Historical Fiction, Review

A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden + First Line Friday

Hi, reader friends! Join me in welcoming our author friend Elizabeth Camden to celebrate her new release, A Desperate Hope, on this First Line Friday with a Prism Book Tours giveaway!

about the book

A Desperate Hope
(Empire State #3)
By Elizabeth Camden
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
February 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she believes is finally behind her. 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.

goodreadsamazon│b&n│christianbook | ibooks│kobo | bookdepository | bookbub

Alex Duval’s first hint of trouble was when Eloise failed to appear at their hideaway.


my thoughts

This 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. Her excessive logic and cool-headed thinking manufactured her routine like an OCD security blanket.

Alex is a former soldier turned small-town mayor. He’s the equivalent of the captain of a sinking ship. I have to admire Alex’s optimism and enthusiastic determination to save his hometown (and his first love) by whatever means necessary.

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.


about the author

Elizabeth Camden is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award.

With a master’s in history and a master’s in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night.

She lives with her husband in Florida.



also available


tour giveaway

One Grand Prize winner will receive print copies of all three books in the Empire State series:
A Dangerous Legacy
, A Daring Venture, and A Desperate Hope

Two additional winners will receive a print copy of A Desperate Hope

US only | ends March 1, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait to dive into the other two books!
Have y’all traveled to the Empire State, reader friends? 

Follow the Prism Book Tour and/or Bookstagram Tour and go to Hoarding Books to find more FLF bloggers!

30 thoughts on “A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden + First Line Friday”

  1. I have my fingers crossed and prayers said to win these, as I’ve had them on my wish list. My ancestors came from England. Seven brothers sailed here and settled in the Appalachians. Blessings


  2. I like the cover and the story synopsis. Sounds very interesting! My ancestors came from France, England, Germany and Holland.


  3. Happy Friday! My first line is from Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano:

    “Once upon a time, Melody Johansson had believed in happily ever afters.”

    I think the book cover is gorgeous, and the blurb is intriguing! Your review makes me want to read the book. I love small towns! One side of my heritage came from Sweden.


  4. The description of the book you are featuring is captivating and the cover is simply lovely. On my blog, I’m featuring a nonfiction by Jeff Lucas called Standing on My Knees. Here, I will share Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley. Since it’s my current read, I will share from Chapter 8. “There ought to be a law against starting work at 5:00 a.m.” Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading!


  5. My father’s side came from Austria-Hungary and my mother’s side from England and Germany.

    “A Desperate Hope” by Elizabeth Camden sounds like a marvelous book and one I would great enjoy having the opportunity to read. The review cinched it and I’ve added it to my TBR list.

    I have been to the New York state going to Niagara Falls which we loved. More there that I would love the chance to go back to see.

    My first line –
    “Today I met the bu I’m going to marry…..” Patsy Swartz’s singsongy voice was too chipper.
    AWAKENED LOVE by Laura V. Hilton
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


  6. Happy Friday!

    I’m currently reading Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron. It is such a great story. I highly recommend it. Right now I am in the middle of chapter 23, so I will share a line from there.

    “Most of the south side was still cloaked in darkness from the gasworks disaster.”

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend. Happy reading! ???


  7. Hey, Beth, great review, my friend! But then, I can’t imagine anyone writing a bad review for Elizabeth Camden! She has catapulted into my TOP FIVE favorite CBA authors overnight! I am devouring everything she writes, which is actually kind of masochistic because I am always heartsick when the books are over!! 🙂

    Thanks for featuring her newest. Can’t wait to read (aka “devour) it!!



  8. I’m also featuring this book today – it’s a great story (but you probably should read the other two first).

    I’ve just picked up After the Rain by Brandy Bruce. Here’s the first line:

    “Deb, I miss you. I think about you. Just wanted to say it again.”


    1. I had planned to read the other two first but ran out of time. I don’t mind to read books out of order on occasion. I need to read one of Brandy’s books, I’ve read some great reviews for them!


  9. Happy Friday! I’m sharing from The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall on my blog today. Here is the first line from Chapter 7:

    “The minute Lieutenant Dimsmore offered Emeline his arm as they emerged from the companionway after dinner, she regretted accepting his invitation.”


  10. Geneology has always intrigued me but I sadly I don’t know much other than I’m a really big mutt lol.

    This week on my blog I shared the first line from Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews (releases 3/5). I’m currently reading it so I’ll share the first line from my current chapter (22) here: “I had experienced the atrocities of war but never witnessed a battle like the one my son fought for his life during the week of his illness.” This book is soooo good I highly recommend it! Hope you have a great weekend with quality reading time! 🙂


  11. I can’t wait to read this series. Genealogy is so interesting to me, especially since my dad was adopted, so I don’t know half of my ancestry.


  12. Thanks for the great review, Beth! Sounds like “A Desperate Hope” is going to be another winner by Elizabeth Camden. My ancestors came from England. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book!! ~Alison Boss


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