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A Desperate Hope

(Empire State #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  945 ratings  ·  246 reviews
Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she's finally put behind her—or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers (first published February 2019)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  945 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Deanne Patterson
After reading this book it has once again proven why I love this author's books. It kept me engrossed the whole way through. A very tough,straight-laced,prickly heroine who despite being a carefree wild child has matured into a mathematical genius and is now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. She'd rather be tallying spreadsheets than dating.
When she is assigned to her coming of age town for work the memories coming rushing back no matter how much she
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
I'm just going to go ahead and mark this as a DNF read. I was already a bit concerned about the main girl in this book, but quickly after starting it's revealed that Alex and Eloise got to know each other very well (physically) when they were younger and that he took from her the "only one thing from a girl" that young men want. After seeing other friend's reviews about the content, I'll say that it does not sound promising and since I'm on deadlines (with the library, that is), I don't plan t ...more
Kacie Woodmansee
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Eloise Drake's past comes back to haunt her as she must return to the town so near where she spent much of her childhood and the man she fell in love with so many years before. Her relationship with Alex Duval ended badly 12 years ago, but Eloise is bound and determined to keep her heart safe and follow the rules as she works for the state on a project which will demolish the town Alex grew up in and is currently the mayor of.

I really wanted to like this book, but there were too many big problem
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story to make my introverted heart sing!
Camden's characters are always so real, with flaws and struggles that make them relatable. Alex and Eloise were no different, bringing to the page a flare and charisma that is wonderfully trademark for this author. I related so much to Eloise and her need for security at the end of the day, but also her bone-deep desire to dare just a little and enjoy an unlikely adventure that would grow her and give her a taste of living beyond herself. I liked Alex an
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of most of Ms Camden's previous books, however I couldn't get behind this one. I'll address my biggest huh??? right off the bat. I don't understand the flippant attitude shown towards sex outside of marriage in this christian fiction. Granted, it was only alluded to, and there's nothing steamy or titillating here at all. The instances are either in the past, or in one case and someone comes home when they've been out at night. Instead of realizing they need forgiveness and making ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
I love Elizabeth Camden's books and I think she's done an outstanding job with the Empire State trilogy.

I've been looking forward to Eloise's story since finishing A Daring Venture and even more intrigued since finding out Alex Duval would be the hero. There's been much hurt and trauma in Eloise`s life, how will a hot-headed but honorable mayor be able to show her what it means to truly be loved and respected? Especially when these two have a twelve-year-old story full of regrets.

Eloise's fiery
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
2.5 stars, rounded up to 3

What I liked:
- as always, the historical setting was vivid and lifelike.
- I liked seeing the town come together to relocate
- The blend of mystery and history worked well
- Eloise as a character. She was smart and hardworking.

What I didn’t care for:
- The fact that Alex and Eloise had been in love as children made their reunion as adults seem really instalove-y
- For a Christian novel, there was a surprising amount of sexual content and references and a lot of it wasn’t
Vera Godley
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
As the conclusion of Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Series I found the book interesting. I personally didn't care for the "thug" characters in the book and their actions and influences on others in the community. But that is the story and that is the 1896 time element portrayed on the pages of A Desperate Hope.

This is the story of the destruction of a small community and surrounding woods in order to create a reservoir for the growing city of New York. About 100 miles north of the city the wate
Paula Shreckhise
A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is book set in 1806 Upstate, New York.
The New York City Water Board is clearing the town of Duval Springs in order to build a reservoir.
Lots of interesting facts are woven into this story about the logistics and emotional upheaval of those involved, from the residents to the engineers. A seemingly impossible task is at hand. Can Eloise Drake and Alex Duval stop clashing enough to get the job done?
Eloise, an accountant with the Water Board and Alex, the mayo
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Let's go change the world." In her latest book, A Desperate Hope, award winning author Elizabeth Camden has created an irresistible historical fiction story of faith, love, and resilience. A Desperate Hope is the 3rd book in Elizabeth Camden's Empire State Trilogy, but it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. Immediately, readers are drawn to the novel by its beautiful and captivating cover.

The story takes place in small town Duval Springs, New York in 1908. New York State Water Board acc
Eloise Drake has a good, safe job working as an accountant in New York City. She enjoys her job and the possibility that her supervisor might be interested in her--a good, safe man is exactly what she needs. When she is assigned to go to upstate New York to Duval Springs, a town which is going to be demolished in order to create a reservoir for New York City to have clean water, she doesn't want to go--because it will mean seeing Alex Duval, whom she hasn't seen since her guardian drove him out ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tn-reads
As teens Alex and Eloise got to know each other very well behind an old cider mill in the woods. She was sheltered most of her life, not truly loved by parents or guardian, and never allowed to mingle with kids from town.

Alex was the mayor's son and a bit too charming. Eloise was entranced by Alex who took advantage of her naïveté, but both thought they were in love. Then one day they were found out and a veritable boom was lowered.

1908, twelve years after both their punishments amounting to e
Grace Mullins
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm reminded why Camden is one if my favorite authors. What I enjoyed:

Great historical atmosphere. I can tell Camden puts great effort in writing a tale that gives her readers more than just a glimpse into early twentieth century New York. It was so sad seeing a reflection of what happened to citizens over a century ago, and I appreciated getting some insight into this part of history.

Her magnificent writing style added a magical touch to this book. *claps* I don't know how to eloquently describ
Beth Erin
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review on

This story will resonate with those of us who call big-hearted small towns “home” as well as anyone who loves to cheer for the underdog. Camden skillfully crafts complex characters into a rich story of history, romance, mystery, and suspense.

Eloise has a painful backstory which enables her to achieve professional success yet leaves her feeling insecure and unmoored. Alex is a former soldier turned small-town mayor. He’s the equivalent of the captain of a sinki
4.5 stars!
I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Camden's books and this is no exception. I had not read the first two books in the Empire State series but was able to fully enjoy the book. I had never given much thought to how NYC and the state of NY got their water supply in 1908 but this book made the history come alive with memorable characters, vivid descriptions of a small village struggling against change and loss, and a well-crafted plot. If you enjoy historical romance and also want to learn a b
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this third book of Empire State series. It was actually my favorite one of the whole series. Eloise Drake and Alex Duval are at odds in the demolition of Duval Springs for a reservoir for water for the residents of New York. Eloise works for the state and is the accountant for the group headed to Duval Springs, and Alex is the mayor of Duval Springs is desperate to find a way to save his city. This book reminded me of the first book that I read by Elizabeth Camden, Into the Whir ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great ending to an amazing series!
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, historical
I was reminded yet again that Ms. Camden knows her way around a well-researched historical novel! I love all the details that she always includes in her stories! This one made me grin so many times, swoon a few others, and fall in love with the characters. Eloise is my new favorite! Her fierce determination is a sight to behold. I enjoyed watching as she confidently handled every situation before her, except for Alex. Ah, that Alex! They certainly have a history they are unable to avoid, no matt ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
A DESPERATE HOPE is a story of loss, desperation, love and what it means to be family. Readers won't be able to resist falling in love with this small town with all its quirks and charm. The people who live, fight, and love there make it the wonderful place it is and surround these two main characters as they try to navigate being on opposite sides of each other and then work to save this town. There are plenty of twists, a little danger, and a delightful romance to keep things interesting. If y ...more
A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden is the third An Empire State Novel. It can be read as a standalone. However, they are three delightful historical novels that tie together beautifully. Elizabeth Camden provides an engaging story with developed characters and a multifaceted story. Eloise is a mathematical genius who dresses in an understated manner to evoke a prim and proper appearance. Eloise is prickly but who can blame her after what happened when she was caught with Alex Duval. She likes ...more
Carole Jarvis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

Elizabeth Camden novels are simply not to be missed. Camden is an exquisite writer whose stories are always rich in characterization and complexity of storyline, and A Desperate Hope continues that legacy. Inspired by actual historic events, the story opens in 1908 as plans to flood an upper state New York valley and create a reservoir are coming to fruition. Understandably, resentment and bitterness from the townspeople are a major factor, w
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an astounding story! Especially since the author 'modeled it on the collective experience of several towns that were dismantled to build the Ashokan Reservoir,' (Historical note; p 337) It just boggles the mind! And gives me a new respect and admiration for mathematics -- a subject I've done my utmost to avoid both in school and in life. :-)

So I wasn't certain if I'd be able to relate to a math whiz heroine but Eloise won my heart in record time. When all her girlish hopes for adventure and
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where can I begin? 

I loved this conclusion to this series, but I would say that they could be read as stand alone books. You understand some more of the main character's story when you have read the previous two books, but you don't have to have read them. 

First of all, the history. She knocks it out of the park with the history of an event that we don't know that much about. Water is the theme in all three books, and it continues here. The characters are flawed. In fact, there is not much to li
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reads-2019
A Daring Venture is an interesting and exciting look at a fictional version of how the the real-life Ashokan Reservoir came to be. This is a bit of history I knew nothing about before this book so it was neat to be made aware of it, even though this is story of fiction. The mystery elements were good and it was exciting to wonder if Alex would be able to save his beloved town in some way shape or form. I had a suspicion early on of the culprit which proved to be correct but there were still seve ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
My first disappointment from Camden! The few things I liked were the heartwarming way the town faced every challenge together and the wishbone wall in the tavern. But the romance was very bad with the unbelievable flip-flopping and immaturity. (view spoiler) ...more
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
If you are a fan of historical novels rich with detail then this is one you don't want to miss! I loved the beautiful characters and the page turning plot line. Ms. Camden is truly talented and has a fan in me with this 4 star novel. ...more
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
It’s been a while since I read a Camden sort-of historical romance. I’ve also drifted away from inspirational romance, thanks to the end Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line, where many a favourite author resided. With A Desperate Hope, Camden has moved away from the inspirational (which was fairly “light” to begin with) and towards “Americana” à la Deeanne Gist. (I loved Gist’s Tiffany Girl, but haven’t seen anything from her since. This makes me sad.) But Camden is a solid stand-in and I ...more
Kate (The Shelf Life)
I have been a long time fan of Elizabeth Camden. Her attention to the historical detail is one that has always impressed me. Her previous stories touch on either well known historical events, like the Chicago Fire in Into the Whirlwind. Or smaller historical issues, like the the opioid epidemic within Against the Tide. The details were phenomenal and made me want to research more it.

A Desperate Hope, Book 3 of the Empire State series, focused on an interesting topic. Imminent domain. Duval Sprin
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

"Sometimes there are more important things in life than timetables or profit margins, and those things are called dreams."

According to Eloise Drake's recollection, Alex Duval had been nothing more than a teen-age dreamer, whose "pie-in-the-sky" perspective on life had driven her overprotective guardian to banish her broken heart to a remote convent in Arizona.

That was then. This was now. The grown up version of Alex, currently the mayor of Duval Springs, still has the power to sway her
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden. Though this was the third book in the series, it read very well as a stand-alone.

Eloise Drake is tasked to maintain the budget for New York’s latest project, to buy out an entire small town, demolish it and then flood the valley for the purpose of building a new reservoir. To her dismay, the valley is the same one she spent many hours watching from the home of her guardian high upon the hill as a young child. The valley was also once th
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Empire State (3 books)
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