When this book came up for review, I almost passed on it. I could see it was part of a series and I just wasn’t sure how it would go jumping into an established series with established characters. But it sounded so good, plus I loved the cover, that I just couldn’t pass on this one! Often times, I also find that romances tend to be more standalone even if they are part of a series, so in the end I decided to give this one a shot and dive into a series already three books in.
To my delight, I found that all that worry was for not. This book could easily be read as a standalone and while it’s part of a larger series, the story/stories are uniquely their own. The other supporting characters (in this book) I believe have their own books in the series but overall I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other books to enjoy this one.
If you are a fan of historical fiction with some romance (clean romance that is) I think you will find a lot to enjoy in this book. This book has a ton of history and details that I enjoyed. This is my first Elizabeth Camden book but ti certainly won’t be my last—in fact I did order the other books in this series because I enjoyed this one so much! I reviewed this book as part of a book tour and there are other reviewers on this tour so be sure to check them out too if you want to see what they thought too!
Maggie Molinaro survived a hardscrabble childhood in the downtrodden streets of Manhattan to become a successful businesswoman. After a decade of sacrifice, she now owns a celebrated ice cream company, but when she offends a corrupt banker, she unwittingly sets off a series of calamities that threaten to destroy her life’s work.
Liam Blackstone is a charismatic steel magnate committed to overhauling factory conditions for the steelworkers of America. Standing in his way is the same villain determined to ruin Maggie. What begins as a practical alliance to defeat a common enemy soon evolves into a romance between two wounded people determined to beat the odds.
A spiraling circle of treachery grows increasingly dangerous as Liam and Maggie risk their lives and fortune for the good of the city. It will require all their wit and ingenuity to navigate the dangerous waters ahead, but their crusade could cost them everything (summary from Goodreads)
Author Elizabeth Camden, has written a number of historical fiction novels all of which have been very well received. I haven’t read any of her books before but I have seen a few of them and actually have a couple of my TBR list presently. But it wasn’t like I was chomping at the bit to read them—-well that has changed. I decided to pick this one up because I loved the cover and thought it sounded like a solid piece of historical fiction with a happy romance as part of the story. Which yes it was that, but also so much more. I really loved all the historical details the author added in for readers to enjoy. Gilded Age America isn’t exactly my top go to time period when I read historical fiction, but I do enjoy it and this book absolutely nailed the historical angle of this time period. I felt like I was there and everything shimmered with tiny details that as a reader, I appreciate!
I really enjoyed getting to know Liam too. From what I have gathered from other readers/reviewers of the series is Liam’s story has been a long time coming. I loved his character and loved the mix of a rich man fighting for the equality of the working man in a time when that was rare. I thought it gave him a lot of character and I simply loved get know know him. Both Liam and Maggie in this book (his love interest) were very evenly matched and I felt they really belonged together. Maggie was a great heroine who had this wonderful immigrant, small business aspect of her story and I thought both Liam and Maggie worked well together. Both of them have had to overcome adversity in their lives and each has made something of themselves so I felt like they understood each other in a very unique way which made their story feel believable.
This book is a Christian fiction book, while faith doesn’t dominate the storyline, it is part of it and God/faith is references in the book. While this might not be for everyone, for me personally I didn’t feel like the book was ‘preachy’ or soul focused on faith. It was more like a part that was present in the story but not the focal point if that makes sense. I read this book more as historical fiction than Christian fiction. Camden is a new to me author but I will most definitely be reading more books by her! This was a great introduction to her writing style and I really enjoyed my time with the characters in this book!
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 17th 2023 by Bethany House
ISBN 0764238450 (ISBN13: 9780764238451)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Bethany House in partnership with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical fiction, Christian fiction, romance
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION
About the Author
Elizabeth Camden is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered story lines. 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 Christy, Carol, and RITA Awards and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, January 17
Review at Ms. Darcy Reads
Wednesday, January 18
Excerpt at Aubrey Wynne
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read
Thursday, January 19
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Friday, January 20
Review at Classicly Kait
Review at Tammy Reads
Saturday, January 21
Review at Reading is My SuperPower
Sunday, January 22
Review at Debjani’s Thoughts
Monday, January 23
Review at The Green Mockingbird
Tuesday, January 24
Guest Post at Heidi Reads
Wednesday, January 25
Review at Bookworlder
Thursday, January 26
Review & Excerpt at Older & Smarter
Friday, January 27
Review at The Lit Bitch
Monday, January 30
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, January 31
Feature at I’m Into Books
Wednesday, February 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Friday, February 3
Feature at Coffee and Ink
We have two copies of Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden up for grabs!
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.Embed Code: <a class=”e-widget no-button” href=”https://gleam.io/Qpkf2/hearts-of-steel” rel=”nofollow”>Hearts of Steel</a>
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