Diamond of the first water.
For historical romance fans, we know this to be a compliment given to a debutante, the creme de la creme. Today I spotlight an author who is a storyteller of the first water and a book that is near flawless.
The author is Carrie Lofty - her bio is intriguing as a National Merit Scholar who spent a year studying abroad in England (sigh). She earned a MA with her thesis on Old West outlaws and the impact of legend on society. Carrie burst on the romance scene with What a Scoundrel Wants, her swashbuckling contribution to the Robin Hood legend. She hasn't looked back.
|The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Museum|
The book is FLAWLESS:
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies' man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for half-siblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire...and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
Lady Vivienne Bancroft fled England for New York, hoping to shed the confines of her arranged marriage to unrepentant rogue Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft--though she never forgot the fiery desire he unleashed with his slightest touch. And when the gambling man arrives on her doorstep for a little sensual revenge for her desertion, he is met with Vivienne's dilemma: she must earn her father's inheritance by profitably running a diamond business worth millions in colonial South Africa.
Swept together in an exotic undertaking filled with heated passion and hungry temptation, will Vivienne and Miles discover that the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare--or the most treasured reward?
|The Big Hole in Kimberley, South Africa|
I asked to review this book because the promo piece refered to it as a "Victorian romance". Had it read that it was set in South Africa, I probably would have passed as I do not care for the colonial settings. I am glad that my eyes stopped at Victorian. I posted my review on Goodreads at this link.
I particularly appreciated the metaphor of the book's title - does it represent the heroine in the past? the hero in South Africa? or the brilliant diamonds that fuel the story?
The book also piqued my curiosity of diamonds - here's what I found:
- Diamond is derived from the ancient Greek word, adamas, "unbreakable".
- Ancient India viewed diamonds as religious icons.
- Ancient Greeks believed diamonds represented the tears of weeping gods. Warriors wearing diamonds made them invincible.
- Ancient Romans considered diamonds to be part of stars which had fallen to the earth (twinkle, twinkle, little star .... like diamonds in the sky).
- Persian poet Hafiz remarked that, "the rainbow is confined in a diamond forever".
- Diamonds were the talisman of Julius Caesar, Louis XIV and Napoleon.
- In 1477, Archduke Maximillian gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond engagement ring, creating a trend for the wealthy and royalty. Five hundred years later, De Beers marketed diamond engagement rings for "average Joes". Remember the commercials that advised the lovestruck groom to spend two months' salary on a diamond ring?
- Diamond is April's birthstone and the designated gift for 60th anniversary of marriage.
- James Bond knows Diamonds Are Forever.
- Marilyn Monroe sang, "A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl's best friend."
1. Leave a comment about "unusual" settings for any romance .... or your favorite gemstone.
2. Comments are open through Saturday, October 1, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, October 2.
Kim in Hawaii
Hawaii's famous icon is .... Diamond Head. It is the outer rim of a volcanic crater that overlooks Waikiki. Its actual name is Lēʻahi, lae for 'browridge' an ʻahi for 'tuna'. The shape of the ridge line resembles a tuna's dorsal fin. In the 19th century, British sailors named it Diamond Head, assuming the calcite crystals embedded in the rock.were diamonds. It may have inspired them the climb it! Today it is a state park that does offer a steep climb to the 1900s Army outlook.