Genre: historical romance and contemporary romance.
This book is a duology. And it has a stepcover, with a couple in the exact same pose, only this time it is Samantha Jellicoe in a modern day black dress, and Rick Addison, hanging the diamond around her neck. This is something he doesn’t do in the book at all …
Two unforgettable tales. One dazzling diamond!
I guess you all know that Suzanne Enoch is primarily a writer of historical romances. Lately I have been posting my reviews of her one contemporary series though, which is also very good. In this book she combines her two worlds. First, she writes a story with Richard Addison’s great- great- great- grandfather, and his love, Evangeline Munroe. How a cursed diamond brought them together. And in the second story, Samantha Jellicoe actually finds the diamond they hid in the stables. Samantha does believe in the curse, but Rick thinks it all a lot of superstition and is determined to prove that to Samantha. With disastrous results of course…
A Diamond or Forever
When Evangeline Munroe inherits the exquisite but supposedly cursed Nightshade Diamond, she considers it a bit of good fortune. Then she literally runs into Connoll Addison, Marquis of Rawley, the most sought after bachelor amongst the ton. Surely her immediate attraction to the rogue is bad luck. Could the diamond be more dangerous than she ever imagined?
Evangeline Munroe is very surprised when her aunt gifts her with a special family heirloom she knew nothing about. A gorgeous diamond necklace, a 169 karts, with 13 13-karat diamonds on the chain. It sure is worth a lot of money! But when her aunt explains about the curse, Evangeline doesn’t want to believe it. As long as she has the Nightshade Diamond on her person, she will have bad luck, but if she puts it in a safe place, she will have good luck instead? Perhaps her aunt was right that the good or bad luck would not influence her and her pragmatic mind. She will wear it with pride!
Evangeline is set on marrying a special kind of man: one she can dominate, and wrap around her little finger. One who will compliment her, dress as she wills, and who will even let her dictate his political interest. Of course he must be rich and of good standing, but she need not marry for money. So when she accidentally meets the Marquis of Rawley, and he literally falls on her, she can call that bad luck! Especially when he won’t leave her alone, but is determined to pursue her. He is so not a man she can manipulate to do as she wishes for the rest of her life! Instead, he will be ruling her if she is not careful. Evangeline, or Gilly, already has two suitors, and she is trying to find out which of the two she will accept. One is an old man, but he clearly worships her. The other is a young fool, who will do whatever she asks. She only needs him to stop gambling.
But neither of them kisses like Connoll … and does she really wants a man without a backbone? Connoll sure does his best to make her change her mind…
Her mother is not happy at all with Connoll in her life, and does her best to keep them apart, even using the cursed diamond to that effect. Whenever Gilly wears the diamond, they are kept apart, but with the diamond elsewhere (like on her mothers person) they can meet and tryst a little.
Can Gilly change her mind when it has been made up for years? Will she follow her heart, and will they change their bad luck into good luck?
I loved this story, it was short and sweet and fun, and both Gilly and Connoll are such great characters, I loved them. Gilly never asked for love in her marriage, just a man she can tolerate and manipulate, so she can do whatever she wants. She will not be bullied or ordered around by her husband, like so many woman of her time are. The man after all is the sole owner of everything, including her own inheritance and dowry.
Connoll never thought about marrying, he just lost his mistress to his best friend (who does not know she was his mistress). And now he is very drunk when his carriage collides with another one, and he falls out of his carriage when the young lady opens his door. Thinking he is in bed with Daisy, he kisses her, right in the middle of the street. When he comes to his senses, he is certain he will be honorbound to marry the girl. And to his big surprise, the girl has no intention of marrying him, and wants him gone out of her house and her life. Or course, now the hunt is on! She intrigues him, and he likes her for her direct ways. (Which is of course typical male, go hunt the one that does not want you).
Diamonds are not a girl’s best friend!
Samantha Jellicoe thinks it’s good luck that has her – a reformed cat burglar – providing security for a museum exhibit. Then she discovers the Nightshade Diamond, with an accompanying note that says the thing is cursed. Cursed indeed! How else to explain Scotland Yard breathing down her neck, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend, and her lover Rick Addison suddenly testing the boundaries of their relationship? She needs to unload the gem and soon, or she may lose her dreams forever.
Samantha is tasked with setting up the security for a travelling museum exhibit featuring jewellery. What a job for a retired cat burglar! Of course, she never stole from musea. When she finds the Nightshade Diamond hidden in the wall in what used to be the stables, she thinks Rick has hidden it there, never even seeing the accompanying letter. She does believe in the curse, and wants to hide the diamond again, but Richard Addison, her multi billionaire boyfriend and current Marques of Rawley thinks otherwise. It is a priceless family heirloom, and he will have it appraised and wants Sam to wear it. Superstition is nonsense, and he will prove it to Samantha. By slipping the diamond in her coat pocket, on the morning of a very important day: the press presentation. And of course disaster happens. Not only is there a Scotland Yard inspector intent on guarding the show, as he firmly believes that some thieves will make an attempt, he is even staying in the house! And then Sam sees a familiar face among the reporters: a former boyfriend and also cat burglar extraordinaire. He is one of the few thieves out there, who might slip through her security.
When Rick sees her talking to the man, while she tries to warn him off of the job, his jealousy knows no bounds, and he needs to know everything. So he tries to talk to the man, and the way he evades all his personal questions reminds him of Sam in the early days. Of course Sam does not want to rat a former friend and collegue out (yes they were lovers and worked together one time), but to safe her relationship she does not have a choice.
Sometimes I really do not like Rick at all. He trusts Samantha, and he believes in her capabilities of handling whatever comes her way, but still he interferes in as much as he can, having his attorney investigate the other thief, and staying home instead of going on with his own job. He really is overbearing and overprotective, and his meddling sure makes matters worse for Sam. Of course, being a multi billionaire makes being in charge of every detail in his life necessary, and that people listen and jump and say yes, and Sam really is not like that.
But I love Samantha. She is doing her best to go straight, even though she really misses the adrenaline of the job, the planning of a heist and to be a success in it. She also made a lot of money that way! And then there is her former fence, best friend and surrogate father: Stoney. Whenever she is in trouble, or needs more information on shady dealings, he is the one she goes to. And I really like him. He is a great addition to the series, butting heads with Rick a lot, but he loves Sam, and they both want her safe. It is for her he is going straight alongside her, in their new security business.
The ending of the story had a nice surprise, and a lovely bit of action for Sam and Rick. Even though I have read this book a few times, I still enjoy it a lot. Which is of course the attraction of re-reading favourite series: you know it is a great book when you start, and you look forward to reaching the good parts.
Suzanne Enoch is one of my favourite authors, as I really love her writing style. It is fast paced, fluent, has lots of humor, great characters, great plots with unforeseen twists in them, and original stories.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian