Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"To the Farthest Shores" by Elizabeth Camden

If you've followed my blog very long, you know that I read far more contemporary than historical novels, and many of the historical novels I do read are set during World War II. But there are a couple authors who write historical fiction not set during the Second World War whose books I always want to get my hands on, and one of them is Elizabeth Camden.

The unpredictability of her upbringing prepared army nurse Jenny Bennett to face any challenge at the Presidio Army base, but the sudden reappearance in her life of the dashing naval officer who broke her heart six years ago is enough to rattle even her. 

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is one of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring government mission overseas--an assignment that destroyed his reputation and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor-bound never to reveal where he was during those years, he can't tell Jenny the truth, or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk. 

Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?

To the Farthest Shores combines romance, intrigue, and military drama to create a fascinating look into the early 1900s.

This novel is beautifully written with vivid details that really bring the story to life. I loved reading about the workings of Ryan's oyster farm (who would've thought?), and the details as Jenny walked her patient Finn through detox felt realistic; the whole process was interesting to me. The supporting characters—from Jenny's pseudo-father Simon to Ryan's daughter Lily to Ryan's hopeful replacement Finn—are well-drawn and dynamic. However, I did find the romance to be a bit lacking, as I just didn't feel the passion between Jenny and Ryan, and I thought Jenny's reactions to Ryan's mistakes were overblown and childish. (Yes, this is addressed in the book, but not before I wanted to talk some sense into Jenny multiple times.)

Camden is an excellent writer, there's no doubt. Yet I didn't love this novel quite as much as I enjoyed some of her previous books. Still, I eagerly await her next release. 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Camden's
From this Moment (5 stars), Beyond All Dreams (5 stars) and Against the Tide (4-1/2 stars).

Elizabeth Camden is the author of nine historical novels and has been honored with the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the Carol 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 www.elizabethcamden.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers through theirbook reviewer program. 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I read my first Elizabeth Camden book this January: The Ringmaster's Wife. I haven't heard of this one. I'll have to look for it.

    1. You should definitely check this one out. Camden is a great writer!


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