Review – The Duke of Diamonds by Emily Windsor

About the Book:

A lady intent on deception…
A duke who knows every trick in the book…
A passionate obsession with fiery consequences.

With a coldness to match the diamonds that adorn his cravat, Casper Brook, the eighth Duke of Rothwell, possesses all a nobleman could desire…almost.

So when a seductive minx perches upon his desk and claims to know the whereabouts of his one deepest obsession, temptation beckons to uncover all her secrets.

With a boldness to match the red-flame of her hair, Miss Evelyn Pearce possesses naught but an ailing young sister and an ebony-black cat…almost.

Her plan to deceive a duke of ruthless reputation is audacious, but in true society, weren’t all dukes braying and buffle-headed with jovial smiles and far too many acres?

Plots unravel, guises fall, passion flares and deceiving the flawless Duke of Diamonds has sparkling consequences…

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                     The Duke of Diamonds (Games of Gentlemen Book 1)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Evelyn Pearce is truly desperate.  When her artist father died, he left only debts, nothing for Evelyn and her younger sister, Artemisia, to live on.  Evelyn barely ekes out a living by painting scenery for a local theatre, and that only provides enough for rent for a squalid room and a few sad vegetables to eat.  When Artemisia becomes seriously ill, Evelyn falls even further into trouble by now owing money to a heartless man who’s quite willing to take his payment in the form of sexual favors from the sisters.  Evelyn knows that the Duke of Rothwell paid a hefty price for one of her father’s paintings, in fact, it’s one that she modeled for.  Her father had intended to paint a companion portrait, but only got as far as the rough drawing.  Evelyn, who is talented in her own right, believes that she can create the second portrait, and sell it to the duke.

Casper Brook inherited his ducal title when he was only seventeen.  He also discovered that his father was living on credit, not paying his servants, and neglecting his tenants.  The family was in dire financial straits, but Casper worked tirelessly for the last thirteen years to make his dukedom prosperous again.  Somehow, along the way, he lost his joy and sense of fun, and now lives a no-nonsense life on a strict schedule.  His only indulgence is the portrait of the young lady who totally captivates him.  Though the portrait only shows the smallest portion of her face, Casper feels her strength and determination, and is half in love with her.  When he is approached by a woman claiming to own the companion portrait, he immediately senses a scam, but decides he has to take a chance.

Thus begins the cat and mouse game between Evelyn and Casper.  While Casper admits that the new portrait looks like the work of her father, it just isn’t quite right.  And, in his opinion, neither is Evelyn, who is definitely being deceitful.  He’s determined to find out the truth about her, but until she’s ready to confess, he’s happy to spend time in her company.  As Casper learns a little more of Evelyn’s sad situation, and how very ill her sister is, he shows his true colors by providing a temporary home, medical care, and food for them.  The icy duke also comes to see how much he’s changed over the years, and how he was quashing the spirit of his own younger brother.

THE DUKE OF DIAMONDS is a lovely story which never fails to entertain, even while touching your heart.  Evelyn is truly a desperate woman, and while I’m not a fan of scam artists, I couldn’t help but think how desperate I would be if a beloved relative was near death, and I had no other means of helping.  The chemistry between this couple is definitely steamy, and their battle of wits is just charming.  I love how Evelyn brought light and fun back into Casper’s world, and how he brought stability and security to hers, while they shared an unexpectedly passionate romance.  THE DUKE OF DIAMONDS makes for excellent reading for those who enjoy stories with warmth, wit, and plenty of heart.    ~Rose

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