Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter

May 5, 2011

Castleford's back! And Daphne's got him!

Madeline Hunter is an incredible writer; her voice can be poignant and it can be funny. In the case of Dangerous in Diamonds, both of these qualities merge into a truly wonderful tale and a great ending to an entertaining series.

So, finally we have Castleford's story and I was pleased with it, although, in my world enough time has passed that I kind of forgot what was going on with him. I do remember, though, that Castleford had the makings to be a memorable romance hero and could have fit into my list of favorite heroes: Dain, Lord of Scoundrels; Derek, Dreaming of You; Ian, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie; Reginald, The Rake; Harry, As You Desire. However, although I did love Castleford after I read the book, he just didn't quite make it into that list.

Castleford had all the ingredients it takes to make a memorable romance hero. He is a whoremonger; in fact, I'm sure that if he had been anyone other than fictional, he'd have numerous diseases. He was a drunk and not the kind of drunk that can easily quit... you see, he always made it a rule to be sober on Tuesday which leaves six days to roll around in a drunken stupor. Not an easy fix. And, he's wonderfully sarcastic and interfering. All the ingredients for a great reformed hero!!!

And, then we have Daphne. She's got secrets. If you remember the past books, the whole Rarest Bloom fellowship was based on secrets. And the object of each book is to uncover that secret and reform a rake in the process. Now, I liked Daphne - she seemed to me to be a mature heroine who could hold her own against Castleford, or at least try. He was rather overwhelming when he wanted something, and he wanted Daphne. When these two came together, it was exquisite - fantastic dialogue, wonderful bantering and a lot of struggling against each other, then finally caving. Yes, they were a magnificent couple.

There were also some pretty funny moments... s-p-o-i-l-e-r: she won't sleep/sleep in his bed. I mean physically get in or have sex in his old bed which has had buckets of women in it before her. Which leads to a chuckle-filled fond farewell bed scene with Castleford and his friends that I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact the camaraderie in the book between the males was highly amusing and great fun to read. There is also the very amusing doctor's exam to prove Castleford is free from any disease. Even though it may have been a bit contemporary, it was still fun.

I said earlier that Castleford had all the ingredients for being a landmark hero; however, he didn't quite make it and I think it had to do with some of the things in the story that I found just a little weak. Besides the love story, which in my opinion was actually the only plot we needed in the story, there were a number of other little scenarios going on and because we have all those other little side plots nattering away Castleford was shorted a great voice. He was such a great character, had a lot to say, he really needed to be bigger than life. Then I would have been happy. There are also some really fast tying of loose ends at the ending of the story that had a rushed feel about them, as if an editor ordered words cut before publication - and I wish the practice of shorter books would go away.

Overall, this was a good read and it almost made its way to my favorite in the series. Ravishing in Red is still my favorite, followed by Dangerous in Diamonds, Sinful in Satin, Provocative in Pearls. I'm also not sure whether this is completely a stand alone book; it helps if you are familiar with the hero when you begin this book. Plus, there are some things mentioned in this book that may have you scratching your head if you haven't read the other three.

Bottom line... good book and you should read it!

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating:


Anonymous said...

You're right about the surprise/non-surprise ending. Still, I thought that Hunter's characterization of Castleford was superb, managing to "tame" him while keeping the essence, tour de force.


SidneyKay said...

Dick: I also liked Castleford.

Melissa said...

Oh Castleford! I had been so looking forward to how he would be redeemed as not only had we heard tales of his bad behavior but witnessed his threesome in a voyeuristic setting in a previous book. Hunter did a fabulous job redeeming him and the male perspective in the story was funny. The camaraderie between the men lead too many hilarious moments. Loved this book!

UK said...

I love her books but this was a great end to this series. The writing taking you back to the past is written very well i felt i was there...a nice romance suspense.

SidneyKay said...

UK...looking forward to her next series which starts in March