Monday, December 9, 2013

Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed

Diamonds & Deceit by Leila Rasheed is the second book in the At Somerton series. I had some issues with the first book in the series and didn't intend to read on, but I was given an e-galley by the publisher, so I figured I'd see if the series could redeem itself. I'm going to have to include spoilers for Cinders & Sapphires in the following review . . . you've been warned.

In this book, Rose is caught between two worlds: she is not made welcome in polite society despite her new status, but neither is she allowed to return to her comfort zone below stairs. When she meets and enigmatic, artistic peer, she finds him unconventional and attractive, but so far above her that there's no question of a romance between them. Can they at least be friends, despite a few initial blunders? Meanwhile, Lady Ada has determined to accept a socially acceptable (and lucrative) proposal, putting her love for the Indian student Ravi behind her in order to save her family from further disgrace. But can she really deny her heart?

I'm a little mollified by the events of this book -- there was some fallout from the stuff that bothered me in the first book, which made it a little more realistic than the happy-sappy ending of Cinders & Sapphires promised. However, there's still nothing that elevates the writing above the common run of period romances, and the plot is fairly predictable.  Readers looking for Downton Abbey readalikes may want to consider this series, but don't expect it to transcend its genre.

(Reviewed from an e-galley, courtesy of the publisher.)

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