Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bethany House Blog Tour: “The Rose of Winslow Street” by Elizabeth Camden

The Rose of Winslow Street

The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

The last thing Libby Sawyer and her father expected upon their return from their summer home was to find strangers inhabiting a house that had been in their family for twenty years. Widower Michael Dobrescu brought his family from Romania to the town of Colden, Massachusetts, with a singular purpose: to claim the house willed to his father. Since neither party has any intention of giving up their claim, a fierce legal battle ensues between the two families.

When Libby’s father’s most important and sensitive documents go missing, Michael and his family are the likely culprits. Determined to discover the truth behind the stolen papers, Libby investigates, only to find herself unconvinced that Michael’s to blame and at risk of developing feelings for this man with the mysterious past.

When it seems the papers have indeed made it into the wrong hands and a decision about the house is pending in the courts, Libby must weigh the risks of choosing a side and giving her heart to a man whose intentions and affections are less than certain.

Read an Excerpt.


Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. She 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 near Orlando, Florida.

She regularly posts about the joys of the book world at

My Review:

At the opening of the story, Libby Sawyer and her father are spending the summer at a lake cottage, though their actual home was in Colden, Massachusetts, on Winslow Street. Libby leads a quiet, yet interesting life of drawing her father’s inventions in detail. Lying underneath her vivacious and gracious personality lies a secret that brings her great shame.

Mikhail (Michael) Dobrescu has arrived from Romania to claim his deceased uncle’s home that was willed to him, but it just happens to be Libby’s father’s home in Colden. Thinking the home is abandoned, Michael and his family overtake the home in an unconventional way, which alienates him from all the Colden residents. It would take the courts to decide on who actually owns the home.

Despite Libby’s outrage at Michael’s actions, she finds herself enamored by him. In fact, she is accused of fraternizing with the ‘enemy’ and her father commanded her not to see the family. But her Christian upbringing could not watch the family suffer though they themselves have been ousted from their own home.

What a heart-rending story of loyalty and love. I was so enthralled with the characters, as the author brought out their genuineness in a way that you could not resist. I thought about them throughout the day, as though they were real friends. The relationships were both delightful and yet difficult to bear at times, but I found them comparable to relationships today, albeit the mysterious circumstances that brought Michael to America. The secrets behind his actions propelled the story forward.

The tender, loving actions of Michael seemed contradictory to his large stature and initial gruff introduction. The author played on Michael and Libby’s attraction, their Christian beliefs, and their true desire to help each other as social outcasts. Their looming romance eventually becomes the talk of the town, despite her father’s feelings.

Deceit from other family members ups the ante to the suspense of the story. It played well into the relationships between father and son and father and daughter. It illuminates the dangers of having favorites among children.

Elizabeth Camden’s book, The Rose of Winslow Street, is a book I’d recommend to anyone for its historical flavor as well as the romance. The details are exquisite and make the story rich. I have to admit that the cover of the book was one reason I wanted to read it, but it’s the content that won me over. I look forward to reading other books by Elizabeth.

This book was provided by Jim at Bethany House in exchanged for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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