little know history woven into an interesting story of a strong and intelligent woman who struggles for her sense of acceptance and place. The story of Duval Springs will make the reader think twice and quite appreciatively when they turn the faucet for a drink of water at the price that water often cost society to bring to you.DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.
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  • Paula Shreckhise
    January 1, 1970
    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 mayo 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. *
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    As teens Alex and Eloise got to know each other very well behind an old cider mill in the woods. She was sheltered most of her life, not truly loved by parents or guardian, and never allowed to mingle with kids from town. Alex was the mayor's son and a bit too charming. Eloise was entranced by Alex who took advantage of her naïveté, but both thought they were in love. Then one day they were found out and a veritable boom was lowered. 1908, twelve years after both their punishments amounting to e As teens Alex and Eloise got to know each other very well behind an old cider mill in the woods. She was sheltered most of her life, not truly loved by parents or guardian, and never allowed to mingle with kids from town. Alex was the mayor's son and a bit too charming. Eloise was entranced by Alex who took advantage of her naïveté, but both thought they were in love. Then one day they were found out and a veritable boom was lowered. 1908, twelve years after both their punishments amounting to exile, and having never seen nor heard from each other, Eloise has been sent to the town of her youth as an accountant for a project that will close down this village for a reservoir which New York City needed.Their friendship upon seeing each other was strained at first, but working together on moving the town brought back old feelings.This was not my favorite Camden book. It was not a book I "couldn’t wait to pick up" each evening. It made me uncomfortable and I more or less just wanted it to end. Her writing has become a bit worldly for my tastes, and it was just too long.
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  • Nicole Cook
    January 1, 1970
    "Let's go change the world." In her latest book, A Desperate Hope, award winning author Elizabeth Camden has created an irresistible historical fiction story of faith, love, and resilience. A Desperate Hope is the 3rd book in Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Trilogy, but it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. Immediately, readers are drawn to the novel by its beautiful and captivating cover. The story takes place in small town Duval Springs, New York in 1908. New York State Water Board acc "Let's go change the world." In her latest book, A Desperate Hope, award winning author Elizabeth Camden has created an irresistible historical fiction story of faith, love, and resilience. A Desperate Hope is the 3rd book in Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Trilogy, but it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. Immediately, readers are drawn to the novel by its beautiful and captivating cover. The story takes place in small town Duval Springs, New York in 1908. New York State Water Board accountant Eloise Drake is selected as part of the team to oversee the demolition of the town of Duval Springs in order to build a reservoir to carry water to the residents of New York City. Eloise's journey back to Duval Springs forces her to face her first love Alex Duval, mayor of Duval Springs, and a town full of people not ready to give up their homes and livelihoods without a fight. "I wish I could say the next years are going to be easy, but sometimes it's the hard things in life that make us great." The hardships that the townspeople of Duval Springs faced and their determination never to give up demonstrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Readers will experience a range of emotions throughout the novel, while also rooting for Eloise and Alex to find their way back to each other. In Eloise Drake, Elizabeth Camden created an intelligent, well-educated female heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind. From the mistakes she made as a teenager and being forced to grow up too soon, Eloise becomes stronger as a person throughout the novel and uses her experiences to make a difference in other people's lives and to find purpose in her own life. This novel has a light Christian theme throughout, and the rich history of the New York water system was well researched. A wonderful novel by Elizabeth Camden and a must read for fans of historical fiction.I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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  • Beth Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Full review on FaithfullyBookish.comThis 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 sinki Full review on FaithfullyBookish.comThis 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.
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  • Grace Mullins
    January 1, 1970
    I'm reminded why Camden is one if my favorite authors. What I enjoyed:Great historical atmosphere. I can tell Camden puts great effort in writing a tale that gives her readers more than just a glimpse into early twentieth century New York. It was so sad seeing a reflection of what happened to citizens over a century ago, and I appreciated getting some insight into this part of history.Her magnificent writing style added a magical touch to this book. *claps* I don't know how to eloquently describ I'm reminded why Camden is one if my favorite authors. What I enjoyed:Great historical atmosphere. I can tell Camden puts great effort in writing a tale that gives her readers more than just a glimpse into early twentieth century New York. It was so sad seeing a reflection of what happened to citizens over a century ago, and I appreciated getting some insight into this part of history.Her magnificent writing style added a magical touch to this book. *claps* I don't know how to eloquently describe it, but the way she writes is a great balance of description and dialogue. (And boy, is she a royalty when it comes to witty dialogue.)I loved how mentally strong the heroine is portrayed.  I think that my favorite part about historical heroines is their inner strength, and Eloise Drake is a perfect example. Sure, she has regrets from the past and fears for the future. But she handles them pretty well, and her ability to maneuver in the male-dominated business world was awesome!👌.Alex Duval is worthy of heart eyes. 😍.  Just about every time I read an Elizabeth Camden book, I fall in love with the story's hero. And the Mayor of Duval Springs is no exception. *sighs* I loved his optimism. His presence just made the book so hopeful (pun kind of intended) despite there being an abundance of issues. And he is a crier. Ya'll, I loved seeing a man shedding tears shown as a positive thing. Not to mention kind of adorable.Star crossed lovers. Another trope I adore to the moon and back, this part of the tale made for some criss-crossing emotional drama, and I ate it up. In the words of Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean: JUST KISS!Anything in the tale make me feel hopeless? (pun intended)Some slow spots. Most historical books have them, so I won't rant. Camden expertly weaved in some surprises when the book seemed to be taking a slower pace. So not a big deal for me, and it did not significantly lower the rating.On that note, I give "A Desperate Hope" by Elizabeth Camden a rating of four and a half, and I recommend to fans of Christian Historical with some romance. It is the third book in a series, but can be read and enjoyed without reading the first two. :-D*Thanks to the author and publisher for a free complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Adrienne
    January 1, 1970
    Eloise Drake has a good, safe job working as an accountant in New York City. She enjoys her job and the possibility that her supervisor might be interested in her--a good, safe man is exactly what she needs. When she is assigned to go to upstate New York to Duval Springs, a town which is going to be demolished in order to create a reservoir for New York City to have clean water, she doesn't want to go--because it will mean seeing Alex Duval, whom she hasn't seen since her guardian drove him out Eloise Drake has a good, safe job working as an accountant in New York City. She enjoys her job and the possibility that her supervisor might be interested in her--a good, safe man is exactly what she needs. When she is assigned to go to upstate New York to Duval Springs, a town which is going to be demolished in order to create a reservoir for New York City to have clean water, she doesn't want to go--because it will mean seeing Alex Duval, whom she hasn't seen since her guardian drove him out of town after finding out about Alex's and Eloise's clandestine relationship. Eloise goes to Duval Springs and sets about doing her work appraising the properties in the town to determine how much the City will have to pay; while running into the man she gave everything to isn't something she can avoid, she's certain that she can be mature and professional. When she actually runs into Alex, though, that becomes a lot harder than she expected. As the mayor of Duval Springs, Alex has fought long and hard to keep his home city intact; when that's no longer possible, rather than throw in the towel, Alex comes up with the crazy idea to relocate the town--he wants to move the buildings out of the valley and onto higher ground--but he needs Eloise's math skills to figure out how to make that happen. And while he's at it, he wants to win back the woman he still loves, but Eloise wants a safe life with few risks, not the risky, big dreams that Alex has to offer.There were some really interesting elements to the plot--the idea of moving all of the buildings in town was so fascinating. I loved the fact that Eloise is a CPA at a time when few women were, and the mystery element, as someone is sabotaging the camp where workers for the reservoir are staying, was interesting. However, there were also some parts that were disconcerting to me. Alex and Eloise had premarital sex when they were teenagers, and while Eloise feels badly about it, it almost seems she's more embarrassed and worried about people knowing about it than she is about how than the fact that she sinned, and Alex doesn't seem to have any remorse about it whatsoever. From a Christian novel, I definitely expected more about grace and repentance, and it just was really odd to me that those things weren't there. (Side note: Eloise realizes her boss in NYC won't be compatible with her because he doesn't really believe in God, but I didn't see anything that demonstrated Alex believed, either.) If this weren't a book from a Christian publisher, that wouldn't have been a problem, but I really found myself wishing for it here--not to be preachy but as a beautiful affirmation of God's grace and how He forgives and redeems.As for characters, I had mixed feelings about Alex. I liked his passion for his town and his big dreams, but there were times when he was just rude to Eloise and didn't even really apologize for it, and I had a hard time with that. I'm all in favor of a realistically flawed hero, but I couldn't get behind him 1oo-percent. Is it fair to judge a book differently because it's Christian? I don't know. If this weren't a Christian book, I'd probably say it's a 4-star book. As a Christian book, however, I didn't feel like there were actually enough Christian elements and even Eloise didn't really come across as more than a surface Christian, which makes it hard for me to endorse as a Christian novel. With those mixed feelings, I'll give it 3.5 stars and I hope I've provided enough information for readers to know whether the things that bothered me would detract from the book for them as well or if they'd be fine with it and thoroughly enjoy the story.I read an ARC via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    I was reminded yet again that Ms. Camden knows her way around a well-researched historical novel! I love all the details that she always includes in her stories! This one made me grin so many times, swoon a few others, and fall in love with the characters. Eloise is my new favorite! Her fierce determination is a sight to behold. I enjoyed watching as she confidently handled every situation before her, except for Alex. Ah, that Alex! They certainly have a history they are unable to avoid, no matt I was reminded yet again that Ms. Camden knows her way around a well-researched historical novel! I love all the details that she always includes in her stories! This one made me grin so many times, swoon a few others, and fall in love with the characters. Eloise is my new favorite! Her fierce determination is a sight to behold. I enjoyed watching as she confidently handled every situation before her, except for Alex. Ah, that Alex! They certainly have a history they are unable to avoid, no matter how much Eloise might wish to. I loved the way they grew into their relationship this time around and pushed each other to become the best versions of themselves. The time apart allowed for the necessary growth, so that now they are much more prepared to solidly be in each other's corner, no matter what. You know, once they both figure out how perfect they are for each other. ;)The historical aspects definitely intrigued me! Ms. Camden does so well at picking little known stories from long years ago and giving them new life. The glimpses into this time in history were utterly fascinating to me! To imagine actually having to make the choices Alex and Eloise did and then to plan such a huge expedition! Just wow. SO much fun to see what Ms. Camden did with just a little information from which she grew this wonderful story.Overall, this has a bit of romance, a lot of fascinating history, and just a whole lot of fun between all the characters! I thoroughly enjoyed my foray into this series and look forward to going back to read the previous books. Since this read more as a stand alone, I was happily able to dive in without knowing all the background stories from the previous two books. Happy reader was I! :) Definitely recommend this one if you enjoy historical novels with a lot of sweetness.**I received a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Shauna
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of most of Ms Camden's previous books, however I couldn't get behind this one. I'll address my biggest huh??? right off the bat. I don't understand the flippant attitude shown towards sex outside of marriage in this christian fiction. Granted, it was only alluded to, and there's nothing steamy or titillating here at all. The instances are either in the past, or in one case and someone comes home when they've been out at night. Instead of realizing they need forgiveness and making I've been a fan of most of Ms Camden's previous books, however I couldn't get behind this one. I'll address my biggest huh??? right off the bat. I don't understand the flippant attitude shown towards sex outside of marriage in this christian fiction. Granted, it was only alluded to, and there's nothing steamy or titillating here at all. The instances are either in the past, or in one case and someone comes home when they've been out at night. Instead of realizing they need forgiveness and making things right with God and the other party, only Eloise seems to feel some shame and embarrassment. Odd on two counts: this is usually dealt with differently and not condoned in faith based fiction, and that second instance where everyone one knows the older, respected villager came home after an overnight with a man - that just wouldn't have happened!!Beyond that, I didn't particularly like Eloise or Alex and they would not have been a good fit. Complete and opposing opposites like that are only good in fiction. I'm sorry to have such a downer review when I usually do enjoy her books, but oh man this one was off the rails. Stranger and stranger as it went.This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars, rounded up to 3What I liked:- as always, the historical setting was vivid and lifelike. - I liked seeing the town come together to relocate - The blend of mystery and history worked well- Eloise as a character. She was smart and hardworking. What I didn’t care for:- The fact that Alex and Eloise had been in love as children made their reunion as adults seem really instalove-y- For a Christian novel, there was a surprising amount of sexual content and references and a lot of it wasn’t 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3What I liked:- as always, the historical setting was vivid and lifelike. - I liked seeing the town come together to relocate - The blend of mystery and history worked well- Eloise as a character. She was smart and hardworking. What I didn’t care for:- The fact that Alex and Eloise had been in love as children made their reunion as adults seem really instalove-y- For a Christian novel, there was a surprising amount of sexual content and references and a lot of it wasn’t needed- I didn’t think Alex treated Eloise very well for most of the book. I didn’t like Alex as a character all that much- The culprit was pretty obviousOverall I enjoyed the book, but the first book in this series is still my favorite
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  • Kav
    January 1, 1970
    What an astounding story! Especially since the author 'modeled it on the collective experience of several towns that were dismantled to build the Ashokan Reservoir,' (Historical note; p 337) It just boggles the mind! And gives me a new respect and admiration for mathematics -- a subject I've done my utmost to avoid both in school and in life. :-)So I wasn't certain if I'd be able to relate to a math whiz heroine but Eloise won my heart in record time. When all her girlish hopes for adventure and What an astounding story! Especially since the author 'modeled it on the collective experience of several towns that were dismantled to build the Ashokan Reservoir,' (Historical note; p 337) It just boggles the mind! And gives me a new respect and admiration for mathematics -- a subject I've done my utmost to avoid both in school and in life. :-)So I wasn't certain if I'd be able to relate to a math whiz heroine but Eloise won my heart in record time. When all her girlish hopes for adventure and romance were cruelly dashed a decade earlier, she worked hard to bury youthful idealism with a prim, pragmatic persona. She covets the order numbers bring and has carefully constructed a fortress of structure and logic around her shattered heart...until the facade is smashed to smithereens when a specter from her past becomes the nemesis of her present.Alex Duval is as boyishly optimistic as ever. And spontaneous. Outrageously charming. Idealistic. A dreamer who doesn't understand the concept of giving up. He hasn't really changed -- just grown into the kind of man who isn't afraid to turn boyhood dreams into reality. And he wants another chance with the love of his life. Swoon! I do so love a determined suitor. Eloise doesn't stand a chance, though she does put up a good fight. Enemies turn into wary allies until a deepening friendship threatens to upend all of Eloise's carefully laid plans for her future.And if the romantic drama isn't enough to contend with, there's mystery and danger afoot as sabotage and treachery threaten their desperate hope for a happily ever after. This is the kind of book that holds an avid reader hostage in a frenzy of page-turning delight.!Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    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 li 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. 
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  • Tamara
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this third book of Empire State series. It was actually my favorite one of the whole series. Eloise Drake and Alex Duval are at odds in the demolition of Duval Springs for a reservoir for water for the residents of New York. Eloise works for the state and is the accountant for the group headed to Duval Springs, and Alex is the mayor of Duval Springs is desperate to find a way to save his city. This book reminded me of the first book that I read by Elizabeth Camden, Into the Whir I really enjoyed this third book of Empire State series. It was actually my favorite one of the whole series. Eloise Drake and Alex Duval are at odds in the demolition of Duval Springs for a reservoir for water for the residents of New York. Eloise works for the state and is the accountant for the group headed to Duval Springs, and Alex is the mayor of Duval Springs is desperate to find a way to save his city. This book reminded me of the first book that I read by Elizabeth Camden, Into the Whirlwind, which I thoroughly enjoyed as well.
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  • MJSH
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Camden's books and this is no exception. I had not read the first two books in the Empire State series but was able to fully enjoy the book. I had never given much thought to how NYC and the state of NY got their water supply in 1908 but this book made the history come alive with memorable characters, vivid descriptions of a small village struggling against change and loss, and a well-crafted plot. If you enjoy historical romance and also want to learn a b 4.5 stars!I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Camden's books and this is no exception. I had not read the first two books in the Empire State series but was able to fully enjoy the book. I had never given much thought to how NYC and the state of NY got their water supply in 1908 but this book made the history come alive with memorable characters, vivid descriptions of a small village struggling against change and loss, and a well-crafted plot. If you enjoy historical romance and also want to learn a bit of NY history, you will totally enjoy this book.Eloise, our heroine, is an accountant - straight-laced and follow-the-rules kind of mathematician with a soft, tender heart and a secret hunger for adventure. She was once in love with Alex but they were torn apart by her guardian and her sense of shame. Alex is loyal, stubborn, impulsive, passionate, brimming with optimism and also the mayor of a small village that Eloise and her team from NYC are sent to demolish, in preparation for a reservoir to supply the water demand to NYC. They are complete opposites but make for a compelling team when they actually work side by side. This is a lovely story about dreams, hard work to achieve them, and how God gives us dreams to pursue even when others think it's folly. I was given a copy of the book by Bethany House Publishers and the author and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
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  • Tressa (Wishful Endings)
    January 1, 1970
    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 y 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.
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  • Kay (aka) Miss Bates
    January 1, 1970
    It’s been a while since I read a Camden sort-of historical romance. I’ve also drifted away from inspirational romance, thanks to the end Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line, where many a favourite author resided. With A Desperate Hope, Camden has moved away from the inspirational (which was fairly “light” to begin with) and towards “Americana” à la Deeanne Gist. (I loved Gist’s Tiffany Girl, but haven’t seen anything from her since. This makes me sad.) But Camden is a solid stand-in and I It’s been a while since I read a Camden sort-of historical romance. I’ve also drifted away from inspirational romance, thanks to the end Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line, where many a favourite author resided. With A Desperate Hope, Camden has moved away from the inspirational (which was fairly “light” to begin with) and towards “Americana” à la Deeanne Gist. (I loved Gist’s Tiffany Girl, but haven’t seen anything from her since. This makes me sad.) But Camden is a solid stand-in and I enjoyed the 1908 upper-state-NY-set historical fiction with a mild romance running through it. Unlike standard inspirational fare, the hero and heroine, while they’ve believers, also have a youthful affair, the heroine had lost her virginity to the hero, and there’s a fair amount of ale-drinking. Hurrah for Americana: this felt more believable than the inspirational romance’s leached ethos.A Desperate Hope has an interesting historical setting, indeed it’s the “hero” of the novel, even more so than the protagonists. The teenage Alex Duval and Eloise Drake wooed when Eloise sneaked out of her father’s castle-in-the-air (her father’s actually a cement-factory owner) to meet Alex in the woods of the nearby town of Duval Springs. When her father caught wind of their affair, he had Alex beaten and exiled and Eloise sent to an Arizona convent. Another non-inspie point in Camden’s favour: as Eloise had a serene, enriching experience with the Catholic nuns. Twelve years later and the novel setting proper, Eloise is a successful accountant for the city of New York and is sent to Duval Springs as part of the team that will see the town’s demolition, making way for a major reservoir project. Alex, in the meanwhile, after years in the army, is Duval Springs’s mayor. He and his former love and her volatile father are reunited.Camden’s novel hinges on Alex’s scheme to save his town. While Eloise and her team are here to see the town demolished, Alex plans to move it, house by house, school, tavern, hotel, and church to higher ground. His scheme is wildly improbable, daring, and costly. That’s where Eloise comes in. He needs her help to make the financial end come true. With this premise, Camden sets her hero and heroine initially working at cross purposes, as well as having different approaches to life. Alex never lost his wild imagination, adventurousness, and penchant for dreaming in Technicolor. Eloise, on the other hand, became ever more cautious, careful, and rational. Through their cooperation to save Duval Springs, Camden shows how two different people bring their strengths to working in tandem to save a town and way of life. In the same way, when Alex and Eloise win their HEA, they will bring this spirit to their marriage and family. The saving of the town is a gargantuan affair and proved, at least to this reader, to be more vital and interesting than the characters. I liked Alex and Eloise and their opposites-attract pairing well enough, but they lacked chemistry. When oxen pulling houses and railtracks laid to carry homes to higher ground prove more compelling than a romance novel’s romance, well, don’t read it for the romance.Camden continues to be a lovely prose writer. She brings the history of what is in actuality the Ashokan Reservoir project to life: I found the whole effort, with its setbacks, fascinating. I can’t say the same for Alex and Eloise. They were more interesting as the dreamer and pragmatist and the strengths they bring to Duval Springs’s salvation than they were as lovers. For example, witness what Alex says to Eloise when he shares his dream with her:“If a cause is worth having, I’ll fight for it and make it happen. I can motivate people and drag them across the finish line. Your accounting ledgers don’t have a column for the size of a human heart. That’s where I come in.”In the end, Alex comes to admire and acknowledge Eloise’s ledgers, that the town couldn’t have been saved without her. Eloise comes to recognize that to live fully, you have to step off the ledge, take a risk, with your career and heart. Camden brings them, beautifully, to the conclusion that “They’d rolled up their sleeves to work in tandem on a daring, desperate quest, and there was no one he’d [Alex’d] rather have beside him.” In turn, Eloise “was coming to admire the risk-takers who were brave enough to reach for the stars.” Just wish there was more chemistry, some smooching, and stolen moments in the woods.Ultimately, Camden’s greatest romance is what America is, as exemplified by her hero, heroine, and the many townspeople who populate her world: “When you get knocked down, you pick yourself up and move on. It’s the Amercian way. You don’t whine. You don’t quit. You pick up and begin again.” Like I said, Americana. With Miss Austen, Camden’s historical fiction is “almost pretty,” Northanger Abbey.Elizabeth Camden’s A Desperate Hope is published by Bethany House. It was released on February 5th and may be found at your preferred vendor. I received an e-ARC from Bethany House, via Netgalley.
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  • Kate (The Shelf Life)
    January 1, 1970
    I have been a long time fan of Elizabeth Camden. Her attention to the historical detail is one that has always impressed me. Her previous stories touch on either well known historical events, like the Chicago Fire in Into the Whirlwind. Or smaller historical issues, like the the opioid epidemic within Against the Tide. The details were phenomenal and made me want to research more it.A Desperate Hope, Book 3 of the Empire State series, focused on an interesting topic. Imminent domain. Duval Sprin I have been a long time fan of Elizabeth Camden. Her attention to the historical detail is one that has always impressed me. Her previous stories touch on either well known historical events, like the Chicago Fire in Into the Whirlwind. Or smaller historical issues, like the the opioid epidemic within Against the Tide. The details were phenomenal and made me want to research more it.A Desperate Hope, Book 3 of the Empire State series, focused on an interesting topic. Imminent domain. Duval Springs is on the brink of destruction. The state of New York feels, that the valley they are in is the perfect spot for a new reservoir for New York. The town fought long and hard. People are weary. But Alex Duval is one determined man. He has fought long and hard for his town and doesn't want to stop till the day the state's deadline for their homes and business to be torn down.Eloise Drake is a girl who made some bad decisions when she was a teenager. She has been trying her hardest to move past and not go back to those ways. The past decisions guided her in the choices she has made in her present. She is a straight laces lady and isn't about the adventures she reads in her books. That is how she appears at first, but appearances can be deceiving. What you come to see about Eloise, is that she tough on the outside, goes by the rules, but she is a girl who has a desire in her heart. As the story unfolds, you see that even though those memories of her decisions linger, she is a girl who does believe in forgiveness and is grateful to be forgiven and doesn't want to go back down a path that brought her sadness.I really enjoyed this story. Elizabeth Camden really did a lot of research on the subjects mention in the book. I actually went and looked up where this story could have been borrowed from and I have to say, it was interesting to read up on the history of reservoirs in New York! I loved how when you think the story was going to go one way, it shifted and twisted and kept you guessing. The final few chapters of the book.. I wasn't expecting it!I love historical fiction and this story really hit the nail on the head. It wove such interesting history, with a fantastically sweet romance, and sprinkled it with a story of forgiveness and redemption, but not only between the character and God, but with the characters self and thoughts. That is sometimes the hardest and I thought it was told in a very touching way.I also was able to download the audio of this story. I thought it was so well done. The narrator was able to keep a great flow. It was an enjoyable listen.This was such an interesting story!Thank you to the author, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.This review was originally posted @ http://www.readwithkate.com/2019/02/r...
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars"Sometimes there are more important things in life than timetables or profit margins, and those things are called dreams."According to Eloise Drake's recollection, Alex Duval had been nothing more than a teen-age dreamer, whose "pie-in-the-sky" perspective on life had driven her overprotective guardian to banish her broken heart to a remote convent in Arizona. That was then. This was now. The grown up version of Alex, currently the mayor of Duval Springs, still has the power to sway her 3.5 stars"Sometimes there are more important things in life than timetables or profit margins, and those things are called dreams."According to Eloise Drake's recollection, Alex Duval had been nothing more than a teen-age dreamer, whose "pie-in-the-sky" perspective on life had driven her overprotective guardian to banish her broken heart to a remote convent in Arizona. That was then. This was now. The grown up version of Alex, currently the mayor of Duval Springs, still has the power to sway her opinion with just the hint of a smile, but Eloise has arrived as an accountant for the state of New York; and the job that she has been assigned to do has nothing in common with juvenile dreams and everything to do with calculating the worth of town structures on the brink of destruction. Everything in the idyllic mountain town is scheduled to be demolished in order to make room for the state's new water reservoir. Until . . . Alex begins to dream again. Is it true? "It is in tackling the new and the scary that we become who we are meant to be." Hope is a powerful motivator, and love brings out the best in those who recognize its unique ability to override desperation. Enjoy this conclusion to the author's wildly popular "An Empire State" series. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden. Though this was the third book in the series, it read very well as a stand-alone. Eloise Drake is tasked to maintain the budget for New York’s latest project, to buy out an entire small town, demolish it and then flood the valley for the purpose of building a new reservoir. To her dismay, the valley is the same one she spent many hours watching from the home of her guardian high upon the hill as a young child. The valley was also once th I thoroughly enjoyed A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden. Though this was the third book in the series, it read very well as a stand-alone. Eloise Drake is tasked to maintain the budget for New York’s latest project, to buy out an entire small town, demolish it and then flood the valley for the purpose of building a new reservoir. To her dismay, the valley is the same one she spent many hours watching from the home of her guardian high upon the hill as a young child. The valley was also once the home of Alex Duval, the man who stole her heart, never to return it, leaving her a broken young woman. Alex Duval, the mayor of a small town doomed for demolition, is shocked to see Eloise Drake once again after so many years have passed; he is even more dismayed to learn she is part of the team set to remove his beloved home from the map. Despite the looming deadline, Alex hasn’t given up hope and comes up with a plan to save the homes and businesses of the village. The biggest obstacle? Getting Eloise on board with his plan. Question is can both Alex and Eloise set aside their painful pasts to work together to prevent the destruction of this small and quaint village? I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and am not required to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own.
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  • Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of historical novels rich with detail then this is one you don't want to miss! I loved the beautiful characters and the page turning plot line. Ms. Camden is truly talented and has a fan in me with this 4 star novel.
  • Abbi
    January 1, 1970
    After having mixed opinions about the first two books in this series I was cautious as to what this book would hold.Thankfully this book was the best of the series and I really enjoyed it!I liked Alex and Eloise and it was sweet to see what once was young love transform into something even stronger. They had extremely differing personalities, one who was all about order and security, and one who loved adventure and risk, but they balanced each other out and were exactly what the other needed.I w After having mixed opinions about the first two books in this series I was cautious as to what this book would hold.Thankfully this book was the best of the series and I really enjoyed it!I liked Alex and Eloise and it was sweet to see what once was young love transform into something even stronger. They had extremely differing personalities, one who was all about order and security, and one who loved adventure and risk, but they balanced each other out and were exactly what the other needed.I was really intrigued by the dismantling of the town and the creative steps they took to save it.There were many fun characters in the town who added another layer to the story and I enjoyed getting to know them.All in all this was a fascinating read that kept me up late into the night just to finish!I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Lisa Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Title: A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel #3)Author: Elizabeth CamdenPages: e-bookDate: 2/5/19Publisher: Bethany HouseMy rating is 3 out of 5 stars.Eloise Drake grew up with a rich family, but rarely saw them as she was sent to live with a guardian at the age of eight. She has longed for acceptance and a family her whole life. She is also a genius with numbers. She is one of only six female CPAs in the entire state of New York in the early 1900s. She faces obstacles from the many men in her Title: A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel #3)Author: Elizabeth CamdenPages: e-bookDate: 2/5/19Publisher: Bethany HouseMy rating is 3 out of 5 stars.Eloise Drake grew up with a rich family, but rarely saw them as she was sent to live with a guardian at the age of eight. She has longed for acceptance and a family her whole life. She is also a genius with numbers. She is one of only six female CPAs in the entire state of New York in the early 1900s. She faces obstacles from the many men in her field, but her current boss appreciates her logical thinking. He sends her back to the area where she grew up as a small town is to be destroyed to clear the land for a reservoir that is to flood the area. She is hoping to avoid Alex Duval, the man she fell in love with twelve years ago. He left the area suddenly without any explanation in the middle of their relationship. They had plans to marry, but Eloise never heard from him again. The people of the town don’t want to lose their homes and businesses but have exhausted their legal options. That is, until Eloise makes a suggestion that gives them new hope.Alex Duval is the mayor of Duval Springs. His family has lived in this town since its founding 200 years ago. He has fought on every front he can think of to save his town but has come up short. Now, the state is sending a small team to evaluate the homes and businesses for their value with which the state will compensate the owners. Alex has no idea that the accountant who will be performing the evaluations is Eloise. Upon arrival, his old feelings come back in a rush. He was forced to leave the area by her guardian. Eventually, after a stint in the army, he returned and searched for Eloise but to no avail. He wants a second chance at a future with Eloise, but is he too late?I usually enjoy this author’s novels as they contain such interesting historical information with a unique focus on the career/life of the lead female character. However, this story fell short for me. I couldn’t connect with Eloise or her romance with Alex. I didn’t like Alex with his chameleon-like character changes. The potential for an interesting story is definitely there. The moving of an entire town was also an interesting avenue to explore, and having Eloise be a female accountant was also interesting. Elizabeth Camden is one of my “have to read” authors when she has a new book released. I am still going to read her books, but this one for me just didn’t hit the mark.
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  • Christian Fiction Addiction
    January 1, 1970
    The final novel in the "Empire State" series is an intriguing finale to what has been an enjoyable series from start to finish. Camden has brought her trademark ability to mine the depths of history and craft a story filled with pieces of the past that are utterly fascinating. I greatly enjoyed journeying to Duval Springs and looking through the eyes of the town residents as they faced the destruction of their town to make way for the reservoir that would bring water to New York. I can't imagine The final novel in the "Empire State" series is an intriguing finale to what has been an enjoyable series from start to finish. Camden has brought her trademark ability to mine the depths of history and craft a story filled with pieces of the past that are utterly fascinating. I greatly enjoyed journeying to Duval Springs and looking through the eyes of the town residents as they faced the destruction of their town to make way for the reservoir that would bring water to New York. I can't imagine what such a situation would be like to live through, and Camden has succeeded at capturing that experience in a moving manner. Although the town in this story is fictional, she has based her tale on the actual experience of a number of towns that previously existed prior to the reservoir being built, and her attention to historical detail shows.Camden has also created likeable characters in Eloise and Alex, and as we journey with them through their relationship from the time they were youths, we are treated to a remarkable tale of loss and love and second chances. Both of them have overcome deep hardships in their past, and as they are brought together again they discover the ability of love to stand the test of time. I was expecting that faith would be woven a little more into this story than is the case, as I believe it would have made the tale all the richer. But in the end, their story is one that speaks to the power of God to bring good from the most difficult of circumstances.Elizbeth Camden continues to be one of those authors who are on my "must read" list. "A Desperate Hope" is another engaging, well-plotted novel that I just didn't want to put down, and I award this story of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although I'm sad to see this series come to an end, I'm looking forward to what sort of tale Camden will be offering up next!Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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  • Lynda Edwards
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Camden writes books to get lost in—books that pull the reader into another time and place, set in unique locations with captivating, unexpected plots. This book is an incredible story with a slowly building mystery, lots of interesting history, and characters that belong together but are too stubborn and have too much against them for it to be possible. I could not put this amazing book down!The historical detail in this book is incredible; I haven’t read anything like it before. The i Elizabeth Camden writes books to get lost in—books that pull the reader into another time and place, set in unique locations with captivating, unexpected plots. This book is an incredible story with a slowly building mystery, lots of interesting history, and characters that belong together but are too stubborn and have too much against them for it to be possible. I could not put this amazing book down!The historical detail in this book is incredible; I haven’t read anything like it before. The idea of entire towns being demolished to create a reservoir for another city was appalling, despite the discussion of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. I loved reading about it, about the emotions and challenges, and the impossible hope that springs to mind as a solution to their problems.The characters are flawed and relatable; the main ones have a difficult history, and that adds some depth and tension to the plotline. Alex and Eloise are very different people with opposing ways to look at the world and that leads to conflict in some places, beauty in others when they help each other grow. The secondary characters are surprisingly nuanced and add to the overall novel in more ways than I might have otherwise expected. Holding it all together is prose that is a pleasure to read and a message that needs to be heard. I love how the theme of hope, even when repeated blows have come, is gently woven throughout the narrative. It comes from different characters and in different forms, but the hope is always there, even when things look darkest. While technically part of a series, I was able to read it as a standalone novel with no problem. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for older teens and up. The characters, plot, and setting combine for a fantastic novel that is sure to be enjoyed by fans of historical fiction. Camden has cemented her place as one of my favorite authors, and this book will be joining her others on my keeper shelf!I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
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  • Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
    January 1, 1970
    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK The setting is New York City 1896. Needing more water supply to the city, it was decided to violins a reservoir, which would wipe out the small town of Dubai Springs. Mayor Alex Duval is determined to fight for the survival of his small town, but being the NY water board accountant, his longtime love Eloise Drake will be the one he’s fighting against. But can she end up helping him out if the bind of losing his town?Elizabeth Camden has created unique and intriguing char MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK The setting is New York City 1896. Needing more water supply to the city, it was decided to violins a reservoir, which would wipe out the small town of Dubai Springs. Mayor Alex Duval is determined to fight for the survival of his small town, but being the NY water board accountant, his longtime love Eloise Drake will be the one he’s fighting against. But can she end up helping him out if the bind of losing his town?Elizabeth Camden has created unique and intriguing characters in Eloise and Alex, and Alex is sure to have his hands full with the feisty Ms. Drake! I found it very heartwarming as I read the determined feelings the people of Duval Springs have of their small town. They were not easily giving up their homes and friendships. And I found the author did a really good job of weaving together the emotions and feelings of everyone involved. And emotions and feeling you are sure to experience as you read this journey if small town Duval Springs. The one thing wanted to be different was a stronger emphasis on the Christian life in the characters. It is listed as Christian fiction and Bethany house is a Christian publisher, and I felt it was lacking in that area. Other than this, it is a very good read from this author. I received this book from Prism Tours to read and review. 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 55.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book all in one sitting, so that answers the question of its readability and Ms. Camden's storytelling. I enjoyed the historical setting and details, as always, and the plot was interesting and well paced. However, as other reviewers have stated, the lack of holiness in what is supposed to be Christian fiction concerned me. I'm not talking about the "holier than thou" attitude but rather a believer who sincerely cares about his or her own spiritual life and the spiritual lives of oth I read this book all in one sitting, so that answers the question of its readability and Ms. Camden's storytelling. I enjoyed the historical setting and details, as always, and the plot was interesting and well paced. However, as other reviewers have stated, the lack of holiness in what is supposed to be Christian fiction concerned me. I'm not talking about the "holier than thou" attitude but rather a believer who sincerely cares about his or her own spiritual life and the spiritual lives of others, the willingness to deny our sinful natures and ask God to overwrite them with something better.I am glad that the heroine was able to overcome the guilt of her "youthful transgressions" with the hero and that she did not commit those same sins again. I'm also glad that the main characters didn't pick up where they left off twelve years ago. It's unclear what the hero has been up to during their twelve year separation, and I found myself wanting to know, but overall it's his lack of concern about the immorality around him that raised a red flag. Overall, I did enjoy this book, but I would have enjoyed it more had it been found in the secular historical fiction shelves. That way I wouldn't have read with any expectation of something more.
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