A Gilded Lady

It’s Saturday. Normally my “Saturday” is any random day during the week since I work a lot of weekend days at my job, but this week I really DO have Saturday off.

I started off the day languidly – I spent the night at a friend’s house, woke up around 7:00, listened to a devotional with her then headed back to my camper. After having my own devotions (and trying to warm up my 32 degree camper) I cleaned my camper, made plans with my sister, and then sat down to blog.

What does your Saturday look like?

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Title: A Gilded Lady
Fiction

ABOUT THE BOOK

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 facade 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.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

I read this book back in March and promptly forgot that I had received it for review. (I get a lot of ebooks from library apps like Overdrive and Hoopla, and thought this was one of those books.) I realized recently that A Gilded Lady was for review, so I get to treat y’all with my thoughts regarding this story which makes me happy because I enjoyed it immensely. 

History is something I’ve always found fascinating, but I have huge gaps in what periods of history I’m familiar with. Obviously, I studied President McKinley at some point during school, but it wasn’t until I started reading this story that I realized how little I knew about his life. In fact, other than the fact that he was president, I couldn’t have told you anything else. 

As usual, while reading a historical fiction book I didn’t do any research regarding the period of history because I didn’t want spoilers. Therefore, I was basically on the edge of my seat at times, trying to figure out what was going to happen next and how everything would end. I was caught off guard a lot with this book. If you’re familiar with the president (like I should have been) then you know the basics of the story, but if you’re not, then there are several plot twists that I didn’t see coming. The book was fantastic, the plot moved along at the perfect pace, the characters were fleshed-out, and the writing was superb. 

Generally, I have a pretty good memory for what annoyed me in a book, even months after reading it. But, in this case, I don’t recall anything negative. I know I didn’t like the main character very much because I felt like she went about solving her problem in the wrong way, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book because the character was still so complex and multi-layered and captivating. 

Learning about Ida McKinley was exceedingly interesting. I had no clue that one of our First Ladies had such a personality, and reading about all the ways the main character covered for her to help keep everything running smoothly was both funny and eye-opening. 

Having the main male character be the head of the Secret Service – right when the Secret Service was beginning – was so cool. I learned so much while reading from his perspective. I also enjoyed him as a character and could relate to him a lot more than I could to the main female character. 

This book was so engaging and interesting that as soon as I finished it I read the first book in the series (this is the second). The third book doesn’t release until early in 2021, but I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out.  

CONCLUSION

Since it’s been a while since I read this book I don’t remember if it had any questionable content, but as far as the story and writing goes I enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of my next re-reads. 

RATING

I’m giving A Gilded Lady 4 out of 5 stars. NetGalley gave me an ebook copy so I could review it for y’all. I wasn’t required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone. Thanks, NetGalley!

Across the Blue

It’s time for me to review some of the books I read while I was gone on vacation, and that’s kinda a lot of books because I read nine of them in ten days. What can I say? May is always one of my best-read months out of the year.

FIRST OFF, SOME STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 354
Publisher: Multnomah
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Title: Across the Blue
Fiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.

When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I don’t think I even read the back cover copy to this book. I’ve just heard about it in the on-line bookish community and it sounded interesting and clean, so I thought I’d give it a go.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

*Slight Spoilers in the Cons Section*

Three Pros: 
-The aviation aspect of the book was truly fascinating. It felt very well researched and I learned a lot without feeling like I was being pounded over the head with information. It’s amazing to think of how recently air-travel was something people only dreamed of. How in the world did we get from trying to fly across the English Channel to landing on the moon in such a short amount of time?
-Even though we didn’t get quite as much detail about the newspaper side in the book, that was still interesting to me. The glimpses we saw in the newspaper office, as well as watching Isabella’s emerging journalistic dreams was pretty cool.
-The pace of the book and writing style were both well-done and kept my interest most of the time.

Three Cons (With Slight Spoilers, so read at your own risk):
-It wasn’t really insta-love, but it was far too close to that for my enjoyment. Isabella has a secret she can’t tell anyone, and she feels guilty and like she’s betraying James not to tell him. She doesn’t owe James anything at this point, so even though feeling slightly bad makes sense, the amount of guilt she felt over it made me feel like she’d formed an emotional attachment to him way too fast.
-That said secret was cajoled out of her by someone else far too easily, and then she didn’t respond the way I hoped she would have.
-James’ family secret, and how it all ended kinda annoyed me, but that’s probably not the case for most people…

CONCLUSION

There were aspects of this book that I actually enjoyed far more than I had thought I would. The relationship was kinda meh in my opinion, but it was clean, so that’s a plus.

After reading this book I’d be open to reading more of Carrie Turansky’s books in the future.

RATING

I’m giving Across the Blue three out of five stars and am thankful for NetGalley giving me an e-copy so I could review it for y’all.