Thursday, October 3, 2019

Review: "The Spice King" by Elizabeth Camden

Leave it to Elizabeth Camden to write a "science-y" novel that captivates me!

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?

I live in rural Nebraska, but my interest in agriculture is ... minimal at best. I'm thankful for it, and I appreciate the work my farming relatives put in, but I don't really care about the science behind my food. So the fact that I was completely captivated by this novel, which is about a botanist and a spice tycoon who fight for purity in the food supply, speaks to Elizabeth Camden's skill at spinning a story.

While it took me a bit (probably 25% in) to get into the book, I soon couldn't fly through the pages quickly enough! Annabelle is spunky and determined, while Gray is reserved and set in his ways, and they make a perfect match. (I do have to say that Gray strikes me as more of a Darcy than a Colonel Brandon as Annabelle thought, but I suppose any Austen hero comparison is good!)

I loved the intrigue involving Gray's brother Luke, which looks to continue in a future novel, and the "war" with the rival food company was so fun to read about! There's also romance, of course, but the novel is much more than a romance. Rich with historical detail, it's sure to captivate fans of American history. 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Camden's A Dangerous Legacy (4-1/2 stars), A Daring Venture (3-1/2 stars), From this Moment (5 stars), Beyond All Dreams (5 stars), Against the Tide (4-1/2 stars), and To the Farthest Shores (4 stars).

Elizabeth Camden is the author of multiple historical novels and has been honored with the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the Carol Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida. Learn more at
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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