Review: Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed

 
Image from Goodreads

Title: Diamonds and Deceit
Series: At Somerton #2
Author: Leila Rasheed
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: Jan 2014
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 MALI 8:6
Diamonds and Deceit is based in the early 19th century and is about higher class families of England. The third person narrative helps you relate to each of the characters individually.
All the characters have some sort of connection with all the other families. Even though there are a range of characters, the two main characters are sisters, Rose and Ada. Each with a complicated story about love and tragedy. Rose starts her life as a maid but the big step of being adopted by an earl is a struggle for Rose. Her world is turned upside down and she is finding it harder and harder to fit in. Ada, on the other hand, who is the earl’s daughter, has the opposite feeling. She has everything she could ever want yet something is missing. Her character changes throughout the book as she goes from a strong respectful character to someone who is a bit scared and more wary than she started off being; her thoughts and feelings are exaggerated as the book goes on. Rose, however, has more simple emotions than most people can relate to. The two sisters go through similar things but both have different endings. That is one of the things that really intrigued me when reading Diamonds and Deceit.
As well as the two main characters there are many background characters that have an impact on the story lines. Each family/character has a different story which in the end join together providing an effective completion to the plot as a whole. I like how the story swaps from house to house, from the eyes of the rich to the eyes of the servants. However, even though this does make the storyline different to any I have read before, because you are often switching places, you can get confused about where you are and who is living here.
Although, that is only the first few chapters, once you get into the book you can start to understand where everything is and where they fit into the plot.
The descriptions of the settings in the book were very clever. At the beginning they give you an image of what the houses look like in the outside to an ordinary person walking down the street, but as the book goes alone it starts to show you what the things are like inside the beautiful Manor House. Very slowly the writer shows how lonely, dark and isolated the Manor can be which you wouldn’t be able to see from the outside. I think it is very clever how it is done and it really helps with the storyline build.
My favourite part of book has to be at the end were all the families come together, and how it all combines to make one big story, as I mentioned earlier, as well as how all the drama builds and is revealed at the end. The ending was, in parts, completely unpredictable. The unpredictability of the plot added to my enjoyment of Diamonds and Deceit overall.
My favourite characters were Georgiana and Rose because each one I could relate to. I really liked their storylines and how different they were to all the others. Even though Georgiana’s description wasn’t as in depth as the others, it meant that I could imagine her myself which I really liked. I couldn’t really do that to Rose’s character but I really liked her story and the outcome.
After reading Diamonds and Deceit I would love to read another one of Leila Rasheed’s books. However, to tell the truth, I would have liked to seen Georgiana’s story to end differently just because I think she deserved a better ending after everything she had been through. I would recommend this book to anybody over the age of 12 because anybody younger will understand the story or what the plot. I think I enjoyed Diamonds and Deceit because I enjoy history, so if someone likes history, I would definitely recommend this book.
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