A DESPERATE HOPE, by Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House, Baker Publishing Group, Nuts About Books, Graf-Martin Communications


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.

approx. 352 pages

Out February 5, 2019


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This is book three of the Empire State series set in 1906. This is also the conclusion to the series but I believe each book could be read as a standalone.

I just love Bethany House’s books.  They’re rich with realistic characters, fantastic settings, and wonderful stories. I haven’t run across any books that I really hated. Each author voice is unique and intriguing. They’re all easy reads, full of thrilling adventures and unique relationships.

This particular story’s premise is what caught my attention. The idea that an entire town may have to be flooded for progress.  I’ve read of cities found under lakes that had faced the same fate and how divers search the ruins for interesting items. It’s those cities that were engulfed unexpectedly either by a dam breaking or a flood from a long time ago that interest me the most, and I’ve often used in my own writing. Ancient ruins found at the bottom of lakes are even more intriguing. The mystery of who were the people living there and what happened to them, and what secrets can the ruins divulge about a hidden past.  This book isn’t quite that, but I was still intrigued.

Camden creates very deep and layered characters with selective goals and development that only she can. Her author voice draws the reader in and keeps them fastened to the pages until the end.  This series has romance in it but not to the point of being over-bearing.

I love a good intrigue. Camden doesn’t fail to provide this. You want to know what happened between the two characters, why the emotional struggle when they are reunited again.

There’s a situation that is desperate too. There’s a town that’s about to be submerged beneath water for a reservoir. The friction between the two characters is entertaining when they discover they’re on opposite sides of the fight.

If you want a clean read with not so much ‘preaching’ or biblical overtures, then this book is for you. If you like strong female characters and driven male characters, you’ll enjoy Camden’s latest.

I found these characters relateable and human. Their interactions often brought a smile to my face.

I gave this book:



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