The Scottish Diamond is a contemporary, romantic suspense novella by Helena Fairfax, which follows on from Palace of Deception. However, both books can be read as stand-alones. With a little more darkness and mystery in The Scottish Diamond, we find Elizabeth and Léon in Edinburgh as Elizabeth’s life returns to the norm, after having to impersonate to be the royal Princess Charlotte in Montverrier (Palace of Deception), albeit with her bodyguard in tow!
Author: Helena Fairfax
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Mystery
Release date: March 12, 2016
Length: 104 pages
Blurb: A powerful, intense and dramatic Scottish romance novella – one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page…
“Fair is foul, and foul is fair…” When Lizzie Smith starts rehearsing Macbeth with her theatre group in Edinburgh, she’s convinced the witches’ spells are the cause of a run of terrible luck. Lizzie’s boyfriend, Léon – a former bodyguard – is mysteriously turned down for every job he applies for, until he’s finally offered the job of guarding “The Scottish Diamond,” a fabulous jewel from the country of Montverrier.
But the diamond’s previous guard has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The people of Montverrier are known for double-dealing and skulduggery, and the Scottish Diamond has a history of intrigue and bloody murder. Lizzie is plagued by nightmares in which Macbeth’s witches are warning her of danger.
Then Lizzie discovers she’s being followed through the streets of Edinburgh, and it seems her worst fears are about to be realised!!!!
The Scottish Diamond is a standalone story. Lizzie and Léon first met in the romantic suspense novella Palace of Deception, which is set in the Mediterranean country of Montverrier.
Review ***** (5* rating)
Although a romantic suspense, Helena Fairfax takes us on a darker mystery than we are used to with The Scottish Diamond novella. Now back in Edinburgh with Léon, her former bodyguard, Lizzie’s life has to return to her normal routine with working with her theatre production company, rehearsing and preparing for term time when the schools open up after their summer break. And, what a huge difference it is being back after spending the summer impersonating and covering for the Royal Princess Charlotte of Montverrier, with the beautiful scenery and a suspenseful meeting of her bodyguard in Palace of Deception!
Lizzie notices Léon’s faraway looks as he stares from her bedroom window, not to mention the intensity he radiates. Wild thoughts go through her mind about whether he will enjoy being in Edinburgh, or whether he even loves her enough to stay. To make matters worse, the play she is to rehearse for is the dreaded MacBeth. Isn’t it just a whole load of bad luck, especially to those performing it?
The superstitions worsen as Lizzie overhears suited men speak in the language of Montverrier, possibly mentioning Léon’s name. Is she being paranoid? Meanwhile, Léon is struggling to find work and failing at interviews. Everything seems bleak and solemn. The mood of The Scottish Diamond is in complete contrast to Palace of Deception in terms of the setting, the emotional closeness of Lizzie and Léon, and where Palace of Deception focussed on uniting the two main characters and their success, in The Scottish Diamond there seems to be something between them. The reader fears that they will be pushed apart, and feels the negativity that is swamping Lizzie.
“… the truth is I was frightened of discovering the truth – that he bitterly regretted coming to Edinbugh and he didn’t love me enough to want to stay. During the day there was a thin sheet of glass between us, keeping us apart. At night, though, it was different. Our barriers melted – but even then, there was an intensity to Léon’s love-making that was new, as though each time were going to be our last.”
For a brief moment, this feeling lifts when Léon finds work. Strangely, after having a conversation with some fellow Montverrians he is given the chance to protect The Scottish Diamond. With the diamond about to be exhibited, the previous guard gone missing, and Montverrians that appear to be following Léon, what will become of the diamond? And, what will become of Lizzie and Léon as they get tangled up in the whole fiasco?
Regardless of the fears and mystery that the story holds, one of the enjoyable aspects is knowing that it’s very handy (and HOT), having a bodyguard in Léon around. And, I love his protectiveness of Lizzie; his masculinity ready and waiting for any threat. At the same time, he also allows Lizzie to be independent with her work and doesn’t suffocate her.
Told in first person from Lizzie’s point of view, the reader shares exactly the same worries as Lizzie; the main hope throughout is that they both come out alive, and together! However, there are twists and ordeals to get through which will keep you turning the pages, desperate to find the outcome.
Suspenseful from the beginning, and increasingly as the story unfolds, you’ll love this short adventure that can be read as a stand-alone, or following on from Palace of Deception. It is a story to be read until the very end to be appreciated fully.
A copy of The Scottish Diamond was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
You can check out our review of Palace of Deception (which also includes an interview with the author), along with reviews of Helena’s previous books below:-
PALACE OF DECEPTION – review and author interview
The Silk Romance – Tina’s review
The Silk Romance – Caroline’s review