REVIEW: Untouched By His Diamonds by Lucy EllisSunday, April 8, 2012 1:00
There’s nothing revolutionary about Untouched by his Diamonds. It’s just a good, solid story, well told, the kind that often gets overlooked in favor of the different and the sparky. But it kept me engrossed for an hour or two, so that can’t be bad, can it?
Clementine is working in publicity and her job has taken her to Moscow. Although she can’t afford the luxuries, she can’t resist the thigh-high boots she sees in a shop window, and she goes in to try them on. When she looks up, she sees Serge. He’s taller than her, although she’s nearing six feet tall, and gorgeous. But proprietorial. However, she lets him pick her up and take her back to his luxury hotel room. They get it on. Of course, it’s not all hearts and flowers.
Clementine is a likeable heroine, sassy, smart, but not to the point of snarkiness. The constantly sarcastic heroine is one I can well do without, and it’s one reason I haven’t enjoyed my occasional forays into urban fantasy. Sarcasm far too often turns into corniness and heartlessness, neither of which I enjoy. Clementine doesn’t go that far, but she does know her own mind and she’s sharp enough to stand up to the frankly macho and alpha Serge.
Serge is an interesting hero. I had thought that Serge was a French name and Sergei the Russian version, but I could buy into it for his sake, and I didn’t spare much time wondering about it. Besides, Russia always used to have a close connection with France, and the Russian court spoke French customarily instead of the more “common” Russian.
The first scene is delicious. When Clementine realizes Serge is watching her, she puts on a bit of a show for him, flashing some thigh, smoothing the boots over her legs. He’s hooked, but he doesn’t realize that Clementine is a relative innocent. She flirts as part of her job, knowing it’s a power she can use against some of the powerful men she works with. I’m not so much a feminist that I’m above using what weapons we have, so I was with Clementine here.
Serge has an unusual job for a Presents hero – he’s a sports promoter, specifically, cage fighting. Brutal and unforgiving, it’s something Clementine finds hard to come to terms with, but she persists, knowing it’s important to Serge and seeing an opening for herself in the area. Told you I like her. For Clementine, it’s not all about pleasing the hero, and although he makes her melt, she won’t take shit from him or become his doormat. Go, Clem.
The story is told with pace and verve, with both the main characters behaving in character and without absolute stupidity. It flows, and I had no problem losing myself for a couple of hours.
The only thing this Russian’s money can’t buy… To merciless Russian Serge Marinov, Clementine Chevalier’s Mona Lisa smile and siren’s body could incite a male riot! She’s so bewitching that ground rules are required: he’ll give her nights of endless pleasure – but in the stark light of St Petersburg’s dawn he’ll be gone! Serge is Clementine’s secret fantasy come to life, but she has no interest in money – his diamonds leave her skin cold! So she sets some terms of her own: she won’t be warming his bed until he shows her she’s more than just this magnate’s plaything!
Read an excerpt.