Diamond in the Rough

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

•*• Author Wields Comedy Like a Sword! •*•
I could not stop smiling & laughing. This is her best book yet & the cover is to die for! 

1885, New York, NY – 
“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.”

Now how is that for an opening line?

Poppy has left her family’s Kentucky horse farm to come to New York at the request, or rather insistence of her excessively wealthy grandmother to experience her first “Season”. She tends to say and do the first thing that pops into her head often to the horror of her grandmother and those of the elite NY 400.  Disaster tends to follow her, but since she is quite used to that she simply rolls with it. “Do you know that I once got knocked straight off a horse because a duck flew into me?”

The Earl of Lonsdale and his cousin, Reginald Blackburn have traveled from England to find an American heiress to marry, effectively rescuing the Earl from financial ruin.  However, they are determined to find someone of good character.  Something Reginald is certain Miss Garrison certainly is not from the unusual way her dance partner twirled her away, crashing directly into himself and her less than demure commentary to the perturbed host of the ballroom.  Then later, finding her crawling on all fours in search of something. “Reginald was of the firm belief that always maintaining the proprieties was exactly what separated true ladies and gentlemen from the masses.” No, Miss Poppy Garrison was certainly not the type of woman he would approve of for his cousin. But when disaster and mystery follow Poppy around like a bad penny, Reginald finds himself caught up in her world, most unexpectedly.  As does the meek mannered Mr. Middleton whom Poppy quickly befriends.  I really enjoyed the dynamic of her relationship with both men who are distinctly different.  Watching Murray Middleton grow and come into his own as the story progressed was a delight. The “snail scene” was hilarious.  Very “Pretty Woman”.  Just like in real life, the supporting characters take an active role and add so much to the story.

TEA MOMENT:  Ok, so I was so excited by the tea-themed cover of this novel, months before it was even close to release.  So imagine my surprise when Poppy is at the tearoom in Rutherford & Co. and this happens, “They do offer an impressive assortment of teas, but…” She looked up. “Will you find me quite beyond the pale if I admit I don’t actually care for tea, preferring coffee instead?” “You don’t care for tea?” “Shocking, I know.” “Scandalous more like.”  But, my little heart attack was quickly diminished by the hilarious scone and clotted cream scene. 
“Adele frowned, “You said you were savoring clotted cream when I first arrived.” 
“Savoring, detesting,” Poppy said with a wave of her hand. … 
“It was a riveting battle if Reginald had ever seen one, although one where clotted cream, jam, and scones were the weapons, instead of the usual pistols, swords, or knives.”

FAITH MOMENT: “Family matters. Friends matter. Embracing a relationship with God matters.  And it’s past time I rectify that.”

MYSTERY NOTE: I genuinely thought I knew who the culprit of the story was, smiling to myself that I had figured it out.  Boy was I wrong! The breadcrumbs that led me to my choice unexpectedly did NOT lead to who I thought they would.  Naturally, that made the story even more exciting. While there is a bit of danger, there is not any gore or undue stress to the reader.  

I am so smitten with this book, I may have to forego my To-Be-Read pile in favor of re-reading older Jen Turano novels again!

American Heiresses Series (Bethany House Publishing):
Flights of Fancy – book 1 Jan 1, 2019
Diamond in the Rough – book 2 Sept 3, 2019
Storing Up Trouble –  book 3 tba 

I received a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further compensation.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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As usual, Jen Turano has written a lively and fun story! I enjoyed this story of Poppy, a girl raised on a horse farm that is trying to fit in New York high society. At the same time, there are two men from England, one looking for a wife, the other a son of a duke, traveling as a companion to the other. It's a fun and wonderfully written story I enjoyed very much!
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Full of fun, quirky characters, Diamond in the Rough is an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys a lot of humor in their romances!  And I do, especially when I use my books as an escape from reality.  My habit is to highlight (on my tablet) all of the passages I like, usually involving humor or witty remarks.  This book has so many highlights, folks.  It wasn't just the main characters that brought a fun, lively energy to the story - it was all the main characters as well.  Every character in this book lent a bit of themselves to the story to make it a unique read that is unpredictable and fun.

Raised on a horse farm in rural Pennsylvania, Miss Poppy Garrison is the proverbial fish out of water in high society of New York City.  With one catastrophe after another occurring whenever she is near, everyone is both horrified and intrigued by her original nature.  When she is saved by Mr Reginald Blackburn, the traveling companion of a lord from England, they both are wrangled into an arrangement by Poppy's grandmother - Reginald will teach Poppy the social graces necessary for her to make a good match, and he will pocket a monetary sum for his efforts.  While Reginald is at first daunted by the task, he soon finds himself thinking of Poppy every day and defending her to those who would disparage her.  Her lack of refinement might be a spectacle to the New York Four Hundred, but to Reginald, it's a breath of fresh air.  With Poppy in his life, nothing would ever be boring again...and the idea is quite appealing.

Poppy and Reginald were an interesting match.  I didn't really see the chemistry initially, and their relationship was rather slow to build up.  However, once they began spending more time together, and Murray joined in along Beatrix, the pair grew closer and closer.  Poppy was definitely a singular woman, very unlike anyone else she met, and she was quite strong in the face of much criticism.  She approached challenges with a sense of confidence and good humor, and it was no wonder she attracted many who would otherwise be overlooked by the creme of the crop.  Reginald was very soft spoken, you could tell that he was going to be the quieter one in the relationship, and that suited them just fine.  Poppy never stopped talking, and I think it really enchanted Reginald.

As always, Jen has written a book full of laughs and history.  This is not a book to be missed!

**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**
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I absolutely enjoyed Diamond in the Rough!!  Jen Turano has an enchanting and enjoyable way of writing that draws the read in and leaves them wanting more.   The main character {Poppy} comes from her family's horse farm in Pennsylvania to New York for a season of socializing and balls.  It's an arrangement she has made with her maternal grandmother, Viola.  Viola is a matron of the set... the uppercrust of society.  From the beginning Poppy is entertaining and relatable.  With one mishap after another, it seems Poppy's season is doomed-- enter Mr. Reginald Blackburn, a brooding, staunch gentleman that seems to be no fun! While the book is a little predictable, there are definitely parts that are not predictable and the entire book is just enjoyable.  It is a quick read that took me away from my day for just a little while, giving me a glimpse of life I will never live.
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“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.” - Opening line of Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano

The second in the American Heiresses series, Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is a delight from start to finish! As in her previous novels, Jen’s leading lady, Poppy Garrison, is full of surprises, gusto and independence! Set in the 1880s, these characteristics make her remarkable amongst the New York High Society. Reginald Blackburn, our leading man, is a English aristocrat unaccustomed to a woman like Poppy. He relishes the challenged given by her grandmother to teach her the ways of society.

Soon, the two find themselves in the midst of several unusual, and for the reader humourous, situations. The adventure is non-stop and there is full cast of fun characters. Balls, operas, and drives around Central Park set a gorgeous backdrop to this story.

In addition to the light-hearted antics, a deeper, and touching, story of reconciliation and forgiveness unfolds as well as a mystery with a twist! This one has it all and I loved it! It’s highly recommended and it’s five out of five en-JOY-ment.
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I adore Jen Turano’s spunky heroines! Poppy may be my favorite! She is clumsy and trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes yet she owns it. She is comfortable in her own skin and doesn’t let what society thinks bother her. She keeps her family and love interest on their toes as she tries to navigate her season in New York. 
Jen, as always, had me laughing out loud and very engaged with her charming cast of characters. Diamond in the Rough is not only filled with romance and humor but there is plenty of mystery and action as well! 
Thanks to Netgalley and Bethany House for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Here comes another fun, hilarious, and at times spunky with a bit sass story by Jen Turano. I loved this story, then again I think I say that about every book this author has written. There is so much going on in this story - fun banter, sass, hilarious moments, drama and a bit of romantic adventure. If you've never read one of her stories, you are missing out on some great historical romcoms.
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A hilarious, laugh out loud historical fiction novel in typical Jen Turano style. Readers will love the crazy antics of Poppy Garrison as she reluctantly joins the New York social season at the urging of her society grandmother. She finds herself being given etiquette lessons by Reginald Blackburn, who unbeknownst to her is the second son of a duke. This was an enjoyable novel that fans of Jen Turano will not want to miss.  The humorous moments and outrageous predicaments that Poppy found herself in were my favorite parts of the story. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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Poppy’s grandmother believes she can become a “diamond of the first water” with the elite New York City socialites, but there’s only one problem; Poppy is accident prone and trouble follows her wherever she goes. The reader will delight in all of Poppy’s misfortunate mishaps as she tries to navigate her way through the social season. With many laugh out loud moments, which Jan Turano is known for, Diamond in the Rough is sure to be an unforgettable “diamond” on your bookshelf.
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I always really enjoy Jen Turano's wonderful stories. They are filled with many laugh out loud moments and personal growth for the characters in the story. Diamond in the Rough is no exception. Miss Poppy Garrison has agreed to leave the horse farm where she grew up to have a New York Social Season while residing with her Grandparents.  Mr Reginald Blackburn (an undercover English Lord, here to help his cousin find an American Heiress for a bride) agrees to tutor Poppy in all things proper. What could possibly go wrong? It's always positively delightful to take time out life's busyness and enjoy a story from Author Jen Turano.
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Thoughts Swirling Around in my Head as I Read the Latest Jen Turano Book

* These names!!  We need a Jen Turano Character Name Generator!
* Oooohh…she’s spunky!
* Ha ha!  Snappy!
* Rouge escargot – hahahaha!
* The book title was just used in a sentence!
* Nigel!!  Not again!
* Yay!  A snippy and proper grandma! 
* British accents!
* Oh look!  She’s titled a list, too!  HAHA!
* Fist fights, scones and clotted cream!
* Dude – Poppy is awesome!
* Woah – that was crazy!

Jen Turano’s sense of humor makes it super easy to enjoy her books!  They’re light-hearted, have the most colorful characters and are so entertaining!  Do read this book – it’s available September 3rd!  Visit www.christianbook.com  for preorder details!

I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley.  A positive review was not required.  Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is a delightful Historical fiction novel. Jen Turano is known for her style of romantic humor.

Poppy Garrison is brought to New York by her grandmother in exchange for settling her parents debt. As Poppy tries to make her way into the New York Four Hundred season, the things that trip her up are hilarious. Grandmother wants to shape her into the Diamond of the First Water, and as such hires Reginald Blackburn, cousin to Earl of Lonsdale. to tutor her. The Earl  has come to America in search of a rich heiress. Reginald, keeping his own aristocracy hidden, find himself agreeing to tutor Poppy in all things proper. Poppy, independent and spirited, finds herself in more scrapes and a propensity to many funny predicaments. When stuffy Reginald starts to see Poppy in a new light, the romance blooms.

Diamond in the Rough was entertaining and light hearted. An easy read.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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I adore Jen Turano's writing. She brings the Gilded Age to life and creates remarkable and remember able characters to life. With her second addition to her American Heiress series, Diamond in the Rough, this is no exception. Poppy grew up on a horse farm in Pennsylvania and is having her season in New York. She is completely out of her element and falls, literary, over and over again on her face. She keeps getting into scraps and allowing me to shake my head in laughter as she tries to save her reputation. She transforms by the end of the season but shows her heart by wanting to do good for those less wealthy. On the other hand, Reginald, the hero, keeps his true identity a secret, but is always there to rescue Poppy. There romance appears a little disjointed, but I believe Turano wrote their romance this way on purpose. It made their happily-ever-after a little more sweeter. As for the plot, I really enjoyed spending time with these characters. I got so wrapped up in their lives that I even googled Fifth Avenue mansions during the 1890's to have an idea of how HUGE these little homes actually were. I love this story and can't wait to get my hand on the final installment. Thanks for another wonderful story, Turano. 

I received a complimentary copy of a Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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When I think of historical romances that make me laugh out loud (even in public), I think of Jen Turano. This one was no different. Though this is the 2nd book in the American Heiresses series, it could easily be read as stand-alone. Though the main character from the first book is referenced and a couple of minor characters in the first book have appearances in this book, there is enough information given that you're not missing anything if you haven't read "Flights of Fancy". (Though you should read it - it's fantastic!)

This book follows the life of Poppy Garrison, whose parents own Garrison Farms. When the bank calls in their loan early, Poppy chooses to allow her grandmother to bail them out in exchange for debuting in society for a season. Her grandmother desperately wants Poppy to become a "Diamond in the First Water", but Poppy always seems to find herself in the most ridiculous of predicaments, making her more of a "diamond in the rough". This lends to the hilarity of the book and makes the romance aspect that much better. In spite of the frivolity, though, there is a good spiritual thread and a bit of drama included and the characters are well fleshed out and likable as well. This book truly has it all!

There were a few sub-plot stories that tied up a bit TOO neatly for my liking, which is why this one got 4 stars instead of 5, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story-line and I believe that Poppy and I would have been the the very best of friends.

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced E-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
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Diamond in the Rough was an absolute joy to read! Author Jen Turano has again excelled in her latest book, a romantic comedy with a backdrop of the New York Four Hundred during the Gilded Age. I cannot count the number of times that I rolled my eyes or laughed. Hero Reginald Blackburn was very much the quintessential British gentleman, and I greatly enjoyed seeing the relationship evolve between Reginald and the wonderful heroine, Poppy Garrison. Poppy was an independent woman who had spirit, compassion, and a proclivity toward mishaps. As well as a dazzling hero and heroine, there were many other characters who greatly added to the story and provided ongoing entertainment, with lessons learned being subtle and inspiring. Overall, Diamond in the Rough was a tale filled with action, adventure, and light mystery, as well as great humor and wonderful romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH by JEN TURANO is a delightful read. Taking place in New York in the late 1800's, it is a period novel, reminiscent of Jane Austen. There is romance, intrigue and humour, all wrapped up in the social scene of the New York Four Hundred. 
Poppy Garrison is staying with her grandmother Viola for her first New York season, and Viola is fast losing hope that Poppy will ever become a diamond of the first water. 
Reginald Blackburn comes to New York from England to help his cousin, Charles, the Earl of Lonsdale, choose a wife amongst the heiresses of  New York society. Rather stuffy and tending towards being morose, he is asked by Viola, in desperation on her part, to tutor Poppy in the correct way to behave in society. This leads to him having to turor a string of young ladies who all want to become Charles' countess. I am not going to tell you any more of the story as I do not want to spoil it for you.
I love the characters, especially Poppy, and I love the Christian message of forgiveness and of making something that has eternal value of one's life as opposed to the frivolities of the social set.
It is a really fun book and one I can highly recommend.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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"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."

With that opening, we begin the second installment of the American Heiresses series, and find Miss Poppy Garrison in New York City, living with her grandmother, Viola, participating in the Season.  Viola is determined to show Poppy that being accepted into high society is desirable, and while Poppy was perfectly content living on a horse farm in Pennsylvania, she discovers that she doesn't hate it.  However, mayhem and adventure seem to find her no matter how hard she works on her decorum and poise.  Reginald Blackburn, travelling companion to Lord Charles Lonsdale, is charged with teaching Miss Garrison to fit in to this world of heiresses and money, and yet he finds himself admiring her unflappability in the midst of the chaos that follows her.  

"I've always felt that misfits are far more interesting than normal folks."

I love that Poppy has such a firm grasp on who she is, and what is valuable in the people around her.  The people she is drawn to turn into such rich characters and the relationships that develop throughout the book from such inauspicious connections really made this book great for me.  Poppy owns up to her mistakes, but she is never ashamed of who she is or the accidents that befall her.  She loves others and has a tender heart to those she learns are living in wretched conditions.  

"I think you'll eventually discover that you're delightful just the way God made you, my dear."  "You seem to be an original, my dear, so perhaps you won't feel the need to wait so long before you abandon what's expected of you, embracing who you truly are and who God meant you to be, instead of trying to embrace a sense of who others want you to be."

I love that, even with an entirely new set of characters, by using the same setting as a previous series, Ms. Turano is able to sneak in a cameo of a favorite character from past novels and use her to deliver wisdom from the position of experience.  

This book was one of those rare finds where you don't want to put the book down, but you also don't want it to end too soon!  I loved watching Poppy find herself even more fully, and I enjoyed watching her build up those around her as she did.  I always love Ms. Turano's grouping of friends who enjoy being together throughout the mayhem she puts them through, and this cast of characters is among her best.  I can't wait to hear Beatrix Waterbury's story in the third book! 

I give this book 5 stars.  Between Diamond in the Rough and Flights of Fancy, American Heiresses is becoming my favorite Turano series!

I received a digital copy of this book, via NetGalley, from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
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What a fun read!  This isn't your typical Regency romance either.  Poppy is a bundle of surprises -- always trying to do the right and honorable thing, but finding herself in crazy situations!  There's romance, but of the clean variety, and many great historic details woven into the story.  Even if you're not usually a fan of this era, you'll probably love the book!
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'You must have realized by now that I'm not always keen to follow rules.'

Well, if you have never read a book by Jen Turano, you are definitely missing out on a wonderfully funny, delightful and rip roaring good time.  Miss Poppy Garrison (don't you love that name?) wants to help save her family from financial setbacks, so she accepts what she truly believes is blackmail from her grandmother to have a social season in New York.  Poppy, however, is not the least bit socially adept and misfortune and chaos seem to follow her everywhere.  Now, at the same time Poppy is having her season and quite ruining it, the Earl of Lonsdale comes to America in search of an American heiress, accompanied by his cousin, Reginald Blackburn, the second son of a very well known duke, a fact he does not broadcast.  Somehow or another, Reginald finds himself roped into teaching Poppy all the social intricacies of the day by her grandmother!  How did that happen?  Well, when two people are thrown together all the time, certain feelings are bound to develop.

Poppy Garrison is a law unto herself and crazy exploits ensue in every direction in this book. I declare to goodness, I loved it tremendously!  I was eating lunch out one day and reading this book and just burst into great laughter.  Out loud!  And I didn't care one bit what people thought about me.  Turano's books are so good that I find myself going back and reading passages all over again just so I can laugh some more.  Her trademark dry humor is the absolute best!  Her books are so vividly written, that they run across the screen in my mind like a play, while I enjoy every single sentence.  I highly recommend not only this book, but every one of her books!  They are so much fun!

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
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