A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review

Posted June 8, 2020 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden – Book Review

A Gilded Lady

by Elizabeth Camden

four-half-stars
Series: Hope and Glory #2
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date June 2, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance, Mystery
Setting: Washington D.C. Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 35-60
Written for: Adults
Pages: 368

Synopsis:

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.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


Also in this series: The Spice King

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Set in the opulence of the White House during the Gilded Age, A Gilded Lady is a delightful tapestry of faith, romance, familial love, and political intrigue. Camden captured the sense of time and place beautifully and filled this story with rich emotions so tangible you feel them yourself.

Caroline was introduced to us in The Spice King. She is now firmly entrenched as the secretary and personal assistant to Ida McKinley. It was interesting to see how they treated her as both a daughter and almost a slave, albeit a valuable one. She worked seven days a week and, when needed, around the clock. Her duties covered everything from helping Ida pick outfits for events to planning teas and balls to helping to prevent her from saying things that would embarrass the country!

I was fascinated to learn about Ida McKinley, the general perception of her as such an abrasive woman, and about the medical condition that caused her so much pain and grief. It was also amazing to see her relationship with the Major, as she called her husband, William McKinley. I also loved the insider’s glimpse of day-to-day life in the McKinley White House.

Nathaniel was a contradiction. An amazing detective and student of human nature, working in the Secret Service, and yet a sensitive artist with a heart that was filled with remorse and guilt over events that had occurred over twenty years earlier. Despite knowing God in a personal way, he had trouble accepting that his sins were truly forgiven.

Caroline’s twin, Luke, was still in prison in Cuba for treason. Despite their older brother’s thoughts that Luke was guilty, Caroline is convinced he was not and fights diligently to get him pardoned. I just have to say, I can’t wait to learn more of Luke’s story! I just know that I am going to love him even more!!

Speaking of Luke, I loved the birthday gift that he gave to Caroline every year and the way he managed to still give it to her, despite being a thousand miles away. And in prison. And her in the very secure White House! He had taught Caroline courage when she was afraid of everything and had a heart of gold. Yeah, I can’t wait for his story!

Lovers of Historical fiction will not want to miss A Gilded Lady!

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four-half-stars

About Elizabeth Camden

I am fortunate to have two careers I deeply love. I am a college librarian by day, and write novels on the weekends.

I become a librarian because I can think of no other career in which you get such a wide exposure to all aspects of recorded knowledge. I have been an academic librarian for fifteen years, where on any given day I get to research the sonnets of Shakespeare, learn what makes pelican feathers pink, or compile demographic statistics for starting a new company.

How does one become a college librarian? In my case, I got an undergraduate degree in History from Trinity University in San Antonio, then went on to earn a master’s degree in History from the University of Virginia, and finally a Master’s in Library Science from Indiana University.

But fiction has always been a wonderful escape for me, and I’ve wanted to be a novelist since the third grade when I was devastated by the bittersweet ending of Charlotte’s Web. I remember vowing to re-write the book with a better ending someday. Although I failed to appreciate how copyright law would thwart my ambition to write better endings for other people’s books, perhaps my early experience with sad novels is why I became a romance novelist.

I love writing books about fiercely intelligent people who are confronted with profound challenges. As a rather introverted person, I have found that writing fiction is the best way for me to share my faith and a sense of resilience with others. For those aspiring writers who are interested in my road to publication, you can find it here.

I married relatively late in life, which turned out to be an odd kind of blessing. I had gotten very good at leading a solo life, and although I was not particularly content being alone, I had become reconciled to it. Then when I was in my mid-thirties and just a few weeks after buying my first house, I met the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. My years as a single woman taught me many things. I learned to be independent and resilient. I learned how to manage my investments, earn and save enough money to have investments, mow my own lawn, fix the rickety appliances in my sixty-year old house, and spend the holidays on my own when travel to family was not possible. Most importantly, it taught me never to take my husband for granted. I give daily thanks for the blessing of being able to share a life with my favorite person on the planet.

As for who I really am? I love old Hitchcock films, the hour before sunset, a long, sweaty run through the Florida countryside, and a glass of good wine. After spending my entire adult life on a college campus (either as a student or a librarian) I have finally been able to pursue my ultimate goal of writing professionally.

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