As the march of boots echoes from overseas, all countries that border the Pacific are invited to build pavilions on Treasure Island at the Golden Gate International Exposition, dedicated to the pursuit of peace and brotherhood — and Lily Nordby is given a once-in-a-lifetime assignment covering the Exposition for the Examiner. There she meets Tokido Okamura, the host of the Japanese Pavilion, and despite being suspicious of his true purpose on the island, she’s swept up in a whirlwind of powerful emotions that lead her into unknown territory. Woodrow Packard, a Mayan art scholar at the Expo, prefers remaining aloof and alone. But his infatuation and deepening relationship with Lily thrusts him into the limelight. He asks himself, could someone as smart and beautiful as she return the love of a man who is a dwarf? When he uncovers her family’s past, hoping to save her from danger, fate intervenes, and both he and Lily are pulled into a destiny they could never have imagined.
Mixing fact and fiction with a dash of noir, Beautiful Illusion is a story of love and deception that explores what happens when human hearts collide as nations are plotting war. It is also the story of the men and women who built San Francisco’s last world’s fair, of a city within a city, of glamour and glitz, and of grandeur and pageantry.