Tuesday, February 16, 2021

THE PRINCE OF SPIES by Elizabeth Camden, Reviewed by Nicole, Paula, and Winnie #ReleaseDay

"He barely knew her, but their spontaneous attraction was dangerous. Then again, Luke had always loved flirting with danger."

Ever since meeting the charming and sometimes reckless Luke Delacroix in book one of Elizabeth Camden's Hope and Glory series, he instantly became a favorite character of mine. After playing a supporting role in the first two books of the series, Luke gets his story told in book three, The Prince of Spies. Luke's story was definitely worth the wait.

Readers will be treated to a fantastic tale rooted in a deep rivalry lasting several generations between two important families, the Delacroix family and the Magruder family. When Luke Delacroix and Marianne Magruder meet and sparks fly, tensions also increase as they soon discover that they belong to feuding families.

Elizabeth Camden is one of my go-to authors for historical fiction, and her Hope and Glory series is my favorite of hers. She intricately weaves relatively unknown bits of history into her novels, such as the The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and "the Poison Squad," a group of men who voluntarily participated in food safety trials with a variety of preservatives. Although I am sad this series is over, the Delocroix family will have a permanent place on my keeper shelf where I can easily revisit old friends.

The Prince of Spies is highly recommended for readers of historical fiction.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. Inkwell Faith Content Rating – 2 (Light)

Elizabeth Camden pens the most delicious historical romance books, and The Prince of Spies is one of my very favorites. Camden is a master at creating realistic, colorful, and engaging characters and putting them in a little-known slice of history. Then she ups the suspense and intrigue by plopping them into precarious situations and proceeds to have them work their way out to a satisfying and deeply absorbing conclusion.

Luke Delacroix is a fascinating character with his devil-may-care outward attitude which covers a caring and courageous inner heart. When he meets Marianne Magruder, the daughter of his family’s bitter enemy, sparks fly, but they can’t see a way to make a relationship work. Meanwhile, Luke signs up for the Poison Squad which tests food additives and preservatives on human subjects to see the effects on the men. I was unaware of this group of courageous men that helped bring about government oversight on foods, so it was very interesting to learn of it.

Elizabeth Camden is one of my must-read authors for historical fiction, and her Hope and Glory series is a favorite of mine. The Prince of Spies is the final book in the series, and what a fantastic finish it was! It will definitely be on my list of top reads for the year and has earned a spot on my keeper shelf. Although it could be read as a standalone book, do yourself a favor and read the other two first to get some great background.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

This is the third book of the Hope and Glory series by Elizabeth Camden. I have enjoyed this whole series and count it among the very best series I have read. The three covers together make an awesome tableau. This is Luke Delacroix story and it is like Romeo and Juliet without the tragic ending. Luke and his family are very much at odds with the Magruders. Luke meets Marianne when he rescues her nephew’s dog that has fallen through the ice. Things get complicated when he learns who Aunt Marianne really is.

The whole series is about political life during the early 1900s. The intrigue surrounding the food and drug trials of The Poison Squad is so interesting, as are the photographs Marianne takes to document buildings before they are torn down to make way for the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Oh the trouble Ms. Camden gets her characters into! I kept wondering how in the world the story was going to get resolved which kept me turning those pages. Super ending to a super series.
“Maybe sending Marianne into his life was God’s way of compelling Luke to examine his own cocksure arrogance in looking at the world. Stranger things had happened, and he was up to the challenge.”

“The virtues of love, humility, charity and forgiveness might not solve the problem, but they could serve as a balm in an imperfect world.”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

5 stars and a solid faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
Luke Delacroix has the reputation of a charming man-about-town in Gilded Age Washington, DC. In reality, he is secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission is to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

But trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter, whose job as a government photographer gives her unprecedented access to sites throughout the city. Luke is captivated by Marianne's quick wit and alluring charm, leading them both into a dangerous gamble to reconcile their feelings for each other with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

Bethany House Publishers, February 16, 2021
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy The Prince of Spies at Baker Book House

Elizabeth Camden (www.elizabethcamden.com) 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.



  1. Thanks, Debra! This book and series are superb!

  2. This sounds fascinating! I'm going to order a copy.


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