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, Christian Fiction, Romance, Christian Historical Fiction

A Desperate Hope (Empire State, #3) Review

  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • 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.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    A Desperate Hope is the third installment from Elizabeth Camden’s Empire State series. I have read the other books in the series and this one is my favorite. It is set in 1908 New York with Eloise Drake trying to put the past behind her. She is an intelligent woman who works as an accountant for an engineering project. However, this project may put her into a situation she tries to stay away from. While, Alex Duval realizes the town he loves and is the mayor of is threatened to be destroyed. Thi A Desperate Hope is the third installment from Elizabeth Camden’s Empire State series. I have read the other books in the series and this one is my favorite. It is set in 1908 New York with Eloise Drake trying to put the past behind her. She is an intelligent woman who works as an accountant for an engineering project. However, this project may put her into a situation she tries to stay away from. While, Alex Duval realizes the town he loves and is the mayor of is threatened to be destroyed. This leads him asking for help from someone from his past. Will these be able to get over the past and work as a team to do what is right?I enjoyed Eloise and Alex’s story. They are two unlikely allies in the beginning and loved their determination and courage. It is a beautiful, well written and powerful historical that takes the reader back in time and teaches them the lesson of forgiveness and fight what is right. I am giving A Desperate Hope a well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it. It is definitely my favorite novel written by Elizabeth Camden.I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
    more
  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    I found this book interesting in that it is filled with historical information, and is based on fact. The story line is good and it kept my attention, but my main problem is that there is a story line of sin, but not a true Christian read.We have a strong woman here and her whole life she had a desire to be accepted, in her field as a CPA and by the man who fathered her.Also offered is a man who has pulled himself up by becoming mayor of Devaul Springs, and now trying to fight the Government and I found this book interesting in that it is filled with historical information, and is based on fact. The story line is good and it kept my attention, but my main problem is that there is a story line of sin, but not a true Christian read.We have a strong woman here and her whole life she had a desire to be accepted, in her field as a CPA and by the man who fathered her.Also offered is a man who has pulled himself up by becoming mayor of Devaul Springs, and now trying to fight the Government and save his town. This is the third book in this series, and we are briefly reunited past characters, but this can be read alone.This is a read that will keep you page turning and full of surprises right to the end.I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
    more
  • Emily Yager
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I was expecting and felt a touch disappointed by it. Although an enjoyable read with a bit of suspense throughout to carry you to the end.
  • Candice Valdez
    January 1, 1970
    This book is not what I have come to expect from Elizabeth Camden. I love how she weaves history into all of her stories and I feel like I really learn something every time I pick up one of her books. But, I did not feel the chemistry between the main characters. There would be a spark of something they used to have, but then the next scene made me believe they didn't really care for each other all that much. I finished the book, but I found myself skimming it at the end, ready for it to be over This book is not what I have come to expect from Elizabeth Camden. I love how she weaves history into all of her stories and I feel like I really learn something every time I pick up one of her books. But, I did not feel the chemistry between the main characters. There would be a spark of something they used to have, but then the next scene made me believe they didn't really care for each other all that much. I finished the book, but I found myself skimming it at the end, ready for it to be over.I love books by Elizabeth Camden, but felt like this one was not her best. She is still one of my "must read" authors, but if you are new to her, I would suggest one of her older works before reading this one. I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Callie
    January 1, 1970
    A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third book in the Empire State series. I love reading Camden’s works because she always has the most unique plots that teach you about forgotten pieces of history as they entertain you.The focus of this novel is on the fictional town of Duval Springs in upstate New York. The state of New York has declared that the town needs to be torn down in order to create large water reservoirs for the larger cities south of Duval Springs. The people of the town ar A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third book in the Empire State series. I love reading Camden’s works because she always has the most unique plots that teach you about forgotten pieces of history as they entertain you.The focus of this novel is on the fictional town of Duval Springs in upstate New York. The state of New York has declared that the town needs to be torn down in order to create large water reservoirs for the larger cities south of Duval Springs. The people of the town are understandably upset, as their entire lives are about to be uprooted for the sake of the government and strangers in large cities.Eloise Drake grew up outside Duval Springs, but always with an interest as to what was going on in the town. Now that she’s grown up and mistakes of her youth drove her away from her hometown, she is proud to be an accountant for the state of New York. When her job requires she access the value of property in the town of Duval Springs so that its inhabitants can be fairly compensated by the state, she wishes anyone else could go. She has no desire to uproot the new life she’s just begun in New York city.Alex Duval, mayor of the town of Duval Springs, plans to fight the demolition of his home town with everything in him. What he doesn’t expect is to be fighting the flame of his adolescence, Eloise, after their relationship was abruptly broken up 12 years ago.I adored and consumed this novel. Within 24 hours I had discovered it was available for me if I chose to review it, downloaded it, and read it. I love Camden’s works; I love that when I read her writing I’m always learning something unique and new, and my vocabulary is expanding. I love the characters she creates and the cozy settings I’d never have found myself in otherwise when reading them. I definitely recommend this book–and it works just fine as a stand-alone–and would recommend checking out other books by this author as well.Thank you to Bethany House and Net Galley for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.*
    more
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    This one will keep you up late, folks. I read the first book in The Empire State novels, A Dangerous Legacy, and loved it, so when this one came up for review, I was excited to take it on. And in true obsessive-reader fashion – especially with a book that has good tension – it only took me a few days to finish.This series focuses on the Drake family, and with this newest installment, we get to know Eloise (with some revisits to Nick and Rosalind). She’s a fascinating character plagued by conflic This one will keep you up late, folks. I read the first book in The Empire State novels, A Dangerous Legacy, and loved it, so when this one came up for review, I was excited to take it on. And in true obsessive-reader fashion – especially with a book that has good tension – it only took me a few days to finish.This series focuses on the Drake family, and with this newest installment, we get to know Eloise (with some revisits to Nick and Rosalind). She’s a fascinating character plagued by conflicting desires – one, to be logical and reasonable because following her impulses didn’t work out so well the last time. And two, to throw caution to the wind and join Alex on his mad crusade to literally move a town before the state has it demolished to make way for a drinking water reservoir.And then Alex – Lord help us all – Alex is a gambler and a white knight and has a serious case of tunnel vision. As much as the sparks between him and Eloise make fantastic things happen, their biggest obstacle might be the fact that he’s slightly obtuse and she’s afraid. It’s comical, frustrating and rife with tension.Characters aside, the history was fascinating! I was aware that building could be moved, but I didn’t realize they figured out out to do it by the early 1900s. There’s some great history in this one inspired by the very real relocation of entire towns. Once again, I recommend reading the author’s note when you get your hands on this book in February. It always makes the content so much more interesting.I highly recommend this book with a caveat. While the story line does not take the reader into any inappropriate situations, pre-marital sex and its complications are discussed. The Christian themes are also light in some aspects and for Eloise, have a Catholic bent as she spent several years living in a convent, which may be different from what readers might expect. For some of you, this might be fascinating, for others, it might not be the right fit.
    more
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Finally! A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third book in the Empire State series. I have been waiting to read this book for some time because Eloise is such a mysterious character in the previous book and I am happy to hear her story.Eloise is an incredibly intelligent young woman with a knack for numbers. She has a job as an accountant working for a company that will engineer the building of a massive reservoir. She is told to go down to the construction site and give estimates to the Finally! A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third book in the Empire State series. I have been waiting to read this book for some time because Eloise is such a mysterious character in the previous book and I am happy to hear her story.Eloise is an incredibly intelligent young woman with a knack for numbers. She has a job as an accountant working for a company that will engineer the building of a massive reservoir. She is told to go down to the construction site and give estimates to the town there so they can move before the construction. Eloise is familiar with the town since she grew up nearby. Obviously, the town is not happy about having to relocate and don’t provide a warm welcome. The town’s mayor is Alex Duval, Eloise’s first love. They were separated as teens after their affair had been discovered. Now, they are on opposite sides. That isn’t all, there is sabotage lurking nearby making it difficult for both sides to proceed with plans. Eloise and Alex need to work together to find out who is behind the sabotage and make a plan that benefits the town and the state. However, their past feelings make that difficult.One thing that I love about this series is that every main character is a woman, who is incredibly intelligent, who works twice as hard to be taken seriously in the world of men. The characters have amazing development but it is their courage to preserve that always adds such an amazing layer to the story. The men in the story were a little lackluster for me. I wasn’t a fan of either love interest.Even though this book is Christian historical fiction, it is not preachy which I really appreciate. Her characters are real and make real decisions, which makes them so much more relatable. Another thing about this series, Camden always has incredible historical detail. Some may say it slows the pace down but I think it adds so much to the story.Overall, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars!This book releases on February 5th!!!Thank you NetGalley and Bethany House for a copy of the book!
    more
  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    “She was coming to admire the risk takers who were brave enough to reach for the stars.”3.5. Another fascinating read about the water systems of New York. The mystery suspense angle had me up till almost one AM to figure out the “whodunnit.” I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous two books in this series as well. I always enjoy seeing past characters throughout a series. It’s like seeing old friends again.This subject is of particular fascination because an elderly lady that is a dear fri “She was coming to admire the risk takers who were brave enough to reach for the stars.”3.5. Another fascinating read about the water systems of New York. The mystery suspense angle had me up till almost one AM to figure out the “whodunnit.” I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous two books in this series as well. I always enjoy seeing past characters throughout a series. It’s like seeing old friends again.This subject is of particular fascination because an elderly lady that is a dear friend of mine is from Kansas. She can’t go “home” because it isn’t there. Her town was flooded for a water reservoir. It seems sad, but many of these actions taken were necessary. It was interesting to see the situation from different viewpoints.The main characters were easy to like...one added levity to the book...the other added depth and a really good backstory. I’m not sure how many authors could have made the entering of the age of water to New York fascinating, but Elizabeth Camden did. You can read this book on its own, but I do recommend reading the series to get the full understanding and scope of the characters. This one had a mild faith theme which I appreciated. I really like books with a strong faith theme, but Hope was really what had to be the theme in this book.This entire series has earned a place on my forever shelves, and I found the history very fascinating!“...get to church on Sunday morning to thank God for the blessing of being born in a place like Duval Springs, where we laugh, work, and cry together.”“But Alex had to believe everything would work out as God intended.”“Eloise wasn’t sure what the next few years held in store for them all, but she had faith they would be good ones.”
    more
  • Cathy Cermele
    January 1, 1970
    This one is a real page turner so be sure to carve out some serious reading time before sitting down to start the book. I loved the first two books in the series so it was a safe assumption that I would love this one, too. I just didn't know how much I would love it! I love the story of Eloise Drake a successful accountant in New York and Alex Duval the mayor of Duval Springs, a town that is about to be obliterated. He once loved her but when he discovers she is on the team charged with the demo This one is a real page turner so be sure to carve out some serious reading time before sitting down to start the book. I loved the first two books in the series so it was a safe assumption that I would love this one, too. I just didn't know how much I would love it! I love the story of Eloise Drake a successful accountant in New York and Alex Duval the mayor of Duval Springs, a town that is about to be obliterated. He once loved her but when he discovers she is on the team charged with the demolition it's safe to say it's not the happiest of reunions. Ms. Camden brought the characters to life with her beautiful writing and vivid descriptions of the town , its residents and it's buildings. I found myself truly caring about what would happen to the characters, their businesses and their homes. Alex possessed an inner strength and the need to preserve what is near and dear to him and he is not letting anyone take anything from him that he cares about. I admired his spirit and soon started to see the same spirit in Eloise.Overall, A Desperate Hope is a fantastic story that flows at a perfect pace with memorable characters who are easy to love. If you have read the first two books in the series you will recognize the names and their stories. This could be read as a stand alone but I suggest you read the series in order because it's just that good. I am sorry to see this series come to an end but I look forward to the authors future work.I received a copy from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • CoffeeBreakBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Book three of the Empire State series is another compelling historical tale of a strong female heroine in a non-traditional, for that era, profession. It was wonderful to meet up with familiar characters, but the novel can enjoyably be read as a stand-alone. Elizabeth Camden chose an interesting subject for this novel, as it is as relevant today as in the early 1900's. Municipalities, particularly in certain areas of the country, still have challenges providing a clean water supply for growing p Book three of the Empire State series is another compelling historical tale of a strong female heroine in a non-traditional, for that era, profession. It was wonderful to meet up with familiar characters, but the novel can enjoyably be read as a stand-alone. Elizabeth Camden chose an interesting subject for this novel, as it is as relevant today as in the early 1900's. Municipalities, particularly in certain areas of the country, still have challenges providing a clean water supply for growing populations, and that sometimes leads down the same path of removing obstacles to build a reservoir. Without going into tedious detail, the author outlines the main steps involved in such an undertaking, which was fascinating. Eloise Drake, a CPA who was a former nearby resident, was tagged with helping the team assess valuations in order to facilitate clearing the town in preparation for the reservoir construction. This brought her into conflict with the town mayor, Alex Duval, with whom she had a history dating back to their youth. The writing was picturesque and the story well-paced as we experienced the gamut of emotions - despair, compassion, loneliness, friendship, fear, and love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
  • Doreen
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great conclusion to the Empire State Novel series. Eloise Drake has worked hard to overcome her past by adhering to rules and regulations. Her job as a CPA fits perfectly with that. However, when she is called to work at Duval Springs, the sight of her first love and shame, things aren’t as cut and dried as she’d like them to be. Alex is the complete opposite of Eloise. He grapples with whirlwinds and casts visions and dreams. He has never forgotten Eloise and needs her to help him wi This was a great conclusion to the Empire State Novel series. Eloise Drake has worked hard to overcome her past by adhering to rules and regulations. Her job as a CPA fits perfectly with that. However, when she is called to work at Duval Springs, the sight of her first love and shame, things aren’t as cut and dried as she’d like them to be. Alex is the complete opposite of Eloise. He grapples with whirlwinds and casts visions and dreams. He has never forgotten Eloise and needs her to help him with his latest grand scheme. I loved Alex. It’s refreshing to see someone who cares for people so much, who is faithful to his first love, and is hopelessly optimistic. It was hard to imagine how his plans could ever come to fruition but I was cheering him on. This is a story of dreamers and realists, courage and sacrifice, betrayal and skullduggery. There is a beautiful picture of community that makes you long to be a part of it. I would highly recommend this book and series. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary e-copy via Netgalley. All opinions are my own. Empire State Novel seriesBook 1: A Dangerous LegacyBook 2: A Daring VentureBook 3: A Desperate Hope
    more
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsA Desperate Hope is book three in the Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden. This series has followed the Drake family and this time, it was cousin Eloise's turn in the spotlight.I really liked Alex. He had such a fiery determination to help, to try to make things better and it was so easy to root for him. It took me a little while to warm up to Eloise. She was very much a strict rule follower and came off a bit cold at times. Knowing her past though, it made her attitude more underst 3.5 starsA Desperate Hope is book three in the Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden. This series has followed the Drake family and this time, it was cousin Eloise's turn in the spotlight.I really liked Alex. He had such a fiery determination to help, to try to make things better and it was so easy to root for him. It took me a little while to warm up to Eloise. She was very much a strict rule follower and came off a bit cold at times. Knowing her past though, it made her attitude more understandable. I will say that I was a tad disappointed in the romance. The chemistry felt a bit lacking and things felt forced sometimes.I really felt for the residents of Duval Springs. What was happening to them, to their homes, to their town, was just heartbreaking. But their undeniable hope was endearing and inspiring. It was a great reminder that when things look bleak, there's always hope.I've really enjoyed this series and while this book was probably my least favorite of the bunch, it was still good. I'm really looking forward to reading whatever this author comes out with next. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.
    more
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    There’s something to love about an opposites-attract story! Eloise and Alex are complete opposites, both in personality and where they stand in the demolition of the city of Duval Springs. This is a beautiful story about a couple that has a past, gets reunited as adults, and must work through seemingly insurmountable odds to get to when they want to be. The author created characters that are flawed but lovable and the setting is wonderful. Duval Springs is like a secondary character that you com There’s something to love about an opposites-attract story! Eloise and Alex are complete opposites, both in personality and where they stand in the demolition of the city of Duval Springs. This is a beautiful story about a couple that has a past, gets reunited as adults, and must work through seemingly insurmountable odds to get to when they want to be. The author created characters that are flawed but lovable and the setting is wonderful. Duval Springs is like a secondary character that you come to care about! This is the third book in the series, but having read them all, I feel that it can be read as a stand-alone. I’ll warn you though, if this is your first Elizabeth Camden book, you’ll want to read them all when you finish.* I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but this review is my own honest opinion.
    more
  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    #ADesperateHope #NetGalley Elizabeth Camden is a gifted author, she knows how to keep the reader interested. Eloise, dreams of getting married and having children, but is an accountant for the city of New York instead. Alex is the mayor of the small town, of Duvall Springs, he still thinks of Eloise and the days when they were younger. The city of New York is offering a pay out, for those living in Duvall Springs, so they can build a reservoir. Eloise doesn't want to fall for Alex all over again #ADesperateHope #NetGalley Elizabeth Camden is a gifted author, she knows how to keep the reader interested. Eloise, dreams of getting married and having children, but is an accountant for the city of New York instead. Alex is the mayor of the small town, of Duvall Springs, he still thinks of Eloise and the days when they were younger. The city of New York is offering a pay out, for those living in Duvall Springs, so they can build a reservoir. Eloise doesn't want to fall for Alex all over again, and she plans on keeping her guard up, There is an element of suspense. I had a hard time with the reference to having sex. I usually don't have to worry about content in Elizabeth Camden s books, there was no graphic details
    more
  • Rachel Kokes
    January 1, 1970
    A Desperate Hope was written by Elizabeth Camden and takes place in the late 1800s-early 1900s. It is book three in the An Empire State Novel series.Summary: Alex Duval is a fly-by-the-seat of your pants, creative, emotional whirlwind. But, he’s also mayor of tiny Duval Springs-the community in which he grew up-and he takes that job very seriously. After a five-year struggle to keep the town from being demolished to build a water reservoir, it now looks like the town he loves will be completely A Desperate Hope was written by Elizabeth Camden and takes place in the late 1800s-early 1900s. It is book three in the An Empire State Novel series.Summary: Alex Duval is a fly-by-the-seat of your pants, creative, emotional whirlwind. But, he’s also mayor of tiny Duval Springs-the community in which he grew up-and he takes that job very seriously. After a five-year struggle to keep the town from being demolished to build a water reservoir, it now looks like the town he loves will be completely destroyed. Eloise Drake has had many disappointments in her past, but that is why she enjoys the predictability of her new life in New York City. Accounting isn’t an exciting job, but she is good at it. She enjoys being needed to solve others’ problems, and the fact that numbers don’t let her down. Yes, being an accountant for The State Water Board is the perfect stable job for her. Until, that is, she’s sent to Duval Springs to help with the demolition of the town. Now she must not only do her job, but face her past and Alex Duval-the man who betrayed her trust-and her heart.My Thoughts: This book is wonderful. Elizabeth Camden is one of my favorite authors. She seamlessly weaves historical events into the lives of ordinary people to create fascinating tales-and this book is no exception. I truly enjoyed it, and it was one that I just didn’t want to put down. This book is well-written, entertaining, has unique and diverse characters, and is so descriptive, I felt like I could see the town of Duval Springs. It is not at all necessary to have read the first two books of this series. And, if you enjoy historical fiction, with plenty of plot twists and community spirit, you will like this book-it is definitely a keeper!
    more
  • Jeanne Alfveby crea
    January 1, 1970
    I have followed this series from the beginning, and loved it! Yet each book can be read as a stand- alone book as well. I love historical fiction, and this book captures the era of building a reservoir in upstate New York, which consequently meant having to dismantle several towns in its path. How this changed people’s lives so completely is hard to fathom. They had to move not only away from their homes, but their communities as well. In real life, some of the smaller towns were able to relocat I have followed this series from the beginning, and loved it! Yet each book can be read as a stand- alone book as well. I love historical fiction, and this book captures the era of building a reservoir in upstate New York, which consequently meant having to dismantle several towns in its path. How this changed people’s lives so completely is hard to fathom. They had to move not only away from their homes, but their communities as well. In real life, some of the smaller towns were able to relocate to higher ground, but many could not. In A Desperate Hope, the fictional town of Duval Springs brings to life this particular time period. Elizabeth Camden paints of vivid picture of an idyllic small town losing its battle against the state and progress, and how they cope with the fact that their way of life will exist no more. The author also adds strong female characters, good guys, villains, mystery, past mistakes, family dynamics, and romance along the way. You don't want to miss the conclusion to Elizabeth Camden's Empire State series!I was given an early reader copy of the book by Bethany House Publishers. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
    more
  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Great ending by Elizabeth Camden to this series: A Desperate Hope (Empire State). I have loved all of Ms. Camden's book and this one was no exception! Set in upstate New York where state officials are set to flood the town to make a reservoir so the growing city of New York will have clean drinking water. Eloise Drake is a prim and proper lady who is sent to help calculate what it will take to flood the area. But in doing so it brings her back into the path of the mayor who had broken her heart Great ending by Elizabeth Camden to this series: A Desperate Hope (Empire State). I have loved all of Ms. Camden's book and this one was no exception! Set in upstate New York where state officials are set to flood the town to make a reservoir so the growing city of New York will have clean drinking water. Eloise Drake is a prim and proper lady who is sent to help calculate what it will take to flood the area. But in doing so it brings her back into the path of the mayor who had broken her heart as a young girl. Mayor Alex Duval has plans to save the town and hopefully save their former relationship. Will they be able to work together or will they take the safer path. Wonderful story. Can't wait for more from Ms. Camden.I received this book from Bethany House through NetGalley and all opinions are my own.
    more
  • Katie Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    A Desperate Hope By Elizabeth Camden4 StarsThe third book in this trilogy comes to a close and I think I enjoyed this book the best out of the three.The author is in a league of her own in the historical inspirational fiction genre when it comes to women in days gone by having interesting careers not usually given to women. Our main character is a certified accountant in the early 1900s. She loves rules and guidelines. It's not until she meets an old flame that all the rules go out the window an A Desperate Hope By Elizabeth Camden4 StarsThe third book in this trilogy comes to a close and I think I enjoyed this book the best out of the three.The author is in a league of her own in the historical inspirational fiction genre when it comes to women in days gone by having interesting careers not usually given to women. Our main character is a certified accountant in the early 1900s. She loves rules and guidelines. It's not until she meets an old flame that all the rules go out the window and maybe a little adventure comes in. I enjoyed the townsfolk that we meet and the bond they all share in a town they all love.I received this ebook through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Rosanne Lortz
    January 1, 1970
    Alex Duval is the mayor of a town that's received its death sentence. The residents will all receive compensation from the government and then their homes will be demolished to make way for a large reservoir to support the city of 1908 New York. Having lost his lawsuit against the government, Alex is prepared to accept the inevitable--until an old flame comes to Duval Springs, and with her, a big idea!When big-city accountant Eloise Drake shows up to assess the buildings and offer payouts to the Alex Duval is the mayor of a town that's received its death sentence. The residents will all receive compensation from the government and then their homes will be demolished to make way for a large reservoir to support the city of 1908 New York. Having lost his lawsuit against the government, Alex is prepared to accept the inevitable--until an old flame comes to Duval Springs, and with her, a big idea!When big-city accountant Eloise Drake shows up to assess the buildings and offer payouts to the residents, she finds herself back in the one place where she thought she'd never return. She and Alex have a past together, one that ended in him getting beaten up and her getting sent to a convent. She's not interested in returning to that phase of her life, especially now that she has a potential relationship with her boss, Fletcher Jones. When ebullient Alex and sensible Eloise make a plan to move the town instead of tear it down, they must work together to launch a municipal bond, galvanize the town's inhabitants, lay railroad tracks, prepare foundations, transport buildings of all shapes and sizes, and discover a mysterious saboteur who is out to stop them. Despite all the backbreaking labor, equipment failure, and opposition from the state, the hardest obstacle Alex must face is the one he cares the most about--winning back Eloise, the girl that never should have got away. This book had a unique setting and a lighthearted quality that made it a pleasure to read. Alex Duval is an optimist, a dreamer, and a man not afraid to cry, cheer, or tell the world that he's in love. Eloise Drake is a prim and proper mathematical wizard, nursing hurts from her mother, her father, and Alex himself. Together, they can, as Alex believes, do absolutely anything. I enjoyed their second chance romance and how Alex took the bull of small town gossip by the horns, declaring to everyone that he's doing what he should have done years ago--try to marry Eloise Drake. Although the town of Duval Springs is fictional, Elizabeth Camden based it on several historical towns near New York that were either demolished or relocated for the sake of the reservoir. Over all, this was an enjoyable read on a relatively obscure topic in American history. I didn't even realize that this book was part of a series until I looked it up on Goodreads, so clearly it can stand alone quite well. I am interested to read more books by Camden.Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
    more
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    A Desperate Hope By Elizabeth CamdenThis is the third book to Elizabeth Camden’s Empire State series. The characters from the previous novels are mentioned but do not play an imperative role in understanding this novel.Duval Springs, New York, 1908. Secluded and alone most of her childhood Eloise Drake craves for the sense of family like those she watches in the valley of Duval Springs. Passionate and full of life Alex Duval is struggling with his school work. After coming upon Eloise lost in th A Desperate Hope By Elizabeth CamdenThis is the third book to Elizabeth Camden’s Empire State series. The characters from the previous novels are mentioned but do not play an imperative role in understanding this novel.Duval Springs, New York, 1908. Secluded and alone most of her childhood Eloise Drake craves for the sense of family like those she watches in the valley of Duval Springs. Passionate and full of life Alex Duval is struggling with his school work. After coming upon Eloise lost in the woods the pair find what they are wanting in each other. Their chance meeting becomes a scheduled meeting as the two quickly fall in love. And they lived happily ever after… Rather Eloise’s guardian discovers the two in a scandalous way, sending Eloise away and sending his workers to teach Alex a lesson. Years pass as Eloise and Alex change becoming two different adults than their younger selves who fell in love. Alex is now the Mayor of Duval Springs and Eloise is a prim and proper accountant for New York City. The city of New York desires to flood the valley of Duval springs to create a water reservoir. Alex has been fighting for years to keep this from happening. Finally, he no longer has a choice but to accept defeat. The city has won and Eloise is coming on the appraisal and demolition team to determine the town's value for property payouts. No longer young and naive Eloise enters Duval Springs with business in mind but Alex who has been pining and waiting for Eloise’s return does not let his feelings go unknown.Can this pair work together to save to save the town that sparked their love? I enjoyed reading this book and could feel the tension throughout. The ending came as a bit of a surprise for me. I felt the last bit was drawn out but the conclusion gave reasoning to why it was so. Overall this was an easy historical read. Since it was based on similar events it was all the more interesting. The Empire State series:1. A Dangerous Legacy2. A Daring Venture3. A Desperate HopeI received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I share here.
    more
  • April Schlee
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes we just need a reminder of the amazing power of hope. Such a simple word and yet so powerful when we realize that we have it or that it is attainable. A Desperate Hope, the final installment in the Empire State Series, by Elizabeth Camden shows us the power of hope and also the power of family, love, and enduring relationships.Alex Duval is the mayor of Duval Springs, an area that is soon to be demolished so that it can be turned into a lake to supply water to New York City. Eloise Dra Sometimes we just need a reminder of the amazing power of hope. Such a simple word and yet so powerful when we realize that we have it or that it is attainable. A Desperate Hope, the final installment in the Empire State Series, by Elizabeth Camden shows us the power of hope and also the power of family, love, and enduring relationships.Alex Duval is the mayor of Duval Springs, an area that is soon to be demolished so that it can be turned into a lake to supply water to New York City. Eloise Drake, a mathematical genius turned accountant, works for the Water Board for New York State. She is a member of the group sent to Duval Springs to prepare it for demolition, and reluctantly agrees to go. Alex Duval is someone from her past and a reminder of past mistakes.In the process of preparation, Alex realizes that there may be a way to save the town while still allowing the demolition to take place. Eloise realizes that Alex's plan, while a long shot, may actually work. She helps to set the plan in motion. In the course of working together, both Alex and Eloise realize that the long ago feelings they had for each other are not dormant. They are in fact alive and could easily be reignited. This story takes us on a journey through not only the atempt to save a town, but also the journey of forgiveness and love. It is very much worth the read to see what happens.There were so many things I liked about this story. As a female with a background in mathematics, to have a main character who is good at mathematics makes my heart smile. The journey both main characters went on as they dealt with feelings and people from the past reminded me of the power of forgiveness and how empowering hope can be, regardless of time that has passed or events that may have taken place.This book can easily be read as a stand alone, but I encourage you to read them in order. The conclusion is that much more powerful if you start your journey with these characters from the beginning.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
Write a review