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Elizabeth Camden’s Beyond All Dreams


Sweeping and Romantic Historical Drama from an Award-Winning Author

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.

Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for themselves?


I happen to think that Ms. Camden writes some lovely romance in her novels, so of course I always read her books. Here’s my thoughts on this one:

What I liked:

Anna O’Brien. She’s no schoolgirl, she’s super smart, she’s tenacious, and she works at a job that few women of her day would ever consider working at (shoutout to librarians!). Anna has an interesting back story and I really liked how her job is a direct product of that.

Luke Callahan. Another wonderful heroic creation of Ms. Camden. I just love how none of her heroes are the same and all of them come across as very different people. Luke has his own ticks that are interesting and his own backstory that is unique. Sometimes he wasn’t always predictable even as he tried so hard to be, and I liked that.

The mystery of the ship. Wow. I definitely wanted to know what happened and it’s slightly based off of true events folks.

The chemistry. There is some really great chemistry between Luke and Anna. I love how their relationship develops and you can really see them falling for each other.

The premise and/or setting. I knew next to nothing about Congress in the late 1800s particularly as it concerns problems with Cuba. I learned so much and in a way that didn’t make me feel like I was learning.

Spiritually, there is a theme of forgiveness and how if you don’t forgive you can grow to become quite bitter. Unforgiveness will change who you are.

What I didn’t like:

The romance. Only in the sense that it felt unnecessarily drawn out to me. All I could think was that the two of you want to be together so why are we trying to create problems?

Something about this novel made it seem like it just mozied along. The writing was fantastic, I read this book in a day, but it  still felt kind of slow paced.

Romantic Scale: 8

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, I will be honest and say it’s not my favorite of her novels, but still a really good read.

**I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

One thought on “Elizabeth Camden’s Beyond All Dreams

  1. Not sure how I missed this review, but it sounds like another good novel from Elizabeth even if the romance did seem drawn out! Anna sounds awesome!

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