The Spice King was a very thought provoking novel that examines truth and motivation. Appealing to her devotion to her country and the truth, Annabelle Larkin’s employers convince her to spy on the man she is beginning to care for. Although uneasy about the task, she agrees in order to continue supporting her blind sister. Of course this assignment leads to several unexpected consequences and severed relationships. Although her intentions were mostly good, I felt that Annabelle was very naive in the way she allowed herself to be manipulated into spying on Gray. Her gut feelings were that it was wrong but she convinced herself that it was for a good reason. I hated how she deceived Gray and was not surprised at his reaction when he found out.

I did enjoy The Spice King very much. It was fun to learn so many facts about how spices are produced, especially vanilla. The details about the early days of food regulation and Good Housekeeping magazine were particularly interesting. I also liked reading about how Gray and Annabelle grew spiritually and how their relationship developed despite her deception. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series and hoping that readers will have a chance to read the rest of Luke’s story and that it will have a positive outcome.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required.All views expressed are my own.


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?

Read an excerpt HERE.

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Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

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.