REVIEW: When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana GalenThursday, September 20, 2012 1:00
Sandy M’s review of When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, Book 1) by Shana Galen
Historical Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 1 Sep 12
I really enjoyed the relationship between the hero and heroine in this book. Once they actually meet, she very slowly tears down the walls he has erected around himself by keeping a very stiff and orderly life. Talk about not knowing what him. But even then he sticks to his structured order amid the new and eventually welcome chaos that has invaded his world.
A darling of the ton, Juliette, who is also known as the Duchess of Dalliance, one of The Three Diamonds, enjoys the freedom she has as a courtesan to the nobility. Lately she’s purported to have been dallying with the Duke of Pelham, but unfortunately she’s never even been introduced to the man. She’s about to remedy that situation at that night’s ball at Carlton House. If she’s supposed to be having fun with the duke, why not make it so?
William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, is about to announce his betrothal. He’s found the perfect woman to make his duchess, a no-nonsense, unemotional girl who will fit his life quite well. Though he is taken with the Duchess of Dalliance – she is no duchess! – a duke cannot take up with a courtesan. Even when he’s introduced to her, Pelham keeps his noble airs front and center. Of course, this makes society gossip all that much more. Then when trying to locate his fiance where he’d left her earlier, who he finds is the harlot, weaving an unlikely story of his betrothed’s murder by a man named Lucifer.
Juliette is frightened. Enough that she finds herself on Pelham’s doorstep, hoping for his protection. The man is as unapproachable and insulting as ever, but now that she feels safe, Juliette begins her stealthy campaign to show him how fun life can be. She dubs him Will, is late to meals, and races horses at breakneck speed, all of which are driving the duke toward his breaking point. But as Will gets to know Juliette, he learns more about the woman she is inside, his attitude toward her changes. They share beautiful intimacies, both in his bed and out. However, he is still quite adamant he will never marry her; and that is all Juliette wants at this point in her life, someone to love her, to raise children with, to grow old with.
In between all of this, they are trying to solve the case of Pelham’s missing fiance. He doesn’t quite believe Juliette’s claim the girl may be dead. This is where the mystery of the story comes in, and it’s done quite well with a stalking maniac, putting fear into Juliette and bringing out Pelham’s protective instincts. There’s a nice blend of fun between Will and Juliette and the mysterious events that eventually lead to a confrontation in which Juliette takes Will’s motto to heart and she stops running from her past. Of course, even after everything is solved, Juliette has a decision to make: to become Will’s mistress or walk away. One is as equally difficult as the other.
That decision hinges on Pelham’s ability to bend and then grovel. Will he be able to leave his life of strictures to live with more freedom for fun and perhaps even love? Has he learned anything about life during his time with Juliette? That’s what she hopes for, but even after everything they’ve been through together, will this duke take a lowly farm girl/courtesan as his wife?
This is a good start to a trilogy that will now follow the Countess of Charm and the Marchioness of Mystery. Ms. Galen has given readers a good balance between the light-hearted and the emotional, and I hope the other books will have more of that, while still giving us an intriguing story to feature each set of characters. I look forward to finding out what’s in store for them.
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…
Read an excerpt.