Series Review (and a Giveaway!): The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden

Posted January 21, 2023 by meezcarrie in Christian, Elizabeth Camden, giveaway, historical, romance / 14 Comments

I have long been a fan of Elizabeth Camden’s books and the unique way she captures the heart of that period when the Gilded Age was beginning to edge into the Progressive Era: when America is still hanging on to a grand society while also embarking on important social & political reforms and medical breakthroughs. I’m so fascinated by this time period, and I always love reading Camden’s books because she paints such a heartfelt portrait of both sides of society with grace and talent. Therefore, I’m delighted to review The Blackstone Legacy series for you today!

CARVED IN STONE by Elizabeth Camden
The Blackstone Legacy #1

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2021
PAGES: 346

Her gilded world holds a deeply hidden secret. 

After years of tragedy, Gwen Kellerman now lives a quiet life as a botanist at an idyllic New York college. She largely ignores her status as heiress to the infamous Blackstone dynasty and hopes to keep her family’s heartbreak and scandal behind her.

Patrick O’Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He’s proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case that is sure to emphasize the Blackstones’ legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.

Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger, Patrick and Gwen will be forced to decide if the risk to the life they’ve always held dear is worth the reward.


Carved in Stone kicks off The Blackstone Legacy series by introducing us to the Blackstone family with all their foibles and follies and heart. Out of the pack of family members who are motivated by wealth, a handful stand out as being people of integrity, compassion, and inner strength. Gwen Blackstone Kellerman is one such person. I loved her right away! Despite all the losses she has braved, she has not let any of them turn her heart toward bitterness but maintains a joy for life and a heart for others. She steers her passion for the college her father started into researching cures for deadly diseases like tetanus (after reading about the experimental treatments, I will never again complain about getting a tetanus shot lol) and harnessing the power of nature to heal in more ways than just physically.

Into her world comes Patrick O’Neill, an immigrant turned almost priest turned lawyer who fights on behalf of the downtrodden and poor. His steadiness and quiet faith endeared him to me immediately also! He is exactly the man that Gwen needs and exactly the hero for this story. I also adored the two of them together. Banter, intelligence, courage… all three are sparking through the air whenever Gwen and Patrick share the same page, not to mention the swoony romance building between them.

Bottom Line: Carved in Stone is another captivating example of Camden’s impeccable research, engaging writing voice, and layered characters. Gwen and Patrick face an uphill battle to get their chance at a happily-ever-after, but the journey is more than worth it for them as well as for the reader. With a deft hand, Camden leads us – and our intrepid protagonists – through clashes between the classes, high-stakes boardroom drama, family tension, a decades-old mystery with a couple of stunning twists, the mansions of the rich, the tenements of the poor, and the sweetness of new love. A definite must-read for fans of the author and the Gilded Age setting!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. In the interest of full disclosure, the company I freelance for as a blog/review tour coordinator was hired to promote this book with a social media tour in 2021. This in no way affected my review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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WRITTEN ON THE WIND by Elizabeth Camden
The Blackstone Legacy #2

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: May 3, 2022
PAGES: 343

He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it?

Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone.

Natalia is the lead analyst for her father’s New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both.

From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal?


At first glance, Written on the Wind is very different from Carved in Stone in tone and theme. Instead of a romance that crosses classes, we have a Russian count falling for the daughter of New York banking royalty. And instead of sticking around New York, Camden also takes readers on a sweeping journey from the unforgiving Russian wilderness to the bustling harbor of San Francisco and the glittering glamour of Washington DC politics.  Yet, in reality, the theme between these first two Blackstone Legacy novels is consistent – underdog heroes and strong heroines willing to fight battles on behalf of those who can’t fight for themselves.

We were first introduced to the endearingly dramatic Count Dimitri Sokolov when they needed his votes in Carved in Stone, and at the time I instantly fell in love with his and Natalia’s relationship. A reflection of a friendship born out of shared loneliness, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, great literature, and a love for Russia, their interactions via telegram are in turn hilarious and heartwarming. I was an immediate fan who wanted a whole book of their conversations. I got my wish in Written on the Wind, and it was even better than I anticipated. Dimitri is such a unique hero who you just can’t help loving even as you occasionally roll your eyes at him. His courage at great personal cost, his passionate masculinity (the hallway kiss at Natalia’s family home… whew. Still fanning), and his generous spirit are juxtaposed against his aristocratic stubbornness, his spoiled eccentricities and his lofty idealism. The combination of each of these distinctive traits in one proud Russian count is quite simply, and perhaps inexplicably, charming, and he makes Written on the Wind an unforgettable read.

Natalia is the perfect counterpart to the intensity of Dimitri’s character, though this doesn’t mean in any way that she is weak. Rather, her strength just shows up more quietly with an unrivaled determination for success and an elegantly down-to-earth intelligence to match. She doesn’t flaunt her business acumen unnecessarily but she’s confident in her abilities and in her knowledge. Camden doesn’t shy away from the struggles that a woman like Natalia would have faced on Wall Street in this era, either, and you’ll easily find yourself cheering for Natalia to succeed – even if that success ultimately looks different than we envisioned. Her friendship with Dimitri brings out her lighter side, and in turn she helps him stay a little bit more practical. (Only a little bit. This is Dimitri after all lol)

Bottom Line: With Written on the Wind, I officially have a new favorite Elizabeth Camden book! I loved every word of this delightful novel, and I’m still thinking about it days later. It’s unique and engrossing, not to mention educational. The atrocities that Dimitri witnesses, the growing tensions domestically and abroad as Russia hovers on the brink of revolution, the perspective of a woman on Wall Street in the early 20th century, and even the advances in the recording industry at the time… you will close this book feeling not only entertained but also smarter for the reading of it. And the romance …. goodness, this romance had me grinning and swooning and feeling like my heart was in my throat. Honestly, no words that I can find will adequately express what makes this novel so nuanced and completely wonderful, so you’re just going to have to read it for yourself and find out!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / fabulous in every way!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

affiliate links used

HEARTS OF STEEL by Elizabeth Camden
The Blackstone Legacy #3

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2023
PAGES: 329

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.


I loved Carved in Stone. And Written on the Wind is my new fave Elizabeth Camden novel. But it’s Hearts of Steel that I’ve been waiting on: Liam’s story. We find out why he is so important in the series arc in book 1, and we get to know his personality a little bit more in book 2. Still, I had no idea where the author was ultimately going to take his character, and I was excited to find out!

Liam is a classic test study of nature vs. nurture, his personality a complex mixture of his rough-and-tumble upbringing and his aristocratic birth. The thing I have loved most about Liam thus far is his genuine quest to use his newfound power for the good of society, particularly to improve the working conditions of those who proudly spend their blood, sweat & tears just to put food on their own tables. In Hearts of Steel, we see this passion of his come full circle – and hang in the balance. He has tried so hard from the beginning to overcome his weaknesses when it comes to interpreting stuffy legal documents or understanding the math behind the policies, all to prove his worth in his own mind and in the sight of the other U.S. Steel board members and his Blackstone family. This existential struggle that’s been brewing inside him since Carved in Stone boils over in this third book and takes readers through a range of emotions right alongside Liam. I thought the author painted these layers with great talent, fleshing out Liam’s heart and his history with a skilled hand and a thread of grace.

No less emotional, however, is Maggie’s story in Hearts of Steel. Her quest for justice puts her in the crosshairs of a powerful enemy – a true villain who also has his eyes set on Liam’s destruction – and suddenly everything she has worked so hard to build is on the brink of collapse. She’s not one to back down from a fight, though, and she definitely has a tough one ahead. My heart went out to her throughout this book, and I just wanted to reach into the pages and make it all better for her. That’s not how great fiction works, though, is it? And it’s not how God works in the lives of those who follow Him. Adversity, not comfort, makes us stronger, and while one day God WILL make all the sad things & all the struggles & all the loss untrue, for now the fact of it is that we will have hardships in this broken world. This proves to be true in Maggie & Liam’s story as well. The adversity they endure on these pages makes them each more deeply layered, stronger characters whose stories are all the richer and more dimensional. The kind of characters that live on in your heart long after you’ve turned the last page.

Bottom Line: Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden brings Liam Blackstone’s story full circle and introduces readers to a plucky heroine in Maggie Molinaro. She & Liam each have scars that motivate their decisions – hers with practicality and Liam’s with passion. This unlikely pair got deep into my heart, and I ached with them as things continued to go from bad to worse to even worse still. Yet even amid the brewing battle against a truly onerous man (who I was dismayed to find out was an actual historical figure with long-lasting repercussions for American history), Camden weaves connecting threads of hope that culminate in a happily-ever-after born not from fairy tales but from the lessons only learned in adversity. Liam’s story is well worth the wait from book 1 to book 3, and the addition of Maggie makes it all the sweeter – in more ways than one!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

affiliate links used

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.

You can connect with Elizabeth on her website and Facebook.

As part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for Hearts of Steel by Elizabeth Camden, there are two copies up for grabs!

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

Hearts of Steel

This giveaway is hosted by HFVBT, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour by clicking the banner below

…plus still a couple of days to enter this giveaway!

What about you? What makes you want to read The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden?

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14 responses to “Series Review (and a Giveaway!): The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden

  1. Winnie Thomas

    I’ve read the whole series and loved it! I always learn so much from her deep research, and I also get to enjoy a wonderful story!

    Loved your reviews, Carrie, and I concur with your thoughts!

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your reviews on the The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden. It just confirms my desire to read this series.

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