The Spice King {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 




Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it's too late.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is fighting to save?



Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in gilded-age America featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. 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 the RITA and Christy Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list.She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books. Learn more at www.elizabethcamden.com.



The Spice King is the first book in the new Hope and Glory series by Elizabeth Camden, and the first I had personally read from the author as well. It's always interesting to try out a new author for the first time, as there are no preconceived expectations to live up to. The verdict on this one? I cannot wait to read more!

The story starts out as botanist Annabelle is working to try to gain access to Gray Delacroix's elusive plant collection. This world of plants and spices--- particular in this period of time is not one that I know much about, and frankly isn't one that sounds like it would be all that entertaining, and yet Camden has created a fantastic group of characters and a great story that drew me in. I loved learning more about the history of food purity, Department of Agriculture, etc. Anytime we go into the grocery store now, we know exactly what we are getting with labels on everything, so it was really interesting to see how that came about and to imagine a time when there was nothing to keep food companies from putting in untested ingredients. Like I said, this doesn't SOUND overly interesting or like the makings for a great historical fiction, but that definitely goes to show the talent of the writer in her ability to create a great story out of that... still, that wasn't the ONLY focus of the story... there was mystery, romance, drama and so much more.

The romance between Annabelle and Gray was both dramatic and sweet, and I enjoyed seeing it develop. I would have perhaps liked to have seen a little more in way of their romance, but still I enjoyed it nonetheless. My favorite part of the story was certainly that little bit of suspense and the story of Luke Delacroix, a story that I suspect will continue on in the future books in the series. The Spice King did a great job of setting that up and leaving me as a reader wanting to read more. I cannot wait for the next book to continue it.

Overall, this was a really great introduction to the series! If you enjoy historical fiction/romance, this is one I would highly suggest!



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