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 attracted to Caroline’s quick wit and undeniable charm, but his job leaves no room for distractions. Anarchist plots have led to mounting threats against the president, forcing him to put duty before his growing love for Caroline.
Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel face danger and heartbreak that shakes them to their core and tests all they know about love and sacrifice.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic advance copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.
Elizabeth Camden continues her Hope and Glory trilogy with a new novel set at President William McKinley’s White House. It’s the dawn of a new century and a time of great divide in America. Caroline Delacroix is one of the fortunate ones during the Gilded Age, a period of history which fascinates me. But it’s a time that can’t and won’t last forever. William McKinley will be assassinated less than 18 months later, at a location just over 60 miles away from where I live, in Buffalo.
Much of the book is taken up with Caroline’s attempts to free her brother, and her relationship with Nathaniel. Luke Delacroix’s situation is set in motion in the first book in the trilogy, The Spice King. I recommend reading that book first, because this is not a standalone in any sense. What brings a possibly dull story to life are the details about life in the White House for those who work there. Camden includes not only the President and First Lady, but also other historical figures such as George Cortelyou who was the President McKinley’s personal secretary. One other aspect of the book which fascinated me was the role of the Secret Service. We think of this department as the President’s bodyguard, yet it was originally founded to trace counterfeit currency. McKinley’s assassination was the turning point, and A Gilded Lady made me pause and wonder what it must have been like for those Secret Service agents in Buffalo on that day in 1901. How did they feel about the death of one they had sworn to protect?
There are three Delacroix siblings, so each sibling has a book in which they star. Big brother Gray was the male lead in The Spice King. Luke will feature in the next title, The Prince of Spies, which will be released next year. But his story runs throughout the trilogy, so you’ll need to make sure you’ve read both this book and the first to fully appreciate this final book in the Hope and Glory series.
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.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 02 June 2020