Cover Image: Diamond in the Rough

Diamond in the Rough

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Member Reviews

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.

Summary

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). 

Review

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
ASIN B07PYXVMY4
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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Another madcap adventure from Turano which has small elements of “My Fair Lady”.  Poppy is one of a kind and matches or exhausts (same thing) Reginald, brooding cousin to the lord all the single ladies seem to want marry. He is employed to teach Poppy the “right way” to act in society, but of course because this is a Turano novel, lessons were often extraordinary.  The original characters have adventures in different settings and will leave readers chuckling and shaking their heads. Parts of the ending were a little dark, but all is resolved and happy for most of the characters in the end. This is number two in the series, but can be read alone. 

Thanks to the publisher for an e-galley to review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Poppy took the New York Four Hundred by storm when her grandmother blackmailed her into coming for a Season. Unconventional, to say the least, she was constantly shocking the staid Upper Crust with her constant faux pas. I loved that she didn’t set out to brook convention. In fact, she really did try to do the right thing. Most of the time. . .

Reginald was so fun in his very proper way. As a very proper British (not English!) gentleman, he knew what was expected and was determined to ensure that his cousin, the Count, was not tricked into an undesirable marriage. And somehow found himself committing to help Poppy learn what was expected. What he didn’t expect was the need to constantly come to her rescue.

There were so many enjoyable characters. Murray, the mama’s boy. Oh, how I loved seeing him come into his own! Viola, Poppy’s grandmother. Charles, Reginald’s cousin. Beatrix, who I’m sure is going to have her own story. Even Nigel.

In between the laugh-out-loud moments were undercurrents of lessons learned. Forgiveness. Priorities. Helping the poor. That sometimes society doesn’t know best and it is okay to just what is right. There is a spiritual message here, though it is subtle.

Readers who enjoy humorous historical fiction will find Jen Turano‘s Diamond in the Rough to be a real gem.
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"Diamond in the Rough" is a romantic comedy set in 1885 in New York City. The characters got into silly situations, mainly involving the spirited heroine trying to learn things like complicated dances and social etiquette. The main characters were kind, caring people who wanted to help others. I cared about what happened to them. The hero and heroine spent a lot of time together and got along well (after an initial misunderstanding and even though keeping up with Poppy was exhausting). There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this humorous novel.
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This is book two in the American Heiresses series, however it is a stand alone book. Jen Turano is one of my favorite authors. Her books are full of history, humor, drama, romance and so much more. I can not wait for the next in this series.

Poppy Garrison is a unique lady, and full of spunk. She finds herself in some sticky situations. Reginald Blackburn is handsome, brooding and in charge of helping Poppy with her etiquette. 

I love the writing style of Jen Turano. She has such a fun, spunky sense of humor that make her books so enjoyable to read.
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DNF 25%

As much I wanted to like it, I simply couldn't. The heroine was far too annoying. She is rude even to her grandmother. In the first place, she shouldn't come to her grandmother's for the Society. 
And she runs her mouth too much - there's a gentleness in her. Nothing reflects Proverbs.
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Jen Turano writes about girls who are just not the societal norm.  Somehow or other they find themselves in one conundrum or another and require the aid of a handsomely dashing hero.  The current book I am reading--Diamond in the Rough--is a bit vapid.  Poppy Garrison is having a season that her grandmother is sponsoring.  Poppy is also in trouble of one sort or another nearly every day and that makes up the whole plot of the book.  While her grandmother hires a young Englishman to tutor her into the ways of society and to make her a "Diamond of the First Water."  The job is not in any way easy. 

I generally enjoy Jen's writings for the most part.  The shenanigans the heroines get into are often hilarious and engaging.  This book is not quite up to the quality of Jen's writings but is still enjoyable.  I often read what I call "fluff," light-hearted books with not a great deal of substance in the plot.  This is one of the fluffiest books I've read in a while. 

At some time, I wish that Jen would take on some of history's entertaining ladies to write about--like Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Mae West, even Annie Oakley.

This is a three star book.   My thanks go to Bethany House and NetGalley.com for providing the galley I read for this review.
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I absolutely adore reading Jen Turano books!  Diamond in the Rough is a whimsical historical fiction book with depth that will keep a grin on your face as you read about the antics of the many characters in the book.  There is romance, intrigue, family, wealth, dancing, and just pure FUN in this delightful book filled with friendships that continue to deepen throughout the story.  You will keep turning the pages just to find out what adventure and disaster awaits on the next page!
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Jen Turano has crafted a delightful second book in her American Heiresses Series. Diamond in the Rough is certain to entertain and provide hours of reading pleasure. Jen Turano is an extremely gifted author who has an intricate grasp of the era. It's always a pleasure to read her books. 

~ While this book was provided for free, I was under no obligation to provide a positive view. The pleasure was mine. (2019)
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Diamond in the Rough is a really funny and very sweet romance.  Reginald is hired to teach Poppy proper etiquette in the hopes that she will becoming a proper lady ready for New York society.  He quickly finds out he has his work cut out for him.  I absolutely adored  this book.  From the start, I loved Poppy.  She was a breath of fresh air.  I loved her ability to laugh at herself and how she threw her whole being into whatever she did.  The banter between Reginald and Poppy was a lot of fun.  Their journey to love was a joy to watch.

Along with Poppy and Reginald's romance, the rest of the story is full of great characters.  Murray was my favorite.  I loved the friendship that developed between him and Poppy.  I would have loved to see his point of view in the wooing of his love interest.  The book deals with forgiveness, family and being true to yourself. 

I didn't read the book that came before this one, but that was OK  It worked very well as a stand alone.  I do want to go back and read Flights of Fancy.  I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who loves clean historical romances.  I would be surprised if you weren't left smiling like I was in the end.
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After rolling on the floor laughing I am now able to collect my thoughts. Poppy is hysterical and so full of life that I would love to  be her friend. She has a big task ahead of her to help her family out which proves to be a journey she will never forget.

The opening pages of the book set the tone for the delightful writing talent of the author. She is known for witty and charming characters. Poppy is hands down my favorite and she is written with pure inspiration and charm. I could picture Poppy as she and her dashing partner danced around the room. Leave it to Poppy to make a scene at a gala with important and influential people .

Reginald is a very distinguished gentleman who Poppy's grandmother sets her sights on to help Poppy. Oh what a deal Poppy is getting into because of her grandmother. The banter between Poppy and her grandmother is priceless. Two very determined women trying to get the upper hand on the other. The author has out done herself with this wonderful story filled with laughs, family values and faith.

As Poppy matures and becomes more refined I felt she finally realized how loved she was by many. Her grandmother wants her to marry for money. Poppy has admirers but will she do what her grandmother wants? This is one story that I couldn't put down because it was funny yet reminiscent of someone finding their place in life.

As with all her books, the author gives us wonderful characters and leaves us with a wonderful message that stays with you forever. I love the faith elements in the story and reading how a young woman named Poppy learned to believe in herself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author. The review is my own opinion.
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Diamond in the Rough
by Jen Turano

Bethany House

Bethany House Publishers

Christian

Pub Date 03 Sep 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Diamond in the Rough through Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley:

In order to settle a debt and prevent her family from going into the poor house. 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 managed to get into one hilarious fiasco after another. She is doomed to face a huge societal failure of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn is the second son of a duke, and he has been forced to come to America to help his cousin. Charles Wynn, who is the Earl of Lonsdale, finds an American Heiress to shore up his family estate that is desperate need of funds. Reginald though 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.

I found Diamond in the Rough to be a well written novel that is worthy of five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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