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?
A copy of this book was received for review via Bethany House Publishers. In no way has this influenced the review. The opinions expressed in this review are of the reviewer only.
I’m always drawn in by a stunning cover – this one has just that! The Spice King involves a man who spends his time building a global spice empire and a junior botanist at the Smithsonian who happens to be female, that alone makes for a unique storyline. Set in 1901, this historical fiction read is full of information that you can tell the author did her research on. That made up for the slow progression in the first half of the book. The characters are well described and diverse in their backgrounds and upbringing. The interactions between Gray and Annabelle were always intriguing and kept you wondering how it was going to develop. While Annabelle’s character was charming, intelligent and strong, Gray’s character was a bit bland in my opinion. The romance fell a little flat and could have been deeper. The idea of devotion to country versus following your heart and those we love was very well written. The conflict is deep and complex both within the characters themselves and decisions they must make. Overall, the story was a bit slow going for me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I simply had to make more time and quiet space to read it. For those who like historical time period books, the historical information alone surrounding the agriculture and politics make this a fabulous read.