This was my first time reading from Elizabeth Camden, and I’ve been meaning to pick up one of her novels for a while. I really enjoyed it! Check out the back cover, followed by my review.
Her gilded world holds a deeply hidden secret.
After years of tragedy, Gwen Kellerman now lives a quiet life as a botanist at an idyllic New York college. She largely ignores her status as heiress to the infamous Blackstone dynasty and hopes to keep her family’s heartbreak and scandal behind her.
Patrick O’Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He’s proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case that is sure to emphasize the Blackstones’ legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.
Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger, Patrick and Gwen will be forced to decide if the risk to the life they’ve always held dear is worth the reward.
Gwen is such a likeable character and so easy to cheer for. Patrick was likeable too, of course, but there were times where I wasn’t sure how things would pan out for them. I loved Patrick’s Irish background and couldn’t help but picture him as Tom Branson from Downton Abbey. Especially when Camden described his accent getting thicker the more nervous he became.
Mystery. I love some good mystery. And the more mystery solved, the more danger rose. Mystery and danger are two of my favorite things in a novel, so those boxes are checked for Carved in Stone.
More favorite things: a good love story, a solid faith thread, and history. This is, after all, a historical romance novel.
The love story was sweet, if a bit bumpy—which I appreciate, because I found it to be realistic, especially knowing the characters backstories.
The faith thread mostly came through Patrick, a man who’s love for God is very evident. Also evident was his need for redemption as he desired to make a difference in his community.
And of course, the history . . . well done. I enjoyed the setting, the time period (early 1900s).
There was a lot of brokenness, and a lot of loss in Carved in Stone, but that made the wins that much more beautiful.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable and uplifting novel. One I’d suggest to friends and family alike, and especially anyone who enjoys Christian historical romance with danger, mystery and redemption woven through it.
About the Author
Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books. Visit www.elizabethcamden.com to learn more.
I received a complimentary copy of Carved in Stone from netgalley. All opinions are my own.