Heart of the Diamond is a sweet Regency Romance, with a yummy alpha hero and an unorthodox heroine who meet each other in bizarre circumstances engineered purely for revenge, but which lead to an endearing and intriguing fast paced romance.
In Carrie Brock’s romantic tale the heroine, Lady Nicole Langley, has managed to avoid matrimony – a state she has no desire to enter into. However, she finds that her father and stepmother have arranged a match with a man very much her senior. In a desperate attempt to seek help, she sets out in the middle of the night to meet her childhood sweetheart and neighbour, Teddy Bartholomew, who has sent her a note to say that he has returned home from America. However, instead she finds that she has been tricked and compromised by Blake Dylan, the new owner of Teddy’s home, Rosewood Manor. Nicole’s father, the Duke of Billington, is reluctantly compelled to accept Blake’s offer of marriage for his daughter to safeguard her honour.
Blake Dylan, who is now the Duke of Diamond, on his father’s death, has recently returned from America where he spent the last six years after being banished there. He is seeking revenge on those responsible for his banishment, namely the Duke of Billington and Teddy Bartholemew. He has already sabotaged the Duke’s business interests and he has won Teddy’s ancestral home from him in a card game. His final act of revenge will be to trick Billington’s daughter into marriage, which will have the added benefit of depriving Teddy of the woman he intends to make his own.
Nicole is a first unaware of the hatred that exists between her father and Teddy and Blake. Whilst she is furious at the situation, she begins to find herself becoming attracted to Blake, for despite his cool and calculating exterior, he can at times be quite charming. She suspects that he has been badly let down in the past and wants to be the woman that heals him. However, once Nicole discovers Blake’s role in her father’s financial ruin, Nicole begins to question Blake’s integrity and fears for her future with such a cold hearted vindictive man, who professes to shun love. When her childhood love Teddy returns from America more truths emerge and Nicole is forced to make choices relating to her future happiness. She fears that Blake will not be appeased until he manages to completely destroy her father, which she cannot let happen. Already enamoured with Blake Nicole strives to melt his icy heart.
Nicole is not your typical simpering Regency miss. Instead she is unorthodox, outspoken and headstrong. Having witnessed her own mother’s unhappiness before her death and her father’s remarriage to his former mistress, she is wary of entering a loveless marriage. She is devoted to her family, although her relationship with her stepmother is strained. Blake is taken aback be Nicole’s natural beauty and lack of artifice. He does not hold Nicole responsible for his misfortune and only intends to use her as an instrument for his revenge, not wishing to inflict any undue hardship on her. He does not believe in love but he begins to find Nikki’s behaviour more and more endearing as he gets to know her. She begins to thaw his icy heart and he is forced to examine his feelings when Teddy reappears and competes for her attention despite the couple’s coming nuptials.
Despite Blake’s Machiavellian actions in tricking Nikki into marriage for revenge, I did find him a sympathetic character. From their first scene together it was evident that there was a great deal of sexual tension between them. However, there are many twists and turns in the plot along the way which make for an entertaining tale. Some of the scenes, particularly those which portray Blake and Teddy vying for Nicole’s attention are highly amusing! We are introduced to a wider cast of characters as the plot progresses and these are well drawn and help the plot progress to its conclusion.
I found Heart of the Diamond to be a sweet Regency Romance with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. I recommend this novel to lovers of Regency Romance with an unorthodox, likeable heroine, a yummy alpha hero, who attempts to be a blackguard to exact his revenge, but really is quite honourable and a cast of entertaining characters.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
A copy of this book was made available to me by the publisher Blue Star Books for the purpose of providing a fair and honest review.
Cover design by Bri Bruce