Friday, August 12, 2022

Elizabeth Camden - With Every Breath

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.
As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.
When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?

Comment: Yet another title by this author I had in the pile. So far, out of the now five books I've read, only one convinced me totally and I felt the author balanced all elements well. The others have great premises but the overall execution could be better. This one is one step ahead of the others I wasn't as convinced of, but just barely.

In this story, we meet adversaries students Trevor and Kate, competing for a scholarship and Trevor ended up winning it. Kate accepted defeat and started working as a clerk, feeling her skills were being wasted but years later, she gets a letter from a doctor who knew about her ability while studying and he wants her to analyze data at the hospital. She goes to the interview and is surprised to see Trevor, for he had changed his name. She does feel challenged in this new job and the more the gets to reconnect with Trevor, the more she appreciates his sense of duty, and even his stoic personality which annoyed her so much in the past. But they are working with patients who have tuberculosis and someone isn't happy with this, threatening the study and the hospital... will they discover who before all is lost?

It might sound unfair but in every single book so far I've read by the author, I've found that the idea and premise of the story is always so much better than the actual execution and in part I feel that is due to the tone - often a little too dramatic or gloomy - and the romance which is "clean", that's fine, but then so under developed or even looking as if it was squandered. Meaning that the story could be much stronger and instead it can become a bit too focused on negative aspects.

I really liked the beginning, as I did with the previous books. The scene where Trevor and Kate battle it out for the scholarship was engaging and of course I imagined - not that difficult - that in the future they would meet again, and that their abilities would clash again, hiding mutual respect and attraction. I imagined the plot would place them together somehow and they would need to keep proving they were better than one another somehow.

This doesn't happen exactly like this but when Trevor, now a doctor, requests Kate to do an interview, things seemed to be going in the right direction for this idea to become stronger. I did like the idea the plot was centered around the fight against tuberculosis, and knowing know how things are, what a pity to think of all the wrong steps and the terrible prejudice but, then again, don't we still have today in a world where scientific advance and merit isn't a doubt anymore? The author clearly did her research and for the most part, the details and all things related to Trevor's study were interesting to read about.

However, instead of focusing on the good things or on positive aspects of these things, the author - as it seems is her trend - chose to create drama by bringing negative situations, which the characters are, sometimes, almost hopeless to fight and this makes the story drag in a rather gloom way. There were scenes and parts of the story I felt like skip ahead, to something brighter, so that I could have more motivation to keep reading. It did feel all the bad things which could happen practically did happen to Trevor and his reputation...

As for the romance, of course is labeled clean but I keep saying, this isn't what makes it uninspiring to me. Both Trevor and Kate have strong personalities and are two people who we have come to understand are clever and use their skills so well, but then behave in ways that can be very frustrating.

I'm not saying they should be modern when this is an historical, but I hoped they could actually talk more and although Trevor has secrets, I think only one was truly difficult to put into words so why didn't they communicate more? Kate is so bubbly and caring, I also expected her to be more aware of the dynamics between's as if they had to have flaws so that at some point, when convenient, they could think that God made them so and we should accept others as they were meant to be or something... I'd have preferred better conversations.

I still liked this one better than others but it's not close to the one I liked best. I have hopes for future books I'll try by the author, though....
Grade: 7/10

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