The Diamond Series Boxed Set by Cassandra Dean

September 11, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Diamond Series Boxed Set by Cassandra DeanRough Diamond by Cassandra Dean
Series: Diamond #1
Published by Decadent Publishing Company LLC on June 30, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 133
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-stars
Stop on by the Diamond Saloon, where devious Englishmen blithely charm sceptical saloon owners and where voluptuous singers archly tease the strong, silent type. Enjoy these two sexy tales from Freewill, Wyoming.

ROUGH DIAMOND
Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won’t be selling her saloon to anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin…but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath.

Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow’s saloon—the coal buried deep in land she owns. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul.

Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?

FOOL’S GOLD
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.

Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.

When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?

Two books in one!  This boxed set features ROUGH DIAMOND (the Diamond series #1) and FOOL’S GOLD (the Diamond series #2).

Part 1 – ROUGH DIAMOND

Alice Reynolds has lived in Freewill, Wyoming long enough to know that you don’t trust any stranger that comes into town.  Especially one sporting a mustard yellow waistcoat, speaking in an outrageous English accent, and offering to buy your precious saloon.  What Alice doesn’t realize at first is that Rupert Llewellyn doesn’t actually want her saloon, but the massive coal deposit buried underneath it.  As each tries to figure out the other, attraction takes hold and soon Alice and Rupert find themselves in a place neither anticipated!

Wonderful pacing and use of dramatic tension – another winner from Cassandra Dean!  Anticipation and tension build through this short novella culminating in not only the Diamond saloon’s monthly Spectacular show, but also Alice and Rupert’s surrender to their mutual attraction.  Rather than centering around the violent or rugged sterotypical plots of western novels, this plot is instead a romance in the truest sense of the word focusing on the romantic build-up between Alice and Rupert using the western setting as a backdrop instead of an external force acting upon the characters.

Alice is guarded around Rupert; she knows he is hiding something, but is intrigued by the handsome stranger.  She is also a happily independent businesswoman who does not appreciate the men around her attempting to quash her freedom and ability to make her own decisions.

At first, I didn’t like Rupert.  I thought he was an over-the-top dandy who spoke in an overly-affected English sterotype.  Thankfully, it was made clear very quickly that this was an intention choice made by Rupert to hide who he really was from the people of Freewill, not his actual character.  The real Rupert is a tough Welshman with a keen intellect and sharp attention to detail.  He is surprised by his growing feelings towards Alice, but must balance his genuine interest in her against the contract he signed with his employers.

Part 2 – FOOL’S GOLD

A feel-good Christmas novella, FOOL’S GOLD pairs the fiery Pearl la Monte (from the previous book) with rough-n-tumble Ethan Garrett.  The two have never seen eye-to-eye, but when a freak storm traps them inside the Diamond saloon overnight they soon realize that the passion they channel into their heated arguments is much better channeled into release between the sheets.

This novella was a cute peek into the lives of Pearl and Garrett and shows the story of how these two tempestuous people get together.  They are constantly sniping at each other (Pearl moreso than Garrett), but secretly they genuinely enjoy the banter and excitement the other provides.

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