Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wow it's been a long time since I last wrote a review. Work was really tiring this month, and being a copy editor meant I read for hours every day, and I just felt drained every time I get home. But today I had a little breathing room and found myself shook out of my no-reading period by Shana Galen's funny book!

Title:     When You Give a Duke a Diamond [Jewels of the Ton, book 1]
Author:  Shana Galen
Rating:  ★★★★ 1/2

I've had this on my shelf for a while but I took my sweet time choosing to read it because the plot blurb honestly didn't grab my attention. Then I wasn't even halfway into the book when I started mentally berating myself for not picking it up sooner! I literally read it straight from the time I picked it up at night until...well the wee hours of the morning. The plot was a little bit unusual, with the Three Diamonds definitely piquing my interest. This is one of those times I wish there was a movie so I can fully visualize how they look.

He had a perfectly orderly life... William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that's the way he likes it. But he's in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn't begin to describe what happens next...

Until she came along... Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It's disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William's darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide...

Several things came to mind when I read the line of "William's darkest secret", although it wasn't so much "dark" for me. It was terribly sad, and really explains why he's so...regimented. I think anyone who went through his childhood would grow up the way he did! This is one of the few times I really sympathized with a character. The scene where he told her a bedtime story just really tugged at my heartstrings. Sigh! You couldn't even hate him for not telling her I love you, and it was all explained in that lovely scene.

I also love Juliette! My oh my, don't you wish we have schools where they teach us how to grab a man with just a smile? :P I love how sassy she was and how she wasn't a simpering miss. Well, given that she's one of the best and most alluring courtesans, I'd say it would have been totally out of character for her to be simpering and witless. It was very intriguing for me how she rode on her fame, without even verifications of her supposed notoriety. Those times sure look interesting!

There were several things in the story I totally adored, such as the sassy lines. Example: "They would never suit - her being human and he a complete ass." That just cracked me up! And I just swooned over the dresses! Does anyone know where I can get those dresses as described? I also loved the other characters, such as the "infamous" Earl of Sin who is just so in love with his Countess, and the two other Diamonds, Fallon and Lily. The Countess sounds scary and totally adorable in her own way. She's steely and no-nonsense but seems to be a real romantic. I love the twist in the story, and I can't wait to read how the other two ladies happened to be under the Earl of Sin's protection.

I felt the emotion in the story all throughout. I laughed, felt a little teary-eyed, and even felt thrilled to my toes. But the waltz at the end was too much, too corny! The scene was already perfect, and for me it just wasn't the place for a waltz. Another that I didn't like is that there was no mentioned closure between the Duke of Pelham and the parents of his dead fiancee, Lady Elizabeth. There was no discretion by William during the investigation and I truly felt bad for them. Lastly, Oliver as a threat was not much established, and there was no stated reason for us to think that he would still be after Juliette after all those years, especially since he was the one who instigated the divorce.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond was a great romance story, and Juliette and William were just great together! They definitely balanced each other out. Recommended for all historical romance lovers out there :) That's it for now; I'm just itching to grab my Nook and get started on If You Give a Rake a Ruby.

Toodles! Happy musings,