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Diamonds & Deceit (At Somerton)

Review

Diamonds & Deceit (At Somerton)

DIAMONDS & DECEIT, book two in At Somerton, picks up where we left off --- at the height of drama. The year is 1913 and England is on the brink of great change. Servants are in short supply as people move to the city to pursue trade, and the line between classes is increasingly blurred. Signs of modernity are everywhere--- in the new department store Selfridges, in the telephones installed at Somerton and in the electric motorcars. Even as news of a European conflict spreads, the wealthy remain focused on their private, domestic drama. Trying to put her true love Ravi out of mind, Ada has become engaged to Lord Fintan. In contrast to the Indian scholar, Laurence Fintan represents a conventional match --- one that Ada’s family would approve. Laurence may not ignite feelings of passion, but he respects Ada and promises that she can attend Oxford after they’ve married. So why does Ada feel unsure of her choice?

Readers will be pulled in once again by the drawing-room romance and intrigue.

Rose, the lady’s maid turned lady (and the earl’s illegitimate daughter), struggles to adjust to her elevated position in the Averley family. Her first season is a critical time for Rose to present herself before London’s elite. She braves the jibes of the other debutantes, who remind Rose of her history in service. Only the Scottish duke, Alexander Ross, pays her friendly attention. It’s no surprise that Rose falls for Alexander, despite his disreputable past.

While her sisters attend a whirlwind of balls and parties in London, Georgiana remains at Somerton. Although the youngest Averley takes on more household responsibilities, she remains ignorant of the scandalous goings on. Sebastian continues to fight to exonerate his valet and secret lover, Oliver, for the murder he didn’t commit. Cousin William’s reckless spending places Somerton Court in financial peril.

The arrival of the second book in Leila Rasheed’s YA series perfectly coincides with the season premiere of Downton Abbey. Readers will be pulled in once again by the drawing-room romance and intrigue. Just as in CINDERS & SAPPHIRES, Rasheed convincingly juggles multiple perspectives and represents individuals from every class. Lavish period detail makes up for the more implausible and melodramatic moments in the novel.

Reviewed by Emma Kantor on December 31, 2013

Diamonds & Deceit (At Somerton)
by Leila Rasheed

  • Publication Date: December 9, 2014
  • Genres: Romance
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1423176413
  • ISBN-13: 9781423176411