“The French Blue diamond must be destroyed.” Haunted by the words of her dying father, Lady Madeline Sinclair arrives for the London Season with more than parties and the latest fashion on her mind. She has sworn a vow, and the beautifully headstrong and fearless Madeline will allow nothing to distract her…until she meets the infamous Lord Colin, Duke of Douglas, a man known for his scandalous past engagement. With a dark grin and stormy eyes, he threatens to make her forget her duty, along with her manners.
Bound together by the mysterious diamond, Madeline and Colin soon succumb to the passion raging between them, even as the diamond eludes their grasp. But the true threat lies in the hands of an enemy whose dangerous obsession with the past has the power to destroy them both.
Review: I’ll admit that I can be rather snobby when it comes to historical romance. I’ve read a lot of good books and therefore tend to be hard on those books that don’t measure up. So, I went into reading this book with low expectations. But, I was pleasantly surprised with a well crafted story. Is it perfect? No. But it was an enjoyable read.
I loved how this story starts out. Madeline is dragging her cousin, Helena, on an adventure to break into Madeline’s old family home in search of this diamond that her father tells her she must destroy. But she didn’t count on someone else actually owning the house… and imagine her surprise when it’s Colin, the Duke of Douglas. She stumbles upon him in a drunken stupor as she’s searching his study for some keys and well, it’s quite the memorable first meeting.
Colin is coming out of a romantic scandal and broken engagement, but he’s intrigued by this mysterious house-breaker and can’t seem to get her out of his mind. Luckily they are running in the same circles in society and he decides to woo her while he’s trying to figure out that the heck she’s hunting for in his house.
Both characters are interesting and I had fun watching their courting and mating dance. I could’ve used a little more development and growth in Colin, but really this book was all about Madeline and her journey.
The plot is solid, well thought out and executed and unique. There’s plenty of action, both in and out of the bedroom. We also get the almost requisite misunderstanding which threatens to tear the couple apart. I think the “bad guy” is the weak link here. He could have been incorporated more, perhaps not making him so obviously the bad guy.
The only thing that really bothered me in this historical read was the free use of first names. In nearly every historical I’ve read, it is common to see the characters calling each other by their titles or Miss, Mrs., etc. However, in Priceless Deception, nearly every character tells the person they just met to call them by their first names. It just seemed wrong to me. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book, just paused me to stop and shake my head before moving on.
In the end, it’s a solid, enjoyable read and I’ll be looking forward to reading something more by Jennifer Ann Coffeen.