Review: Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed

Image from Goodreads
Title: Diamonds and Deceit
Series: At Someroton #2
Author: Leila Rasheed
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: Jan 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis from Goodreads
The London Season of 1913 is in full swing, and Rose has never felt more out of place. She can’t help but feel like a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then she meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard all sorts of gossip about Alexander, but he alone treats her as a friend. Rose should know better than to give her heart to a man with a reputation, but it may already be too late.
Meanwhile, Ada’s also feeling miserable. She should be happy – she’s engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? She knows that without this marriage, her family will be ruined, but it seems that in matters of love, the Averley’s can only follow their hearts…
REVIEW BY FFION 8X1 (2013/14)
Diamonds and Deceit is the second book in the At Somerton series, in that respect the story picks up from the point the first book ended.
The narrative follows Ada, Rose and the Averley family and their estate through numerous society balls, countless luxurious manors and the scandals as they forge their way thorough the minefield of high society. Glimpsing the privilege and restrictions of the wealthy in this era. The writing quickly entangles you in each drama and I felt it gave a true reflection of the very different ways life affected both the upper and lower classes described within Diamonds and Deceit.
This is one of those books that I read through in a few days. It’s a nice light read, perfect for relaxing in the sunshine with. the writing style is elegant and consistent, the imagery reminiscent of Downton Abbey :) I loved how the author changed the perspective of the story, it left me guessing as to what would happen next. The pieces of the plot flow perfectly into each other.
Not having read the first book in the series left me slightly confused at the beginning, from this perspective I would recommend the series be read in order to fully appreciate the characters and their interactions.
It is the characters that really stand out within Diamonds and Deceit, the author has the talent to bring each characters personality to life within the imagination. They are not portrayed as perfect, but come complete with flaws and blemishes. For me the fact that the characters were imperfect aided the story making them more realistic and relatable.
There are a lot of loose ends left leaving the plot open ready for the third book, I have to say I actually enjoyed this as it increased my level of anticipation for the progression of the plot.
My favourite part of the book was how it was able to weave current feminist issues into the narrative, the ongoing fight for equality. It was really interesting to see the restrictions on women through all levels of society not just the poor.
In order to gain the full 5 stars there were areas that I felt could have been improved within the narrative. Firstly, while the multi-person narration does add depth to the story I did feel as if the transition between point of view could have been smoother. Also, aspects of the romance within the plot felt over-used and repetitive, but that is just my personal opinion.
Overall, I would say that Diamonds and Deceit is a fantastic read for fans of historical fiction; if you like Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice then this is definitely a must read.
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