by Elizabeth Camden
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 faade 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 suspicious of Caroline despite his overwhelming attraction to her quick wit and undeniable charm. Desperate to keep the president protected, Nathaniel must battle to keep his focus fully on his job as the threat to the president rises.
Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel will face adventure, danger, and heartbreak in a race against time that will span the continent and the depth of human emotion.
A Gilded Lady is the continuing saga of the Delacroix siblings. It is the beautiful Caroline’s story. In the first book, The Spice King, you briefly meet her, but barely get to know her. I really wasn’t sure what I thought of her. Well, really, I didn’t like her. In the first book, she’s portrayed as nothing but a spoiled rich society girl.
To be completely honest, I didn’t really like her in the beginning of this book, either. (She does however grow on you…) Caroline is quite a character. Strong willed, beautiful, dazzling, and definitely used to getting her own way. In a strange twist of fate, the hero of this book is Nathaniel Trask, who is very much straight-laced and by the book. In spite of the immediate attraction between these two, there is also so much conflict, because of their very different personalities.
Elizabeth Camden does have a way, however, of making a seemingly unlikeable heroine become a treasured, if favored, character. Somehow, Caroline managed to work her way into my good graces, and I found myself sad when I reached the end of this story.
Caroline has the unique position of being a personal assistant/secretary to First Lady Ida McKinley. This President’s wife is portrayed in what I am guessing a very true-to-life manner, and shown for the rather difficult person she must have been. (This book left me wondering what amazing real person actually did hold the position given to Ms. Delacroix) Caroline knows just how to handle her, and is one of the few people Mrs. McKinley actually trusts.
I loved all the little historical tidbits woven into this story, and feel like I learned quite a lot about McKinley’s time as President.
Then there’s also the mystery found in this book, about Caroline’s brother Luke, who sits, rotting away in a Cuban prison. Caroline is determined to rescue him, but for some reason, Luke is equally determined to declare his guilt.
Mystery and intrigue, danger, history, and romance are all intertwined and create an absolutely lovely story.
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255