- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 511 KB
- Print Length: 133 pages
- Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC (24 Sept. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009G9ZLAK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,027,632 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Rough Diamond (The Diamond Series) Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When Rupert Llewellyn shows up in Freewill, Wyoming Alice Reynolds notices him. He tends to stick out from the crowd of coal miners, trappers and ranchers with his fancy waistcoats that are too loud and too bright, and his hair all slicked up with hair oil. His public school English accent makes him all that more handsome and when he shows up at the Diamond Saloon that Alice owns and wants to buy it from her she is not only adamant in her refusal but suspicious of the man who she is sure is just playing at being a fool.
Alice Reynolds is not what Rupert had expected at all. He was sure he could quickly purchase the Diamond and the claim Alice inherited from her late husband for the coal company he was working for and be done with it. He didn't expect to be insanely attracted to Mrs Reynolds and for her to have no desire to sell her saloon. Wyoming Coal made Rupert sign a confidentially clause so he can't tell Alice why he is there and the more he meets her and develops feelings for her the more he wants to be able to come clean.
Rough Diamond is a fantastic story of love, lust and greed in the old west. With a widowed saloon owner who was married off as a child bride and shipped out to Wyoming and a Welshmen that does his best to hid his bastard status and poor upbringing the story doesn't lack for secrets, steamy sex and love. When Alice and Rupert do come together it is as hot as a prairie fire and as explosive as the O.K. Corral.
I found this to be a really fun read with a good mix of steamy sex and story so while it was a very hot read it also had the substance and plot line to back it up. Who would have thought you could have a hot hunky hero named Rupert?!?
I wish that the book had been just a bit longer and maybe gone into the emotional history of the characters more but that doesn't detract from it being a great read.
I give Rough Diamond a 4 cocktails review.
Alice has been widowed for five years after leaving her home in Chicago to marry a Western saloon owner as a result of an arrangement her mother made for her. When he died, her husband left her his saloon and a tract of land with a possible coal deposit. Alice carefully does what she can to build up the profits of the saloon, but the little theater next door where she hosts her famous burlesque variety show is her real passion.
Rupert Llewelyn comes to the small town of Freewill, Wyoming on a mission for the large coal mining company he works for. The company wants to buy up all the land claims around the town because of the hint of the large coal deposit deep in the ground. Many sell, but there is one owner in particular, Mrs. Alice Reynolds, who holds a very coveted property deed. Rupert has a Welsh charm about him that has worked in his stead much of his life so he decides to act the charming idiot and coax the lovely widow into selling her property.
Much of the story is a light duel between Alice and Rupert as she tries to figure him out and he tries to achieve his goal. They are both surprised when genuine feelings start interfering with matters. Rupert now has the task of walking the edge of the blade between the confidential clause his employers insisted on and telling the truth to Alice before it all blows up in his face. Alice has been independent for some time and guarded her heart well, but now she must choose to take a chance and maybe find happiness with a man she knows is keeping something from her.
The plot is light as Westerns go- no violent 'shoot em ups' and though passion is present, its not explicit. The strength of the plot is in the tension that is created by Rupert's lies and wondering, as the two become more entangled in their feelings, when it will all blow up in his face.
The pace was pretty steady until near the end when it all sort of rushed to arrive and then returned to taking its time in the epilogue.
Rupert is one of those characters that could sell anything to anybody. He's a bit of a rogue, but beneath that shallow surface he has a conscience and a heart. Alice is a person of parts. She's tough because she's had to be, but she's lonely and vulnerable too. I enjoy how both characters' backgrounds were less than pristine, yet they made something of themselves. Rupert started out a bastard son grubbing in the Welsh coal mines and worked his way into a good position with a tidy nest egg. Alice started as a burlesque dancer who now owns her own profitable saloon and theater. I thought the secondary characters of Smith and Pearl were good sidekicks for Rupert and Alice.
Just on a side note, I have to say that I found Alice's little lingerie fetish pretty cute. I want one of her corsets (though what I'd do with it when I got it I'm not sure since wearing something that constricting wouldn't happen).
While it didn't knock my socks off, it was still a fun novella for a lazy weekend afternoon read. I would recommend this one for those who like lighter Western Romance.
As always, Cassandra Dean has produced a smart, creative romance with a fully immersive setting and well-drawn characters. Though perhaps not my favorite of her stories to date, fans and new readers alike will find a lot to enjoy in the Diamond series debut.
Alice Reynolds followed her husband from Chicago to Freewill, Wyoming, determined to make the best of her new life. Now a widow, and sole owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice works every day to ensure that her establishment is the most impressive in Freewill. So when a dandified English gentleman comes in, offering to buy her saloon right out from under her, Alice is furious--and alarmed. Because beneath his foppish exterior, she can see that this British stranger is hiding a razor-sharp intellect and determination enough to make him a formidable adversary.
Rupert Llewellyn was sent to convince Alice to sell, but his goal is not the saloon. His bosses want the land beneath it. Because the truth of the matter is that Alice is sitting on a seam of coal that will make a number of men very rich indeed. But in the course of his lifetime of lies and cunning, Rupert has never met a woman who gets under his skin in the same way that Alice does. Nor has he ever questioned the morality of his cons, until he gets to know the fearless, enigmatic owner of the Diamond.
Locked in a battle of wills, both Alice and Rupert find themselves slowly succumbing to a passion they can neither understand nor ignore. But can a relationship built on lies survive when the truth comes crashing down around them?
I always have a hard time with romance plots that involve characters lying to each other, in part because the honesty between protagonists, in all its forms, is what makes romances so compelling. It also bothered me that, for a large part of this story, Rupert's lies seemed more important to him than Alice. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that Cassandra Dean made the lies feel necessary, and she did a wonderful job conveying Rupert's conflicts and the events in his past that made his deceptions such a necessity to him. He was sympathetic in a way I hadn't expected, and I found, by the book's end, that I had fallen for him, as well.
Alice is a wonderfully multi-faceted heroine--strong, but vulnerable, especially in matters concerning the loss of her husband; brave and fearless, but very conscious of the dangers of living in a settler town. I was impressed with how well her peculiar relationship with the town of Freewill was described. She is a woman that everyone respects, but whom no one will speak to in public. When Rupert first offered her his arm to walk down the street, the moment was a truly compelling surprise.
I also enjoyed the descriptions of Freewill and its inhabitants. From her position at the Diamond, Alice has the chance to observe a number of the town's citizens and offers the reader a unique glimpse into her world. This is a story whose setting is as important as the living characters, and I loved exploring this historic world and would love the chance to return.
The connection between Alice and Rupert unfolds in a way that keeps them, and the reader, on their toes. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story, but it took me a while to feel the chemistry the between them. I appreciated the skill of Ms. Dean's storytelling, but this story didn't capture me in the same way many of her other books have. I think this might have something to do with the lies that were told and my aversion to that trope, so I encourage other readers to find out for themselves. Cassandra Dean is a consistently unpredictable, rewarding writer, and the Diamond series is definitely a series that fans will appreciate.
At first, the subterfuge is necessary. Rupert must make her believe he is anything other than what he is. His affect of a silly Englishman, set on buying Alice's saloon is endearing. Then, as you start to discover this isn't really Rupert's true self, you become as frustrated with the game as Alice is. Especially because the two begin to fall in love.
But when you discover what his true motives are, there is a bit of anxiety about the moment when she will discover that he is there at cross-purposes, because of course, you've fallen in love right along with her, and you know her heart is going to tear in two when she finds out. A fantastic journey of love and loss, and a pair of lovers who have as much fun as they do fire. Thoroughly enjoyable read.