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  • A Force to be Reckoned With!

    Although Poppy was forced to take part in just one season of New York society, her penchant for attracting trouble could make her remembered for years. Time after time, she finds herself embroiled in activities that shock her genteel grandmother, Viola. Out of desperation, Viola convinces the very proper British Reginald Blackburn (who is secretly a Duke’s son) to instruct Poppy about the correct way to behave. Reginald himself is fit to be tied by Poppy since she continues getting into trouble and drags him into it as well. Many hilarious situations develop, although, some of them unexpectedly turn out to be serious. In an unforeseen twist, the ending brings together lots of information that hadn’t seemed related. I loved this this clean, entertaining tale was told from a Christian perspective. A good point about how secrets eventually come out was made to Reginald, but applies to others who have secrets in this story. Murray’s characteristics didn’t come together for me (was he originally going to be someone different?), but everything else in this fun tale drew me in. This 5-star book will be enjoyed by those who like well-written, light-hearted romances of yesteryear--with some unforeseen zigzags. Bethany House Publishing through NetGalley has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of, Diamond in the Rough, for the purpose of review.

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  • •*• Author Wields Comedy Like a Sword! •*•

    I could not stop smiling & laughing. This is her best book yet & the cover is to die for! 1885, New York, NY – “Any smidgen of hope that her entrance into New York high society would be deemed a rousing success died the moment Miss Poppy Garrison’s tiara became firmly attached to the sleeve of her dance partner.” Now how is that for an opening line? Poppy has left her family’s Kentucky horse farm to come to New York at the request, or rather insistence of her excessively wealthy grandmother to experience her first “Season”. She tends to say and do the first thing that pops into her head often to the horror of her grandmother and those of the elite NY 400. Disaster tends to follow her, but since she is quite used to that she simply rolls with it. “Do you know that I once got knocked straight off a horse because a duck flew into me?” The Earl of Lonsdale and his cousin, Reginald Blackburn have traveled from England to find an American heiress to marry, effectively rescuing the Earl from financial ruin. However, they are determined to find someone of good character. Something Reginald is certain Miss Garrison certainly is not from the unusual way her dance partner twirled her away, crashing directly into himself and her less than demure commentary to the perturbed host of the ballroom. Then later, finding her crawling on all fours in search of something. “Reginald was of the firm belief that always maintaining the proprieties was exactly what separated true ladies and gentlemen from the masses.” No, Miss Poppy Garrison was certainly not the type of woman he would approve of for his cousin. But when disaster and mystery follow Poppy around like a bad penny, Reginald finds himself caught up in her world, most unexpectedly. As does the meek mannered Mr. Middleton whom Poppy quickly befriends. I really enjoyed the dynamic of her relationship with both men who are distinctly different. Watching Murray Middleton grow and come into his own as the story progressed was a delight. The “snail scene” was hilarious. Very “Pretty Woman”. Just like in real life, the supporting characters take an active role and add so much to the story. TEA MOMENT: Ok, so I was so excited by the tea-themed cover of this novel, months before it was even close to release. So imagine my surprise when Poppy is at the tearoom in Rutherford & Co. and this happens, “They do offer an impressive assortment of teas, but…” She looked up. “Will you find me quite beyond the pale if I admit I don’t actually care for tea, preferring coffee instead?” “You don’t care for tea?” “Shocking, I know.” “Scandalous more like.” But, my little heart attack was quickly diminished by the hilarious scone and clotted cream scene. “Adele frowned, “You said you were savoring clotted cream when I first arrived.” “Savoring, detesting,” Poppy said with a wave of her hand. … “It was a riveting battle if Reginald had ever seen one, although one where clotted cream, jam, and scones were the weapons, instead of the usual pistols, swords, or knives.” FAITH MOMENT: “Family matters. Friends matter. Embracing a relationship with God matters. And it’s past time I rectify that.” MYSTERY NOTE: I genuinely thought I knew who the culprit of the story was, smiling to myself that I had figured it out. Boy was I wrong! The breadcrumbs that led me to my choice unexpectedly did NOT lead to who I thought they would. Naturally, that made the story even more exciting. While there is a bit of danger, there is not any gore or undue stress to the reader. I am so smitten with this book, I may have to forego my To-Be-Read pile in favor of re-reading older Jen Turano novels again! American Heiresses Series: Flights of Fancy – book 1 Jan 1, 2019 Diamond in the Rough – book 2 Sept 3, 2019 Storing Up Trouble – book 3 tba I received a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further compensation. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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  • A delightful novel

    Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is the second book in the American Heiresses series. It can be read as a standalone for those new to this series of books. However, I heartily recommend reading Flights of Fancy (it is a delight to read). From the very first page, I was drawn into this engaging and humorous historical novel. Poppy Garrison is a vibrant woman with a zest for life. She is twenty-two years old and could care less about society. However, she made a promise to her grandmother and Poppy intends to keep it. Viola did not count on Poppy’s clumsiness or how often she manages to get herself into sticky situations. Poppy’s antics had me laughing through the whole book (there is a snail incident, a busy bustle, runaway horses, a tiara incident and so much more). Reginald Blackburn is an English gentleman who believes is proper decorum. He agrees to give lessons to Poppy, but he had not idea it was going to be such a challenge. I like how the characters grow as individuals as the story progresses. While Diamond in the Rough is humorous, there are some sweet, tender moments. The story focuses on Poppy and Reginald, but there are side stories involving some of the other characters (like Charles Wynn, Murray Middletown, Viola Van Rennsselaer, and Poppy’s mother). I thought Diamond in the Rough was well-written and it proceeded at a fast pace. I like how Jen Turano captured the time period with the clothing, language, the dances, books, conveyances, and people. I was swept back to the Gilded Age and watched Poppy as she was let loose on New York high society. My favorite line comes from Poppy when she states, “I’ve always felt that misfits are far more interesting than normal folks.” Diamond in the Rough is by far my favorite book by Jen Turano. I cannot wait to read the next novel in the American Heiresses series. Diamond in the Rough is an amusing historical novel that has dizzying dances, runaway rides, an eager earl, rowing relatives, slippery snails, husband hunters and a peppy Poppy.

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  • Needs more than 5 Stars!

    If any book should be turned into a movie it is this one. Jen Turano took my breath away. She had me laughing out loud and actually giggling in one chapter, and the next I was holding my breath in suspense. There is no possible way to guess where the story was going to go, and I enjoyed every moment of it. How Turano can make such interesting characters I’ll never know. And the dialogue is so funny and ridiculous at times that I can’t imagine how she comes up with them. I need more books like this in my life. I love Poppy. She is so much fun to watch, and one can never guess what ruckuss she is going to get into next. There is just something about her complete honesty that is so refreshing. I loved watching the way her and Reginald interacted and how she exasperated him constantly. The secondary characters were so fun to get to know, and I was not ready to say goodbye. I can’t wait to see what Turano does next! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read. The Historical aspect was so fun to imagine, and I felt like I was on an awesome adventure. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and was in no way forced to post a review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

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  • Fun-Loving

    Diamond in the Rough is the second book in the American Heiress Series by Jen Turano. The story starts with heiress, Poppy Garrison, getting her tiara tangled up in her dance partner’s sleeve during a quadrille and that begins one of the most fun-loving and delightfully written books I have read in a long time. Poppy our heroine is funny, straight forward, and has a knack for finding trouble. (I might be able to relate) Our hero,Reginald Blackburn, is the second son of Duke who is everything that is proper. Together they are a great mix of order and chaos. I enjoyed reading all of their encounters, and laughed out loud throughout the story. There are a host of secondary characters in the story that are delightful and make this a memorable book. Jen Turano has a way of making you smile, making sure you do not take yourself too seriously, and making you think. It really is quite impressive. I anxiously await the release of Jen Turano’s books. I was not disappointed with a Diamond in the Rough which was a joy to read. I highly recommend it. I was given the book by the publisher and not required to write a review.

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