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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ARC Review: When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

Format: epub (provided by Netgalley)
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Purchase Links: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook

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...

After I finished The Sons of the Revolution series, I was curious as to what author Shana Galen would do next. I loved The Rogue Pirate's Bride (yes, I love pirates, so what?) and didn't know if I would enjoy reading just a romance novel without any kind of suspense or mystery from her. Anyone who has read some of my reviews has probably caught on to the fact that I love a romance novel with mystery, action and danger. It keeps things interesting and intense. Good thing Shana's new book kept up with the standards set by The Sons of the Revolution series.

The first in a new series surrounding the mysterious circumstances of three friends who each find themselves in possession of a rather notorious reputations as Courtesans and a mix up that could mean life or death, When You Give a Duke a Diamond is an entertaining, sexy story about how appearances can be deceiving.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond begins with gossip, which goes hand in hand with mystery. After all, very few romance novels boast of believably pairing a true Courtesan with a Duke, so Juliette was either a very special character or her reputation was a bit exaggerated. That was enough to get my attention. Who doesn't love characters who aren't what they appear?

I wasn't sure what to make of the Duke of Pelham, he annoyed me! He was so rigid, so boring, so... Blah that I was certain at one point someone would explain that the Duke actually had a red hot poker shoved up his behind and that's what accounted for his terrible demeanor. For someone so unforgiving of the faults of others, he certainly is full of them himself. I found myself wishing he were real just so I could run up to him, ruffle his hair or scuff his boots just to see if he was human and not a robot. Silly I know but that's how I felt.

It wasn't until Juliette shoved her way into his life and forced him to become more than just a spectator in life that I started to warm up to the Duke. In fact, Shana Galen did such a great job with him that I didn't see him as anything other than "the Duke" or Pelham until about halfway through the book when I realized I started referring to him in my mind as "Will," just like Juliette insisted.

The chemistry between Will and Juliette is slow to develop but once it does it's explosive. Here are two characters, who by society's rules should not fall in love, that have to battle every one including themselves just to be together and to feel confident in what is developing between them. The angst level is pretty high once these two realize they have feelings for one another and you begin to wonder, "How is a happy ending going to be possible for these two? Is it going to be a terribly romantic ending or a totally unbelievable, disappointing one?"

I'll let you be the judge on that one, but I have a feeling you're going to agree with me when I say the resolution to Will and Juliette's relationship is most satisfactory.

I didn't expect to like When You Give a Duke a Diamond (great title by the way, it doesn't make sense until after you've read the book) because of the summary. It sounded like a run of the mill romance with no real obstacles between the two main characters aside from the typical jealous ex-lovers, objecting family members, blah, blah, blah but I was so wrong. I loved the danger, the mystery and of course the passion that Shana Galen put into this story and its characters. I cannot wait for the next book in this series because When You Give a Duke a Diamond leaves you hanging at the end with no hint of what is to come. What a way to frustrate but at the same time interest this particular reader.

I suspect that may have been intentional though. So add this book to your "Must Read" lists ASAP, you won't be disappointed.


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  1. sounds so good! i thought i had this one, but the cover doesn't look familiar.

  2. It will be out in a few days, it really is a good book

  3. I just finished this one yesterday! I loved it so much! I loved it so much I finished it in a day! I cannot wait until her next book and I am going to be checking out other books by this author.

  4. Gah you'll LOVE her Sons of the Revolution series! Oh and Lord and Lady Spy definitely seems like a book you'd enjoy too.


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