Friday, August 23, 2013

My Review of Into the Whirlwind (CFBA Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Whirlwind
Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
Elizabeth Camden


A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.


 After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.




Thrillingly, frustratingly, undeniably unique. Elizabeth Camden once again proves her talent for writing historical romance with depth and creativity in Into the Whirlwind.

The most action-packed event of the novel happens early on, with most of the story being about the characters' struggles resulting from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Those struggles range from daily survival (for a time) to financial difficulties, relational misunderstandings and hardships, business changes, and romantic uncertainties. There is plenty of resulting tension to keep the plot interesting long after the fire burns out and the city starts to heal.

Some of that tension is aggravating in the extreme, as Zack and Mollie both got on my nerves in turn. Of course, I do appreciate that the reason for that was often due to their very real faults and rash choices. While their actions and words aren't always commendable, their defense tactics are often painfully easy to relate to.

Into the Whirlwind lacks the emotional undertow that pulled me under in Against the Tide, and it's missing that certain sparkle that made me fall in love with The Rose of Winslow Street. The writing felt a bit repetitive in some ways, too. However, despite it not being my favorite of Camden's, her extensive research, her intriguing characters, and her fresh plot still make this book a worthwhile and engaging read - and I look forward to seeing what exciting story Camden pens next!

*With thanks to the publisher through CFBA for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

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