Sunday, October 13, 2019

Book Review - The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden


Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building an acclaimed global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before they spiral out of control, he returns to his ancestral home for good after years of traveling the world.

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?


Elizabeth Camden ( is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Award and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.


This book, set in the early 1900's, takes us on a romantic adventure between Annabelle and Gray but it's also filled with intrigue and historical facts that keep one turning the page to see what could possibly happen next.

Annabelle has a temporary job at the Smithsonian Institute where she catalogs plants and seeds from all over the world. She needs this job to revert to a permanent position and her boss has promised to do this if she can secure the Delacroix plant collection.  She has tried numerous time to write to Gray Delacroix but he has firmly written back "no" to her requests.  She then decides to meet him face to face to encourage him to share his collection.  One reason for her determination is that her family needs the financial support.  She is from Kansas and her family's farm has been struggling.  The other reason is her sister, who recently lost her sight, has a job at the Library of Congress where she works in the reading room for the blind.  So, her family depends on her greatly. However, Annabelle is a strong young woman who is determined to make a difference for all concerned.

Gray is also a complex man who has centered his life out of building his family's spice business and regaining the wealth they once had. He is a traveled man who has seen much of the world and suffers malaria because of it. He is a brooder yet loving and kind once you get to know him. His determination matches Annabelle's and this makes for a relationship full of fireworks!

I enjoyed the historical information about food labeling and how the government got involved in making sure our foods are safe. So many people were either sickened or died because of impure or even dangerous items added to the food.  This issue brought Annabelle and Gray together.

I really liked the characters in this book, even the difficult ones! They are believable and complex. The story was also complex enough to keep you interested. It touches on many subjects and political histories that are very interesting.  All in all, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it.  I give it 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Bethany House. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

Blessings - Julie

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a message! I love hearing what you have to say and look forward to your comments.