Another historical fiction gem: "A Daring Venture" by Elizabeth Camden

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about the book....

As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city-- but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known.

my review....

Elizabeth Camden has taken an intriguing actual historical event, added in some interesting characters and drama of the best kind, and served up an absolute winner with her second novel in the "Empire State" series. I have never once stopped to consider how it came about that chlorine was added to our water and the amazing change this brought about to society as this wiped out rates of cholera and other life-threatening illnesses. I haven't thought about the fear people would have had of being poisoned, because though it now seems routine to our modern day, I can see why this would have frightened people! The battle over water - and over hearts - made for a delightful read, one filled with twists and turns aplenty (and if the thought of a book featuring chlorine makes you raise your eyebrows - trust me, this is a great book!).

When I finished the first book of the series (A Dangerous Legacy), I was greatly anticipating what would next be in store for Lucy and her brother Nick, and I really enjoyed getting reconnected here with Nick and seeing what he's made of himself once the issue of the inheritance had been settled. I was pleased to see that despite suddenly coming into money, Nick remains down-to-earth and true to himself. I do have to say that while I really liked Lucy and her husband Colin in the first novel, I wasn't always sold on the way they are depicted here as they just weren't painted in the best of light. However, I also recognise that the heroes of this story are supposed to be Nick and Rosalind, and Camden has certainly succeeded at crafting characters you will grow to love. She has created true-to-life characters, ones who are multidimensional and who make mistakes - and who aren't afraid to apologize when they do. I think that's truly what I like best of them, that they don't pretend to be perfect, but in the end are willing to be authentic (with a few mistakes along the way of course). We can all learn from their willingness to say sorry, to forgive and extend grace, something that we as Christians can find easier to preach about than to actually do in practice. 

"A Daring Venture" is another historical fiction gem, and one that Camden's fans will flock to. I award this novel a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and encourage you to grab a copy for yourself.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Elizabeth Camden
Elizabeth Camden is the author of 11 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. Learn more at

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