Blame it on Downton Abbey. I never really wanted to read historical romances. I don’t know, the genre never really appealed to me. Then I started watching Downton Abbey and when the season ended, I felt like something was missing. I needed a fix of early twentieth century historical romance fast.
Diamonds & Deceit helped fill in the void until the new season of Downton Abbey began last week. I was able to get in my fix of social teas, garden parties, the beautiful dresses, and the wonderful atmosphere of that time period. I was surprised to see how much I liked this book. I literally did not put the book down. I really can’t explain why – it was just a pleasure to read.
Diamonds & Deceit is set during the season of 1913. Lady Templeton is eager to marry off her daughter Ada to help settle some financial debts amassed by her cousin William. Ada is betrothed to Laurence – Lord Fintan, but it is a loveless engagement. Ada’s sister Charlotte is jealous of the match and does whatever she can do to thwart it. Meanwhile, Rose who was previously a servant joins the family. She is the earl’s illegitimate daughter. This is Rose’s first season and she feels awkward and out of place. Enter the handsome and very eligible Alexander Ross, the Duke of Huntley. He is smitten by Rose and her unconventional outlook on life.
I loved how the author captured the atmosphere of the period. It never ceased to amaze me just how many people were needed to run one of these large estates. I loved how this book highlighted the class differences and the upstairs/downstairs mentality. It also amazes me just how much work was involved in destroying a reputation back then – letters had to be written, delivered, and then they had to actually wait for a reply.
While Diamonds & Deceit was the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone book as well. I did not feel lost, nor did I feel that I missed anything. I did enjoy the book immensely and I will go back to read the first book in the series – Cinders & Sapphires.
I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.
Review posted on Badass Book Reviews.
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for a review copy of this book.