"She is out for his heart, but can her chaos every change his very orderly life?"
Reviewed by Heather Lobdell
Posted October 21, 2012
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
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
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.
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...
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
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
"You!" The duchess was staring at him. "Did you follow
"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
"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
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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