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The Diamond and the Duke

The Diamond and the Duke, March 2024
All the Duke's Sins
by Christi Caldwell

Berkley
336 pages
ISBN: 0593334957
EAN: 9780593334959
Kindle: B0BR4XD9NS
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
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"Great first half but chaotic second half."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Diamond and the Duke
Christi Caldwell

Reviewed by Jessica Grogan
Posted March 28, 2024

Romance Historical

Christi Caldwell’s THE DIAMOND AND THE DUKE features Wesley Audley, freshly home after nearly dying in battle, and Ellie Balfour, the woman who has secretly loved him for years. As Ellie helps Wes remember the man he was while he recovers physically, they begin to grow closer. Unfortunately for Ellie, there is still the matter of the letters she wrote to Wes pretending to be his former love hanging between them. 
 
I loved the first half of this book! Caldwell does a fantastic job of portraying someone in the throes of PTSD. Unlike many romances that promise a grumpy hero and don’t deliver, this one does. Wes is a very bitter man for much of the first half of the book, and I appreciate that he wasn’t over it within a chapter or two. However, Ellie and Wes did rehash the same conversation multiple times in the first half to the point it got a little tedious. The second half was forced to tie up all the loose ends from the first, and it was a bit chaotic. It made it hard to really enjoy the second half, especially when compared to the first. 
 
I really like both Wes and Ellie. Ellie’s strength as she helps Wes overcome his demons was wonderful to read about. I love that she was the only one with enough courage to face him down. Even in his worst moments, there is still humanity in Wes, and the man he was shines through at times. 
 
I did find myself wishing I had read the previous book to see what exactly Ellie had done rather than just reading about it here, but it is explained pretty thoroughly. 
 
While the first half of this title is great, the plot struggles in the second half with too much going on. The characters, however, are delightful throughout. I will definitely be checking out the next title in this series. 

Learn more about The Diamond and the Duke

SUMMARY

When a wounded soldier and self-proclaimed "beast" finds unlikely friendship with a headstrong and unconventional beauty, they quickly find themselves weaving a tale as old as time…
 
Despite a hero’s return to England from the Napoleonic Wars, Wesley Audley isolates from the ton. Deep wounds from the horrors of combat—and the despair of a broken heart—left him scarred. As he struggles to cope and resume his place in Polite Society, Wesley is quick to cut himself off from everyone…except for Ellie Balfour. 
 
Independent and strong-willed, Ellie has dreams of captaining her own husband-free life and a penchant for meddling in other’s business. She knows befriending Wesley is a risk but Ellie can’t bear to see his heartache. Nor can she seem to silence all the temptingly intimate thoughts his nearness provokes. 
 
But Ellie is yet to face a battle she can’t win—and Wesley’s heart is worth the fight. If only her campaigns ever went to plan…


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