Friday, September 20, 2019

Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

Diamond in the Rough (American Heiresses, #2)
Good Day!  The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking by Leigh Perry releases on September 24 along with Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan and Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson.  There are some delightful new cozies coming out on this date.  I need more hours in the day to devote to reading. 
Participants of New York City's high society dancing at a fancy dress ball, that took place during the "social season"  These social events were held during America's Gilded Age, from the c.1870s to c.1900. ~ {cwlyons}
Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano takes us back to New York City in November of 1885.   Miss Poppy Garrison has agreed to be presented to society after her grandmother, Viola Van Rensselaer loans her parents’ money.  Being on a horse farm did not prepare Poppy for society functions and she lacks the knowledge on proper decorum.  After a major faux pas during the Gypsy Quadrille, Viola asks Mr. Reginald Blackburn, visiting from England with his cousin, to give Poppy lessons on etiquette and decorum.  Viola wants Poppy to be declared a diamond of the first water for this social season which is a lofty goal.  Reginald is the second son of a Duke and has accompanied Lord Charles Wynn, ninth Earl of Lonsdale, to New York to find an heiress to become a wife.  Since Charles was unable to keep his eyes off Poppy at the event, Reginald agrees to give Poppy lessons.  Reginald had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed.  He soon finds that Poppy is unlike any woman he has ever met which, after a time, he finds refreshing.  However, Reginald has never backed down from a challenge and he sets out to make Poppy a model debutante.  Will Reginald and Poppy survive the social season?  Who will Charles pick for his bride?
Worth ball gown, 1898From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
A Worth Ball Gown
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.
Mansions of the Gilded Age: Search results for facebook
Diamond in the Rough is available at Amazon (Amazon UK) and other major retailers. Flights of Fancy is the first book in the American Heiresses series and it is available on Kindle Unlimited.  Thank you for dropping by today.  I hope I have helped you find a new books and author.  Tomorrow I am reviewing Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson.  It is the 24th A Melanie Travis Mystery and has three Australian Shepherd puppies in it.  May you have a marvelous day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

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