Wednesday, June 3, 2020

A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden {A Book Review}

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

Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of Washington high society in her role as secretary to the first lady of the United States. But beneath the facade of her beauty, glamorous wardrobe, and dazzling personality, she's hiding a terrible secret. If she cannot untangle a web of foreign espionage, her brother will face execution for treason.

Nathaniel Trask is the newly appointed head of the president's Secret Service team. He is immediately suspicious of Caroline despite his overwhelming attraction to her quick wit and undeniable charm. Desperate to keep the president protected, Nathaniel must battle to keep his focus fully on his job as the threat to the president rises.

Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel will face adventure, danger, and heartbreak in a race against time that will span the continent and the depth of human emotion.

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 Award, and she lives in Florida with her husband who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

A Gilded Lady is the second book in Elizabeth Camden's Hope and Glory series. While the first book- The Spice King- is a great book and worth the read, I do believe this book could be enjoyed as a standalone as well. There is a large focus on Luke's imprisonment and of course Caroline's job in the White House, both of which were introduced in the first book, but enough background is given that it could likely still be enjoyed regardless.

A Gilded Lady picks up not long after the previous book and gives us a better look at Caroline's role as secretary to the first lady, Ida McKinley. While the story is fictional, the backdrop is based on true historical events-- President McKinley's cross country train trip and assassination, for instance. I love the author's way of sharing about these real events and introducing other real characters in history that perhaps aren't as well known (I wouldn't have known them to be real people outside of the author's note at the end)--- all while telling a fantastic romance on top of it as well. I loved the story of Caroline and Nathaniel... they were quite different in many ways, but had a great chemistry that leaped off the pages. As much as I enjoyed the first book, I found that I enjoyed these particular characters even more.

I also enjoyed getting to find out more of Luke's story, as I'm sure readers who read the first book will be as well. There are so many great layers in this story--- with romance, mystery, family drama and so much more! All of these elements worked together wonderfully to keep me reading on.

Overall, this is a fantastic read and one that fans of historical romance are sure to enjoy. I cannot wait to see what comes next!


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