A Gilded Lady – Elizabeth Camden

A Gilded Lady Elizabeth Camden (1)
A Gilded Lady (Hope & Glory, #2) by Elizabeth Camden
Also by this author: A Gilded Lady, The Spice King, The Prince of Spies, While the City Sleeps
Series: Hope and Glory #2
Published by Bethany House on June 2, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Historical, Romance
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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 Guilded 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.

My colleague, Rosalyn Schlabach, already reviewed A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden (her review here). In preparation for the third part of the author’s Hope and Glory series, I read the first two books before diving in to the third—The Prince of Spies. My second Elizabeth Camden book, and I am now a Camden follower. While Caroline Delacroix’s played a minor part in the first novel, she’s a starring character in A Gilded Lady—her and the conscientious, rule-following head of White House security, Nathaniel Trask. Nathaniel and Caroline are like oil and water. Caroline is lighthearted, socially intelligent, and perhaps a bit…eccentric. She’s one of the few who can manage Mrs. Ida McKinley, whose temper tantrum and bouts of illness are well known.

The charismatic Caroline instantly draws in Nathaniel, regardless of how much he wishes differently. He can’t let her distract him from his task, yet he knows the White House would be unbearable without her warmth, dedication, and compassion. When she begins seeing a criminal defense lawyer, however, he has to investigate…and learns of her allegedly treasonous brother’s imprisonment in Cuba. She believes him to be innocent and desires to rescue him. Now Nathaniel must keep his eyes on Caroline for a different reason, as she could intend to harm the president.

God Guides Love and Life

They clash constantly, which is to be expected with their opposite personalities. That being said, they even each other out perfectly. Perhaps I am a sap for romance, but A Gilded Lady made a stupid, giddy grin spread across my face at times—like a middle school girl whose crush waved at her. It’s been a long time since a novel made me feel “warm and fuzzy,” but Camden succeeded where so many have failed. Nathaniel and Caroline’s differences force them to communicate, often times bluntly to avoid misunderstandings. Because of that, A Gilded Lady has a few adorable exchanges that filled me with happiness.

Two other things I liked: God’s prevalence in A Gilded Lady. He seems more central than in the first novel of the Hope and Glory series. Caroline and Nathaniel minister to each other and build each other up. Secondly, I wish I could take a MasterClass from Elizabeth Camden on historical fiction. She piqued my interest in the early 1900s. I constantly consulted my phone; Google got a workout! Was it really like this? Was Mrs. McKinley as stricken by health problems? Did the criminal gang mentioned throughout the novel exist? And what on earth is a snood?!

Final Conclusion

I loved A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden, more than its predecessor, The Spice King. I’m going to repeat Rosalyn’s conclusion from her review, as she summed everything up nicely: Mystery and intrigue, danger, history, and romance are all intertwined to create an absolutely lovely story. My final words: A Gilded Lady is a fairly flawless addition to the historical romance genre, and I will not hesitate to recommend it to my friends.