Review & Blog Tour: Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden

Thanks for visiting my stop on the blog tour for Hearts of Steel by Eizabeth Camden, the third book in her “Blackstone Legacy” series. While this can read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the series in order for a better understanding of the Blackstone family and characters.

About the Book

Publication Date: January 17, 2023

Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Historical Romance/Christian

Series: The Blackstone Legacy, Book #3

His steel empire has catapulted him to the top of the world, but loving her could cost him everything.

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 fortunes for the good of the city. It will require all their wit and ingenuity to protect everything–and everyone–they hold dear.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION

Review

Hearts of Steel is the long-awaited conclusion to Elizabeth Camden’s latest Gilded Age series, this one featuring three members of the affluent Blackstone family of New York. Liam is our hero, with an unlikely (and tragic) history, subsequent rise to notoriety, and his compassionate nature making him likable from the start (in book 1, so I’ve been eager to see his POV!). His world collides with that of Maggie Molinaro, the determined heroine, and begins a friendship-turned-romance all while an underdog story plays out amidst a small neighborhood and the biggest boardrooms in the city. This is a story of two people finding a balance between pride, strength, and a reliance on others, while a struggle against injustice and a tentative romance bring them together.

The characters and setting are remarkably penned as Camden captures the sights and sounds of a bustling New York City at the cusp of modern innovation. From the immigrant-centric neighborhood where Maggie’s family runs and ice cream parlor and factory to the coasts of Maine and the mansions of some powerful figures, the settings shine and make me crave vanilla ice cream or possibly lobster. The nuances of a person and of relationships are another notable feature, with simple things like stamp collecting, a family heritage, shared grief, or the humor of the bulldog Frankie being just as important as friendships or the brother and sister dynamic Liam has developed with Gwen (LOVED seeing their rapport).

I enjoy seeing how friendship and respect unite Liam and Maggie at the very first. They quickly shift to a romantic attraction as they recognize qualities they have in common, especially their fierce loyalty and sense of justice. I appreciate how Liam makes and effort to understand and support Maggie’s choices, and she, in turn, speaks encouragement to him in key moments and grounds him in a way he needs.

Readers of the first two books in the series will be delighted to see the familiar heroines and heroes again on the page, with Patrick and Gwen having a very active role in Liam’s life.

Thank you to the publisher and HFVBT for the complimentary paperback review copy. I voluntarily purchased an ebook copy. This is my honest review.

Book 1: Carved in Stone Book 2: Written on the Wind (my personal fav of the series)

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

Giveaway

We have two copies of Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden up for grabs during this blog tour!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Click here to enter the giveaway.

Review: “Written On the Wind” by Elizabeth Camden

I’m sharing a book review of Elizabeth Camden’s new historical release, Written on the Wind. It’s a fantastic piece of literature and romance, the second in her Blackstone Legacy series and a book that is going on my permanent favorites list.

About the Book

Natalia Blackstone is a rarity in Gilded Age America. As a trusted analyst for her father’s bank, she is helping finance the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. From her office in New York City, Natalia relies on a charming Russian aristocrat to oversee the construction of the railroad on the other side of the world.

But while overseeing the work, Count Dimitri Sokolov witnesses the deadly result of the Russian Monarchy’s will to see the railway built. To silence him, the state has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has a key asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone.

From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Natalia and Dimitri will fight against all odds to save the railroad and share the truth of what happened, but how can their newfound love survive the ordeal? 

Goodreads | Amazon

Review

There is nothing typical about Written on the Wind. Camden bravely explores a story and characters whose path and traits set a new level of precedence in the genre, especially with the forming of the hero. With fascinating historical detail, a riveting romance, and brilliantly depicted settings from Russia to NYC and Washington, DC, this novel of convictions and purpose is one that will resonate with readers and cater to history lovers.

Count Dimitri Sokolov is as complex and multifaceted as his vast homeland of Russia. He cannot be easily categorized or labeled, exhibiting strength and tenacity and being, at the same time, slightly vain and needy. His emotional intelligence is exemplary, as exhibited when he sets his mind on pursuing Natalia. I swoon over all the tiny things that make him so atypical, one small example being his enjoyment of manicures, yet he is completely a masculine gentleman. Another big trait of his I won’t point out for spoilers’ sake, but I’ll say it’s a breakthrough in the inspirational fiction genre and one I am proud of Camden for tackling with such alpomb. Yay for a historical romance beta hero!

Natalia Blackstone is accomplished and has great tenacity to achieve anything she sets her mind to, yet the strictures of the business world at the turn of the century inhibit her progress at times. She is a counterpart to Dimitri’s personality, with the right contrasts in perspective and harmonically aligned goals. The friendship between Natalia and Dimitri and all of their interactions are full of wit and crackling with an electric tension the reader can sense. This friendship is an appropriate foundation for their romance, one that is as dramatic, at times, as the Russian literature Dimitri loves. My favorite aspect of their relationship is that, with every stage of their journey from friendship to romance and beyond, the allure of their connection transcends proximity and instead pairs them on a level of intelligence and integrity.

My love for this book can be attributed 85% to Dimitri and 15% to the rest of the story, and with a structure and characters as fantastic as this, that is a great ratio :). When it could be predictable in a particular climactic moment of choice for Natalia, I LOVE that it isn’t. I hope readers embrace this book for what it is: a declaration and perspective of love and sacrifice.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.