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Beyond All Dreams

Bethany House / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

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?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764211757
ISBN-13: 9780764211751
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

"...[a] captivating, emotionally charged journey through America's past."--Publishers Weekly starred review on With Every Breath


Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, 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 before his promising career was 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 entanglements with members 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 their futures?

Author Bio

Elizabeth Camden is the author of six books and a RITA and Christy Award winner. 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. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida. Visit her website at www.elizabethcamden.com.

Product Reviews

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97%
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Displaying items 1-5 of 64
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  1. Georgia
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Historical fiction
    June 4, 2016
    Donna
    Georgia
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    nother great historical fiction story taking place in Washington D.C in 1897. Great research and detail by Elizabeth Camden including events that led to the Spanish-American war. An amazing story unlike any other historical fictional book I have read. I love the plot and well developed characters.

    Anna O'Brien works at the Library of Congress as a map librarian and has run across the mysterious disappearance of the Culpeper that was lost at sea. She decides to try and solve the mystery. Anna enlists the help of Luke Callahan who at one time was one of the most powerful congressmen in D.C. They are so different from each other could they possibly have a relationship? In trying to find answers about the Culepper they encounter more than they bargained for.

    Although the Culpeper is a fictional ship it is based on the Virginius an American ship caught smuggling guns to Cuban rebels in 1873.

    Elizabeth is a talented writer and has included politics, humor, some suspense and romance in her book.

    I recommend this book. I enjoyed it very much.

    I received a free copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion and review.
  2. Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    This book was a dream!
    April 6, 2016
    Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This book was a dream!

    Ms. Camden does so well with her historical novels. I've been impressed with each novel I've had the pleasure of reading. In this particular story I thought she did a superb job handling the historical information so that you weren't bored, but rather fascinated. She touches on a place in history that I am unfamiliar with, so I found the story enchanting overall.

    In Beyond All Dreams we meet Anna O'Brien (whose last name had me thinking of Downton Abbey!) and Luke Callahan. Both characters felt extremely well-rounded and each seemed real. Anna had a rough childhood, losing both her parents as well as experiencing great trauma. Luke, on the other hand, suffered a different kind of childhood, which was equally unpleasant. In my humble opinion I feel it is critical for a character to act according to his/her background and personality, and I felt like Ms. Camden accomplished that with both lead characters.

    In conclusion, I loved getting this up close look at the United States of America in the late nineteenth century. Each historical aspect was handled with care and presented well. I loved that, even though the mystery was fictional, Ms. Camden seamlessly wove it into this time period. I look forward to reading her future books!

    I checked this book out at my local library; no review required.
  3. Lancaster,Pa
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Beyond All Dreams
    November 3, 2015
    loriweller
    Lancaster,Pa
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beyond all Dreams deals with Washington, DC in the 1890's. Anna is a Library of Congress librarian and Luke is an US Representative. There is fun and also seriousness to the book. The historical aspect is informative. Elizabeth Camben as always has written an entertaining book.

    I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Interesting Historical Romance and Intrigue
    May 8, 2015
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Beyond All Dreams is another riveting read by author Elizabeth Camden. In this one we have Anna OBrien working as a map librarian at the Library of Congress in 1897. A bit of a lonely woman, she has one dear friend and an estranged aunt that she visits infrequently. Having had her voice damaged due to an unfortunate childhood accident, Anna likes to stay quietly too herself working on the requests given to her by the congressmen. Then one fateful day she is called to sit in on a hearing where she and a certain congressman from Maine, Luke Callahan, have a memorable first meeting. Luke is a very hard working politician who is dealing with raising his nephew and controlling his anger which has plagued his family line for years. Determined not to follow in his late fathers footsteps and not to forgive him either, he is instantly intrigued by this quiet librarian with an alluring voice. Deciding that she is the perfect match for him, he intends to pursue and court her. She on the other hand has reservations. But when she uncovers some wrong information concerning the Navys records of the ship that her father supposedly sank with, she turns to Luke for help. Neither of them would ever have guessed what they have begun to uncover. This was a sweet romance and I really liked Lukes tenacity and how he would not give up and let Anna go. The mystery in this story and why exactly the government would go to such great lengths to prevent Anna from knowing the truth about what happened to the ship her father sailed on kept me turning the pages quickly. Again, I really enjoy Ms. Camdens books and her very unique characters and their situations. I have received this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
  5. Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A fun historical romance to read with good character development
    April 30, 2015
    Gazpacho
    Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    A peek into the history of the Library of Congress, a mysteriously inaccurate naval document that no one would discuss, a particularly persistent librarian, timid but with fire in her blood, an annoyingly arrogant congressman from Maine, and the circumstances that precipitated the Spanish American War are all ingredients that make this book a fascinating read. Add a generous amount of romance and the book becomes irresistible.

    Anna O'Brian was one of only a handful of female librarians allowed to work at the Washington D.C. location of the Library of Congress in the late nineteenth century. For her, it was a dream come true. Anna's responsibilities were to care for the library's maps and to conduct research for congressmen. Occasionally librarians even provided expert advice and testimony for congressional committees as well as for individuals. It was her attention to detail and her persistence that made her an excellent researcher. It also got her into trouble with the US Navy when she noticed an error in the reports of an incident that occurred 15 years ago. It also happened to be the same incident in which her father, a cartographer, disappeared with the ship he was sailing on. There was a definite mystery and she wanted it solved.

    Anna's retiring yet understated fire also caught the eye of Lucas Callahan, a fairly new congressman from Maine. His youth, energy and brashness were all the talk of the town. His rivalry with the Speaker of the House got him removed from the US Budget Committee and reassigned to the committee on Fisheries. Their former war of words had hiked up a notch. But under all his fuss and blunder was a man with principles, who understood the hard-working laborers, the every day man, because his own roots were from the lumber industry. His family's newly gained wealth was only a thin veneer that barely covered a darkness he wanted very much to escape. When he met Anna, he discovered her naturally placid nature brought a peace and calm to his turbulent one. But getting Anna to accept his suit was a challenge. It was not until he became entangled in her mystery document and the affairs of the Navy that she realized how serious he was. The truth behind the mystery had the potential to either drive them apart forever or weld them together.

    What I enjoyed most about this charming historical fiction was the author's use of wit and humor. Because of her nature, Anna just could not refrain from delivering a not-so-gentle reprimand to the presumptuous congressman who attempted to summon her services and expertise by snapping his fingers. Later, when he began to pursue her with the idea of courtship, she couldn't imagine why. She described herself as a "short, ordinary girl who had a voice like sandpaper and the habits of a hermit crab." Luke himself described her as his opposite. "She never did anything impulsively and liked the safety of her map room in the attic of the Capitol. She hid up in that room like a princess in a castle tower, surrounded by a fortress of books and maps."

    Some of the historical events in the book are based on actual occurrences. The author created a personal link to the tragic loss of life in the event that eventually helped to fuel the flame of American sentiment against Spain--the link that lead to the Spanish American War. Anna's father lost his life in that tragic event, creating an inner conflict between her desires to avoid war and the loss of more lives and revenge for such a loss in her young life. I was touched by the author's empathetic writing. Many readers today will be able to relate to such a conflict.

    The author wasn't heavy-handed with spiritual lessons learned during a character's development, but it was there, nevertheless. One doesn't have to talk about God's work to know His Presence is evident through their thoughts and actions. Each of the people we grow to love in this book had to face basic personal challenges. Not only did God meet them in their growing pains, He used other characters to assist in bringing them to maturity faster, much like a jeweler chips away the dross to find the diamond inside. I enjoyed how the author made this happen with every interaction between Luke and Anna.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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