Have you ever picked up a book and thought to yourself, “This sounds ridiculous, but it’s the best book here so I will give it a try anyway “. This has happened to me several times over the years. I will take the book home set it down, flip it over and read the back cover. Then I will ignore it, come back to it and read a page only to set it down again. Finally, after a day of hemming and hawing, I sit down and begin to read. Suddenly, I’m gobsmacked…how could I have wasted the day away without reading any of this book! Then I realize its 3 a.m. and I have read about 75% of the book in one sitting. Well, that is the exact experience I had with When You Give A Duke A Diamond by Shana Galen.
I purchased this book,thinking at the very least it will be something for me to read (because I’m never without something to read!). I’m not one to critisize the use of a cliché; however, I got burned with the courtesan and lord plot in All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess by Alexandra Hawkins. Thus, all my hemming and hawing over this book; yes, I’m guilty of prejudging the cliché as gimmick. But sometimes the cliché works.
When You Give a Duke a Diamond is the first book in the Jewels of the Ton series by Shana Galen. Ms. Galen introduses The Three Diamonds: Lily the Countess of Charm, Fallon the Marchioness of Mystery and finally, Juliette the Duchess of Dalliance. All three are supposedly under the protection of the Earl of Sinclair or rather the Earl of Sin. The Three Diamonds have taken the Ton by storm and gossip abounds; especially about Juliette and the Duke of Pelham a.k.a the Dangerous Duke.
Juliette has tired of the glittery life and is ready to find her second or make that third chance at a new life. She survived and divorced an abusive husband with the help of the Earl of Sin and no longer wants to live of his chairty; all she truly wants is her own family to love.
The Duke of Pelham is a regemented, autocratic self contained DUKE. He is not his own person he is a Duke ; that is who he has been trained from birth to be. The lessons have literally been beaten into him by his father. He is in London for Parliament and to finalize his betrothal to Lady Elizabeth. Unbeknownst to him Lady Elizabeth has a gambling problem and this will soon turn his world up side down.
Lady Elizabeth’s collision with the underbelly of London brings the Duchess of Dalliance and the Duke of Pelham together on a hunt for, what else: diamonds. With her life being threatened Juliette seeks out the Duke of Pelham and begins to unravel his ordered, staid life.
For me at least, this is a 4 out of 5 star book. Ms. Galen does a wonderful job at creating both tension and humor while maintaining the development of her characters. But don’t take my word for it, go out and read it yourself.