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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Review: Diamond in the Rough (The Brides of St. Ives #3) by Jane Goodger




Print Length: 263 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (August 14, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: In the charming seaside town of St. Ives, a buried secret could bring an unlikely pair together for a lifetime...

Clara Anderson's mother has one mission: to marry off her daughter to a titled gentleman. Unfortunately, though the Andersons have come up in the world, Clara is still the granddaughter of a pig farmer, which means no self-respecting aristocrat will marry her. That's just fine with Clara, who's grown to disdain the upper classes. So when she meets an attractive man even more common than she is, she decides it's time to forge her own path...

...Except that handsome, rugged Nathaniel Emory, Baron Alford, is no more a commoner than Clara is a blue-blood. He's appeared on the scene for one reason only: to save his family's estate from ruin by finding the exceedingly valuable blue diamond his grandfather buried in the Anderson's garden fifty years ago. To do that, he must pretend to be a gardener. He didn't count on the most beautiful girl he's ever seen getting in his way. But Clara has made no secret of her dislike for aristocrats. Which means that once she uncovers his ruse, he's certain she'll never see him again.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story was... interesting. In a lot of ways this was a good story. The characters were complex and the writing was strong. However, the story itself just doesn't live up to its potential. 

To begin with there are several different story-lines happening all at once. You have Clara, being forced to hide her disdain for everyone "high born" as her mother is determined to see her marry a title. You have Nathaniel, whose title is in dire straights, his home in ruins, and the only thing that can save it is this mysterious blue diamond that is purported to be worth a fortune. 

While these are the main characters and the story revolves mostly around them, we also get a brief glimpse at Clara's sister Harriet, who seemingly without warning, becomes engaged to an Earl (I understand she has her own story that runs concurrently with this one, but it was still a little odd the way we see things play out with this one. There was seemingly no explanation so for someone who isn't familiar with this series it was rather confusing). 

However the most disappointing story-lines are the ones involving Mr. Belmont and  Mr.King. The way these were resolved were anticlimactic at best, and boring at worst. I definitely expected more from both of these story-lines, especially considering how long Mr.King had searched for answers. I feel like his thread was cut short - there was so much left unanswered here, and no way to say for one hundred percent the person purported to be involved actually was - and if he was - no real reason why he did what he did. 

Other than that, and to be fair, some if not most readers will be able to overlook these things as they will either already be familiar with Harriet's story, or they will be more concerned with the HEA that anything else falls to the side. And to be fair, I enjoyed the banter between Nathaniel and Clara, and watching them find love when everything seemed stacked against them. Their story is definitely the main focus (as it should be), and in that I was thoroughly entertained. 

All things considered, I would read more from this author, and I do think this story will appeal not only to fans of this series, but those who enjoy an engaging historical romance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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                           Diamond in the Rough is available from Amazon.com

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