A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review, Preview

Posted June 28, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water every where,
Nor any drop to drink

Thus cries the sailor in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Water that consists simply of two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen is life giving. But add in other atoms, in this case, sodium, chloride, and magnesium, and our bodies can’t process it and it can result in sickness and even death.

Pure water is intrinsic to our very being, with our bodies composed of at least 60% water. While technically a person can fast for several weeks at least, without water, organs simply cease to function.

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.

Psalm 42:1-2a

As our bodies cry for water, our spirits can only survive when we spend time with God. Not just once a week, we should be spending time daily with Him, drinking in His very presence, unadulterated with the things of this world.

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review, Preview

A Daring Venture

by Elizabeth Camden

Series: Empire State, #2
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date June 5, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Action/Adventure, Clean Romance
Setting: New Jersey, New York Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 35-60
Written for: Adults
Pages: 340


As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city--but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nickolas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: A Desperate Hope

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Both Nick and Rosalind were strongly motivated by a desire to bring clean water to those in the cities. Their approaches, however, were at odds with each other. At a time when the only method for “cleaning” water was filtration, the very concept of adding “poison” (in this case, chlorine) to the water to make it safe was frightening and mostly unheard of.

This entire story is based on an actual lawsuit, and Dr. Leal and George Fuller are, as the author put it in her notes “the real-life heroes”. I’m so grateful that the author took the time to fictionalize this account that I would probably know nothing about otherwise.

I absolutely loved the character of Nick. This plumber turned millionaire was so boisterous, impulsive and full of life. He had a short fuse, yet had a heart of gold. He spoke quite frankly and wasn’t afraid to work hard to get what he wanted. Despite his riches, he spent time regularly installing plumbing in the tenements and orphanages and was thrifty (not miserly) with his wealth.

Rosalind was so fiercely dedicated to her cause. She had the ability, and perhaps the need, to improve the place she was in, no matter where it was. She had to deal with a moral dilemma – is it okay to keep secrets in order to save lives?

The immediate chemistry between Nick and Rosalind was powerful and intense. Yet as in all interesting stories, there were so many forces fighting to keep them apart, some of which were very surprising.

My very favorite scene was when they were at the orphanage where he was installing plumbing. It was so fun to see her interest in everything he was doing (I mean, really, who bonds over toilets?) Then when Rosalind allowed herself to cast aside her restraint and follow him outside. . .

This is the second book of the series. Nick’s sister and her husband’s story is told in the first book, A Dangerous Legacy, as were the details about his uncle and how he came into his money. Though it would be helpful to read that book first, this story stands by itself.

Preview of A Daring Venture

Elizabeth Camden’s A Daring Venture

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About Elizabeth Camden

I am fortunate to have two careers I deeply love. I am a college librarian by day, and write novels on the weekends.

I become a librarian because I can think of no other career in which you get such a wide exposure to all aspects of recorded knowledge. I have been an academic librarian for fifteen years, where on any given day I get to research the sonnets of Shakespeare, learn what makes pelican feathers pink, or compile demographic statistics for starting a new company.

How does one become a college librarian? In my case, I got an undergraduate degree in History from Trinity University in San Antonio, then went on to earn a master’s degree in History from the University of Virginia, and finally a Master’s in Library Science from Indiana University.

But fiction has always been a wonderful escape for me, and I’ve wanted to be a novelist since the third grade when I was devastated by the bittersweet ending of Charlotte’s Web. I remember vowing to re-write the book with a better ending someday. Although I failed to appreciate how copyright law would thwart my ambition to write better endings for other people’s books, perhaps my early experience with sad novels is why I became a romance novelist.

I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing fiction is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others. For those aspiring writers who are interested in my road to publication, you can find it here.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Then when I was in my mid-thirties and just a few weeks after buying my first house, I met the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. My years as a single woman taught me many things. I learned to be independent and resilient. I learned how to manage my investments, earn and save enough money to have investments, mow my own lawn, fix the rickety appliances in my sixty-year old house, and spend the holidays on my own when travel to family was not possible. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I really am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.

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