The Spice King (Hope and Glory Book #1)

The Spice King (Hope and Glory Book #1)

by Elizabeth Camden

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Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it's too late.

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493420278
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Series: Hope and Glory , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 15,748
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

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 Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list.She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books. Learn more at
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 she lives in Florida with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

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The Spice King 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I read everything by author Elizabeth Camden and this story is one of my favorites! She has a knack for finding relatively unknown history and making it fascinating. In The Spice King, Camden writes about the lack of regulation in the U.S. food industry in the early 1900's. The story is fast-paced, well developed characters, friendship, courtship, witty banter, honest & dishonest food distributors, political intrigue, betrayal, family, and the dilemma of what to do if someone you know is acting as an enemy of the country. The story was so engaging that I read it in less than two days. I highly recommend this captivating story, fascinating history, and lovable characters to historical fiction fans everywhere. I eagerly await the next book in the series.
Anonymous 5 days ago
I have really enjoyed books by Elizabeth Camden, but I was hesitant to read this book because of the title. I'm not big into spices. I consider salt my spice of choice and generally leave everything else out, so even though it's weird, that worried me about reading this book. I felt like I wouldn't be able to relate. My silly fears were unfounded, and while there was some spice stuff in the book, it wasn't as heavy as I thought it would be. Really it was more in the first quarter of the book, and it was interesting. But I digress. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I think one of the reasons I liked it was because the romance was a little different than I'm used to. There wasn't any hemming or hawing about does he like me, is she interested. They were both open with their feelings and there wasn't any stress in that area. The conflict came from people choices, and how those choices affected families. It was different, and I loved it. I also found the food regulations very intriguing. I will admit I'm not super picky about what goes into my food, so reading about what businesses would put in their food and try to pass it off as something different was very eye opening. The cost aspect of it for the general person was an area I'm glad was also brought out in the story. This was definitely another winner in my book by Elizabeth Camden, and I can't wait for the rest of the series. Gray's siblings stories are going to be very good! *I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Patricia Hinojosa 12 days ago
Wow! This was a wonderful story from Elizabeth Camden. I’m always amazed how her stories are crafted with so much realism and detail to history, yet they never drag. On the contrary, I feel as if I’m timetraveling to 1900 and immersed completely in the story, the complexity and srtuggles of the characters, the political environment, the advancement of technology regarding food produce, etc. I also loved to learn, at the end of the book, that the historical part was based on historical facts, even if given different names for the characters, companies, etc. The characters were wonderful: deep and complex, yet kind, loyal and compassionate at the same time. Annabelle Larkin was raised on a farm and through her family’s sacrifice managed to go to the Agricultural College in Kansas. In order to support her blind sister’s dream of independence, she goes with her to Washington, D.C., where Elaine has gotten a job at the Library of Congress. Meanwhile, Anabelle gets a temporary position at the Smithsonian botanist investigator. She knows she needs to find something big and important to get herself a permanent position where she’s working, and when she hears that Gray Delacroix, the owner of an Spice Manufacturer Empire, has a unique vanilla orchid, long extincted, in his Greenhouse, and the orchids are her boss’s especial interest she decides to get an invitation from Gray to inspect it, even after she gets rejected more than once. Gray Delacroix is a man that has worked himself thin to get his family bussiness, the spice manufacturing, on the high position it is as of today. It has taken him many trips across the world, a constant battle with malaria, close to death experiences, etc., all because he wanted to finish and make succede what his deceased father started together with him. But leaving his younger siblings, the twins, without a close parenting, has its consequences, for they have been missing the fatherly and older brother figure most of their lives, and they are both wild souls with big hearts and dreams to pursue. Luke and Caroline are all he has now, and he finally decides to establish and start thinking of finding a wife and having a family. So when Annabelle arrives at his home, after some rejections, with an endearing fake spice map as a gift, his defenses start to melt. Sooner than later he’s besotted with her and opens his home, factory and greenhouses for her to inspect and delight herself in. But Annabelle is soon pressed by the goverment to investigate if Delacroix is involved in some dealings with Cuban insurrection, because of some evidence that points to him, which could be a great and dangerous betrayal to the amercan nation, even a hanging offense. Annabelle knows Gray doesn’t favor the goverment and is constantly criticizing their methods. But that doesn’t mean Gray would be capable of treason would it? With a patriotic inspiration, she accepts to spy for the goverment, but also easing her conscience that what she is really doing is trying to exhonerate him from these vile accusations. But what would Gray do if he knew? And will she really find the evidence the goverment is looking or will she be able to exhonerate the Delacroix name? This novel is truly a gem. Annabelle and Gray’s story felt real. And their interactions were so endearing, even when everything goes terribly wrong. This will not be an easy love, and maybe this is what will make it more solid at the end. I totally recommend it! A must read!
summer_no9 20 days ago
This book was an amazing writing and compelling to read with also had an interesting story with the author of this book had in challenging way to bring us back to the old time with the great historical when our natural discovery the food, spice with that hunting and need more to have more research and knowledge and for that making life sacrifice but with help and love from people around you will bringing us to be success that it make this book very great to read. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Bethany House for this review”.
RockandMinerals4Him 25 days ago
I've been excited to read this book since I knew of it because it's by Elizabeth Camden and I loVe her books!! This was a part of a new series (Hope and Glory, versus the Empire State series), so I was excited to meet new characters and get into a new setting. Overall, I still like the Empire State series more than this series (at least so far), but my favorite part of Camden's books, the STEM focused young women who are also feminine and have emotion, was still present! I really enjoyed the historical setting of this book: in the very early 1900s, which was when America was really coming into its own; corporations were booming and inventions were coming out left and right. Although I don't know much about it, that period of history is FASCINATING to me! I loved reading about that time period and seeing where everything came from. :) As someone who doesn't know a ton about the food industry, this book was also really interesting and a good way to learn more about it, and its origins. In terms of the story, it was a good story and I really enjoyed it: it was action packed, but never boring, but which made it feel a little long at times. There were SO MANY twists and turns that it was never dull, and all of it was interesting to read about! The chemistry between Annabelle and Gray was AMAZING: I don't think I've read a book where the two main characters connected so well! Annabelle is smart and witty and resilient, and Gray is thoughtful and smart and calculating but also sweet. Their siblings were also so fun to read about (and there are hints of Caroline and Luke having their own books!!! eeek!!), and Annabelle's parents are a joy. :) Overall, I really enjoyed this story! It was a joy to read (even though it felt a bit long at times) and I loved the setting and the characters! My Rating 4/5 Thank you to the publisher (Bethany House Fiction) and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review; I was not required to write a positive review. This review first appeared on:
Anonymous 26 days ago
Enjoyed. it very much .
Anonymous 29 days ago
Elizabeth Camden has done it again! I have been a fan of her writing for a long time, and her newest release did not disappoint! The Spice King (can we just talk about that title for a second?) was an utterly romantic love story, all tangled up in a world of food and spice -- and war rumblings -- in the year 1900. I found the events leading up to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 to be fascinating. Elizabeth Camden is a master of weaving loads of history into a book... undetected. Back in 1900, food companies weren't required to be honest about their products in any way -- for instance, in this story, a jar of applesauce could be pumpkins and acid for all you knew, and there didn't have to be a list of ingredients. Gray's fight for pure, honest foods and flavorings rang true with me and the fake vs. real food debate in our culture today. Also, if you don't get up from reading this book craving pure vanilla ice cream or fragrant sugar cookies, you're not reading it right. :) The descriptions of spices and herbs and the elusive original vanilla orchid were mouth-watering! Annabelle was a strong and feminine main character, another trademark of Camden's writing. And Gray, with his Darcy-esque steely principles and love for plants, has his hands full with two step-siblings, Luke and Caroline. Their love story was satisfying and made me chuckle quite a few times, especially when they visited the Good Housekeeping Magazine. Finally, the rumblings of the Spanish-American War added intrigue that was very realistic. (Sometimes drama, especially of the political/spy variety, can feel pasted into a novel just for the excitement, but this was well-spun all the way.) I am once again waiting for a sequel! And this history buff enjoyed the White House dynamics of President McKinley's term. Whether you're a history buff or not, this book is the perfect blend of sweet romance and spicy adventure, and I guarantee you'll love it! *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*
Anonymous 30 days ago
I was drawn immediately into the story between the two main characters, Gray Delacroix and Annabelle Larkin which was also helped by the captivating cover! One of the things that I really enjoy about Elizabeth Camden's work is her focus on a historical topic, the cultivation of spices and food processing, in this book and the background research that goes into presenting the facts. I think that this is what gives the story a realistic feel because although the main story is fictional, there are those historical elements. I was so inspired by the story that when I needed to go to store for more vanilla extract, I deliberately avoided the imitation stuff. :-) I enjoyed the contrast between Gray and Annabelle in terms of their backgrounds and even their personalities. I identified the most with Annabelle because of her simple country background, working hard and staying strong in the face of hardship. Despite her tough background, she is very feminine and sweet, almost too naïve when approached by her higher ups about spying on Gray. This is the pivotal point in the book where the action really picks up! I echo the sentiments of others when I say that I would like to see more charged chemistry between the two main characters because their different backgrounds and outlooks really set the stage for there to be clashes even if only psychological in nature. I will say that one aspect that I really enjoyed was the book highlighting women's struggles of entering the workplace. Annabelle encounters a lot of prejudice and is stuck doing unrelated menial work just because of her gender. It was a good reminder of how much things have (and have not) changed with regard to women in the workforce now. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author. All opinions expressed here are solely mine.
Mom4Christ 30 days ago
What a fascinating book. I enjoy learning things even when reading fiction. The history of the US Department of Agriculture and when Pure Foods and Drug Act was introduced. Then you add Annabelle and Gray... sins, Luke, Caroline and Annabelle's blind sister Elaine. To read the synopsis follow the link below... I will be patiently waiting to get my hands on Book 2! I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the Publisher and was under no obligation to post a favorable review.
tickmenot 3 months ago
The Spice of Life Salt and pepper sum up the spices in most American foods at the turn of the last century. Things like rosemary, cumin, and basil that are a staple today were unheard of one hundred years ago. Gray Delacroix has traveled the world to find elusive spices, even though doing it cost a large portion of his life and health. Now ready to enjoy the fruits of his labor, Annabelle Larken wants to convince the curmudgeon Gray to donate his profitable plants to the Smithsonian. In this battle of wills, which one will back down? Annabelle is desperate because if she fails, she will lose her job. Her salary makes it possible for her blind sister to remain with her. Just when Annabelle might be making headway, she discovers illegal activities by one of Gray’s relatives. Should Annabelle do the right thing, report her discovery, and destroy any association with Gray? Being honest will help the greater good, but it will wreck her personal life, so will she look the other way instead? This story really builds the tension wondering what she will choose, and I liked the information about spices that was surprisingly interesting. This tale is clean, told from a Christian point of view, and is the first in the Hope and Glory series. Although this 5-star story stands on its own, some questions remain for future installments. It will be enjoyed by fans of historical books with a touch of romance. Bethany House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of The Spice King, for the purpose of review.
eLynda 3 months ago
Elizabeth Camden has long been an author I enjoy, but The Spice King marks the first of a family-based series that is well-written, exciting, mysterious, and one for which the next installment cannot come soon enough! She has created a troubled family empire with characters to root for, even when they make some cringe-worthy decisions, and placed them within a setting that is unique yet accessible. Camden’s characters are three dimensional and often one of the best parts about her books, but she really has outdone herself this time. Gray is complicated and mysterious, mostly because of his desire to work behind the scenes even when he is thrust into the leadership position of both the family and their business. He doesn’t really know how to handle people except in a business setting, which makes him intriguing as he bumbles through a potential romance. The historical detail is rich and unique; I don’t think I have ever read historical fiction that intersects with Cuban history before, and the tidbits about the food industry were fascinating, despite the thoughts that went through my mind as I wrote that sentence. Yes, even food labels and the issues of fake products in a can, potentially a very dry topic, came alive for me as I read, mostly because of the people involved and their motivations. Then the tenuous distinction between right and wrong, or maybe even doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, is an overarching dilemma for the majority of the book. What choice do we make when all of the options are bad, or at the very least, too flawed to make them palatable? And once the choice is made, how do we live with the consequences? Nuanced characters, hints of secrets and espionage from multiple sources, and a well-developed and thought out storyline make this book a winner, and frankly, one of my favorite books of the year. The hero’s ability to make me both swoon and rage right along with Annabelle drew me into the pages as few authors can do consistently, but if Camden is writing it, I’m going to be reading it and I give this novel my highest recommendation. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
Deanne Patterson 3 months ago
No matter what subject matter the author writes on her research is thorough and exquisite. It's without question! I would have to imagine the author enjoys researching her books as that's how she writes. For me what sets her books apart from the pack is the originality of the subject matter! Yes, there is romance but it's not the story lead. I love these historical books which I can learn so much from. The cover is stunning and it's exciting to see the shift from females all the time gracing our covers to a handsome male. The fascination is real as I learned about food safety, spices and extracts being cut and diluted and becoming impure and being passed off as pure and the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval coming about. You will absolutely devour this one as you read about a broody and handsome main character whose family is spiraling out of control,dangerous politics,espionage and a woman junior botanist for the Smithsonian. I absolutely can't wait for the release of the next book in this attention catching series. Published September 3rd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
Librarycataloger 3 months ago
This book has everything that you could ask for. A gorgeous man on the cover who proves to be a fascinating character, a sweet, young girl with a strong, independent will, and a storyline that is filled with history, mystery, misunderstandings, and oh, yes, romance! Gray Delacroix has devoted his life to his family business and it has become a success because of his dedication to it. He is also devoted to his younger sister and brother and you just know that he is the real deal. When he meets Annabelle Larkin, he finally finds interest in something besides his work. She is a young farm girl who has left Kansas to work at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC and it becomes apparent that her sunny, positive attitude will seriously intrigue this gentleman. 'Why was he so fascinated with Annabelle Larkin? This sort of attraction was out of character for him, and he couldn't pinpoint how she had captured his attention with such ease.' (p. 53) The relationship that develops is sweet and very romantic and then, serious issues occur and their romantic interlude comes to an end. What follows is an intense story filled with anger, hurt, disappointment, and the suggestion of treason. It is often doubtful that this story will end 'happily ever after'. Abigail tells Gray that "If I acted wrongly, then I can only pray that God will forgive me. I know I've hurt you, and I am so desperately sorry." (p. 167) There are several other characters who definitely contribute to this story. Annabelle's parents and her sister show the traits that made our country strong and Gray's brother Luke and his sister Caroline are very dimensional characters. It is hinted that Caroline will soon have her own story! The Spice KIng is historical fiction and author Elizabeth Camden has once again proven her ability to present historical facts in a manner that leaves us wanting to learn more. In her historical notes at the end of this book, readers learn about the passage of the Pure Food and Drink Act in 1906, the creation of the Good Housekeeping testing facility in 1900, and the beginning of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval in 1909. Even today, 110 years later, we still depend on that Seal of Approval. And who knew that the vanilla that I love to use in my baking is the second most labor-extensive spice in the world? Thank goodness that imitation vanilla is now so similar to pure vanilla! Thks is the first book in the Hope & Glory series and I recommend The Spice King to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and Christian romance. You will want to read this book! I received a complimentary copy from the author and Bethany House and a positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.
Julie12 3 months ago
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.
lolly-pops 3 months ago
One of the things I love about Elizabeth Camden is her ability to find unique topics to write about. She has a loyal fan here for that reason alone. THE SPICE KING is about a man who got rich off spices and the woman who works for the Smithsonian and wants his well-guarded secrets. Despite his mistrust of Annabelle, and that his personality is as drab as his name, Annabelle and Gray form a friendship that comes under fire when the government decides Gray is a spy and promises Annabelle all her dreams come true if she spies on Gray and finds him guilty. Despite her initial misgiving she succumbs and snoops.... Gray is openly anti-government but is he a spy? I really liked Gray's brother and sister, but both Gray and Annabelle as well as her sister were one dimensional and I couldn't force myself to care for them. The sexual tension between them was nonexistent but should appeal to readers who like love to come softly. I did take issue with a works-based faith message instead of grace... I liked the touch of suspense and loved the unique topic. Fans of Elizabeth Camden and regency time period romances will likely love THE SPICE KING. I was given a copy free.. All opinions are my own.
BethErin 3 months ago
Camden gives readers a captivating glimpse into a few of the many cogs and wheels of our nation’s capital, both private and public, at the turn of the last century. Unexpected intrigue and a touch of Pride and Prejudice inspiration drew me into the story and I eagerly consumed each page! Tall, dark, and handsome, strong and silent, wealthy and brooding… Gray Delacroix is all these things yet so much more. Getting to know this hero was a pleasure as he finally slowed down long enough to truly examine his priorities in life. Sweet Annabelle Larkin is a breath of fresh air with enough firey determination to chase away any storm cloud. She is a delightful heroine who makes tough choices and longs to impact the world in a positive way. First in the new Hope and Glory series, The Spice King is loaded with all the things I most love about historical fiction including fascinating historical details of individuals, organizations, places, and culture. I highly recommend this story and eagerly anticipate revisiting the Delacroix family in future installments! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Heidi_Reads 3 months ago
I'm always impressed by the amount of historical detail and circumstances the author weaves into the story that I had never considered, especially at a time when more women are making their way into the workforce. It makes me excited to think about these pioneers and how they contributed to our nation. Washington D.C. is a fascinating setting and I loved seeing the city through the eyes of Annabelle. She is driven with such purpose, whether it be analyzing grain samples or persuading someone to her way of thinking. Gray is more complex, and the pair was an interesting match. I didn't sense much romantic chemistry between them, but rather a deep respect for the challenge they present each other and the unlikely friendship that blossoms. Secrets and political motivations threaten their relationship, but I admired their integrity as they navigate the obstacles they endure. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
BookwormLisa 3 months ago
**4.5 stars** The title of the book was the first thing that intrigued me. I wanted to know who the spice king was? Did he live in another country? There were so many possibilities. What I found was a great book set during the McKinley Presidency. This was a time of agricultural upheaval. It appears that food wasn't regulated and that cheap imitations and fillers could be sold to unsuspecting consumers. I was fascinated with the political intrigue, bribery, and the struggle to change packaging and honesty in the food industry. Of course, that is not what this book is all about. It is about two people from different worlds falling in love. There are outside circumstances that pull them apart and they have to figure out how to forgive and move forward. (I don't want to spoil anything by giving details.) I loved the loyalty to family that both Gray and Annabelle exhibit. They both make hard decisions with their families in mind. They were a couple that I was rooting for and hoping that the dilemma could be resolved in the way that I wanted it to be. This story did not disappoint me in any way and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Kristina Barnes 3 months ago
The Spice King is my third Elizabeth Camden novel, and it is officially my favorite! Like usual, Camden is excellent at immersing you in the history surrounding her story and painting a beautiful picture of the setting. I love how the focus of this book is such a rare and unique part of history (food safety), and Camden not only makes it interesting but also memorable. I loved every character in this book. Annabelle Larkin is a typical strong female lead, and I love her courage and intellect. But I also love her sense of adventure and her ability to find great joy in the small things in life and how much of her heart she gives to others. I always say I have to love the heroine if I’m going to like the book, and Annabelle quickly became a dear friend. Gray Delacroix is a bit dark and brooding at first meeting. But it was easy to see how Annabelle fell for him with such ease. Not only is he a true gentleman and classically handsome, but his passion for his family’s spice business and was contagious. (I want to buy all the REAL vanilla.) And the stories about his travels around the world easily gave this homebody wanderlust. Oh, and I can’t forget his devotion to his siblings. Sigh. So, yes, you will swoon over this aptly named Spice King. There is such depth to the story as Gray and Annabelle’s lives become entangled, and the tension escalates as Annabelle is forced to make heartwrenching choices. The uncertainty and hope scattered through the pages keep you reading chapter after chapter (well after bedtime!). I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about this book. It was obviously painstakingly crafted. A true labor of love. Any fan of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
vics49548 4 months ago
Author Elizabeth Camden always weaves an intriguing story. Rich with details and history, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Learning about the spice trade was an incredible bonus. The plot was interesting, laced with intrigue and suspense and moved at a good pace. A clean romance added to the appeal. Well developed characters and good descriptions made this story a page turner. I recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
Kathae 4 months ago
I had no idea what to expect as I began reading, but this was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. The many characters were so unique, and I loved all the surprising twists and nuggets of history throughout the book. It took place in 1900, and Gray had been a child during the Civil War. His perception was clearly influenced by abuses his family suffered during that time. The plot and the characters had many layers, which was what made this book so interesting. International spice trade, food processing, D. C. politics, and agriculture are among the many topics about which readers will be enlightened as they read this book. I recommend it. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
AMHeath 4 months ago
What I Loved: Camden never fails to create a realistic world where she becomes the expert in whatever field her character is involved in. I'm always amazed at the amount of effort that goes into each story and The Spice King was no exception. Here, we're treated to a side of political conflict that I never knew existed as well as the food safety and a whole world of spices.  As for the romance, I adored Annabelle and Gray's story. From the very start, these two collided in a beautiful way.  The Christian content was centered around forgiveness and was incorporated naturally. While I never wanted this story to end, I cannot wait until the rest of the series. It looks as though the Delacroix family has a lot of stories left to tell and I confess that I've been stalking the book pages, looking for the first glimpse of the next book in the series.  Rating and Recommendation: I happily give The Spice King 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction.  ~ I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. All thoughts are my own. 
EElizabeth 4 months ago
Do you read food labels carefully? I use to not care as much what was in my food, but then almost seven years ago I was diagnosed with celiac. Now, I read every single label very carefully so that I know that all the food items I purchase are safe for me. Recently, I’ve even been trying to cut as much sugar and dairy out of my diet as possible and to eat mostly whole foods. I am becoming more and more thankful that companies are required to honestly label products! However, I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about the historical events that happened to cause companies to have to label their food correctly. That is, I hadn’t thought about it until I read The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden. As usual, Elizabeth Camden opened my eyes to historical events and details that I knew nothing about. She is such a a talented author because not only does she teach a fascinating history lesson through her stories, but she also tells a page turning fictional story at the same time. I learned so much about the historical events that caused companies who had been mislabeling foods to label their foods accurately. I also learned more about where different spices came from and how they are produced. While the historical details were my favorite part of this book, I also really enjoyed the romances that took place in the midst of all the history. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, but also to those who enjoy food, romance, and historical details. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
JenniferPurcell 4 months ago
Camden crafts a compelling novel full of political intrigue and romantic tension. By constantly upping the stakes, Camden keeps you turning the pages. I was constantly on edge, waiting to see what would happen next. It wasn't just the romance, either. Camden has several subplots that grab your attention. From treason to corporate secrets, the novel never has a dull moment. Note: I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love Elizabeth Camden's books and The Spice King is no exception. As a history enthusiast I enjoy well researched books, especially ones that teach me about things I've never read about before. I enjoy cooking but have never taken the time to learn about how we get our spices. After reading this book I'll pay more attention to the quality of the spices I use. But more importantly, I enjoyed the story and characters. It was a fun book to read and I also appreciate knowing Camden's books are clean.