Camden, Elizabeth. A Gilded Lady. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-0764232121 | $15.99 USD | 352 pages | Christian Fiction/Historical Romance
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.
In the series
#1 The Spice King
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It’s been awhile since I picked up an Elizabeth Camden book, and A Gilded Lady is a great reminder of what U like about her work. While I did not read book one, I feel for the most part it does function as a stand-alone, although I do think it would have made the appearances of the recurring characters feel a bit more relevant.
I love a story that writes about historical politics in an intimate way, and exploring the lives of President and Mrs. McKinley through the eyes of a Secret Service agent and the First Lady’s secretary was fascinating. And given that McKinley is one of the four presidents who was assassinated throughout US history (and the assassination is a plot point in the book), I like how this book explores the poltical tensions both at home and abroad, especially with mentions of other similar tragedies that were occurring at the time, as well as Camden’s note at the end about how the asdassination itself impacted Secret Service procedures going forward.
Caroline is a compelling character. While I got the impression, both from other reviewers who read book one and the depiction of tension later in the book between her and Annabelle (heroine of book one), I felt that, beneath the charming facade, she had a good heart, especially with her focus on saving her brother. And her relationship with the moody Ida McKinley is a sweet one, with Caroline calming her in times of trouble.
Her stubborn, yet charming nature makes for great interactions with Nathaniel, who is set in his ways and very by-the-book. Seeing them grow past their differences and learn from each other is incredibly rewarding.
I very much enjoyed this book, and look forward both to catching up with book one and continuing with book three. If you love sweet/inspirational historical romance, I recommend this one highly.
Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.
Amazon (affiliate link)
Bookshop (affiliate link)