Diamond in the Rough

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Poppy agreed to attend a New York season with her grandmother, Viola, in exchange for some financial assistance to her parents. But Viola's plans to turn Poppy into a Diamond of the First Water don't seem to promising until mishap after mishap plagues her.  Until Reginald Blackburn (secretly the son of a duke) agrees to help train her. The two quickly form a friendship and hilarity and adventures ensue. 

I really enjoyed this title, Poppy was such a fun character. I appreciated that even though some plot elements were obvious, Turano still manages to keep me guessing a little bit as to the process of how things will work out.
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As always, Jen Turano's characters are witty and humorous in their banter. This is one of my favourite of the books by this author so far. Poppy Garrison is such a fun character. Her grandmother is determined that she will become a Diamond of the First Water, but Poppy couldn't care less. She's outspoken and genuine, something that the Four Hundred of New York are not used to.

Reginald Blackburn sounds like a stick-in-the-mud, but of course as the story goes along he shows his humanity more and more. He has a soft side under that very proper British exterior. These two are quite the combination! 

I really enjoyed this book. My only complaint is that there was such a large amount of dialogue, but at least it's pretty hilarious. I appreciate the combination of historical detail and humour this author infuses into her stories.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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Diamond in the Rough is another delightful book by Jen Turano. I loved Poppy and Reginald and watching their relationship progress. Murray was great too along with Poppy’s grandparents. If you’re looking for a fun, clean read this book is for you!
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ife can be stressful, overwhelming, and complicated sometimes. That’s why I often like to choose a book that will take me away from all the stress and let me read something lighthearted, and fun.  Jen Turano is probably one of my favorite authors for escapes such as these. Her newest book, Diamond in the Rough, is definitely a gem. If you’re looking for comedy, this book has it in so many aspects. If you’re looking for romance, this book has it as well in a sweet, clean way. If you’re looking for incredible, lighthearted plots, then this is absolutely a book you should read. And as bonuses it includes a  son of a duke, dogs, etiquette lessons, and a mystery as well. It’s a fun filled escape into a plot that never gets dull and always has some hilarious event happening. I highly recommend it everyone who needs a break from seriousness.

I recommend this book to any one who enjoys humor, comedy, fun, and historical fiction.

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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Marvelous mayhem. As I always say, cheer up, read a Jen Turano book! Certainly one of the best authors ever.

1885. Perfectly capable Poppy leaves her parents horse farm to spend a Season with her socially fashionable Grandmother of the Four Hundred. A Grandmother determined that Poppy will be considered a Diamond of the first water. Her Propensity for mishaps will of course keep you in stitches, rolling on the floor laughing, then in awww for the sweetness and heart of these characters.
Reginald is there from England to help his cousin find a suitable bride. He is conscripted by Poppy's Grandmother to teach Poppy how to behave properly in society,  something very necessary for her to be considered as a bride in England's Social circles. Sweet people struggling to make their way, and never a dull moment with Poppy around. She can ride, run and shoot em up with the best. Not valuable traits to those in Society. But maybe its time for Society's rules to change. Poppy has her own kind of influence. As always, an excellent read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
#DiamondInTheRough #NetGalley #JenTurano #BooksYouCanFeeGoodAbout #5Stars #ChristianHistorical
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Oh I am a card carrying member of the Poppy fan club. I enjoyed the first book in this engaging series very much. This second offering is even better. Poppy is a heroine for any person who has felt awkward but kept on going anyway.

From mishap to misadventure to diabolical deeds, Poppy stays true to herself and I Think that was what I loved the most. Turano has created a humorous character for sure, but one who made me want to be a better person.

I learned an impressive amount about New York Society, loved the descriptions of various places that were so strong I could picture them clearly in my mind, and the distinctive characters that made me want to invite them over for tea.

My one bone of contention - Poppy didn't like clotted cream on her scones. Speaking as a British person, this is sacrilegious!!!! (I still completely loved the book though).
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I’ve had the pleasure of reading all of Jen Turano’s books to date, and can honestly say that she is one of my very favorite historical fiction authors.  That being said, this review will probably have a bit of bias.  I’ve been hooked since reading my first of her books (which was actually her second published work) and have yet to be disappointed.  Though I’ve greatly enjoyed them all, I have had some favorites here and there, and this one definitely falls into that category!  
As always, Ms. Turano kept me in stitches from the first few pages all the way through!  I would frequently look up and find my husband trying to read over my shoulder and find out what was so funny!  I couldn’t help but love Poppy’s character and her penchant for finding herself in the midst of unusual circumstances - situations that are rarely of her own making, but she jumps in with both feet.  I adored her unique way of looking at things, enjoyment of life, and determination.  She’s quirky and kind, but also stubborn and sometimes a bit reckless.  I noticed that the author’s portrayal of society changed a bit during this book, as well.  It isn’t a kind place, most of the time, with gossiping, conniving, and sabotage being things that are clearly shown.  Which highlights even more the kindness in Poppy’s character, as well as several other characters we’re given the opportunity to meet.  I also quite liked Reginald, with his faux stuffiness and determination to help his cousin.  I loved the teasing he and Poppy regularly engage in, as well as getting to see Poppy and other characters through his eyes.  I do have to say, that there were a couple characters that surprised me!  When the book began, I wasn’t expecting to like them, but over the course of the story, I found them becoming some of my favorites.
And of course, there’s a bit of intrigue mixed in, which kept me curious and hurrying to finish the book before bedtime.  Though I wasn’t overly surprised at “whodunit,” the reasoning behind all of the shenanigans wasn’t quite what I had anticipated. 
I will definitely be rereading this book and am anxiously anticipating what I’m hoping will be Beatrix’s book!

*My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book!  I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise, and have not been compensated for it in any way.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Poppy Garrison was raised out in the country on a horse ranch, but she accepts a proposition that she participate in a season, and in return her wealthy grandmother will cover her family's debts.

Her grandmother desperately wants Poppy to excel in high society as a diamond of the first water, instead she finds herself dodging one social disaster after another. Her grandmother asks Reginald Blackburn, 2nd son of a duke, to help Poppy to make a success of  her season. 

Poppy is well out of her depth in high society, but I admired how she gives it her best effort. She has a no-nonsense sensibility, and doesn't see the purpose of all the hoopla and ceremony. She longs for a life of purpose beyond the next social outing. I admired her strength to stand up to her domineering grandmother, and how she stands up for herself. 

Reginald has come to America to help his cousin Earl Charles Wynn find a wealthy American wife. But he is every bit the proper English gentleman, with no interest in an American wife, he has a secret of his own that he doesn't want to get out into society. But when word gets out that he is helping Poppy, mothers of other American heiresses leap at the opportunity to put their daughters under his cousin's nose. Reginald is intrigued by Poppy's forthrightness, honest charm and practical sensibilities which bring out a softer side in himself. 

Jen Turano at her best, with this highly entertaining read with an admirable heroine, hilarious escapades, faith, friendship, and romance. Poppy shines as a true friend and encourager, finding her own place as a fish out of water. She befriends many others who struggle to fit the mold. Sparkling dialogue brings this book to life, especially between Poppy and Reginald. I loved the fast paced, twisting plot, with fantastic characters at every turn, plenty of laugh out loud humor. Utterly enjoyable, you won't want to miss it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Charming and whimsical, Diamond in the Rough offers all the hallmark elements readers have come to expect from a Jen Turano novel. A strong and slightly quirky heroine, a mysterious hero, a Gilded Age New York setting, plenty of shenanigans, and just enough intrigue to keep the reader guessing until the end come together in a truly lovely novel.

I enjoyed the plot of this novel, which includes Mr. Blackburn assisting Poppy in becoming a “diamond of the first water.” It lent a My Fair Lady vibe to the story and provided for some laugh-out-loud moments. I also got a bit of a Pride and Prejudice feel from the story–Reginald being very Mr. Darcy-ish, and Poppy reminding me at times of Elizabeth Bennet, which I loved. And while on the subject of our delightful heroine, I must say that Poppy is among my favorite Turano heroines, though it is hard to choose because they are all so charming.

Avid fans of Jen Turano will adore this latest release and historical fiction readers looking for a fun and whimsical read will want to read this book. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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I was ready for a light-hearted book when I opened Diamond in the Rough and its opening line let me know quickly that I had the right book. I can always count on any book by Jen Turano to provide me with plenty of giggles and maybe even a restrained belly laugh or two and this book was no exception. As usual, this book takes place mostly among the high society of that era.

With a leading lady who cares little for the demands of high society and who seems to be followed by trouble with a capital T, and a starched, impeccable, and proper English hero, readers can be assured that Diamond in the Rough is a recipe for disaster blended with lots of fun. I loved Poppy whose good intentions sometimes tripped her up but her good humor kept her likeable. It was such fun watching Reginald fall under Poppy’s spell and lose some of his starchiness. I also loved some of the secondary characters, especially wimpy Murray whose entire persona changed due to his association with Poppy and Reginald.

Loved, loved, loved this book! As long as the author will keep writing them, I will most assuredly keep reading them!
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Reginald Blackburn is helping his friend the Earl of Lonsdale to seek an heiress to help his family’s estate back in England. There are so many ladies that want to seek his attention all except Poppy. She’s not here to seek a husband. Sir Reginald is giving Poppy lessons on how to become familiar with the rules of proper society. Reginald says to Poppy, ..”Do you know that it’s never permissible for a lady to take it upon herself to chase down members of the criminal persuasion.”

She replies, “That’s completely ridiculous. ” Who decided that ladies can’t react accordingly when someone has the audacity to relieve them of their personal possessions?”

I like how the author writes about strong, free thinking, practical women in the mist of high society who are looked down on, like Poppy. They look at her as if she is a freak. Frankly no one knows what to do with her. Poppy didn’t realize what hard work it was to become a lady. She tells Reginald like it is, “Perhaps instead of trying to instruct me on how to speak, properly about mundane topics like the weather, you should teach me how to handle myself in a brawl. That would better prepare me in the future if I find myself involved in another similar situation.”

The grandfather tells Poppy she has been black mailed by Viola’s grandmother to introduce her almost 23-year-old Poppy Garrison to a proper season in New York. She sees this as a way of reliving the season she missed with her daughter since she ran off and got married. Leaving the family all together.  Poppy wants to unite the family and please her grandmother.

Poppy’s grandfather tells her that’s fine to want to please her grandmother but when it becomes to much and Viola wants to change who she is as a person then end it. It’s not worth doing.

Poppy’s grandmother is determined she become a “diamond of the first water,” So she agrees to have lessons from a handsome, charming man named, Reginald Blackburn who has saved her life several times during her stay in New York. Poppy has gotten into trouble no fault of her own. It turns out Poppy and Reginald are both trying to be something they by nature are not. It’s a challenge for them as they fight their feelings, they realize are getting stronger as these lessons go on.

I enjoyed this story and the characters. I felt something was missing.as I read.  I think things may not have been so over the top for me this time because I didn’t realize that this was book two in the American Heiresses series. I recommend you read book one first. If you haven’t read any of this authors books you should. They are always fun and entertaining.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Catalogue front page www.bookfun.org
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Looking for a fix for your Downtown Abbey withdrawal?  A Diamond in the Rough is the story of a spirited heiress who makes a splash in New York City as she has her first social season in town amongst the elite 400.  Poppy Garrison has been raised on a horse farm in Pennsylvania.  Her parents have fallen on hard financial times and her grandmother, Violet, will only help them out if they agree to send Poppy to town for a social season.  Violet is determined to turn Poppy into a “diamond of the first water” although Poppy seems to be a magnet for trouble.  

Violet hires Reginald Blackburn to help Poppy on etiquette and turn her into a diamond of the first water.  Reginald has traveled to America to help his cousin Charles, who also happens to be an Earl, to find an heiress. Reginald agrees to help, but finds himself entranced by the impossible women.  Will Poppy be able to make a success of her social season?  Will the two find love?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  It is the second in a series, but I didn’t realize it until after I had finished the novel.  It serves well as a standalone novel.  It is a Christian fiction novel and had a great part of the novel about forgiveness as Poppy’s family works through past wrongs.  I loved Poppy’s independence, but even more so, I loved how Violet discovered herself in the novel.  The romance, humor, and adventure were very entertaining.  This was exactly the book I needed right now.

Favorite Quotes:
“I’m not really a gentleman who is comfortable discussing feelings.  If you’ve forgotten, I’m British.  We don’t discuss our feelings.”

Overall, A Diamond in the Rough is a great historical Christian romance with humor, adventure, and love in high society.

Book Source:  Digital Review Copy as a part of the TLC Book Tour!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.
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This book was laugh out loud funny with the protagonist Poppy trying to fit in with the upper classes but continuously finding herself in situations where she does the complete opposite of fitting in. You can’t help but fall in love with her and so does the second son of a duke who tries very hard not to because she’s everything he would never have looked for in a wife. This novel is charming, amusing, funny, and just a good-natured story of two people falling in love despite what society may think.
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This is the second book in the series.  The first book was Flights of Fancy, and I really enjoyed that one.

Poppy is supposed to be enjoying her first season, but so far, it's been a disaster.  Strange things keep happening to her, and her grandmother isn't happy.  She wants Poppy to become a 'diamond of the first water' and find a rich, titled husband.

Reginald is in town to help his cousin find a rich bride.  He's hiding the fact that he's actually the son of a duke, and somehow ends up teaching Poppy how to become successful in society.  Even with his lessons, Poppy seems to attract trouble, something Reginald isn't used to.  These two start out on the wrong foot, but soon come to appreciate each other's better qualities.

My favorite thing about Turano's books are her characters, and this one isn't different.  Each character has their own personality, and I felt invested in their stories.  My only minor complaint is the 'villain.'  I can't really get into my reasoning without giving spoilers, but something about that part of the book seemed odd.  It's a minor issue and didn't prevent me from enjoying the book overall.

As usual, there's links to other books, but you can read them out of order and not feel lost.  I'm hoping the third book will be about Beatrix, and I look forward to it.  Good Book!

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you very much TLC Book Tours and Bethany House Publishing for including me on the blog tour for Diamond In The Rough by Jen Turano and sending me a copy of the book for an honest review.

Diamond In The Rough is a historical romance set in 1885 Nee York City. Poppy’s grandmother bribed her into coming for a social season in New York and she is having trouble learning how to be the society woman she should be. Reginald becomes her etiquette teacher and learns quickly how much she has to learn!

I thought this story was fun and breezy. Poppy can sure get herself into some crazy situations quickly but she also seemed like a nice character who means well and just wants to help her family. This may have been my first historical romance though so some of the customs and language took me out of the story a bit but I think if you were more interested in the time period, this would definitely be the book for you.
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n Turano’s second installment in the American Heiress series Diamond in the Rough, features Miss Poppy Garrison, newly arrived debutant in New York City. Despite her upraising on a horse farm, Poppy’s grandmother has high hopes that her only granddaughter will achieve the coveted ‘diamond of the first water’ moniker from New York’s upper crust.

And while Poppy possesses beauty, education, and an inheritance, she lacks one thing—the ability to stay out of scrapes. Poppy doesn’t set out get her tiara stuck on her partner’s suitcoat in the middle of a quadrille. Nor does she purposely launch herself into the arms of a brooding Englishman. 

Mayhem just follows Poppy like a pernicious Pekingese. Or a maladroit Malinois. Her grandmother brokers a deal with Mr. Reginald Blackburn, the brooding Englishman, to help Poppy transform from a diamond in the rough to a diamond of the first water.

Mr. Reginald Blackburn, cousin to the titled, in-need-of-a-rich-wife Lord Lonsdale, styles himself as a plain ‘traveling companion’ to his cousin. After all, he won’t inherit the duchy (he has an older brother), nor does he own ancestral estates—two things American heiresses seem to crave in a spouse. 

And he certainly has no desire to tie himself to an American who is anything but demure. If, and when he marries, he’ll find a pattern card of propriety. And despite his many lessons, Miss Poppy Garrison does NOT fit the bill. 

Despite her unsuitability, Reginald soon finds himself embroiled in one chaotic event after another with the beautiful Poppy. But will his omission of truth ruin his friendship with her?

Readers of historical inspirational books who also love a lighthearted read with a twist of intrigue and a healthy dose of romantic comedy will adore Turano’s newest book. Her characters sparkle from the inside out. I love a good melodrama, especially one where everyone from the villain to the hero have well-developed characters. 

You’ll find it tempting to read this book from cover to cover in one sitting.
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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.
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This is the second book in the series, but it could easily stand alone.However, some characters from the first book do make an appearance in this one. 

Turano's books are always fun to read, and this one is no exception, as is evident in the opening line:

“Any smidgen of hope that her entrance into New York high society would be deemed a rousing success died the moment Miss Poppy Garrison’s tiara became firmly attached to the sleeve of her dance partner.” 

The characters are quirky and always seem to find themselves in crazy situations. I just adored Poppy. The author is a master at crafting witty dialogue and vividly descriptive scenes. The faith element is woven throughout, as is the theme of forgiveness. The mystery has a nice twist, adding to the enjoyment of the story. Like Viola, I, too, love the British accent, so I was happy to see that, as well :) If you're looking for a lighthearted read with a solid message, this is a book to pick up.
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Recently I have been completely hooked on sweet historical romances. I burned through Mimi Matthews books and was eager to fill the void with an author who could encapsulate a sweet romance with some humor.

When I read the summary of this one, my first thought that this could be the author to fill that void in my TBR list. I have been absolutely craving more sweet romances and this book sounded like it would be able to satisfy my sweet tooth..This book came across at the perfect time and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. This book is from Christian publisher, Bethany House, but for me it read less like a Christian romance with obvious religions references and more like a proper, chaste, sweet romance which was exactly what I was hoping for..

This is the second in a series but it could easily be read as a stand alone book and for me that’s exactly what it was, a stand alone. But I would be open to reading the other book in the series because the characters were a hoot and I loved each person I encountered.


To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy’s grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for (summary from Goodreads). 


What in the world did I just read? I say that with a laugh on my lips and a smile because this book was so much fun and unexpected. I was hoping that it would be a fun read on par with Mimi Matthews, but what I found was an author with her own unique voice and talent. I smiled and laughed my way through this novel and throughly enjoyed every single chapter! Turano is a truly gifted story teller and I eagerly look forward to reading more books by her! In fact, I ordered the first book in this series immediately following this one!

Turno has written a number of other books and series and that experience shows in this novel. While I have only read this one book, I am eager to explore her other books and series because her talent is undeniable and I couldn’t get enough of this book!

The thing that stands out in this book for me is Poppy. She is an incredible character—witty, razor sharp, and she knows who she is. I absolutely love her and want to hang out with her. She is unique and refreshing. In a sea of classic heroines, Poppy stand out like a beacon and I love her! She made this book for me with her humor.

Once I started this one I couldn’t put it down and breezed through it which left me wanting more from Turno. The setting was enjoyable but it’s the banter and characters that make this book. The romance was more of a slow building one rather than an instant attraction. If this book hadn’t been so charming and funny, I don’t know that I would have appreciated the slow burn romance, but since it was so charming and funny, I thought the slow burn romance worked just fine indeed.

If you love sweet romances with a strong, humorous heroine then this book needs to be on your radar! I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to read more by Turno in the future!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 354 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers
Free review copy provided by publisher, Bethany House in partnership with TLC Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical romance, christian fiction, romance
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Jen has done it again! There is a reason Jen is one of my absolute favorite authors, because her books have the perfect ratio of romance, humor, a bit of mystery and characters I love. I have yet to read one of her historical books that I didn’t adore (and I have read them all!), and Diamond In The Rough is no exception. The escapades that Poppy somehow manages get tangled up in kept me in stitches and I loved the new characters we met in this story, especially Murray. He was adorable and I loved seeing his growth in the book. If you love to laugh, I HIGHLY recommend this book. As for me, this book has more than earned its place on my keeper shelf next to the rest of Jen’s lovelies. 

I received this book from NetGalley and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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