Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (07/2021)
“Gilded Prisons” by Linda Gould is an exciting novel with wide audience appeal. The author skillfully crafts a tale of sports, crime, politics, social inequity, and romance for non-stop action from the very first page.
Justin Moore has it all—he’s a Major League Baseball player at the peak of his career, a loving wife, and two beautiful daughters. Indeed, he is living the American Dream. A dream that quickly turns into a nightmare when mercenaries for Cuban royals kidnap Justin straight from the Filibuster’s locker room. Held hostage in the royal palace, Justin has every creature comfort imaginable but must endure the attentions of future First Lady Guadalupe, mistress of his gilded prison. After months of captivity, the royal twins help Justin escape the palace, but how will he get out of Cuba? And, once home, will Justin and his family ever feel a sense of normalcy again?
The characters are the biggest draw for me in any story and the characters Linda Gould created in “Gilded Prisons” are entertaining, with both complicated and green traits, while also being strong – but not strong enough they can’t be broken. Each character takes a different course and adds to the story, invoking feelings that scale the spectrum from love, hope and happiness to desire, helplessness, greed and rage. The future First Lady, Guadalupe’s character, is outstanding and goes through a remarkable transformation from an evil, sadistic captor to… well, I won’t spoil it for you. Let’s just say she learns a lot about herself and the world on her journey.
The plot takes some unpredictable turns, to say the least. Gould keeps the reader guessing throughout the adventure, incorporating original and sometimes outrageous twists readers will NOT see coming.
“Gilded Prisons” weaves together a delicate web of plot twists, characters you’ll love to hate (or hate to love?), and political intrigue that might remind you of certain societal issues going on in the world today. There is also an enjoyable glimpse behind the scenes of Major League Baseball, America’s favorite pastime, a world full of its own politics and social prejudices.