Title: Any Old Diamonds
Publication Date: January 30, 2019
Length: 229 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar, with a bitter grudge against his wealthy father. The Duke intends to give his Duchess a priceless diamond parure on their wedding anniversary—so Alec hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal it.
The Duke's remote castle is a difficult target, and Alec needs a way to get the thieves in. Soldier-turned-criminal Jerry Crozier has the answer: he'll pose as a Society gentleman and become Alec's new best friend.
But Jerry is a dangerous man: controlling, remote, and devastating. He effortlessly teases out the lonely young nobleman’s most secret desires, and soon he’s got Alec in his bed—and the palm of his hand.
Or maybe not. Because as the plot thickens, betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light. Now the jewel thief and the aristocrat must keep up the pretence, find their way through a maze of privilege and deceit, and confront the truth of what's between them...all without getting caught.
KJ Charles introduces a new series with the release of Any Old Diamonds, book one of the Lilywhite boys. Historical Fiction is this author’s strength and fans, old and new, will not be disappointed with this latest offering.
Alex lives simply doing illustrations for various publications. No one would realize that he is actually the son of the Duke of Ilvar, particularly since said Duke has essentially disowned all his offspring in favor of the woman he married shortly after their mother’s death. Having lost the support of their father means Alex and his siblings are living as best as they can and have had more than their fair share of hardships beginning with the death of their beloved sister Cara. All Alex wants is to see his father own up to his cruelty and pay for Cara’s death. In order to do that Alex must not only associate with a pair of renown thieves who he will employ to steal his stepmother’s prize jewels but he must also safeguard his siblings by making them hate him for going back to their father begging for forgiveness when all have sworn never to do just that. Alex has so much to lose in this endeavor but he also has one thing to win—vengeance and that is what motivates him.
Jerry Crozier is one of the Lilywhite boys—a clever pair of thieves who have never been caught—yet. When he decides to take on the job for Alex little does he ever intend it to get personal. Theirs was to be a friendship in public only so that Jerry had a way into the fortress that was the Ilvar estate. But the more Jerry gets to know about his client the more he realizes that Alex is not just in need of a thief but also someone to take control and that is right up Jerry’s alley. Before long there is more than just plotting between Alex and Jerry, there is an ever increasing attraction that defies society’s boundaries and feeds something deep inside both men. But all is not as it seems concerning this jewel heist and before long Jerry will be confronted with some truths that could spell the end of his thieving days and his growing affection for Alex.
I don’t think I could name one author as gifted at historical romance as KJ Charles. Her novels are cleverly composed, intelligently written and teeming with characters who captivate the imagination. The plots are multi-layered with enough twists and turns to keep any avid mystery lover invested and the time period so well investigated that every element of the story bears up under intense scrutiny from any history buff. But honestly these books are just plain fun—regardless of the seriousness of their subject matter, this author writes with such humor and honesty that one can’t but help fall in love with the characters even when they are on the wrong side of the law.
I am not sure there has ever been such a lovely man as Alex. He is kind and considerate and merely wants to avenge his sister’s death at the hands of a vile, neglectful parent. He is a man who craves his independence and yet needs something quite different in the bedroom. It’s this dichotomy that draws one to Alex. He fears what he is about to do yet knows that It must be done and so pulls on every ounce of inner courage he has in order to accomplish it. Along the way he allows a man who he knows may never really love him as he desires to take charge in a way that soothes his inner fears like no other. Jerry is a bad boy and yet beneath that layer of seeming indifference beats the heart of a man who has fallen for the sweet displaced Lord of the manor. The two of them together are explosive, intense and erotic.
Any Old Diamonds is an intriguing beginning to a new series that promises to be just as exciting as the many others this author has written. There are loathsome folks to watch fall in this novel and lovely romance that takes flight as well. All in all there is a little bit of everything from mystery to revenge to love to payback in this story and it is bound to thrill fans of this author’s work to no end.
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