About the book: Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.
Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for their futures?
My thoughts: Cartography has historically been a very important skill and one that was highly valued and respected. The story’s female protagonist’s father was a cartographer for the United States; and he taught his beloved daughter, Anna, skills in the area of map study. Having lost her father at sea when a young girl, she grew up with her aunt and uncle. This was not a happy arrangement and left scars of the heart and body on Anna.
When she grew into adulthood, Anna was able to obtain a coveted job with the United States Library of Congress in the map library. She loved her job and realized that this gave her an opportunity to further investigate the loss of her father’s ship at sea. She also realized the tenuous position that female employees held since few valued the skills of ladies in positions such as she held.
While working in the map library, Anna met a congressman from Maine and is assigned to assist him in his research. She and Luke form a friendship and it develops into a sweet, budding romance. Anna realizes, though, that any romance or relationship between them would result in her abrupt dismissal from the Library of Congress as an employee.
Secrets abound in and around Washington and there are those whose careers would suffer if Anna pursues her quest to discover the true story behind her father’s ship.
I enjoyed roaming the halls of the Library of Congress and learning a bit of it’s history. Our Library of Congress has always served our Nation so it is worthwhile to learn about it. I enjoyed, too, the political fever that was leading up to the Spanish American War of 1898. Short lived though it was, it was avoided as long as possible and yet set the stage for further American expansion and conquest.
While historical fiction is truly that – fiction, it does serve well as a spring-board to further examine bits and pieces of history. This is a sweet, romantic read that treats the history lover with a journey into a world they so love – history. This is an easy book to recommend for his well-written prose that is all the while easy to read.
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Author, Elizabeth Camden is the award-winning author of four books, including Against the Tide (2012), winner of a RITA Award, Christy Award, and Daphne du Maurier 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. Elizabeth lives with her husband in Florida.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.