Madeline Hunter wraps up her "Rarest Blooms" series with Dangerous in Diamonds, the long-awaited pairing of Daphne Joyes, the very proper proprietor of The Rarest Blooms floral nursery, and the hedonistic Duke of Castleton. I had a great time reading this funny, sexy and poignant romance.
Daphne is shocked to learn that the new owner of the property upon which her home and nursery stands is none other than the notorious Duke of Castleton. He was bequeathed the property, along with several others, with a request to allow the renters to remain on the properties at their current, very low, rent. Daphne fears for her future, for the duke is infamous for his debauched ways. He does all the business of the dukedom - and remains sober - only on Tuesdays. The rest of the time he lives a wild and self-indulgent life. All Daphne wants is to be left alone. Fat chance.
Castleton is shocked to learn the identity of his new tenant, for she is well known to his friends, having shared her home with their wives in previous books. He knows of her, but has never met her. When he sees how stunningly beautiful, intelligent and intriguing she is, he believes his friends have kept her a secret from him on purpose, to save her from his advances. And advance he does, deciding to have an affair the moment they meet.
Problem is, Daphne is a much harder nut to crack than he expected and he finds himself having to remain sober and participate in the world on days other than Tuesdays, for which he blames her. "The hell she was sorry. Mrs. Joyes was turning this into a Tuesday on purpose. It was his punishment for forcing this intrusion on their convent." But he finds he doesn't mind so much. Being notorious is grueling work after so many years, and seeing daylight on days other than Tuesdays is a bit eye-opening.
Dangerous in Diamonds is a fun book. Oh, there is all the emotion and angst and historical turning points Hunter always includes in her books. But this one was also laugh-out-loud funny. Castleton is an entirely unique creation - I've never read another character like him - and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading his and Daphne's romance.
This is the last book in a series, so the previous books' characters all show up, but they are not just window dressing. They play integral parts in this story and add to the depth and fun to be had while reading. This is a terrific read.
Reviewed by Cheryl Sneed, May 28, 2011