Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Diamonds and Deceit

Diamonds and Deceit
By Leila Rasheed
Published: January 7, 2014

One house, two two in our sumptuous and enticing YA series about the servants and gentry at Somerton Court.

A house divided...

London is a whirl of balls and teas, alliances and rivalries. Rose has never felt more out of place. With the Season in full swing, she can't help but still feel a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then Rose meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard the rumors about Ross's sordid past just like everyone else has. Yet he alone treats her as a friend. Rose knows better than to give her heart to an aristocrat with such a reputation, but it may be too late.

Ada should be happy. She is engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? Even if she hated Lord Fintan, she would have no choice but to go through with the marriage. Every day a new credit collector knocks on the door of their London flat, demanding payment for her cousin William's expenditures. Her father's heir seems determined to bring her family to ruin, and only a brilliant marriage can save Somerton Court and the Averleys' reputation.

Meanwhile, at Somerton, Sebastian is out of his mind with worry for his former valet Oliver, who refuses to plead innocent to the murder charges against him--for a death caused by Sebastian himself. Sebastian will do whatever he can to help the boy he loves, but his indiscretion is dangerous fodder for a reporter with sharp eyes and dishonorable intentions.

The colorful cast of the At Somerton series returns in this enthralling sequel about class and fortune, trust and betrayal, love and revenge.

My review:

Diamonds and Deceit is the sequel to Cinders and Sapphires, a novel that I really enjoyed. While I still liked Diamonds and Deceit and found it to be entertaining I thought that some of the characters and story lines were not given enough space. The parts of the novel that most captured my attention featured Rose and her adjustment to her new status as well as the developing romance with Alexander Ross. Rose is definitely my favorite character in this series. 

Ada comes across as a weak character in this installment much of the time. She showed such promise in Cinders and Sapphires which is what makes it such a disappointment here. Where is the girl that was so passionate about going to Oxford or even her relationship with Ravi? He is barely mentioned and her educational plans take a backseat to wedding planning. Even the dilemma with Sebastian and Oliver receives surprisingly little page time which was surprising considering the seriousness of the situation. 

I did enjoy reading about Rose and seeing Ada's younger sister grow up and take charge of things at Somerton in Ada's absence. I also liked the secrets and servant squabbles. Overall however while I thought the book was a fun and entertaining story, I felt a little let down in the end. The first book seemed to have too much plot and this book too little. More character development would have improved it. Still I plan to read the next book if there is one. If you are a fan of  Downton Abbey and soapy YA historical fiction like the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen  you might enjoy this series even with its flaws. It is gossipy fun.

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher

1 comment:

  1. I loved the ending for this book-I kept wondering if WWI was going to start and we got our answer. I thought the Rose/Huntleigh romance was compelling but was so tired of Ada by the end (I didn't think much of her romance in book one and found her even duller here.)


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!