From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

Disclaimer: From This Moment, by Elizabeth Camden, was provided by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Stella West’s artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister’s death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society. Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board. Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister’s death worth the risk to his publishing empire?

My rating: 3/5

I really enjoyed Until the Dawn by Camden, so I was looking forward to reading another book by her. Although I didn’t find From This Moment as enjoyable as I found Until the Dawn, I still liked it a lot. Camden’s research is thorough and her writing is good, missing the usual pitfalls and giving a solid world, a solid story, and solid characters.

While the romance was predictable, I liked the interactions between Stella and Romulus and the way they pointed out flaws and challenged each other.  I appreciated both Stella and Romulus as flawed characters, and I think Camden did a great job overall of not making any of her characters too perfect or, on the other side, so flawed that they’re unlikeable or never accomplish anything.

My one quibble is that I’m heartily sick of the “something tragic happened” trope used to get couples back together. In the instances of separated/divorced couples that I’ve read, all or almost all have used the “something terrible happened and the one spouse finally realizes how much s/he loves the other and nurses his/her spouse back to health and everything is rainbows and love and puppies.” Sorry, but I’d much rather read about a couple who gets back together not because something terrible happens to one of them, but through simple hard work and determination to make things work. I’m not saying the latter does not happen in the former, but I’d much rather the former not be a vehicle/means-to-an-end for the latter.

Overall, From This Moment has good characters, a good mystery, and a decent romance. Though the paucity of characters made the villain a little more obvious, everything was nicely developed and it wasn’t so obvious that I was impatiently waiting for Stella to catch up. I think some of the plot tropes could have been better done, but the book is pretty good all around.

Warnings: None.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian

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