Cover Image: Diamond in the Rough

Diamond in the Rough

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Member Reviews

“He loved her. It was as simple as that, even though she was the most exhausting and exasperating lady he’d ever met in his life.“

For all that I immediately engaged in Izzie’s story in Flights of Fancy, it took me a while to get into Diamond in the Rough. I liked Poppy immediately – and admired her for her pluck and determination even when she’s the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. I also liked Reginald right away, despite his rather stodgy name, because even though he is also stodgy I saw his potential right away. Plus he’s swoonily British and finds Poppy fascinating – both additional points in his favor. So I’m not exactly sure why I had a hard time connecting with the book, other than just mental fatigue after a long week.

However, once I got over my initial lack of enthusiasm, I became immersed in the true heart of the story and enjoyed watching Poppy set the New York 400 – and Reginald, too – off kilter. She’s such a genuine character with a big heart, and my heart smiled with the emphasis on social justice that Turano wove effortlessly into this story, even when Poppy hilariously set even that a bit off kilter too. Seeing Reginald all ruffled by Poppy’s persistence in discussing undergarments, her magnetism for mayhem, and the way she’s tumbling her way into his heart is deliciously swoony… and Diamond in the Rough wins the award for my favorite kissing scene by this author. Keep a fan handy for that one!

Bottom Line: While I wasn’t a fan of Diamond in the Rough at first, I ended up completely enjoying the story after all. Which is appropriate, given the title, I suppose. Poppy and Reginald are such great characters – and the banter between them will keep you grinning besottedly throughout. Poppy’s family unexpectedly grew on me as the story progressed, and I loved the cameo from Miss Mabel & references to beloved characters from Turano’s previous books. And Murray! Oh I loved Murray. What a hoot. Another fun misadventure through the ridiculousness of the Gilded Age.

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book)
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A Force to be Reckoned With!

Although Poppy was forced to take part in just one season of New York society, her penchant for attracting trouble could make her remembered for years.   Time after time, she finds herself embroiled in activities that shock her genteel grandmother, Viola.  Out of desperation, Viola convinces the very proper British Reginald Blackburn (who is secretly a Duke’s son) to instruct Poppy about the correct way to behave.  Reginald himself is fit to be tied by Poppy since she continues getting into trouble and drags him into it as well.

Many hilarious situations develop, although, some of them unexpectedly turn out to be serious.  In an unforeseen twist, the ending brings together lots of information that hadn’t seemed related.  I loved that this clean, entertaining tale was told from a Christian perspective.

A good point about how secrets eventually come out was made to Reginald, but applies to others who have secrets in this story. Murray’s characteristics didn’t come together for me (was he originally going to be someone different?), but everything else in this fun tale drew me in.  This 5-star book will be enjoyed by those who like well-written, light-hearted romances of yesteryear--with some unforeseen zigzags.

Bethany House Publishing through NetGalley has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of, Diamond in the Rough, for the purpose of review.   I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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She's taking New York, and him, by storm!

There are many adjectives that apply to a Jen Turano book. Delightful. Charming. Enchanting. Captivating. Fascinating. Engaging. Lovely. Scrumptious. All of these definitely apply to this Diamond In The Rough who, with the help of a certain English gentleman, is either going to turn into a diamond of the first water or a colossal disgrace during her first society season.

But, oh, Poppy's madcap adventures are so much fun! As is Reginald's amusing attempts to reign her in and save her from herself. I'd swear I say this with every new release, but it's true. Diamond In The Rough is probably my favorite Jen Turano far...or at least until the next American Heiresses book comes out.

You really can't go wrong choosing to read a Jen Turano book. Whether you love historical romance or romantic comedy she's got you covered. The addition of a suspense thread to each book is icing on a very wonderful 'cake'! Diamond In The Rough is a definite must read in my book. What are you waiting for...?

(I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
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Poppy could be me. You know, if I was to participate in a New York season. Anyway.

Diamond in the Rough was a funny, lighthearted romance with a solid core of staying true to who you are no matter who anyone else thinks you should become. Not everyone can claim that status, but Poppy holds her own no matter what is thrown her way. Was it a little too much? At times, yes, but everything is wrapped up nicely in the end. Poppy’s clutziness is not at fault for every incident. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. Jen Turano knows how to write comedy in high society.

Poppy’s desire to give her grandmother the coming out season she wanted for her own daughter leads Poppy to seek lessons from Reginald and the real fun begins. What I enjoyed most was that what I was certain would be the main conflict during the climax of the story only turned out to be a blip on the radar. Since this is Poppy’s story, everything is extreme. I loved how Jen Turano tied everything together in the end.

I requested a copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano was a laugh-out-loud, intriguing, awkward sometimes, can’t put it down read.  This book has the feels of a Jane Austen.  I felt she did a good job of developing her characters.  Some of them had me liking them and some of them were cheats!  The dressing gown incident was LAUGH-OUT-LOUD funny!  The events and dresses were descriptive.  The snail incident was HUMOROUS!  Actually, there was a lot of laughing through this one.  I recommend you pick this one up.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

***Also posted on CBD and B&N
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Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is the second book in the American Heiresses series, and it can be read as a stand alone novel. Poppy Garrison is debuting into the society of the New York 400. However, she struggles with all the etiquette rules   At the same time, Reginald Blackburn has arrived on the same social scene with the plan of finding an heiress to we'd his improvised aristocratic cousin..  When Poppy embarresses herself in society, Reginald steps in to act as her tutor in the social Grace's, and each is attracted to the other.  Turano adds in a devious plot of social climbing, money, and power to create a more intricate plot. Her snappy dialogue will keep the reader entertained and swept up into her fictional world.
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This is hands down my favorite book of Jen's to-date! (Is anyone keeping track of how many times I've said that?) Characters both charming and despicable...Predicaments both humorous and daring. 

As the story weaves around Miss Poppy and her attempts at making a smooth transition into society...She gains an unwitting tutor in a very *ahem* dashing Englishman. While Reginald exhausts all avenues available to him to make Poppy a "Diamond of the first water" he conceals his true identity from Poppy.

I have never laughed so much! I kept waking up my husband from all my giggling! Jen Turano has such a unique voice and weaves a beautiful story with thrilling dynamics and a sweet romance.

And don't forget book 1 of this series, Flights of Fancy, I promise I read it...But my review is elsewhere in the bookish land, however, and not on my blog. 😉

I received a complimentary copy of Diamond in the Rough from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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I’m not sure there are adequate words to describe how I feel about books by Ms. Turano. Anyone can say they love a book, but it doesn’t seem to be appropriate here, because I more than love them. I adore them. I can’t get enough of them. Her books always put a smile on my face, cheer me up on a bad day, and transport me to another world. Her character names are ingenious, some of their traits (and quotes) are entertaining, and the circumstances are always delightfully hilarious. Diamond in the Rough is no exception.

Poppy just might be my favorite character by Turano, ever. She says things at the wrong time, gets herself into some interesting pickles, and is a total handful. However, she is charming, not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right, and honestly tries to do the right thing. She is loyal to her family, and the cause of her grandmother trying to make her the best of the season. The scenes she has with children, with those less fortunate, and with her friends are such a pleasure to read. They show the true nature of Poppy – which should be seen by some other not-so-nice characters in the book.

There were so many laughable scenes I can’t even remember them all! The first line alone was great, let alone talking about snails tasting like chicken, the deaf Mr. Phalen thinking Viola was changing her name to Frank, ending up in water, and so many more. Turano is known for her quirky lines and this book has several to enjoy. The way Turano weaves a little humor into a good portion of the book is just amazing. The fact that her mind can think up these crazy stories just blows my mind!

But don’t let the humor fool you – Turano is also great at weaving in remarkable lessons in her stories. My favorite in this one happened to come from a character other than Poppy (I won’t say who to refrain from having a spoiler). This person happens to have a scene with the less fortunate, and sees how they truly live. It is at that very moment the character realizes all that they truly have and take for granted. It is also at that time I started to think of all that I had and take for granted. Yes, even among the comedy, there are lessons to be learned, and thoughts you cannot help but think. Bravo Ms. Turano for reminding me how good I really have it, even on days when I don’t feel like I do!

All in all, as with every other Turano book ever written, this is a book that you need to read! The characters, the circumstances, the setting, are all worth your time. I encourage you to really read into the characters and try to figure out who the bad guys might really be. I think you’ll be a little surprised with a twist at the end!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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"Diamond in the Rough" by Jen Turano provides a fun reading experience. Miss Poppy Garrison was raised on a horse farm, and has come to New York to join her grandmother for a "season" in polite society. Poppy becomes embroiled in one humorous exploit after another. She manages to surprise and offend quite a few people in the upper echelons of society as she attend numerous polite society engagements.

Reginald has come to America to accompany his impoverished relative, the Earl of Lonsdale, as he seeks an heiress for a bride. Poppy's grandmother Viola engages Reginald to instruct Poppy in proper etiquette to help her advance in society. The results are humorous and touching. 

This is a clean romance and a rollicking good read. Readers should prepare to be amused and also to learn some historical details about the time period in New York's upper crust society.

I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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So I finished Diamond in the Rough 2 1/2 weeks ago and am just now sitting down to write my review of it. I hate that I allowed that much time to go by but real life got in the way.

Diamond in the Rough was a little bit of a struggle for me. I'm not well-read in this time period, but I got so tired of seeing the phrase "diamond of the first water." Is that a legit thing from this time period? And if so, it's a dumb and long classification.

Poppy was a bit extra. I mean I just felt like the situations that she got herself into were too far-fetched and unrealistic. If nothing else, the frequency of these unrealistic events made them more unbelievable. A little less frequency and I might have been able to buy what Jen Turano was selling.

Reginald was okay. My biggest frustrations with him were surrounding his predictable conflict.

Which leads me to my next point. Despite the unrealistic nature of many of the events, the conflict was mostly predictable except the very last bit.

Overall Diamond in the Rough left me disappointed in most of the categories: heroine, hero, conflict, predictability, and realism. It wasn't awful, but I can't really say that I liked it. Diamond in the Rough gets 2.5 Stars. Have you read Diamond in the Rough? What did you think? Let me know!
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Another favorite author brings a story of love and changes amongst so many conflicts. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.
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Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Story Notes

Jen Turano presents her readers with the second in her American Heiress series that will leave you alternately rolling in laughter and rolling your eyes at the incredible happenings in Poppy’s never dull life.

Jen Turano has a gift for taking an ordinary story and making it an adventure of incredulous happenings and sharply witty conversations. She begins her latest story in true form with a young woman named Poppy who has just committed a social faux pas that could eliminate her chances of becoming a Diamond of the First Water. Not that she has any real desire to become such but circumstances insist that she do so to convince her strict grandmother to provide necessary funds to her family for recent financial issues. Poppy seems to have a talent for attracting trouble despite her good intentions and in an effort to help her improve her societal behavior, her grandmother asks Reginald Blackburn to teach Poppy some of the secrets of winning society over. But try as she might, Poppy cannot seem to avoid making further mistakes and bringing her friends right along with her. The most ironic thing is that her misadventures spur some of her shy friends into becoming more bold and assertive in their own lives. If only she can make it through the season with enough dignity still intact to please her grandmother enough to fulfill their bargain. Reginald Blackburn has come with his cousin, Charles, to America to help Charles choose an heiress as a bride. Agreeing to do so only with the understanding that his own identity remain hidden, Reginald begins his quest to find as much information about the possible candidates to pass along to Charles. Little did he expect to find himself agreeing to also help Miss Poppy Garrison navigate her way through the perils of upper crust society. Often frustrated but fascinated by the talent that Poppy has for misadventures, Reginald seeks to help Poppy understand the best response to the situations she finds herself in. As he gets to know Poppy better, Reginald begins to question if he should tell Poppy who he really is and see if she will still treat him the same as before. Continuing his deception becomes even more difficult when he unexpectedly finds himself falling in love with this quirky but very special lady. If only he could find a way to ensure she could love him for himself alone and not for the money his family has. As you will see when you read this fun story, there is a lot to love. Not only are the main characters really great with their actions and responses but the secondary characters often come in with some great lines and conversations. I love that Ms. Turano creates a complete story that is so realistic in its telling it makes you want to be in the story taking place. There is also a subtle inclusion of spiritual journey that is not pushy but naturally occurring. The characters grow throughout the book and all become better people because of their meeting each other and facing challenges together. I will certainly be recommending this excellent book to others and am very much looking forward to purchasing a copy of the book for my shelves. Hope the next one is out soon!

I received a complimentary copy of this E-book from Bethany House Publisher’s via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I will receive no fiscal compensation for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
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I was on a road trip and was looking for something fast, easy, and amusing to read. Also, I’d kinda given up on this author’s books, deeming them not my style, but then earlier this year I read a book of hers that I actually enjoyed, so I thought I’d give this one a go.

“Oops, I probably shouldn’t have requested this book for review” was what I thought about the book.

My disclaimer is this: I’m not the target audience for this author, and therefore I’ll refrain from requesting more of her books for review in the future because I don’t feel like my reviews give a fair picture of her writing.

Miss Jen writes over-the-top, crazy instances that wouldn’t actually happen in real life, especially during the time periods that her books take place. Her characters are also generally fairly unrealistic. I understand that this is on purpose to create amusement in the reader and that’s great. I know it’s a talent to be able to write like Miss Jen does and she’s good at her job. It’s just not a style I enjoy.

The first half of this book was going to get a solid two stars from me, but then the second half of the story snagged my interest and I upped my rating to three stars. Once again though, this is completely subjective and has a lot more to do with me rather than the writing or plot.


My conclusion is that this review is going to be wholly unhelpful for y’all because I’m pretty much just saying the book wasn’t my style and so, therefore, it drove me slightly crazy to read it. But, that it’s not a reflection of the book itself. So helpful, right?

Really though, I’d be delighted to hear from you as to if you like this style of book?

I do sometimes enjoy reading something along the lines of this story – mainly if I’ve had an incredibly busy and mind-numbing week, and I need to just relax. This book was very comparable to Hallmark movies.


I’m giving Diamond in the Rough 3 out of 5 stars. I’m thankful to Bethany House Publishers for giving me an e-copy so I could review it for y’all.
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Diamond in the Rough is book two in the American Heiresses series by Jen Turano. It is not necessary to have read book one in order to enjoy this one.
Summary: Poppy Garrison is in between a rock and a hard place. Her family has run into unexpected financial troubles, and although her grandmother has agreed to provided the needed funds, she has one stipulation-Poppy must come to New York City and participate in the social season.
Although she agrees, Poppy has more than a penchant for mistakenly landing in the most awkward of situations. Can she survive the season without embarrassing her family completely? Only time will tell!
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and this book is wonderful as well. It was so much fun to read about all the impossible situations Poppy manages to get into-and unwittingly drag along her family and newfound friends in the process.
If I was to find any fault though, I would mention that there are so many characters, I found them difficult to keep straight at times. Other than that, this book is a perfectly delightful read, and I highly recommend it!
I would like to thank Bethany House for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!
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Diamond in the Rough, book two from the American Heiresses series, is just what I expect from Jen Turano - entertainment, delight, fun, sweetness and inspiration. I give it five stars. I can not wait for book three.
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Ms. Turano has been a favorite author of mine for a while, so when I was given the opportunity to read this newly released book in return for a review I was quite thrilled. This storyline is a historical fiction genre. It centers around society in the New York 400 of elite families when young women are presented to society seeking potential marriages that would benefit. both sides. Often, British would seek American heiresses in exchange for a title in order to save their crumbling estates in England. 

I enjoyed how the storyline was presented with a grandmother who desired to present her granddaughter who did not grow up in NY to society for her first season. The grandparents were estranged from their only daughter, Poppy's mother, because they were not satisfied with the man she chose to marry. I greatly enjoyed how the story unfolded bringing the family back together again while also following Poppy's experience in her first "season" in NY with all of the balls, etc.  Ms. Turano writes with a wonderful sense of humor, and I found myself laughing out loud much of the time as I read this book. 

My only disadvantage with this book likely stemmed from it not being the final edited version. There was a fair amount of grammatical errors, which tend to remove some of the fun experience of the storyline. However, these errors were not so blatant that I couldn't still fully enjoy the experience and humor of this story. I will definitely be watching for more books from this author going forward!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Poppy Garrison is more used to working on a horse farm than mingling with New York's elite four hundred. When she accepts her estranged grandmother's offer to give her a "season," she soon discovers that her klutzy ways and outspoken manner make her stand out--and not in a good way. A visiting Englishman, Reginald Blackburn, gets her out of one dangerous scrape after another. At the urging of Poppy's grandmother, he even acts as her social tutor to help her better fit into New York's social setting.

As Poppy draws the apparent attention of one lord and one rich businessman, events take a more dramatic turn. Are all of the kerfuffles in Miss Garrison's wake merely due to clumsiness, or is she actually the victim of sabotage? Can Poppy become a diamond of the first water, or is it enough to hope that she will survive the social season with her life intact?

In true Jen Turano style, this book shows Poppy in one hilarious fiasco after another. At the beginning of the story, we find her dancing a quadrille when her tiara attaches itself to the sleeve of her diminutive partner's jacket. Reginald, a brooding and proper Englishman, is intrigued by Poppy's carefree ways and generous with his etiquette lessons. Although he is, purportedly, supposed to be helping his titled cousin find a bride, he finds himself growing attracted to Poppy himself. But will the secret Reginald is keeping from Poppy prove heinous enough to drive them apart?

This enjoyable farce has a bit of the Jeeves and Wooster flavor to it. The story is good for a few chuckles and falls heavily on the comedy side of romantic comedy. Although it is the second in the American Heiresses series, the books stand alone.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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In Jen Turano's latest tale, Diamond in the Rough, you will meet Miss Poppy Garrison.  Poppy has come to New York City to stay with her grandparents as she takes part in the social season.  Poppy has grown up in the country on a farm, where her parents have been breeding horses.  Country living is all Poppy has known.  She will soon run into a lot of rules and ways of living that she knows nothing about!

Poppy's grandmother, grand dame of the social scene, is only interested in Poppy making a success of her first time out in society.  You will soon see Poppy causing one fiasco after another as she attempts to blend into this new world!

When Poppy meets Reginald Blackburn, newly arrived from England to help his cousin attempt to find a bride, her life is about to get even more interesting.  Hang on as you watch Poppy and Reginald find themselves in the midst of some situations, of which society would never approve!

Hang on until the final page.  You will not believe the ending of this tale!
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Diamond in the Rough was not the type of book I normally read. In fact, its my first Jen Turano book. It was great fun, sometimes laugh out loud fun, with the accident prone Poppy and her antics. She always seemed to be getting into trouble: and usually in a funny way. In an early scene she ends up with her top end hanging out of a window. 

What with that and her unconventional family situation, she's far from a typical debutante, but she nevertheless catches the eye of Reginald Blackburn. In fact a couple of times he has to catch her physically. And rescue her on a couple of occasions. This is not done in a degrading way, it comes over as charming and its all part of the fiascos she gets into , often because she's trying to help someone herself. 

At times, I must admit it was a little hard to keep track of all the characters, but overall I enjoyed this story as a light and fun read set in New York in the late 1860s. 

The only thing I felt was a little implausible was that Poppy and even Reginald extreme surprise at the plight of the poor, and the implication they had basically never seen a poor person. There were charitable organization and projects to help the poor in Britain at this time and before, I think Reginald would not have been quite so naive.
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I went into this book thinking it was going to be like the many Regency novels I've read, and though it has some similarities with the upper class of society it was much more modern. And it should be, as the Regency era only lasted from 1811-1820 (thank you Wikipedia) and this takes place in 1885. So, while I have probably miscategorized many books as being Regency novels when they are, in fact, Victorian, one need not get hung up on the details of what to call what era. The point is that the social setting is among the wealthiest and "important" people in New York, and the main character, Poppy, is forced to socialize among them in order to save her family financially.

There is a bit of a My Fair Lady feel to Poppy being taught etiquette by Reginald Blackburn. The story was pretty lighthearted even throughout the crazy circumstances that came about. I didn't develop deep connections to the characters, but they were likable, and it was an entertaining read.
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