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A secret no one dared whisper…


When You Give A Duke A Diamond

When You Give A Duke A Diamond, September 2012
Jewels of the Ton
by Shana Galen

Sourcebooks Casablanca
Featuring: Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance; William, the Duke of Pelham
384 pages
ISBN: 1402269730
EAN: 9781402269738
Kindle: B008BWAD6U
Paperback / e-Book
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"She is out for his heart, but can her chaos every change his very orderly life?"

Fresh Fiction Review

When You Give A Duke A Diamond
Shana Galen

Reviewed by Heather Lobdell
Posted October 21, 2012

Romance Historical

Shana Galen is on top of her game with WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND! As the first book of an all new series, titled Jewels of the Ton, we get our first taste of the kind of women that make men run! The only question is: are they going to be running to them or away from them? I am a fan of Galen's carefree and upbeat writing style. A book, especially a romance book that can make me laugh is somewhat of an oddity. Galen has done it every time! Her characters are fresh, her heroines seem to be up to the kind of antics that my friends and I would get into, and her hero just never seems to know whether he is coming or going -- ideal laughing material. What I really love is the fact that I feel like I know the characters by the end of the book.

Galen has a way of making me understand them, care for them, and she has virtually brought them to life from in-between the pages. Juliette, aka the Duchess of Dalliance, has always had men eating out of her hands. Young and old, rich and poor, men of all types and station have been at her beck and call whenever she wanted them to be. But when her name gets linked with a duke's all her suitors seem to have suddenly disappeared. Hoping to set things straight, Juliette sets out to right the wrong that has been made. When she discovers just how boring, orderly, and stuffy the young duke is Juliette knows that it is fate that has brought them together.

William is the Duke of Pelham and he is constantly aware of the fact that the public is watching and waiting for the one moment when he does something to merit a scandal. That is why everything is in its place, every appointment kept exactly on time, every person that he associates with checked and rechecked to ensure nothing scandalous ever happens in his life. That's the way he likes it and frankly that's the way he believes it should stay. Suddenly one tragedy gives way to another and William finds that he must change his life to band together with a woman who is questionable to say the least. When Juliette is around things are never as tidy as they should be. Looking for a murderer is dangerous work, but when you have a beautiful woman to protect that can never stay out of trouble the work is twice as hard. Just how much disarray can one woman cause? And more importantly why does it seem that he likes it?

The unlikely pairing of the playful courtesan and the stuffy duke is quite entertaining and hilarious to watch unfold. There is action, there is intrigue, and there is romance in the air. Galen's way with characters and words make her books a real treasure to read.

Learn more about When You Give A Duke A Diamond

SUMMARY

HE HAD A PERFECTLY ORDERLY LIFE...

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual,securely structured life. Orderly and predictable-- that's the way he likes it. But he's in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London,chaos doesn't begin to describe what happens next...

UNTIL SHE CAME ALONG...

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It's disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William's darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide...

Excerpt

Pelham dumped the pelisse he still had strewn over one arm into the marchioness's hands and marched through the ballroom until he reached the hall. A footman in the prince's livery bowed to him, and Pelham demanded, "Have you seen the duchess?"

"Which duchess, Your Grace?"

Pelham clenched his fists impatiently. "The one they call Duchess," he ground out. "The courtesan."

"Ah." The footman smiled. "The Duchess of Dalliance."

Was that her sobriquet? Devil take her.

"Yes, Your Grace. She just took her leave."

Pelham was already striding for the doors. "Did she call for her carriage?" he called over his shoulder.

"I don't believe so, Your Grace. She arrived in the countess's carriage."

Pelham stopped. "Which countess?"

"The Countess of Charm."

Of course. Pelham stepped under the portico of Carlton House and ordered a groom to fetch his coach. "And be quick about it," he demanded. "If you can't be quick, bring me one of my horses."

Pelham paced while he waited, grunting out greetings to the ball's late arrivals. The duchess couldn't have gotten far on foot. He could easily catch her, if the damn groom didn't observe all the niceties of Society and allow every other carriage to go ahead of him. He would catch the courtesan and teach her to manipulate him as though he were one of the fools fawning over her.

Just as he was about to start off on foot, his coach thundered onto the drive. His coachman reined the horses in but at Pelham's gesture only held them long enough for the duke to jump in. "Drive to the gates. Slowly. I'm looking for a woman on foot."

"Yes, Your Grace!"

They reached Pall Mall without spotting her, and Pelham was about to instruct the groom to head for the park when he noticed members of the crowd outside the gates of Carlton House craning their necks to stare along the street. Pelham followed the direction of their gazes and saw a figure in shimmering silver.

"Found you." He stuck his head out the window. "Fetch her." He ordered his footman and pointed at the duchess.

"Your Grace?" The footman looked horrified and understandably so. It was not every day his employer asked him to kidnap a woman off the street.

"Never mind." Pelham shoved the door open, not even waiting for the coachman to fully stop the carriage. He jumped out, landed easily, and went after her. The crowds outside Carlton House didn't part quite as easily as those inside the ballroom, and he had to shoulder his way through.

Until he was recognized.

"It's the Duke of Pelham!" someone shouted.

"The Dangerous Duke!"

And then everyone moved aside, and he had a clear shot at the duchess.

And an audience.

Several long strides later, he reached her. He grasped the flesh of her arm between her glove and the sleeve of her gown and released her just as quickly. Her skin was amazingly soft—a fact he wished he could erase from his mind. And where were his bloody gloves? He'd misplaced them somewhere, another indication the night was going to hell.

"You!" The duchess was staring at him. "Did you follow me?"

"You tell me my fiancĂ©e has been—" He lowered his voice. "—murdered, and don't expect me to follow you?"

She shook her head. "I don't have time to discuss this. If he sees me, if he catches me..." She began walking away.

Pelham grasped her arm again and hissed. Devil take it if he didn't touch that velvet skin again. But he didn't release her this time. Only because he didn't want her to get away. Not because he enjoyed touching that silky skin.

And oh, what an accomplished liar he was becoming.

"You're coming with me," he told her. "I don't know what's frightening you, but you can explain in my coach."

"I'm not..." But she looked over her shoulder and seemed to reconsider. "Very well. You do realize, Your Grace—" Somehow she made the title sound like an epithet. "—that your actions tonight only confirm the rumors about us and incite new ones."

Reluctantly, Pelham looked over his own shoulder. A crowd of onlookers was watching them, most of them murmuring and whispering behind their hands. He scowled at them, and several scurried away. Others took a step back.

"I'll squash any further rumors," Pelham said between clenched teeth.

"Wonderful," she muttered.

He signaled to his coachman, and his carriage was beside them in mere moments. A footman opened the door and handed the duchess up. He was right beside her. Once inside he closed the curtains and instructed his coachman to wait.

He turned his attention to the woman across from him and tried not to stare. The color was high in her cheeks, and her eyes were bright. He did not think it possible, but she was even lovelier than when he'd first seen her tonight.

His gaze—completely of its own accord—flicked to her mouth. She'd rouged it because it was far too perfectly red to be natural. It reminded him of some exotic fruit, and he desperately wanted to sample it. One kiss...

He tightened his hands on his knees. What was wrong with him? He couldn't kiss her. She wasn't an acceptable kissing partner in the least. She was a courtesan—a whore. She seduced men for money, and he was falling under her spell.

She narrowed her icy blue eyes at him. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

He blinked. "I..." He couldn't think of an answer.


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