To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden
It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett's heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.
Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can't tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.
Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can't pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.
This is a difficult book for me to review. On one hand, I loved the idea of the story. I fell in love with Ryan and Jenny's characters and their struggles with their individual lives. I felt that I really came to know Jenny and the struggles that she had with reconciling what her relationship with Ryan was going to be. I loved the setting of the story and learned a lot about pearl farming, something that I had never really thought about. I loved learning just a little more about Japanese culture and why they do some things the way that they do. It felt that To the Farthest Shores was a story of asking for and receiving forgiveness as well as getting past your own insecurities to make the life that you crave.
On the other hand, I felt that the story was drawn out and really did not have enough action. I felt that the character of Finn was added just to add some intrigue and mystery, but felt that there wasn't enough interaction. In one chapter it seemed like he was important, in the next he was an afterthought. I really didn't feel like you knew enough about the supporting characters. Maybe that was Camden's want, but I felt it took away from the overall story.
That being said, I would recommend this book. It was a good read, not great, but not horrible either.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and the Baker Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.