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  • Intriguing novel

    A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden is the second novel in An Empire State Novel series. It is June 1908 in Jersey City, New Jersey when Dr. John Lael and Dr. Rosalind Werner, a biochemist, get the verdict on a two-year court case for which they were consultants. They have ninety days to prove their case that chlorine can prevent waterborne diseases in the water supply. It is a controversial idea and people are against a toxic chemical being added to their drinking water. How can they prove chlorine will not harm people? Nicholas Drake spoke for the opposition in court and is up for the position of Commissioner of State Water Board of New York. Dr. Lael suggests they meet with Nicholas Drake and try to bring him over to their side. Nicholas is instantly attracted to Rosalind, but she cannot change his mind about the chlorine argument. Nicholas is hoping that after the legal case is closed, he can court Rosalind and make her his wife. Rosalind enjoys spending time with Nicholas, but she is afraid of what will happen when her secrets come to light. But when Nicholas uncovers the duplicity, he sets out to wage a war in the court of public opinion. In the midst of this turmoil, an unknown enemy has set their sights on Rosalind and intends to destroy her. Who is behind this maliciousness? A Daring Venture may be the second novel in An Empire State Novel series, but it can be read alone. The author provides the necessary background on Nicholas Drake (his sister, Lucy was featured in A Dangerous Legacy). I thought A Daring Venture was well-written and had charming main characters. Nicholas Drake is a handsome, down to earth man who can be exasperating. Rosalind is an intelligent woman who wants to help prevent disease. She is naïve, though, in the ways of the world (men) and cannot explain science in a way that normal people can understand. The characters are realistic with good traits and flaws (like Nicholas’ impulsiveness and quick temper). I found the premise fascinating. We take for granted that we have safe drinking water, but rarely think about how it came about. It was obvious the author did her research for the book and she managed to explain the process in a way that lay people can understand. The story is based on real life events which the author explains at the end of the book. I thought that the era was captured with the descriptions of the clothing, buildings, and attitudes. I laughed at Rosalind’s fear of using the new fangled subway. The romance was not over-the-top, nor did it dominate the story. The battle over the water and the mystery of the unknown enemy are intertwined with the romance between Nicholas and Rosalind. I especially enjoyed the humorous moments and lines (added levity). I liked that the author included Lucy and Colin in the story. We get to find out what is happening in their lives. I was not thrilled with Rosalind’s sister-in-law, Ingrid. I did not like her poor attitude or how she treated Rosalind. The faith element was very light in A Daring Venture which is unusual for this author. Elizabeth Camden sets the stage for A Desperate Hope (2019) which will provide us with Eloise Drake’s story. A Daring Venture is an engaging, multi-faceted story.

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  • A Beauty of a Story!

    4.5 stars "Glass, china, and reputations are easily cracked and never well mended." "Salmonella enterica, the bacteria that caused typhoid, was surprisingly pretty . . . . Her mission in life was to find a way to kill it." Working tirelessly to prove that minuscule amounts of chlorine in the public's drinking water could save countless lives from water-borne diseases, Dr. Rosalind Werner has also worked tirelessly to guard her reputation in Jersey City, New Jersey. Following a disappointing court case regarding her team's ground-breaking research, Rosalind comes face to face with Nicholas Drake, a man poised to be appointed Commissioner of Labor for the State Water Board of New York; and Nick's plan to provide purer drinking water does not include chlorine. "Dr. Werner, 'When I saw this box, I thought it was as pretty as a moonbeam, and it made me think of you'." Nicholas Drake makes no attempt to hide his unabashed admiration of the lovely scientist who has made it her mission to change his mind about chlorine. He might be a outrageously rich former plumber, but common sense tells him that the city's water problems can be solved by better filtration. When his whirlwind attraction to Rosalind hits a snag, the two manage to smooth over their differences and simply enjoy each other's company. Regrettably, secrets and vendettas blindside them both, widening the chasm between them. "They had both burned their bridges with each other and his sadness was overwhelming." Stepping into one of Elizabeth Camden's stories is like entering an enchanted forest and wanting to get lost; her characters are amazing, her settings are are detailed but fascinating, and her story threads pull at heartstrings that you didn't know she could play. Enjoy the forest! This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House Publishers. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.

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