After years of tragedy, Gwen Kellerman now lives a quiet life as a botanist at an idyllic New York college. She largely ignores her status as heiress to the infamous Blackstone dynasty and hopes to keep her family's heartbreak and scandal behind her.
Patrick O'Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He's proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case that is sure to emphasize the Blackstones' legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.
Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger, Patrick and Gwen will be forced to decide if the risk to the life they've always held dear is worth the reward.
Elizabeth Camden's writing is full of . . .
"Richly drawn characters and fascinating American history."-- All About Romance
"Fabulous love stor[ies] wrapped around compelling historical events."--Booklist
"Adventuresome, entertaining romance."--Foreword Reviews
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 58 members
CARVED IN STONE is the first novel in the Blackstone Legacy series by ELIZABETH CAMDEN, and, after reading it, I cannot wait for the next book in the series! It is an historical romance set in the Gilded Age of American history, with the entitled and wealthy upper class, as represented by the Blackstones and the hardworking poor, such as Patrick O'Neill and Liam Malone. There is one member of the Blackstone family, Gwen Blackstone Kellerman, who is different to the rest of her family and who is passionate about the Blackstone College, founded by her father, botany, her home and garden. Patrick is an Irish lawyer who lives in the Five Points and acts on behalf of the poor people in the area. He is a protector by nature and has great insight into people's problems, having trained originally for the priesthood. He is looking for a wife and family, a relationship that will be "carved in stone". When he falls for the beautiful Gwen his pride raises its ugly head and that, together with the disdain shown him by her family, threatens their relationship. It is a story about unconditional love, sacrifice, class distinction and shady business practices played out with a cast of very interesting characters. We see also how God can turn things around and bring good out of something really bad that happened in the past. I highly recommend Carved in Stone as an exciting and inspirational read. I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
The story about the tetanus trials and the development of a serum was very interesting. I found the dynamics of this powerful family intriguing, with money verses medical discoveries. My favorite character was Patrick became of his compassion. Gwen's behavior was unbelievable in the way the she treated her husband's mistress. Overall the story was enjoyable. Recommended.
It's listed at The Blackstone Legacy, Book 1 -- so I hope there are more books to come in this series! A really interesting story - heiress Gwen Blackstone Kellerman has lived a secluded life on the campus of the Blackstone College, but has a lot going on - her husband cheated on her and his mistress and child also live on campus, her older brother was kidnapped as a child and never found, and now her Uncle has just pulled the funding of the college and threatens to shut it down. Patrick is an Irish immigrant lawyer who is representing the man (Mick Malone) who was previously arrested for kidnapping Gwen's brother. They meet when she goes to represent the family in trying to get Mick's book about the kidnapping from being published. Meanwhile, Liam Malone - a steel worker from Pittsburgh comes to support his uncle Mick. It's a whole twisty storyline but will keep you interesting the whole trip. Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a temporary, digital ARC in return for my review.
"They will be carved in stone to last for all time." Elizabeth Camden has a way of painting little known historical facts during the Gilded Age into full masterpieces and her inaugural novel in The Blackstone Legacy series is no exception. The author fuses the founding of a conglomerate steel corporation with advancement in science and medicine, the swirling decadence of the elite with a close look at the slums and tenements within the backdrop of 1900 New York City. The main characters are opposites as well but they work to bridge the differences in their worlds and, in many ways, learn to complement each other. This story has it all - great historical background, spellbinding backdrop, fluid writing, deeply layered characters, intriguing suspense, achingly tender romance, and a seamless faith thread. I loved Patrick and his steadfast loyalty as the lawyer and spiritual counselor for the downtrodden. I needed a bit more time to warm up to Gwen, the ivory tower princess wrapped up in botany and comforts of academia, but her compassion and generous spirit won me over. Their flirtations are quite delicious and the humor sprinkled throughout the book is quite unexpected but equally enchanting. I loved learning about development of tetanus serum and vaccine among many other things. If you enjoy historical romance, this book will captivate you. I can't wait for the next book in the series. I received the book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
This book is a historical fiction and is the start of a new series for Elizabeth Camden. It had themes of overcoming the past, pride, love and sacrifice set in the time where unions were acting against corporations. While I could predict some of the plot, there were events that did surprise me. I will say that the main character is a much nicer person than me! If you are a fan of Tracie Peterson, you will find this book enjoyable. I look forward to seeing where the author takes this series in future. I got this book in exchange for an honest review.
This novel laid out the differences between poor and rich in a riveting way. I enjoyed the interplay between the main characters and their romantic interest that was riddled with obstacles centered around financial status. The plot is not a regular one that I see often in novels and I enjoyed the mystery of finding out the truth behind William Blackstone’s disappearance. As a reader I continued to turn the page! I was given a copy of this book in exchange for this review.
"His vows would be joyfully offered and forever carved in stone". I really enjoyed this story of two opposites in every way, meeting one another and each being changed by knowing the other. This tale also highlights how the US Steel conglomerate came to be as well as highlighting medical and scientific advances (tetanus vaccine) of the time. (The tetanus part of the story was scary. We forget about how things were before this vaccine was invented. People with tetanus experienced painful muscle spasms that could lead to death. I had just had my tetanus shot recently and it made me grateful for its development.) Elizabeth Camden always pens intriguing page-turning stories with interesting little-known history and wonderful well developed characters and stories wrapped in the tale of the historical event. She is on my must-read author list!! Carved in Stone begins with Patrick O'Neill, recently having left the seminary, to help people in other ways. His mentor told him " The priesthood is a calling," he had said. "We can't have reluctant warriors in our ranks, but there are plenty of other ways you can serve God in the world." Patrick became a lawyer and finds his calling in helping immigrants, the poor, and the downtrodden. I love Patrick! He is a loveable character. Gwen Kellerman belongs to the wealthy Blackstone family. She is kind, generously forgiving, and untouched by the wealth she has inherited. The same can't be said for all the members of her family. When an old scandal comes to life again, it makes for much drama, and a few murder attempts! I highly recommend Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden, it does everything I enjoy in a story; takes me away to another time and place, keeps me turning pages, has wonderful characters and I learn something while having fun reading a compelling story! Thank you to the author, Net Galley, and Bethany House for allowing me to read an early copy! All opinions are my own.
Elizabeth Camden makes history come alive, and this time she brings us a story loosely based on J.P. Morgan and the merger that formed U.S. Steel. Gwen Kellerman is an heiress to the Blackstone fortune whose goal is to keep her college funded and to find out what happened to her older brother who was kidnapped as a small child. Events in the story lead to a meeting with a lawyer who is dedicated to helping the immigrants in the Five Points area of New York City. Ultimately, they fell in love but realized their relationship would have difficulties since they were from such diverse backgrounds. I am not the type of reader to sneak a peek at the end of the book to see what happens (although it's a struggle to not take an early look at the author's end notes), but this ending would have been worth the peek! I do always love the end notes, and I enjoyed learning about the ancient date palms. I did have a little trouble keeping track of all the family members and the motives for their actions, but I recommend this very clean historical romance. It was a privilege to receive a complimentary advance copy of this book through NetGalley.
"Carved in Stone" is a romance set in 1900 in New York. I liked how Gwen forgave and helped others even when wronged. I admired Liam's willingness to do hard and uncomfortable things to gain his end goal (which was also to help others). But I had a hard time liking Patrick. He was a good lawyer, but he chose to serve those who were too poor to pay (at least in cash) out of guilt though he also called it his mission. His mother worked hard to earn the money for their rent and food. So he's living off a woman's money. But when it came to marrying Gwen, he didn't want any of her money. He wanted to be the provider and her savior because he didn't like that others thought he was marrying her for her money. He wasn't going to change to working for the rich and wouldn't let Gwen live in poverty with him. He refused to compromise one bit to get what he wanted even if it meant giving up a strong, compassionate woman who built him up. He's exasperating, though the point of the story was how he had to deal with his pride (while helping solve the mystery of Gwen's kidnapped brother). The characters reacted realistically, were complex, and I cared about what happened to them. Gwen and Patrick admired each other's character and became better people from having known each other. Historical details about mega-corporations, powerful banks, worker unions, etc., were woven into the story. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical romance. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
What an interesting historical romance! I really liked Patrick from the get-go, and while I was slower to take to Gwen, I did end up really liking her as well, particularly those times when she said exactly what needed to be said. Secondary characters Liam and Natalia were also really appealing. ( I personally relate to both of them more than Gwen, so I'm hoping subsequent books in the series will put them front-and-center.) The romance was great. I loved the final scenes and how things worked out; I just smiled so much through those pages! I was really glad the main culprit wasn't the character who would have been the obvious choice, although I would have liked to know more about the fallout for the culprit (that part of the story ended a little abruptly for my liking.). There's a lot going on in this story, with a family mystery, business dealings, keeping a college running, and more, and but the details were really woven into the story so I got a great sense of what life was like at that time without ever feeling like the story was cluttered or bogged down. I especially appreciated how the author wove in historical details about tetanus, which is something that I didn't even realize I would want to learn about but found to be so fascinating. This book is a great start to what I suspect will be a fabulous series! 4.5 stars. I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
I liked this story. Elizabeth Camden mixed an interesting historical background with a romance. Romantic novels are not usually my first choice, This book was more focused on family dynamics and personalities, so the romance was not the main aspect of the story, I liked "people of good character can disagree and still be admirable." The focus on attitudes transformed during the story was an element I liked. I appreciated that the emphasis was not on the gilded splendor of the home of the lead character. I also liked the historical medicine aspect of the story. Well done.
Gwen Kellerman is a widow who is also one of the heirs of the Blackstone fortune. The Blackstones are a power family in New York banking along with the Rockefellers and the Carnegies at the turn of the last century. Patrick O'Neill is an Irish attorney in the rougher part of New York and he is representing an individual that the Blackstones don't want dredging up old scandal in the book he is writing. The past and the present collide for all involved. This is a great story with lots of action and suspense and some happy circumstances. I highly recommend this book. The period is well researched and the characters are real and engaging. The story is riveting. I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Whenever Elizabeth Camden publishes a book, it always gets my attention. Carved in Stone is the first in the Blackstone Legacy series. A historical romance set in the 1900's in New York City. Patrick O'Neil is a scrappy lawyer living on the wrong side of the city. He defends the poor and down trodden, usually take wages by barter. Gwen Blackstone Kellerman is an elegant refined lady, who approaches Patrick about a case he is defending. Mick Malone is writing a book, bashing the Blackstone family. Gwen's brother was kidnapped when he was a toddler and she feels Mick got away with the crime. The story is so interesting, as Ms. Camden always writes with so much history intertwined among the fiction. I have learned something in every book she has written. The facts are always so fascinating when you come to the end of her books. I could not put this book down. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the Publisher and NetGalley. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Carved in Stone begins a new series surrounding the Blackstone family. When Patrick takes on a somewhat unsavory client who challenges the Blackstone family, he had no idea that he would be thrust into the path of Blackstone heiress, Gwen Kellerman. Carved in Stone is an interesting look at social classes highlighting that at the core we're all human. Money doesn't make us better than other people and poverty doesn't make us more noble...though I'll admit that at times Gwen's family was downright disgusting in their snobbishness. Carved in Stone was a compelling read a I was drawn into the characters' story and wanted to know more about them. Gwen was a sweetheart and her goodness and willingness to help others shone through. I was glad when she finally built up the courage to pursue her dreams. Patrick had a lot of legitimate reasons for feeling the way he did when he was around Gwen's family, but he made the effort to put aside his snobbishness and get to know them. I would have liked to see more of how that played out since there were so many examples of them being mean to him. But, overall, I like how it played out. The two mysteries (one old, one new) are intertwined with the romance between Patrick and Gwen which keeps the plot interesting. Readers will be reminded that though bad things happen, God is still in control and He's able to make good things come out of even the worst events in our lives. I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.
I love reading Elizabeth Camden's stories because she always weaves the historical aspect in with a romance, which are my two favorite things! I loved the romance in this book. They liked each other, but there were problems, which made it more real, in my opinion. I loved reading about the creation of U.S. Steel. I did feel like some parts of the story were rushed at the end so everything could be resolved, but other than that, it was a great read. Looking forward to the next one in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Fans of Elizabeth Camden's will be thrilled for the start of her new historical fiction series, The Blackstone Legacy. Elizabeth Camden is one of my go-to authors for historical fiction, and she continues to impress me with her well-researched and fascinating glimpses into the past. This novel is loosely based on J.P. Morgan and the creation of the United States Steel Corporation. Family secrets, an unsolved mystery years old, and an unlikely romance developing between an heiress and an Irish immigrant who became a lawyer make Carved in Stone a must read. I can't wait for the next book in the series! Carved in Stone is highly recommended for readers of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden is filled with romance, a missing child, and tons of wealth. The story gives readers a glimpse into the creation of U.S. Steel, J.P. Morgan and the Carnegie's at the height of the Industrial Revolution. I enjoyed seeing them interact. Camden made them come to life with real heart and issues just like any normal family. Just because they have money does not mean that the struggles of life do not occur. The romance was a little awkward for me. I did not mind the heroine and hero falling in love. It was just a little too fast. She fell in love within moments of meeting him and the rest is history. It was a nice story. I loved the plot. I couldn't flip through the pages fast enough. Since this is the first book in a three-book series, I am excited to see what comes next. Overall, Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden once again teaches readers a little more about history without a lecture, but a well-written and delightful story. I can't wait to see what the next book will cover. I received a complimentary copy of Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.
Another great historical novel in a new series by Elizabeth Camden where she makes history come alive. It’s a bit of romance, suspense, history, family dynamics, personalities, and inspiration all mixed into one good read. I highly recommend this new series.
Once you begin turning the pages of this book, your in for a delightful treat, the pages couldn't turn fast enough for me. This story is rich in history and clashing of cultures, from giving to taking, and of course there are those who do not want good to happen. I loved the Irish immigrant Patrick O'Neill, a lawyer for the down trodden, and then he meets socialite Gwen Kellerman, and life for both of them changes forever. The story keeps giving right up to the end, from a tetanus vaccine, to merger of the steel mills, kidnapping of children to attempted murder, and so much more. Be sure to read the authors notes at the end, and I am looking for more on the Blackstone family! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Elizabeth Camden is one of my favorite authors and I’ve read everything she writes. That being said, Carved In Stone is now one of my favorites of her books and one of the best I’ve read this year! Patrick and Gwen’s love story is not sweet and fluffy, but real and honest. Patrick is a humble Irish lawyer and Gwen is worth millions thanks to her wealthy family. With the backdrop of family, professional, and personal issues it is beautiful to watch their relationship grow and develop. I’m so glad this is the beginning of a series and I look forward to as many books as Elizabeth Camden would like to write!
I’m pretty sure I’ve read every book Elizabeth Camden has written. As a church librarian, she is one of my “go-to” authors because she writes interesting, faith-filled historical romantic fiction. So, whenever a new title comes out, I jump on it! Set in the Gilded Age of America- approximately 1870 to 1900- which was an era of extreme industrial growth plus huge waves of European immigration, this story reflects the lives and distinctions between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Gwen Blackstone Kellerman is from the incredibly wealthy Blackstone family of New York, and her love interest is Patrick O’Neill, an Irish immigrant who studied for the priesthood but ultimately becomes a lawyer with a keen interest in helping the poor in his Five Points neighborhood with their legal needs, They are not the only interesting characters in the book; the Blackstone family members as well as wealthy industrialists JP Morgan and Andrew Carnegie feature in the story as well. There are plot surprises as well as a satisfying ending. All in all an excellent read! Five stars!! I certainly look forward to the rest of this series! I received this book from the publisher via net galley in exchange for an honest review.
Carved in Stone was another fascinating historical romance from Elizabeth Camden. I love the way she always brings to light little-known historical facts and weaves them into a truly compelling read. I know I always say that about Camden's books, but it bears repeating. I love learning about these things that I probably never would've known otherwise. This book really reiterated the fact that appearances can be deceiving. It was a good reminder to not be so quick to judge someone else just because they come from a different background or have a different opinion. This story had a bit of a slow start for me, but it wasn't long before I became completely invested in it and couldn't read fast enough. I enjoyed getting to know the complicated Blackstone family and highly recommend this book to fans of historical romance. I received an advanced copy of this book and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.
“You can ignore those not born into wealth and leisure, or you can open your heart to people who work with their hands and minds to make the world a better place… CARVED IN STONE I absolutely love when Elizabeth Camden comes out with a new series. Empire State and Hope and Glory are some of my favorites! So I was eager to dive into Carved in Stone which is the first book in The Blackstone Legacy series. In this series, she is inspired by JP Morgan and the history and rising power of banks and capitalism. Gwen Kellerman loves her home that is nestled in the Blackstone college and hosts all kinds of professors and pioneers of education and science. Her husband died years before but it wasn’t a happy marriage. Her only care now is making sure Blackstone receives the funding to keep making advancements in medical research. However, she is the heiress of the Blackstone family who has the money and power and is often riddled in scandal. Patrick O’Neill is a lawyer who has worked hard for everything and has such a giving heart. His next case, although, requires him to help a man who is writing a book which contains information about the Blackstones. That information is linked to the missing Blackstone boy, who was also Gwen’s brother. Two worlds collide with love, classism, and mystery. Elizabeth Camden never disappoints! I always find myself completely immersed in her stories-which always contain imperfect characters trying to find their way into the world. But there is always a woman ahead of her time. Gwen is that woman in this story. While it was hard to like her at first because of her naivety and privilege, she grows on you, especially when she is exposed to the realities of the world around her. One of the truly difficult things she must endure is realizing her family isn’t the ideal family she thought they were. Patrick O’Neill is the quintessential Irishman who came to the United States with his mother for a better life. He knows how hard life can be, especially when those around you won’t give you a chance. I love his patience with Gwen as she comes to understand her privilege. Not only are the characters wonderful with amazing chemistry but there is a mystery and innovation intertwined that gives this story so much depth. Gwen realizes how important it is to find out what happened to her brother, while Patrick sees the benefits of scientific breakthroughs in regards to vaccinations. As always, the historical details are phenomenal and I am already counting down for book two! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!
I've long been fascinated by the Industrial Revolution era, eating up books featuring names like Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan, and William Randolph Hearst. So when all three of these names appeared, to varying degrees, in Elizabeth Camden's book "Carved in Stone," I knew it would be a special read--and that I'd love it. I became even more appreciative after the company I work for got folded into the Hearst Corporation family. Who knew I'd end up working for Hearst after all? But I digress :) (It doesn't hurt that I recently read and loved the "Hope and Glory" series, which, by the way, is well worth your time!) This read brings the turn of the (20th) century to life with vivid imagery and a glorious New York setting. 'Carved in Stone's climax and denouement ended up being one of my favorites among recent reads. (Gosh, it's hard not to include spoilers!) The denouement in particular felt healthy, and proposed a fantastic alternative to those reads where simply "the meet-cute ends happily, and done, good-bye!" Especially at the turn of the century, Gwen provides a breath of fresh air as she challenges the status quo in more ways than one. Two of my favorite lines in the book: - "The ground is always level at the foot of the cross." - "People of good character can disagree and still be admirable." ... both lines I know I could stand to remember during societal times such as these. I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
A great start to a new series from Elizabeth Camden! Once again she masterfully and flawlessly entwines history and romance into a breathtaking story that is sure to leave readers longing for more. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the banking world at the turn of the century and the mystery elements kept me turning pages long into the night! I will always pick up any novel written by this author and her latest certainly did not disappoint!
I always love Camden's novels and I eagerly look forward to the next one! Her books are so interesting and I love her extensive research to make a grand read! This one I believe will be my favorite so far. I love the mystery that was sneaked into the story. I also felt that she did an awesome job of letting us look into the life of an aristocratic family and how they lived. To me, money isn't everything. It doesn't make you happy. Yes it can make life easier but even then not always. In my opinion Gwen really didn't fit in with the rest of her family. I think it was because she wore her heart on her sleeve and wants to see the good in everything and everyone. ( just like me). Another thing I like about her books is that I learn something new. Something that I never knew about or heard of. I love history especially American history. Elizabeth Camden is my go to for this. Another great book to add to my list of favorites for 2021. Highly recommend! 5 stars! My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Bestselling author Elizabeth Camden kicks off a new historical fiction series set in the 1900s, the Gilded Age of America. In Carved in Stone, heiress Gwen Blackstone Kellerman lives a quiet life as a botanist at a New York college founded by her father. Patrick O’Neill is a lawyer for local Irish immigrants. Brought together by a thirty-year old mystery, neither of them expect to face danger as the mystery unfolds, and it stirs up the Blackstone legacy of family secrets caused by greed and corruption. Camden’s novels are filled with well-researched historical details, while weaving a suspenseful mystery. The faith element is minimal but evident, and the storytelling is excellent with strong, flawed characters and descriptive narratives. Patrick and Gwen are very different -- Patrick is a proud Irishman, while Gwen is a woman from a wealthy family. Despite this, they are able to eventually look past that. Theirs is a clean romance, Camden is a master at taking a period of time that is not well-known to readers and crafting an engaging story. In this case, the story teaches the reader about the clashing of social classes, the unions, the tetanus vaccine, and the merger of steel companies. Recommended for school libraries and public libraries. Fans of Camden’s earlier books will look forward to the other books in this series. Book 2, Written on the Wind, will be available in 2022. Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.
Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden is the first book in a new series about the Blackstone family, a very rich but very complicated family haunted by scandal. Gwen is an heiress and widow, she lives her live quite happy in a house near the college the Blackstones founded, and she loves botany and holding weekly informal gatherings with the professors, which makes her a bit of an outcast in the family, as she is quite modern. However, her life gets shaken up quite a bit when the supposed abducter of her baby brother wants to publish a memoir about the scandals of the Blackstone family, and about her brother. She was born after he disappeared, and this book might just give a clue what happened to him, but a handsome lawyer stands in her way… or maybe not. Patrick almost took vows into priesthood, but found God’s calling by helping those in need with legal councelling. He is quite poor as his clients often pay in eggs and favors. But when he meets Gwen, he falls head over heels and decided to help her where he can, and that feeling is mutual, but will their life styles match even slightly or is this relationship doomed from the beginning? I always love the level of authenticity Elizabeth Camden has in her novel. Never before did I wonder how international business deals were done in this era or how publishing worked, but Elizabeth just throws it in and makes it entertaining, she sneaks in some information and I love it! Ok, this is probably not the best way to start a review, but I honestly like how offhandedly new information is brought up, you get really emerged in the story! Not only that, the characters are outstanding, each with their own personality and dreams and fears, and I love how realistic they feel too. And the plot kept me guessing, and the mystery of the abduction that happened long ago made me want to read on, as more unfolded. Gwen and Patrick fit perfectly together, but their problems about their background were very founded and real. Especially when Patrick is confronted with her family, everything gets very intense. I loved all the interesting characters in the Blackstone family, especially grandpa. I hope we get to see more of him in the next novel as he’s quite a character. The contrast between rich and poor was done very well, too. And I can’t even talk about the best part as that would be a huge spoiler! I think this is a very original story, and I loved everything about it, and just wanted to keep on reading! I received a free e-arc thanks to the publisher, but it hasn’t influenced my opinions.
I received an ARC from the publisher and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. Elizabeth Camden once again draws from history to create a compelling historical romance. This time, her inspiration is JP Morgan and the influence he and men like him had on the economy during the turn of the century in the US. Having read several books, both fictional and nonfiction, set around this time period, I was fascinated and impressed with Camden’s immersive historical detail. Her two leads this time around are rather layered, and while I wasn’t sure what to think of them at times, I ultimately found a lot to like about them. Gwen comes from an upper-crust background, but has largely shunned her family’s scandals after they impacted her, choosing a quiet life. She’s compassionate and has a willingness to do what needs to be done, but also, while she is a bit out-of-touch with the reality of what some people go through, she comes to an awareness of her own privilege over the course of the book. Patrick, by contrast, has built himself up into a success from a youth of struggle. I did find his pride regarding her money a bit much at times, but I appreciated the way it was handled, showing both his good intent and the fact that he might be a bit too proud and short-sighted in his own way, with Gwen even remarking on his brand of snobbery at one point. The mystery element took a bit to get into, but I felt it was ultimately satisfying. There are some great revelations about Gwen’s missing brother, kidnapped as a child, and a scandal surrounding a libelous book about the kidnapping that Gwen and the rest of the family are trying to suppress. This is a great first installment in a new series, and it’s perfect for fans of sweet historical romance with a generous helping of mystery.
This book took me by surprise, as it totally kept me on my toes with the twists and turns. It felt different somehow, then other books by this author, but once I got into the flow of the story, I enjoyed it completely. What I especially enjoy about this authors books, is her talent to weave history into every part of the story. It is almost as if the characters become secondary to the history without feeling like you read a history book. This book was no different in that regard. You can feel the pain of the Irish immigrants, but at the same time the plight of being trapped by society in the wealthy circles.
I enjoyed this introduction to the Blackstone family. I was glad that the book veered in another direction from the initial lawsuit--what happens afterward was far more interesting to me than a mere courtroom drama. I loved how it pushed both Gwen and Patrick to confront their class prejudices--a huge hurdle in their romance, particularly for Patrick (the rich aren't the only ones who can be snobs). One thing I trust Camden for is well-researched history, and she always delivers. This time she incorporates the formation of US Steel (altered slightly for the Blackstones), as well as the research and development of vaccines and medications for common diseases such as tetanus. Who knew that the serum to treat tetanus was created by harvesting antibodies from horse blood? I'm glad this is a series, as there is so much potential for future books among the supporting characters. I'm really hoping to get a story about Natalia and her Russian count--I loved their dynamic, even as small a part as it was. But I'd also love to see what Liam makes of himself, and where his relationship with old Grandfather Blackstone goes. I'm very much looking forward to the next book. Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
4.5 Stars What do you get when you combine a pending steel conglomeration, a man who ekes out a living defending the poor of NYC, a woman whose wealthy family has a tarnished reputation, and Elizabeth Camden? You get Carved in Stone, the first book in Camden’s The Blackstone Legacy series. And really, there’s a ton more going on than those few items I mentioned. Once again, Camden draws out some more obscure details of US history and combines it with a sizzling romance (with plenty of combustion of its own) to weave an engaging story that is also somewhat educational. Those are the best historical fiction books for me. I love that Camden’s heroines are intelligent, tough, and speak their minds. They aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves, and their men aren’t intimidated by them. Gwen is no exception, and I’m already rooting for a supporting character to get her own book in this series. If you haven’t picked up an Elizabeth Camden book, I highly encourage it. And what better time to do so than at the beginning of a new series? Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I believe that this has been one of my favorite books by this author that I have ever read. I loved both Gwen and Patrick and Liam. These characters gave me laughter and some tears. I loved how Patrick was often paid in eggs and other barter fir his work as an attorney. I enjoyed reading about some of the vaccines that were being developed during this time period. I am looking forward to finding out what the second book in this series will be about. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I’ve been an Elizabeth Camden fan for several years and she is one of my top favorite authors. Everything I love about her books was present in her newest release, Carved in Stone. I can’t wait for the next books in the series! Gwen is a woman who has gone through several tragedies in her life, and yet, she treats those who’ve done her wrong with kindness and forgiveness. This book is all about not judging a book by its cover—facing prejudices against who you are based on your heritage or your family roots. As always, I love learning so much about the historical elements of the story, and in this case, it has to do with the sciences that go on in the university begun by Gwen’s father, and dearly beloved by Gwen herself. Patrick struggles to better himself and to accept himself in a world that despises him simply because he’s Irish. I’m not catholic, so while I may disagree with some of the religious elements of the book, I felt it was authentic and realistic considering Patrick’s ethnicity. I enjoyed the mystery that tied the entire story together. I had guessed so many suspects, and still I was surprised when the villain was truly revealed. I loved the twists and the engaging unraveling of a 30-year-old kidnapping. If you enjoy reading historical fiction—especially ones that delve deep into the past and the lessons to be learned there—I highly recommend Carved in Stone!
A kidnapped heir presumed dead, a young widow trying to save her father's legacy, an older widow struck by a horrible disease, and an attorney striving to survive and succeed while serving New York's downtrodden people. All of these elements work together to create a compelling tale, but fans of Elizabeth Camden would expect nothing less. Once again she has used an important, historical social concern as a backdrop for a bit of suspense and romance. I highly recommend this new series, The Blackstone Legacy, as well as this author. I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Carved in Stone from Bethany House via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Thoroughly engaging characters. You'll be completely invested in them, right to the end. Another beautiful blend of the supremely wealthy and the working poor. Attempted murder, kidnapping of a child. Saving a college from being defunded. A botany major and a lawyer who is devoted to the downtrodden Irish. Each has a truly good heart, and each is hurt in their own way. They both have to struggle with trust, in others and in God. Excellent read! I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. #CarvedinStone #NetGalley
I found this book absolutely fascinating! The author had so many different complex storylines going on, and I was riveted to see how she could not only resolve them all but bring them all together somehow. She did not disappoint! I did find the pacing slightly odd. At times things were happening in every storyline and everything was moving so fast, but then I felt it kind of plodded a bit in the middle. But then things picked up to a fairly reasonable pace for the conclusion. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more in this series.
This new Elizabeth Camden series begins with an engaging story that is rich in history, romance and mystery. I found myself rooting for the main characters because I liked each of them from the start. Their story had twists and turns and obstacles in every direction. Some of these “obstacles” involved the supporting characters. Camden has creatively added family members on both sides of this couple. All these struggles and relationships provided opportunities for lessons in faith, belonging and family. As this engaging story unfolded, I thoroughly appreciated all the research and history revealed. The most important thing that I can say about this book is that it makes me want to read the second book in the series as soon as it releases! I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Gwendolyn Blackstone Kellerman lives in serenity on the campus of her beloved Blackstone College. Her gardens, the house she designed, and the stimulating visitors to her home keep her occupied. And help her forget her widowhood. Although women in 1900 have more options open to them than even a decade earlier, Gwen secretly wishes she had pursued her doctorate in botany instead of marrying at a young age. When a tell-all book and libel suit drag up painful family memories and her uncle threatens to cut off funding for the college, Gwen bargains with her grandfather, the infamous financier Frederick Blackstone, to help squash the book in exchange for ongoing financing for Blackstone College. Patrick O’Neill defends the downtrodden and marginalized. Their guilt or innocence doesn’t matter because Patrick believes everyone deserves representation in court. He also feels guilty over not taking orders when he finished law school. Deep in his heart, he knows God wants him to help others, but he doesn’t have to become a priest to do so. He longs for a family of his own. But when clients pay him with sacks of potatoes, shoes, or new suits, it might take a while to realize his dream of hearth and home. When a beautiful gentlewoman stops by his office asking him to advise his client, the notorious Mick Malone, to take his tell-all memoir out of production. Duty binds him to present the request to Mick Malone, but Patrick has little hope he’ll take it. He secretly hopes to see more of the intriguing Mrs. Kellerman, especially once he finds out her widowed status. Can two people from such vastly different walks of life find enough in common to forge a lasting relationship? Why I Loved This Book Once again, Camden takes unusual characters and puts them in difficult situations. This time, an heiress and a cash-strapped Irish immigrant. Throw in an unsolved kidnapping case, a snobby family, and a few death threats, and you have the perfect recipe for a can’t-put-it-down inspirational novel. If you love history, mystery, and romance, you’ll fall in love with Carved in Stone. Fans of Roseanna M. White, Cathy Marie Hake, and Tracie Peterson will enjoy this book.
Normally, Camden novels have a theme— such as water usage in NYC in the 1910s or the start of the FDA /Food preservation or the harmful addiction of opium on kids. This one…. I still don’t know what the theme really was. Story started with a court case against the Blackstone Family versus a man with a book. The man was accused of murdering the blackstone's little boy 30 years ago but was found ‘not guilty’. Now the criminal wants to publish a memoir and hires a lawyer to defend him against the blackstones suing him for libel, or something along those lines. Lawyer meets Blackstone daughter, sister to dead kid. Think you know where this is going? Yeah nope. I was expecting a Romeo Juliet esque affair, with Patrick being the lawyer of the bad guy therefore “bad” and the blackstones not wanting for her to have anything to do with him and a whole bunch of legal stuff, and Patrick’s past coming back to bite him and—— nope. I was so wrong. About this time we take a hard left. The criminal book disappears from the plot line, we go down memory lane and meet…… The Criminal’s nephew. He’s a steel worker, union leader, and has striking green eyes that look like Gwens father. Could it be that her brother is still alive? Guess what he is and has no memory of his past. Cue My Fair Lady esque vibes, while we turn mister unrefined into gilded businessman . The rest has a mixture of murder/assault mystery, class differences, a hint of medicine, and good old fashioned rich people parties. Despite being all over the place, there were very few plot holes, and I didn’t see the real enemy until the end. Their motives were a little unconvincing, and only vaguely foreshadowed. I would’ve liked a little more foreshadowing that when I put all the pieces together at the end I got an AHA! moment. This did not happen, and had to be handed the final picture rather than putting it together myself. I liked Patrick the most, a good stable character with honest intentions. Very few flaws besides a little bit of manly pride that gets in the way of being with Gwen. I mean we didn’t even go into the whole “I punched a guy so hard I killed him” thing, Patrick suffering little to no crisis of conscience, except a confession scene. He moved on from that REALLY fast. Gwen could be annoying at times with her whole “my family is really good” about a whole bunch of stuck up dilettante rich people with too much idle time and no work ethic. Not to mention wealth hoarding but okay. I liked her final character development in the last chapters of the book. Good overall, got bored slightly in the middle but it improved pretty quickly. 4 stars. I hope we get a book for Liam and a book for Natalia but we’ll see.
What a fantastic start to this series! I love the Irish characters, especially Patrick. The excellent plot of him representing the enemy of his love interest creates an excellent delima as he uncovers the truth of a cold case. On the other hand Gwen's passion about her brother's disappearance pulls at my heart strings because, I'm a sucker for sibling storylines. Author Elizabeth Camden always adds an element of suspense in her historical romance novels and she doesn't disappoint with this gem. Although her books have light humor interlaced, this one had me laughing more than her other books. Highly recommend this page turner!!!
I enjoy stories where cultures clash. This book dealt with prejudices of both the rich and poor as well as what it meant to be Irish in early 1900s New York. It's fascinating watching several people navigate their way through what others think of them and expect of them. I thought the characterization was great. It gave a good taste of the Blackstone family dynamics and I can't wait to see who is the focus in the next book....Oscar, Natalia, Liam, Poppy? There's always something to learn in a Camden book. This one touched on botany and reviving long dead seeds as well as the creation of the US Steel Company, and early medical research and vaccines. It's never too much detail and doesn't ever slow the pace of the story, which I appreciate. I would highly recommend this book. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
In 1900 New York City, wealthy Gwen Blackstone Kellerman, is the granddaughter of a steel magnate who is involved in the merger which will become US Steel. Before Gwen was even born, her three year old brother was kidnapped and never found. During a protest against the steel companies by their workers, Gwen happened to spot a man amongst the protestors who looked almost identical to her father. Thus begins a search for who he is and is he her missing brother. This, in turn, leads her to Irish lawyer, Patrick O'Neill, who understands the need for the lower classes to have someone to turn to for help with their legal problems. Will Patrick be the one to help her find and connect with the man she thinks might be her brother? Camden does an amazing job of describing the life and times of both the upper and lower classes in New York City and the disparity between the two as well as their disdain for one another. Her focus throughout the story, even in the growing relationship between Patrick and Gwen, is to show the lack of understanding between the two classes as well as prejudice between ethnicities in New York City. In many ways, it is still the same today with little change. Well written, beautifully developed with excellent main and secondary characters as well as a touch of suspense, I look forward to reading more about the Blackstone family. ** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Elizabeth Camden’s Carved in Stone is the story of heiress Gwen Blackstone Kellerman, who teaches a class and lives at her family’s college, and Patrick O'Neill, a lawyer who represents the man who is responsible for and has written a memoir about a horrible event in the Blackstone family's lives. A well-written, suspenseful book, Carved in Stone will keep you guessing until the end.
Carved in Stone is Elizabeth Camden’s premier book in the Blackstone Legacy series. This story takes place during the ‘Gilded Age’. The setting of the novel allows Ms. Camden to incorporate several interesting historical events of the time period. This story combines the founding of an historical steel corporation along with major advancements in medicine. The class system of the time shows the decadence of the elite juxtaposed with the slums and tenements within the backdrop of 1900 New York City. This story is well researched. The creation of Carnegie Steel and the scientific cure for tetanus are only a few of the historical stories. Ms. Camden’s characters are complex, deep, likeable and interesting. Her characters are multi layered and deeply spiritual. The main characters are opposites coming from divergent backgrounds. Wealthy vs. Poor, educated vs. uneducated, refined vs. rough. What is wonderful about Ms. Camden’s writing is that the reader is able to view both sides of the equation so that it is apparent how the divide exists and how the possibility of bridging those divides can be overcome. Despite their differences it is their desire to do ‘good’ for their fellow humans that ultimately bridges the gaps. Besides being a historical fiction novel it is also a Christian novel. The novel is paced well and there is an element of intriguing suspense, a bit of romance and unwavering faith. I cannot wait to see what happens to these characters in the next installment of the Blackstone Legacy. I believe that Ms. Camden has a winner here and can’t wait to see what she has in store next for her readers. I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Elizabeth Camden and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A great series starter from Elizabeth Camden! Carved in Stone will captivate readers as issues of class, wealth, and identity are explored in vivid detail. I was greatly intrigued in some way by every character in this story, from hardworking Patrick to vibrant Gwen to determined Liam and so on. I can already tell this will be a wonderful series—don’t miss this first installment! 4/5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden is the beginning The Blackstone Legacy series. The author transports readers back to 1900 in New York City between the Five Points neighborhood and Manhattan. The author provided beautiful word imagery that allows readers to visualize the scenes from the book. I can tell the author did her research for this book with her descriptions of Five Points, the way people dressed, conveyances, attitudes, and behaviors, and so much more. Elizabeth Camden also includes interesting historical details that enrich the tale. The characters are realistic and developed. Patrick is an Irish immigrant who was fortunate to have a benefactor who helped him attend law school and become a lawyer while Gwen grew up in the world of academia and wealth. Patrick and Gwen begin on opposite sides of an issue, but they soon find themselves working towards the same goal. Carved in Stone was well-written with gentle pacing. It started off a little slow for me, but I soon became engaged and was swiftly turning the pages to see how the story would unfold. Carved in Stone reminds us that appearances can be deceiving. We should not judge a person based on their appearance, background, or their differing opinions. It reminds me of the phrase, “Never judge a book by its cover.” The other lesson is the art of compromise. Carved in Stone is our introduction into the complex and large Blackstone family. It will be interesting to see what happens next with the Blackstone’s. Carved in Stone is an intriguing historical novel with baleful book, stainless steel, an extravagant yacht, a compromised college, a flush family, and rough neighborhood.
Set in New York City in 1900 and rich in historical detail, Elizabeth Camden’s first book in The Blackstone Legacy series is a fascinating look at the differences in social classes during that period. The disparity between the very wealthy and the poor, hardworking classes is brought to life in this tale. Camden is a master at creating colorful, carefully-drawn, engaging characters, and they shine in this book. Gwen Kellerman is a wealthy heiress in the Blackstone family, although she cares little for her fortune. She aims to carry on her father’s work and legacy at Blackstone College. When she meets Patrick O’Neill, an impoverished Irish lawyer who is striving to help the struggling Irish immigrants in his community, a connection occurs. I enjoyed seeing their relationship change and grow as they strive to solve a mystery and accomplish their goals. Intrigue, suspense, romance, and inspiration combine to make this a magnificent start to the series. I enjoyed the historical notes in the back of the book that tie the book to actual historical happenings and people. Camden is one of my favorite go-to authors for historical romance fiction, and I’m looking forward to her next book. 4.5 stars I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House publishers. All opinions are my own.
Elizabeth Camden continues her legacy of excellent storytelling with memorable characters who readers can root for. Underdog lawyer, Patrick, is tasked with pushing a criminal’s book through to publication despite the Blackstones trying to block it’s release as it will drag their reputation through the muck. He’s met his match in the sweet Blackstone heiress, Gwen, who is sent to change his mind. Readers will anxiously speed through chapters to see if the two will be able to breach insurmountable odds while also solving a decades old mystery that becomes deadly. Another great story from Camden with a sweet romance along with ideals of acceptance with very brief, mild violence. In the mood for a charming historical romance mixed with danger then Carved in Stone should be on the top of your TBR.
Carved in Stone is a Gilded Age historical romance with heart and depth. I enjoyed learning the history of labor unions, corporate mergers, and American society in the early 1900s. Patrick is a hero who’s easy to fall in love with - family-oriented, strong in his convictions, and dedicated to fighting for justice for the downtrodden. Gwen took a little longer for me to warm up to, and she and Patrick seem like an unlikely pair at first. Her heart for welcoming others and passion for improving lives through scientific advancement eventually endear her to both Patrick and the reader. The revelation of the decades-old family mystery makes for a fascinating story and leaves lots of storylines to explore in future books! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.