Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Into The Whirlwind" by Elizabeth Camden

I saw this book in the bookstore and it immediately intrigued me with the cover art. It has a beautiful cover and the purple dress was definitely an eye catcher for me as that is my favorite color. I take after my Gen in that regard (that's my grandmother). The back didn't intrigue me enough to make me purchase the book in the store. When I saw this one listed as part of my book review program through Bethany House, however, I jumped on it. I was looking forward to the book and have another by the author that is waiting with my ever growing stack of "to be read" books. The book is set during and after the Great Chicago Fire. I have read books set in this time period but never in this specific setting. I greatly enjoyed the history of the situation and the perspectives of the characters as they endured the Fire and began rebuilding afterwards. In fact, I wish there had been a bit more focus on the event of the Fire. That is how the book starts but does not make up the majority of the book. Not that I would want to be in the midst of ashes for the entire 374 pages! I just would have liked a bit more. Also, you know something is amiss when your lead characters have already found each other and fallen madly in love just 100 pages in. And there begin the twists and turns and complications. The writing style was good and held my interest for sure but I just didn't feel connected enough with the characters. Specifically, I didn't feel the relationship was developed enough between Mollie and Zack. I was also a little confused when Colonel Lowe came across one way but then all of sudden changed seemingly just to fit the story line. And the wishy-washy, back and forth feelings along with the somewhat immature and petty exchange was a bit distracting. Also, the issues of Zack's personal ethics were never really dealt with or brought to a resolution in my opinion. I did enjoy Dr. Buchanan and Sophie. Well, not that I liked Sophie especially at first. I wanted to smack her but that was what I was supposed to want to do after all. Overall, the book is still a good read - just not great. Would I read the author again? Probably, but that other book won't be at the top of the pile to read just yet. See the publisher's synopsis below. I received this book for free as part of Bethany House's blogger review program in exchange for my review. Back Cover: "As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox's future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city. With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire. Zack Kazmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago's finest department stores, is a force to be reckoned with among the city's most powerful citizens. Bold and shrewd, he's accustomed to getting exactly what he wants--until he meets Mollie Knox, the beguiling businesswoman just beyond his reach. In the tumult as the people of Chicago race to rebuild a bigger and better city, Mollie comes face-to-face with the full force of Zack's character and influence. Zack believes this may finally be his chance to win her, but can Mollie ever accept this man and his whirlwind effect on her life, especially with her treasured company on the line?"

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