Friday, July 22, 2011


Publisher: Berkley
Date Published: April, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-515-14934-0
Historical Romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher

The mysterious Daphne Joyes has secrets she prefers to keep to herself. She has a modest flower business, The Rarest Blooms, which helps her make a living for herself and the other women who share her home and who harbor secrets of their own. So far, everything has worked well for them, until the owner of their home dies and bequeaths some of his holdings, including the Joyes’ home, to a wealthy, hedonistic duke named Tristan Castleford.

Castleford spends most of his days gaming and whoring, enjoying his profligate lifestyle to the hilt. But when he suddenly finds himself inheriting new properties, he decides to check them out, surprised to discover that one tenant, Mrs. Joyes, is not pleased with his intrusion or ownership of her home. In fact, her coldness and scathing comments toward him, not to mention her great beauty, manage only to intrigue him further. He soon decides to seduce her, as his reputation warrants.

Joyes does her best to keep him and his unwanted advances at bay, but soon finds it hard to resist, despite his terrible reputation. Then, when someone she despises, the Duke of Becksbridge, reenters her life, only then does she realize the value of having Castleford on her side, since he despises his relative, Becksbridge, just as much as she does.

DANGEROUS IN DIAMONDS, by Madeline Hunter, is the fourth book in her Regency collection. It is the first book I have read by Ms. Hunter and believe it can stand alone.

DANGEROUS IN DIAMONDS is very well written, which is not surprising, considering Ms. Hunter’s publication of 20 other highly-acclaimed historical romances, one of my favorite genres to read. However, I felt there was something lacking in this particular story. I found it difficult to connect on an emotional level. I missed the feeling that helps one forget the outside world and just immerse oneself in the romance itself. Whether this had to do with not reading the previous books in this series, I am not certain.

Ms. Hunter takes great care in developing the two main characters, Daphne Joyes and Tristan Castleford. Still, I had a bit of trouble connecting with Daphne because she was so cool and proper, but Ms. Hunter did unravel that aspect of her personality a bit when Castleford begins his calculated seduction of her.

It didn’t take Daphne long to fall prey to Tristan’s charm and lovemaking skills, which actually surprised me. For someone determined to rebuff Castleford’s advances, Daphne seemed awfully quick to allow him his way with her. Especially since she had been raised a gentle woman. Still, it felt as if something was missing. The love scenes weren’t all-consuming. I just didn’t feel anything. I felt detached a bit during the entire book.

Castleford is a very likeable character, however. I liked his arrogance, as a typical duke. I found him humorous on occasion. The fact that he was writing a novel on his preferred haunts in London I found extremely funny. Also, I enjoyed that he was always there when Daphne needed him, although there were aspects of the story, such as the uprising, that didn’t add much to the story, in my opinion, because I never could quite figure out what that was all about. A little more information in that aspect would have been helpful to the story.

Some of the minor characters were a bit confusing for me, unless one had read the previous novels in this series, I would imagine. All-in-all, however, they didn’t take away from the story. Most of the time, though, it seemed they weren’t as real as they could have been. They were just there, in the background, coming out only when needed. Albeit, anyone having read the first three books in this series may have been more emotionally connected to them and may disagree. But I had trouble keeping them straight at times while trying to understand their connection to Daphne.

I did like the bad guy in this story, Latham, Duke of Becksbridge. He is everything one wants in a bad guy, and Ms. Hunter made him of the sort you wouldn’t mind seeing done away with. However, once one realizes his importance, at the very end, reasonable allowances must be made for his continued survival, after all of Joyes’ secrets are shared and the truth known. However, I still felt a bit detached, even in this area. The reader seems at times to be on the outside looking in. Never on the inside of the story, feeling what the characters are feeling, which is what one often yearns for in a romance. The pacing of DANGEROUS IN DIAMONDS was also a bit too slow for my liking.

Again, I had trouble connecting with the story as I would have liked but, overall, it was a good story and a decent read.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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