Blog Book Tour | feat. Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden, especially “A Dangerous Legacy” (book one, audiobook), “A Daring Venture” (book two, audiobook) and “A Desperate Hope” (book three)

Posted Friday, 1 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Desperate Hope” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The Digital Audiobook copy of “A Dangerous Legacy” and “A Daring Venture” were available via my Scribd subscription. My ruminations on behalf of the audiobooks (books one and two) are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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70 Authors Challenge Badge created by Jorie via Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Photographer Brigitte Tohm. (Creative Commons Zero)How my love of INSPY reads inspired my choice to participate on this blog tour:

When I first started blogging, I was going to set out to read new authors of INSPY Lit I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading previously. It was through my visitations with Casey Herringshaw’s blog which inspired the list I had developed of seeking out new and established INSPY authors who were drawing the eye of book bloggers like Ms Herringshaw and readers alike. It was through reading her blog rather extensively I found the list which was then developed in the final #70AuthorsChallenge.

Elizabeth Camden happens to be the 67th author out of my original #70AuthorsChallenge List.

Curiously, like most book bloggers our good intentions when we first start joining the exciting world of the book blogosphere and the bookish side of Twitter, our personal reading goals can sometime be cast aside. This is why I haven’t made an extensive dent in my readerly goals for my INSPY Reads and why I am intending to make more head-way on them this year as I feel it will be a healthier year for me all the way round. The past few years especially were marred a bit with personal health afflictions but this year, as I move into March, I feel more hopeful I might have sorted out a way to ease the frequencies of my chronic migraines and by doing so, perhaps for the first time since I started my blog I’ll have a greater freedom in being able to read whenever the mood strikes rather than having to wait out the after effects of a migraine.

I wasn’t sure where to begin reading Ms Camden’s novels – as part of the list of choices I originally had made from Ms Herringshaw’s blog went lost before I could upload those titles to my list here on my blog. (*le sigh*) However, there are a few I’ve noticed are currently available to be listened to via audiobook on Scribd – of those, these are the ones I’d like to explore next: Against the Tide and The Rose of Winslow Street.

My love of reading INSPY Lit extends back to childhood – as I’ve been a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY Lit since the origins of when I first became a reader. Finding several blog tours this year focusing on these authors and their stories was a treat of bookish joy as I dearly want to expand my knowledge of the stories being published from both Major Trade and Indie Publishers within the INSPY realms of interest I enjoy reading. This particular blog tour felt like a step in the right direction.

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Blog Book Tour | feat. Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden, especially “A Dangerous Legacy” (book one, audiobook), “A Daring Venture” (book two, audiobook) and “A Desperate Hope” (book three)A Dangerous Legacy
by Elizabeth Camden
Source: Scribd | Subscription
Narrator: Morgan Hallett

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0764231131

ASIN: B07732XZQ3

Genres: Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Romantic Suspense


Published by Jammer Audio

on 1st December, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours and 41 minutes (unabridged)

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As I first started listening to the audiobook version of A Dangerous Legacy, I admit, I didn’t immediately connect with the narrator nor the story itself. This novel has the backdrop of interest in how news is delivered – whilst highlighting the arch rivalry between Reuters and the Associated Press (the AP). In many regards, this is what held me in the audiobook book, as everyone whose been alive long enough to seek out news on their own outside of the regular feeds on television knows the AP wire is how a lot of us get our news by radio. Reuters now even has an app via Roku for getting a snapshot of the latest news stories in easily digestible installments which you can customise per how long you have to give the app a chance to deliver the news itself. From this angle, I found a bit of the opening bridge rather keen and interesting – however, there was something taking me out of the story at the same time.

Of the three lead characters (Lucy, her brother Nick and Collin; who worked at Reuters) – I found Collins had a bit more depth to him as his character felt very dimensional to me. He had a past history and he had an eclipse of sorts of interest because he was on the opposite side of Lucy’s strife; she worked for the AP, who relied on Reuters for their newsfeeds. There was speculation Reuters was delaying those deliveries by wire (herein, most of the story hinged on the telegraph transcriptions which was equally fascinating; especially as it showed how the wire services ‘talked’ back and forth to one another either for personal or professional reasons) which caused Lucy to become a fixture in Collin’s life.

From their initial meeting the day we met them both, he was bemused by her assertion of the subterfuge and she was less inclined to feel charmed by his wit. In the background of their building relationship – as at first, I wasn’t thinking it would turn romantic as they sparred rather well together professionally, is the case for Eustice’s valve which is both a family legacy and the angst of Lucy and Nick’s lives. Their grandfather had developed the valve and a good portion of the opening bridge is spent discussing the ins/outs of how it functions, why it is dearly needed in the tenement living sections of the city and the anguish of how a long drawn out legal battle can turn you rather bitter.

This involved the Saratoga Drakes vs the Manhattan Drakes which for the sake of the story is where the diving lines of the family were drawn. The Saratoga Drakes were spearheaded by their miser of an Uncle who had a sharpness about his person, a nod of industrialist capitalism in his heart and an unforgiving method of making them endure his legal war. It all boiled down to the rights to the valve itself and who was in the right (legally) to be of use of them; to break it down in the most simplistic of terms.

When the pneumatic tube system was mentioned it brought back happy memories of my childhood when I visited my first bank who used this system. I was wicked fascinated by the construction of it and also, the method of how it was built. The whole thing just left me in awe and whenever I see them still being used its hard not to smile as I remember how I was first introduced to them.

The heart of the story within A Dangerous Legacy is the bad blood between two brothers; one went to war, the other became an industrialist – this is the foundation of the story and how the series is anchoured. It endured a forty year lawsuit and unfortunately in the end I felt part of the plotting was a bit wanting. For instance, the drama leading into the revelations at court was taunt with emotional fatigue on behalf of Lucy and Nick; but when you finally get to hear what happened between the start of where we found them and the ending chapters, I almost felt the journey to the end felt short-changed. It just didn’t turn out the way I had hoped it might for them.

Collin’s homing pigeons and his character overall I felt had the most growth within the story; he really becomes etched out by the conclusion of the audiobook – mind, I did skip a good chunk of the middle portions of the novel, however, Camden re-highlights those sections for you as your reading the latter half of the story; thereby, you haven’t missed anything except a few entangled nightmare situations for Lucy. I almost felt sorry for her by that point as she was truly going through the wringer!

The pigeons was an ingenious inclusion as it was period specific of being relevant first and foremost but it was how they were used as a private communication between Collin and Lucy which I loved rather dearly! By today’s standard they would be texting but I liked the old world appeal of having hand-written messages delivered by pigeon which echoes my love of Epistolary novels which are writ through the joyfulness of postal letters and correspondences.

Notations on the audiobook:

I must confess, I found this a rather difficult book to settle inside – even throughout the opening bridge, I found myself less than enthused to hear the story; although, in truth, I wasn’t sure if this was an issue in pacing or an issue in the narrator’s style of delivering the story itself. I picked up the pieces of the main threads of interest for the overall arc of the story-line but what I felt was missing was a deeper connection (ie. emotional) to the lead characters, of whom were Lucy, Nick and Collin.

It wasn’t until the latter quarter of the audiobook where I felt the narrator truly hit a new stride; I became much more emotionally invested in what was going to happen. So much so, I was thankful I had skipped ahead from the middle portions as I felt a renewed interest in what was going to befell Lucy and Nick in regards to their Uncle’s legal entanglements involving their family’s valve whilst even Collin was etched out in a newer light of interest for me. He charmed me originally with his homing pigeon and his keen interest in Lucy, but for whichever reason, I didn’t connect with these characters until they were ready to take their leave of me.

The style of narration is strictly spoken narrative, though Hallett does alternative her voices for both male and female characters. For instance, you can definitely tell when Nick is speaking or when we’re meeting up with Collin; the two blokes have a distinctive sound.

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Blog Book Tour | feat. Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden, especially “A Dangerous Legacy” (book one, audiobook), “A Daring Venture” (book two, audiobook) and “A Desperate Hope” (book three)A Daring Venture
Source: Scribd | Subscription
Narrator: Rachel Botchan

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07D3D8WNB

Published by Recorded Books

on 5th June, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours and 47 minutes (unabridged)

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I originally wanted to listen to the first two novels in this series to have a firm foundation of understanding about how the series becomes linked through certain characters who move from lead focus to secondary importance. This sequel is giving Nick a chance to re-introduce us to his life and world; despite my grievances with how his life was framing together in A Dangerous Legacy I was hopeful things might go better for him in A Daring Venture.

I was truly thankful Nick had found a winning partner in Rosalind – mostly as they felt like equals as they both shared a passion for the water in the city. He came through the background of how limiting water can become repressed without the right systems in place to deliver water to the tenets in different buildings whilst she was approaching it from the other side of the issue. Theirs was a relationship where fireworks were the mainstay but when they could see each other without the prejudices they each might have felt inclined to give to one another – there was a spark of another nature developing within them: respect and admiration. I think they were naturally smitten with each other but they weren’t free to explore those feelings until they both could feel comfortable to pursue one another without the other bits of their lives hanging over them like storm clouds which won’t shift away.

I loved seeing Lucy and Nick returning at the very conclusion of the story – I was hoping to see them a bit more but this felt lovely to at least see how their lives had turnt happy after the last time we saw them in A Dangerous Legacy. Their voices of course were styled differently as the narrator was a different person but their essence was blessedly present.

Notations on the audiobook:

Similar to my issues with the previous installment’s audiobook, I found myself swaying in and out of interest of listening to this story. Mostly as it is quite heavy of medical bits and for whichever reason, the inclusions on that angle were not interesting me to listen too. The best part of the narration was the alternating accents and voices; but it was the content I struggled to soak into and draw a measure of interest to listen too. I found this series hard to connect, too overall.

I decided to skip forward til the final chapters to see if I could gain enough insight to move into reading A Desperate Hope whilst understanding the threads of the continuity which interlinks the stories together.

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Blog Book Tour | feat. Empire State series by Elizabeth Camden, especially “A Dangerous Legacy” (book one, audiobook), “A Daring Venture” (book two, audiobook) and “A Desperate Hope” (book three)A Desperate Hope
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

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.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0-7642-3314-2

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 5th February, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 352

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

The Empire State series:

A Dangerous Legacy (book one)

A Daring Venture (book two)

A Desperate Hope (book three)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic and #HistRom

#INSPYRomance + #INSPY or #INSPYBooks

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden

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.

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my review of a desperate hope (book three):

You truly feel gutted with sympathy for Alex – a young man who was in love with a girl (Eloise) who had taken a few left turns towards honouring her as his wife was suddenly being attacked for his innocent love and the ways in which the judgement of his actions was going to take a toll on his immediate health. It is a hard opening to read – though, I found it written in such a strong voice of presence, it felt like a much stronger lead-in to the entire series. You definitely felt his remorse but also his personal angst; he knew what he was losing but he was unable to fix the wrongs he had created. The loss on his shoulders as he rode the train half in a delusion of reality must have felt like the end of his world. I was dearly curious at that point – what had Eloise been told about his absence? Did she even know the truth of what separated them? You had to wonder,..

When we finally meet-up with Eloise she is a more sophisticated version of herself – living and working as accountant where we see her peering back over her youthful encounters with Alex as the whims of fancy only the young could hope to live through. She took a bit of an off-handed shrug at remembering their time together, regretting the moments they shared on one hand and being a bit philosophical about their affair on the other. You could tell she was used to picking up the pieces of her life, carrying on and not letting tomorrow root itself into her memories. She lived her life forward, rarely looked back and it was only when his name appeared on some documents did she cast a second glimpse at the time in her life where he was her world.

In many ways, you felt sorry for her and him; for what could have been and how your life can be altered by others who run interference against you. The one thing which struck me a bit odd is how forgiving she was of her guardian – if it were me, I would have felt she would have become more bitter towards him, more empowered to live outside his reach and for some odd reason, she had this fondness of affection for a man who truly limited her means to find a match romantically whilst he bullied anyone who tried to share their love with her as he had Alex. He’s a brute of a man and not even tempered so it seemed starkly strange that now some years on from that pivotal moment they were cast apart she has this whimsical acquiescence to acknowledge her life then and her life now. Almost as if her guardian had been right and her heart had been wrong.

Alex meanwhile somehow did return back to town though that was a confusing twist as I was quite sure he wasn’t meant to return at all. I thought he might have settled somewhere near the City, rather than having Alex and Eloise returning back to the setting of their Summer romance. And, of course I was also hoping her guardian was long since dead but that was truly wishful thinking on my behalf. I hadn’t wanted to re-establish a nod of presence in his regard – he was the sort of man who wouldn’t learn from the past and if anything, he’d double-down on his practices. Which of course, is what is being eluded too as soon as we see Alex in his role as the mayor.

As the story progresses – the town is at stake but what was more interesting to me is how Eloise found she needed to defend her guardian – unsure why she felt that need as he a) disrupted her life and b) was a louse of a bully in the town but here she was defending him and trying to get the gossip-mongers to simmer their talks against him. I agree on one note – the kind of gossip involving affairs should grow like wildfire as that is private business between the couple but what I found awkwardly difficult is how Eloise truly seemed to have wool over her eyes. She would rather defend this bloke than take a stand against him? That just felt wrong.

I was also at a proper loss how this was tethered into the series – as this installment felt further afield from the original story-line. It still involves the issues of water for New York City – technically that much is still true, but is how the characters are evolving past where we last saw them in the original foundation of the Drake family which felt a bit more disconnected for me. Despite the fact Eloise, herself is a Drake – I think I would have preferred her story to have hugged closer to Nick’s and Lucy’s – spent in the city itself and building on the foundation of where A Dangerous Legacy began as that is what anchoured A Daring Venture – as the first installment led-in into the rising urgency of what Rosalind was working towards when her story-line carried us past the epilogue of the first novel.

A Desperate Hope to me felt disconnected and honestly, it was just too desperately hopeful of a resolution I wasn’t even sure I had the interest to see grow into fruition. I never felt hugged close to this series – there were moments where I felt the narrative dragged in all three stories whilst I also had trouble warming to some of the lead characters such as Rosalind and now Eloise. Eloise I am sure is a product of her upbringing and she thinks she is acting in her better interests but it is how she strikes her reasons and her mindset that rubbed me wrong quite a few times.

on the historical INSPy writing styling of elizabeth camden:

Despite my hit/miss reactions with this series, there were moments where I felt rooted inside Camden’s Historical voice of narrative. I wasn’t sure if this was the best choice to begin reading her stories overall but I did appreciate some of her instincts for giving the series a real-life foundation of presence within the historic past. So much so, she endears you to know more about the case involved in A Daring Venture at the conclusion of that story which was in of itself an interesting note of historical notation.

One of the reasons I enjoy Historical narratives is because you are endeavouring to re-visit the past through the inspiration the novelist has found to tell their stories. Sometimes I find the stories are a bit of a miss for me but other times, I find an author I might enjoy reading lateron when I go to pick up another one of their stories. I find quite regularly that sometimes one story might not be my personal favourite of their bibliography but that doesn’t mean I won’t find gems amongst their frontlist or backlist. I felt Ms Camden fell into this category for me – the overall arc of the Empire State series didn’t quite wick out an immediate love of the central connective theme which unites the three stories together but I appreciated being introduced to her historical style as I found other stories I felt I’d be readily happy to be listening to next via Scribd.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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A Desperate Hope blog tour via Prism Book Tours

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End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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Reading this story counted towards my 2019 reading challenges, specifically:

2019 HistFic Reading Challenge banner created by Jorie in Canva.

2019 Audiobook Challenge banner created by Jorie in Canva.Beat the Backlist banner created by Austine at A Novel Knight and is used with permission.    2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Dangerous Legacy”, “A Daring Venture” and “A Desperate Hope”, book synopsis of “A Desperate Hope”, author biography, author photograph of Elizabeth Camden and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. 2019 New Release Challenge badge provided by  unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission. 2019 Beat the Backlist Challenge banner provided by A Novel Knight and is used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva:  Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, 70 Authors Challenge banner, 2019 Historical Fiction Reading challenge banner, 2019 Audiobook Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 1 March, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mental Health, Prism Book Tours, Psychiatric Facilities, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Scribd, Siblings, the Gilded Age




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