Book Review: The Duke of Diamonds by Emily Windsor

About the Book:

Title: The duke of Diamonds

Author: Emily Windsor

Series: The Games of Gentlemen #1

Page Length: 300

Publication Date: April 2, 2020

Publisher: Senara Press

Synopsis: In the coldest flint, there is fire…
Casper Brook, the eighth Duke of Rothwell, has forever spurned frivolous pleasures, his restless emotions remaining buried beneath duty and command.
Yet when a titian-haired minx perches upon his ducal desk and claims to know the whereabouts of his one burning obsession, a game of wits and passion erupts…

Fire ignites from a spark…
Miss Evelyn Pearce possesses naught but a frail young sister and an ebony-black cat. Left destitute by her baronet father’s spendthrift ways, fate and talent hand her the opportunity to seek escape from the dangerous alleys of London town.
The cold Duke of Diamonds holds the key, and all Evelyn must do is resist his not-so-cold kiss…

A dance of flaming desire…
A passion forged on secrets can never be satisfied, but as guises fall and plots unravel, will the duke’s controlled façade shatter to reveal his searching heart within?

Regency romance with warmth and wit. This book contains sensual scenes.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |   

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.


My Review:

Life’s path, she’d learned, never remained true. From a distance, it appeared set and untroubled, but as one neared, the path twisted and curved. One either bent to its demand or snapped.

The Duke of Diamonds is the first book in The Games of Gentlemen series, and it is an engaging and chemistry-laden historical romance! Destitute and poverty-stricken after the death of her penniless father, Evelyn struggles to make ends meet and has a sickly sister to care for and protect. With an unsavory moneylender pushing for repayment, Evelyn is desperate. She decides to forge a painting in her famous father’s name and sell it to the wealthy duke who already owns and loves its companion piece. This is a super risky plan, and if she is caught, Evelyn could face serious sentencing.

Casper Brook, the Duke of Rothwell, loves the painting he acquired years ago. I mean, he really loves it. He feels a connection with the woman in the painting and even speaks to her. Needless to say, he is intrigued when Evelyn claims there is a companion piece. Casper is fairly certain Evelyn is lying, but he’s too intrigued by her and the painting she speaks of. Will Casper find out about her lie? Can they resist their feelings for each other? Can Evelyn pay back the moneylenders before it’s too late?

Known as the Duke of Diamonds, Casper is an uptight proper duke who has a hard time expressing his emotions. He is very aware of what is expected of him as a duke, but he struggles to be himself amid these strict societal rules. However, this changes when he meets Evelyn. Getting to know Evelyn changes Casper for the better, and Evelyn teaches him a lot about love, embracing his feelings, and opening up to others. Both have great character arcs. I thought their stories were engaging and compelling, and I liked that, though they came from very different situations, they had a lot in common. The chemistry between Casper and Evelyn is off the charts from the beginning, and I loved how their relationship progressed. They both seem unable to resist each other, and their banter is fabulous!

She turned, and ye gods, he ached.

I also love that Casper and Evelyn share a deep love of art. Their discussions and analysis of different pieces and artists are fantastic! Talking about (and to) art is one of the few times where Casper doesn’t seem so reserved and closed off. With her and talking about art, Casper can be himself. Underneath that composed and proper exterior is a passionate, kind, and generous man, and his love of art is infectious, as is Evelyn’s.

Like Windsor’s other books, the minor characters are as delightful as the protagonists. Evelyn’s sister is so sweet and supportive, and their friend Flora is hysterical. Casper’s rakish younger brother is so charming, but there is more to him than meets the eye. I love that he is the focus of the next book in the series! Casper’s uncle is another wonderful addition to the story. All of these characters offer love, words of wisdom, encouragement and support, a bit of levity, and other wonderful dynamics to the story.

Some suspenseful situations arise as nefarious money lenders demand repayment from Evelyn. Their lewd suggestions in lieu of payment and hints of what will happen to her if she can’t pay, as well as her sister’s weakened state, add a sense of urgency to the plot.

This is an entertaining start to The Games of Gentlemen series, and I think it is a great story for readers of historical romance. The characters are unique and interesting, and the love story is wonderful! Thanks so much to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!!
  • The secondary characters.
  • The intrigue.
  • The discussions about art.

Favorite Lines:

Such beauty should not be lurking in shadowed hallways but dancing in the light.

Whether in portrait or life, women were a blasted menace to his sanity.

Trust was a fragile bridge between two people that once broken was not easily mended. Fragility underpinned it, doubt layered it, only time strengthened it.

Sometimes we do not realize the burden is so heavy until it is lifted.

Recommendations:

I would recommend The Duke of Diamonds to readers who enjoy historical romances with well-developed characters, great banter, and a swoon-worthy love story.

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