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Book Review: Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Is bringing the truth to light worth risking

all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

Cover Art

From a historical standpoint, Beyond All Dreams, set in Washington D. C. in 1897, gives a glimpse into the politics of the time—of all time—and a bit of background into the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine. (Theodore Roosevelt even makes an appearance in this book.) But the emphasis is on the romance.

Anna O’Brien’s job is in the Library of Congress. She and the few other women who work in the Capitol building do so at the whim of the head librarian, and any break in protocol, particularly a romance with a congressman, is grounds for dismissal. It may also threaten the jobs of the other women. So, of course, along comes Congressman Luke Callahan—arrogant, self-confident, and smitten with the reserved, yet intelligent Anna.  

Their first meeting was anything but a “snap.” Luke has been demoted due to a skirmish with the majority leader of the House. As the map librarian, Anna has been drafted to attend the meeting and provide whatever maps and information requested.

From Anna’s point-of-view:

“Map!” Mr. Callahan demanded in an obnoxious outburst. His eyes met hers across the crowded room. Unbelievably, he looked directly at her and snapped his fingers again. Snap, snap, snap. Did he really expect her to spring across the room like a dog summoned to heel?

Of course he did. … She laid the map on the conference table before Mr. Callahan and was close enough to smell his pine-scented cologne. Before pulling away, she whispered in his ear, “Snapping your fingers works better if you wear a crown and use a scepter to point out where I should scurry.”

Once Luke gets over the shock, the poor man is lost. He just has to convince Anna of his charms. It’s not an easy task when her focus is on finding the truth behind her father’s disappearance, and his is on his career and the wild, irresponsible family he left in Maine. 

Once more, Elizabeth Camden has delighted me with a diverse couple who live and breathe within the cover of the book. Luke is enthralled by Anna’s deep voice. Whereas, her damaged voice has always been a bane to Anna. Luke wants to marry. Anna is perfectly happy in her librarian’s position. Luke is brash and comfortable in the spotlight. Anna is reserved and comfortable in the background. But they’re both determined to succeed in their individual goals. It’s those goals that stand in the way of a “happy-ever-after.”

Beyond All Dreams contains plenty of conflict, tension, and depth of character … everything necessary to keep the reader turning the pages. I highly recommend!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Bethany House, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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