Book Review (and a Giveaway!): While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden

Posted February 12, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, Elizabeth Camden, giveaway, historical, romance / 46 Comments

While the City Sleeps book review

While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth CamdenWHILE THE CITY SLEEPS by Elizabeth Camden
The Women of Midtown #1

GENRE: Historical Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2024
PAGES: 352

Amid the hushed city, two hearts must navigate danger and deception, bound by a love that outshines the stars.

Katherine Schneider’s life as a dentist in 1913 New York is upended when a patient reveals details of a deadly plot while under the influence of laughing gas. As she is plunged into danger, she seeks help from the dashing Lieutenant Jonathan Birch, a police officer she has long admired from afar.

Jonathan has harbored powerful feelings toward Katherine for years but never acted on them, knowing his dark history is something she could never abide. Now, with her safety on the line, he works alongside her through the nights as they unravel the criminal conspiracy that threatens her . . . even as he keeps his deepest secrets hidden at all costs.

Elizabeth Camden consistently finds the most intriguing tidbits of history to build her stories around, and I am here for it. In While the City Sleeps, 1913 New York bustles with a vibrant hum across the pages – the sights, the sounds, the smells almost tangible as Camden easily immerses her readers into the story. Even back then, the energy of the Midtown setting (including Times Square) was palpable at night. For while most of the city was sleeping, there was still a hive of night shift employees, subway engineers, newspaper people, theater goers (and players), police officers, doctors, nurses… and even dentists still very much awake and working. I was particularly fascinated by the fact that NYC had a Bomb Squad in 1913 (I didn’t realize it dated back that far) and by Edgar ‘Painless’ Parker. I admired his vision for dental clinics open late to appeal to the working class and hiring dentists from all walks of life and nationalities, including women, so every patient would feel comfortable. Granted, he is certainly a colorful character that toes a fine line of ethics in advertising, but I really enjoyed learning about his offices and having Katherine employed there as a dentist. It gave the story – and her character – even more interesting layers and fit the plot perfectly.

Speaking of Katherine, both she and Jonathan are characters that readers will quickly love. Katherine is spunky and independent, and I loved her relationship with her parents and her friendships with the girls at the Martha Washington (a setting I also found fascinating & could picture so vividly thanks to Camden’s descriptions). I absolutely adored the way Jonathan waited for her each night to walk her home, long before they began anything romantic between them. He patiently and gently just shows up for her so often in this story – mouthwatering baked goods at the ready – and this just made him all the more swoonworthy to me. Is he perfect? No. Camden writes some wonderfully flawed heroes, and Jonathan is no exception. He has some rough edges that need to be redeemed, but so does Katherine. And it was a joy to watch them work through these weaknesses together and come out stronger.

Bottom Line: Bomb Squads. The Mafia. The New York Times. The subway. Times Square. No, this isn’t a new episode of Law and Order but rather a compelling historical romance that gives us an ‘owl’s-eye view’ (if you know, you know) of a familiar city over 100 years ago. I loved seeing these institutions as they were back then, via the magic of Elizabeth Camden’s talented storytelling, and found myself amazed at how long they’ve been an active part of New York City life. While the City Sleeps takes these fascinating pockets of history and weaves them into a timeless romance between two vibrant characters who readily claimed a place in my heart. The road to happily-ever-after is certainly not a smooth one for Katherine and Jonathan, but it’s so worth it in the end – and some super-swoony kisses help too! Another richly written tale from the master of progressive-era fiction. I can’t wait to see which woman of Midtown is featured next!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden ( is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won Christy, Carol, and RITA Awards and have appeared on the ECPA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

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While the City Sleeps giveaway

Bethany House is offering a print copy of While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden?

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46 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden

  1. Nancy

    I would like to read While the City Sleeps by Elizabeth Camden because this book has an interesting premise.

  2. Perrianne Askew

    I’ve enjoyed several of her novels, and you’re right because she always finds an interesting tidbit of history to build her stories around. I always find them fascinating!

  3. Judi Imperato

    I enjoy Elizabeth Camden’s stories and I would love to read this book as well. Thank you for the giveaway.

  4. I love Elizabeth Camden’s storylines! Unfortunately, I think I’m going to miss getting a review copy of this book due to my own schedule, so getting it via giveaway would be great.

  5. Margaret

    I also enjoy Elizabeth Camden’s historical settings and characters. I am looking forward to reading this latest book.

  6. Colleen Hudson

    I have just recently discovered Elizabeth Camden, but I have loved everything I’ve read so far. Her characters are always in unique professions!

  7. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS by Elizabeth Camden.

    Fabulous cover on an amazing sounding story. Love reading historical romances and this one more than fits that bill. Can’t wait to read and review it!

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