The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden
Elizabeth Camden’s books never fail to astound me with the depth and breadth of her research, and the Spice King was no different. The historical depth was astounding, having a deep understanding of political history, its impact on the food production industry, and the lives of vastly different characters. The amount of research she must have completed in order to bring this part of history to life must have filled a public library building if combined together. In addition to that, the character development of Gray Delacroix was extraordinary. I haven’t read his personality type developed so well and likable before. It was truly a fascinating story with a solid and believable romance line.
If you love a story steeped with a rich history, fully developed characters, and a love story which stands the test of deep personal and political struggles, you will enjoy The Spice King.
Genre: Historical Romance, Washington D.C., 1900
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?
What I loved: The historical depth continues to blow me away. Every aspect of life in 1900 was thoroughly researched and communicated in such a way as to bring it to life. No history book has ever been able to give such a well-rounded look at a single slice of history.
Favorite Character and Why: Gray Delacroix was well developed. Though he was a very serious and flawed man, he was likable and reached hero status.
Who would like this? If you love a story steeped with a rich history, fully developed characters, and a love story which stands the test of deep personal and political struggles, you will enjoy The Spice King.
Rating and Why: Five Stars. The combination of history and character development really drove this rating.
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A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden
This is my first book from Elizabeth Camden, though my friend has suggested her for years. Since my library had the audiobook, I listened to it during the driving portions of a writing conference road trip.
Let me say it was everything I expected and more. Elizabeth’s Camden’s attention to historical detail is phenomenal and makes me want to go back and better enrich my own writing with that sort of details. I learned so much just through reading the story.
The plotline was believable, exciting, and kept twisting and turning. I can’t tell you how many times I squealed aloud in my car. Drivers around me were probably wondering what had gotten into me.
The spiritual elements in A Dangerous Legacy were quieter than you find in a lot of Christian fiction, but they were still profound.
Overall, I am looking forward to exploring more of her books.
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, New York City, 1903
Overview of Plot:
Lucy Drake is the third generation of Manhattan Drakes to fight a legal battle with the Saratoga Drakes over a plumbing valve that allowed tall buildings to have pressurized water all the way to the top of the buildings. But the Saratoga Drakes don’t play fair. Lucy is a top telegrapher for the Associated Press and in a dangerous game to stay on top of the lawsuit, plots and schemes unfold that have a national importance.
Sir Collin Beckwith works for the AP’s rival and reluctant partner, Reuters. He and Lucy are brought together through circumstances and form a partnership that puts them both in danger of losing their lives and their hearts.
Favorite Character and Why:
Lucy was a determined woman who doesn’t give up no matter the odds and the heart behind her actions makes all that she does so much more important. She makes hard decisions and grows so much. My favorite part about Lucy is her spunk.
What I liked:
I love complex stories and this plot definitely had multi-layers of complexity. The rich historical details were above and beyond amazing.
Who would like this:
Anyone who loves stories with great historical detail, suspense, love, and complexity.
“Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.
Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.”
Links for Purchase:
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