August 28, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: From this Moment by Elizabeth Camden {Book Review}

I pink puffy heart books by Elizabeth Camden. She writes the way I would write, if I was an author. Rich with details, history, and relationships. Her books have always offered me a delightful journey into the past and I eagerly await her next release. Earlier this year, I read a prequel novella called Summer of Dreams which was written to set off her latest book From This Moment. It definitely made me eager for more, and I was so happy to have a chance to review Elizabeth Camden's latest novel From This Moment for NetGalley.

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About From This Moment

From This Moment picks up about 4 years after the conclusion of
Summer of Dreams. From This Moment introduces you to Romulus White and Stella West. It's 1897 in Boston, MA and Romulus White is the editor and publisher of Scientific World, a leading magazine worldwide bringing information about the latest scientific discoveries from medicine, to botany, to technology. A confirmed bachelor, he adores women and has determined that he's just not quite ready to settle down into married life. There isn't much he hasn't been able to get when he wanted something, until it came to the talent of the artist Stella West. He wants to take the magazine to new heights, and believes that the artistic talent of Stella West to produce full-color illustrations will be just what he needs. Unfortunately, she's not interested. Period. But he refuses to give up---and then discovers she has left England and is Boston. Perfect.

Stella West has only left England for one reason and one reason only. She wants to find out what happened to her sister, because she doesn't trust the mysterious circumstances surrounding it. She has quit the art world at the height of her career, and is throwing her passion behind her quest. Unfortunately, no one wants to listen to her. And that Romulus White will not stop bothering her about working for him! But after things happen to cause some roadblocks for Stella, she realizes that having a high society and influential ally like Romulus might not be such a bad idea. They decide to team up---each for their own reasons, but things start going crazy when sparks begin to fly between them, and they start drawing the wrong kind of attention. Will their alliance put everything each has worked for at risk?

My Thoughts on From This Moment

It was a fast paced roller coaster ride as I was swept away by the zealous attention Stella gave to finding her sister. Strong-willed to a fault, she reminded me of myself sometimes. And I just loved Romulus and his passion for vibrant colored clothing! As the author revealed more and more of Romulus and his life, you realize that he clearly had what would be considered ADHD in today's society. I love this aspect of Elizabeth Camden's books. She gives her characters FAULTS that we the readers understand and can sympathize with!

I think the author brilliantly carries you into their world, and then keeps you enthralled for the full length of the story. Nothing EVER gets completely resolved until the very last chapter--sometimes the last couple pages. That is a sign of an excellent author!

A unique thing about this book, is the sub-plot of the characters Evelyn (Romulus' cousin) and Clyde Baxter--the characters of the novella Summer of Dreams. Throughout the book, we see them at a troubling stage in their marriage and woven through the main plot, is the journey they each take to bring themselves back together. I LOVED having this extra plot in the story, and it made me appreciative all the more for the prequel novella. (READ IT FOR FREE ON KINDLE!) But I will add that the novella is not NECESSARY for you to understand their relationship, but it definitely helps! And also introduces you to the character of Romulus White. 

Now in the "real world" I don't think that Romulus and Stella would have worked out. She was too strong willed and he was too afraid of commitment and lacking focus. What a hot and loud relationship that would have been! LOL! But who knows?

I didn't know anything about science magazines during this time period, nor the art of lithography and it's roll in the changing magazine industry. That was very interesting to me, and I just love how the author always incorporates some important aspect in history to her books. 

I definitely think this was one of my favorite of Elizabeth Camden's, but I love ALL her books, so I don't know that it means anything! LOL.

Did I mention the cover? All of Elizabeth Camden's books have the BEST covers. I love the way the coloring was done, and it makes me think of the job that Stella has with Romulus about making bland illustrations pop with color. 

From This Moment has earned 4 1/2 stars from me. The only reason I don't give it a full 5 stars, is because it isn't QUITE my favorite of all her books, but it's definitely one of the top books I have read this year (and I'm super picky! LOL). I highly recommend it to someone wanting a story with characters who have weaknesses and faults. Who want a historical fiction with meaty plots. Who want to be able to relate to the characters and be moved by what they say and do. I want to meet Romulus and Stella in real life, and that says a lot! LOL!

From This Moment
by Elizabeth Camden

Because I just love Elizabeth Camden's books, I encourage you to check out some of the ones on this list!

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