With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

     This one has actually been in my to-read stack for a while. I'm not really sure why it took me so long to get to it, but let me just tell you, I could not put it down once I started reading.
     Kate and Trevor McDonough were school rivals. So much so that they tied as valedictorians.  Every year their school gave a college scholarship to the valedictorian.  Since they were tied for the title, the school held a contest to determine who to grant the money to.  Kate was desperate to win.  The scholarship was her only chance to go to college and really make something of herself.  Trevor, on the other hand, was born into money and doesn't need a dime.  After a head-to-head battle, Trevor won the scholarship, effectively sealing Kate's fate and cementing her dislike of him.
     Fast forward twelve years and Kate has a dead end job as a statistician with the census bureau.  Kate's life gets turned upside down when she is contacted to interview for a job with Dr. T. M. Kendall.  Yep, you guessed it.  T.M. Kendall is really Trevor McDonough (and Kate is determined to find out why he changed his name).  Trevor contacts Kate about the statistician job at the hospital because he 'needs someone who wants to win as badly as he does'.  Through all their competition in school Trevor knows Kate won't back down from a challenge and he needs that.  Trevor is trying to find a cure for Tuberculosis.  He only takes on the worst cases of the disease and provides free care for them, but there is someone out there who doesn't approve of his methods.  Someone is trying to discredit Trevor and their tactics are growing bolder and bolder.
     I thought tuberculosis was an interesting choice of diseases for Camden to take on.  Other than getting a TB test to start a new job or college, it isn't a condition we think about much these days.  I loved that this wasn't a story where Trevor was competing against another man for Kate's affection.  He was competing against fear. Fear that history will repeat itself.  Fear of the unknown.  Personally, that's something that I can relate to more than choosing between multiple suitors.  I really loved Kate's brother "Tick" as well.  He was a good balance to Kate.  The only complaints I have are rather minor: 1) I felt like every other page referred to the missing two years in Trevor's history.  Don't get me wrong, those two years are important ones, but I think the reader could remember that detail with only half the references.  2) Kate was continually referred to as "brave" and a "risk-taker" but half the story was about her fear.  It seemed like an odd contradiction.  Maybe I'm just missing something.  As far as Camden's novels go With Every Breath was not quite up to par with Against the Tide and Into the Whirlwind but it was better than The Lady of Bolton Hill and The Rose of Winslow Street.  That's just my opinion. Have you read the story?  What did you think?

My rating: 4.8/5


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