5 August 2013

Review: Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

Mollie Knox is the owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, designers and manufacturers of exclusive hand-made watches Hartman’s, the elite Chicago department store. Zack Kazmarek is the son of Polish immigrants who has risen to be the lawyer for Hartman’s. He meets Mollie every three months to approve her designs and he has fallen hard for her unique combination of passion and business sense.

Mollie is suspicious when Zack presents an offer from Hartman to purchase her business outright, especially as the offer price is more than she thinks the business is worth. She doesn’t trust Zack, so wonders what he knows that she doesn’t, because he has a reputation for not always operating within the black and white of the law. Frank Spencer, her company lawyer and a second father to her, is especially distrustful of Zack.

Into the Whirlwind kicks straight in to the action, showing Mollie and Zack trying to escape the fire, before taking us back six days to the morning where Zack presents his offer. We are introduced to some of the employees of the 57th, named for the regiment Mollie’s father fought for in the war—the small business employs fifteen veterans from the 57th, all disabled in one way or another, and all who rely on Mollie for a livelihood.

After the fire, Mollie is struggling to re-establish the business when help arrives from General Richard Lowe, the handsome commander of the 57th, who held the company together during their most difficult battle. Neither Richard nor Zack make any secret of their feelings towards Mollie. Two very different men—who will she choose?

Mollie, Richard and Zack were all likeable characters, backed up by a strong cast of supporting characters, especially Zack’s mother and some of the employees of the 57th. The plot was excellent—very fast-paced, with a high level of tension in the scenes between Mollie and the two very different me, but particularly in the scenes during the fire. While it is Christian fiction, the faith elements were very low-key, and I think anyone who enjoys historical romance with a high level of drama would enjoy Into the Whirlwind. One of the best books I’ve read this year—recommended.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Elizabeth Camden at her website.

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