When Miss Poppy Garrison accepts her grandmother's offer of financial help for her family in exchange for Poppy joining the New York social season, she quickly realizes she is far less equipped to mingle with the New York Four Hundred than even she knew. As she becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, becoming the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs her to be looks more impossible by the day.
Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, is in New York to help his cousin find an American heiress who can help save his family's estate. But when his very proper British manners lead Poppy's grandmother to request he teach etiquette to Poppy, he quickly finds himself in for much more than he bargained for.
And while they couldn't be more opposite, Reginald and Poppy just might find they have more to teach each other than they ever could have expected.
Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. Readers may find her at www.jenturano.com - https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoaut... , https://www.instagram.com/jenturanoau... or on Twitter at JenTurano@JenTurano.
Laugh out loud delight! This book is a great example of why this author is a go-to for me. I spent so much time laughing out loud that my husband grabbed the book from me to see what had tickled my funny bone. I inhaled the antics of the characters over the weekend. Poppy has mayhem following her around her first season in NYC, and her grandmother hires a British traveling companion to help Poppy become a diamond of the first water. This gentleman has secrets of his own. There's a sliver of mystery, a cup of fun, and a romance that is slow to bloom, but it all comes together for the perfect recipe. Loved every page.
My favorite book of hers yet! This book is EVERYTHING that makes Jen Turano's writing style so unique and sheer perfection. The exploits, the banter, the chaos, and of course all the feels ... Ahhhh.
I was actually trying to read this book SLOWLY so I could savor it longer, but then the roller coaster of excitement started climbing to the top and, WHOOSH... I couldn't read it fast enough and keep up with the ride to the end. Just, so much FUN in reading. Not taking yourself or anything too seriously, but she always manages to throw in so many inspirational and self challenging thoughts to better yourself and help others. I love the way she included God into this story with her eclectic cast of characters. The ending was the sweetest BY FAR!
I won this book in a blog giveaway but was not required to leave a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
“When Miss Poppy Garrison accepts her grandmother's offer of financial help for her family in exchange for Poppy joining the New York social Season, she quickly realizes she is far less equipped to mingle with the New York Four Hundred than even she knew. As she becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, becoming the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs her to be looks more impossible by the day. Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, is in New York to help his cousin find an American heiress who can help save his family's estate. But when his very proper British manners lead Poppy's grandmother to request he teach etiquette to Poppy, he quickly finds himself in for much more than he bargained for. And while they couldn't be more opposite, Reginald and Poppy just might find they have more to teach each other than they ever could have expected.”
Series: Book #2 in the “American Heiress” series. Review of Book #1, Here!
Spiritual Content- Talks about God, forgiveness, & trials; Mentions of God; Mentions of churches, church going, services, sermons, hymnals, & reverends; A few mentions of prayers, praying, & thanking God; *Note: A few mentions of a ghost and a ghoul.
Negative Content- Minor cussing including: seven ‘idiot’s; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Some eye rolling; Being kidnapped & a gun aimed at you (barely-above-not-detailed); Fights, Injuries, Pain, & Gunshots (barely-above-not-detailed); Throwing up; Mentions of a sudden death (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of fist fights/brawls, injuries, blood/bleeding, criminals/thieves, & stealing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of jail; Mentions of blackmail; Mentions of alcohol & social drinking; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of throwing up; A couple mentions of an accidents & deaths; A couple mentions of cigars.
Sexual Content- five hand kisses (greeting/parting), a not-detailed kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, and two semi-detailed kisses; Noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of kisses & kissing; Mentions of greeting/parting kisses; A few mentions of ruined reputations; A couple mentions of hints of men hiring women in a rough area of town; Love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: Mentions of unmentionables; A few mentions of Poppy’s curves (noticed by Reginald).
-Poppy Garrison, age 22 -Reginald Blackburn P.O.V. switches between them Set in 1885 (Epilogue in 1886) 347 pages
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- Two Stars Early High School Teens- Three Stars Older High School Teens- Four Stars My personal Rating- Four Stars While this isn’t my favorite Jen Turano book, it was still quite a fun read. It took a bit for me to get into because it felt very much like her other books, by mid-way I became more invested and curious to see how different elements would turn out. Murray was a very pleasant surprise of a character and I truly enjoyed him the most. “Diamond in the Rough” was a good and clean read that I believe many will enjoy. :)
I have so many thoughts on this book, historical fiction is NOT my preferred genre but Turano DOES NOT write typical stories and this book was a HOOT from the FIRST page!!! I don't even think the cover does Poppy justice, but I couldn't stop looking at it and smiling. I took my time reading this one and it blessed me so much more than I could have expected, I have not found anything to read nearly as pleasing as this book since finishing it...yeah it's just THAT good!
I simply couldn't BELIEVE all the accidental craziness Poppy gets blamed for in the beginning! She was injured during that FIRST dance and the entire place stops and STARES at HER? She is unfazed, of course, and works hard to bring honor to her grandmother, Viola, and the night continues. Then they HAD to serve snails at dinner later on, REALLY?! Do you know how slippery those things are to handle? I would've managed worse than she did trying to follow protocol! She just smiles, humbles herself and keep going while most of us would have run to the bathroom to cry and hope to never come out again. She does get into the bathroom but not for that reason.
The dialogue is LONG but SO WELL DONE, these people take pages to make their points and always with a straight face, I would be trying to keep up and reacting wrong to everything spoken. Conversations between Reginald and his cousin are silly but for non amusing reasons.
Anyway, there are at least THREE mishaps in the first chapters that Poppy handles famously and she is persistent to become a Diamond of the First Water since Viola has gone to the trouble to host her this season. Also, WHY does Poppy HAVE to wear undergarments that DON'T fit in almost every chapter? That opera scene had me reacting both being stunned and then shaking my head and then laughing, REALLY?! And she wanted to stay and watch the entire play! Girl has gumption, grace and courage in spades and she is surrounded by the elite of society who are so critical. They either want to gossip about her or be her next best friend, nothing in between those choices.
Reginald doesn't know WHAT to think of Poppy when they meet, but boy is he good at catching her every time she stumbles! I didn't really think much of him until later in the plot, but he definitely suits her better than I anticipated. I think this quote says it all: He thought he'd been prepared to deal with America ladies, whom Bertie, the Prince of Wales, had told him were overly exuberant at times, but nothing could have prepared him for the unusual experience of dealing with a young lady like Miss Garrison.
I'm thrilled Poppy could represent us American ladies in such a way, she has a heart of gold while navigating New York society at such a time when there were so many rules and restrictions. Loved EVERY page of her.
FAVE characters were easily Beatrix and Murray, truly LOVED their friendship with Poppy and every moment they are in the scene it was just BETTER.
"Mother once told me Mr. Daft was like Mr. Collins from Pride & Prejudice." That conversation right there is worth a humorous snort and the grandmother has NO idea who Mr. Collins is...yikes!
I definitely need to read this one again, it's just a delightful read from beginning to end and even though it's part of American Heiresses series it is a stand alone. As funny as the story is for more than half the book, and it is A HOOT, it has more depth and sweet moments at the end that I was not expecting. I just loved every bit of it and hoped I could give this review justice because Poppy's story is DEFINITELY a diamond among books and worth this reader's time :)
There's nothing inherently wrong with this book, but the writing style is too much. I don't know--it's hard for me to comprehend and like. Too loquacious. Maybe that's the term I'm looking for. And, overall, it's too quirky for my personal taste.
Like I said, there's nothing inherently wrong with this book. Many others, including my sister, really like it. For me, it's just a personal preference. I'm not rating it because I did not finish it and I did not find anything wrong regarding plot or characters.
I think might just be my favourite Jen Turano book ever! Her special brand of romantic comedy was just what I needed to brighten my day.
Meet Miss Poppy Garrison, "magnet for mayhem" and the oh-so-very-proper son of a duke who finds himself entangled in Poppy's NOT-so-very-proper season. Reginald (ugh -- what a name!) is very Reginald-y when he makes his grand entrance. I actually wasn't certain my fainting couch would be necessary on this reading adventure.
Ha! So wrong! I was swooning and melting and fanning myself silly not long after making his acquaintance. Loved the way the posh kinda rolled right off him the more entrenched he became in Poppy's escapades. Never quite losing the proper veneer, mind you, but it sure did crack wide open -- enough to expose his heart. Not that he's in the market for an heiress -- that's his cousin's goal. Reginald's just along for backup.
And Poppy is delightful. She's a no-fuss-no-frills, practical kind of gal roped into enduring a New York high society season with a matchmaking minded grandma. She's also a klutz. And opinionated. Apt to speak her mind on all manner of inappropriate topics. The debates she and Reginald get into over what is taboo and why are hysterical!
A great cast of secondary characters had me laughing and fuming while a more sinister kind of mayhem adds extra hijinks and danger to Poppy's very unorthodox introduction to society resulting in a chaotic mess of sublime satisfaction!
Sidenote: This is another book I enjoyed in audible format. Andrea Emmes did a great job of bringing these characters to life. A truly enjoyable listen.
Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is book #2 in the American Heiresses series. It is a delightful romp into New York high society in 1885. Can a “Diamond in the Rough” be turned into a “Diamond of the first water”? After her family has been estranged from her grandparents, Poppy Garrison finds herself under the tutelage of her grandmother Viola Van Rensselaer, one of the elite in New York society. She is to make her debut, where wealthy American fathers hope to marry their daughters to titled Englishmen. The problem is Poppy has no airs or experience. She is also somewhat clumsy. But our heroine has a heart of gold and when she sees the unfortunate in need, she wants to remedy it immediately. Can she be an original by prompting wealthy patrons into helping more personally than just donating money to a cause? In order to be schooled in proper decorum and etiquette, Poppy meets Reginald Blackburn, who is a traveling companion of his cousin, Lord Charles Lonsdale. Madcap comedy ensues. Ms. Turano is an expert in portraying floundering females and hilarious situations with a few twists thrown in. The supporting cast is well fleshed out in Murray Middleton and Adele Tooker. Look for an incident with a horse that has the same name as Murray’s mother and the battle of the clotted cream with Adele and Poppy. This book is not without it’s spiritual elements. Poppy’s grandfather, George, explains his awakening to Poppy and a family reconciliation is the result. The other characters express their faith naturally.
I highly recommend Jen Turano’s books, especially this American Heiresses series to fans of Christian fiction who want a nice romantic comedy kind of story. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was mot required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Let me start off by freaking out over this cover!!! If someone would like to send me a huge poster of this cover I would not be mad! 😍😍😍😍
Now on to the gorgeousness that is INSIDE this cover.
ALL OF THE SWOONY HEART EYES FOR THIS BOOK!!!
I LOVE when "no nonsense" heroes are thrust into the lives of crazy, unpredictable heroines. Wacky things always go down. Jen Turano is QUEEN of all wacky, and hilarious situations! (And no nonsense heroes)
Reginald was great! 😍 WAY under his brooding nature was a caring, wonderful man! He really had a heart of gold, and I loved watching it grow the more he was around Poppy.
Poppy was a BLAST! How that woman found herself in all those predicaments is beyond me, but I LOVED her attitude about it. She handled everything with a smile, and quick wit. She was just Poppy. No matter what life, or society, threw at her.
Jen always writes great side characters! This time was no different. I loved Murray! I really enjoyed the relationship between him & Poppy. Also, watching him grow a backbone was fun too.
The "intrigue" part of the story seemed a little rushed, but since it was a sub plot it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I did enjoy the added element to the story.
I really did love this book, and I cannot wait for book 3! Beatrix is going to be a HOOT, I can already tell. I rated it 5/5 stars.
*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*
I loved the cover of this book and thought that I would read it.
This book had some really hilarious moments in it so I would say it was a comedy plus a historical romance. Reginald and Poppy were the main characters, but there was also a gentleman called Murray who became a dear friend to both Reginald and Poppy. Murray first appeared in the story when Poppy was trying to maneuver the steps to a complicated dance. Poppy did not have success and so was the first hilarious moment introduced.
Poppy's grandmother wanted her to find a suitable husband and her grandmother knew all the rules of etiquette. Poppy did not care to follow the rules, but tried her best to please her grandmother. Along the way came Reginald and he was Poppy's savior to teach her all the rules.
Poppy had a "heart of gold." Later in the book was introduced a villain. You will be surprised to learn who it really was!
I loved the bantering that Poppy and Reginald did with each other. They were really suited for each other!
I never heard of the phrase "A Diamond of the First Water" before. It is very interesting to learn more about how people talked and thought in this era. I am so glad that I don't have to follow these kind of rules in my life. I liked this book so much that I was sad when I finished it.
You don’t find many historical fiction novels that also can be humorous and light hearted. But "Diamond in the Rough" by Jen Turano is certainly just that among the many historical fiction novels published today. I might even go so far as to say it’s a “Diamond of the First Water,” just as our main character Poppy strives to be!
Poppy Garrison is a unique, klutzy, and completely genuine and loveable character (and what a name). I loved watching her as she tries to navigate the rules and etiquette of the New York Four Hundred social season (think of Poppy adjusting a broken bustle in public–the horror). But this book isn’t just light and fluffy; there is also a lot of character growth and development and themes of family and identity.
I thoroughly enjoyed my romp through the social season, but I am very glad Poppy was the one to do it and not myself, thank you very much!
Content: This is a clean read.
Rating: I give this book 4 stars.
I want to thank TLC Book Tours, Jen Turano and Bethany House for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
Full review and author q&a on FaithfullyBookish.com
Diamond in the Rough has it all from adventure and sweet romance to heartwarming faith-in-action, reconciliation, and light-hearted humor.
Poppy is simply delightful! Although her country roots and propensity for landing in outrageous situations don’t bode well for a triumphant social season among those 400 fancy folks in the big city, I greatly enjoyed the way she innocently shocked those stiff shirts and pampered ladies time and time again.
Reginald is a cautious, quiet gentleman. It’s no wonder he’s suspicious when surrounded by overly eager and flirtatious, title-seeking females and their mothers! I love the way Poppy inadvertently ruffles his feathers and leaves him hot under the collar!
Jen Turano lavishes readers with stories that touch the heart and tickle the funny bone. Fans will notice cameo appearances by characters from her previous stories yet this book can be easily be enjoyed as a standalone. Diamond in the Rough doesn’t skimp on the substance for the sake of being entertaining.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
So I finished Diamond in the Rough 2 1/2 weeks ago and am just now sitting down to write my review of it. I hate that I allowed that much time to go by but real life got in the way.
Diamond in the Rough was a little bit of a struggle for me. I'm not well-read in this time period, but I got so tired of seeing the phrase "diamond of the first water." Is that a legit thing from this time period? And if so, it's a dumb and long classification.
Poppy was a bit extra. I mean I just felt like the situations that she got herself into were too far-fetched and unrealistic. If nothing else, the frequency of these unrealistic events made them more unbelievable. A little less frequency and I might have been able to buy what Jen Turano was selling.
Reginald was okay. My biggest frustrations with him were surrounding his predictable conflict.
Which leads me to my next point. Despite the unrealistic nature of many of the events, the conflict was mostly predictable except the very last bit.
Overall Diamond in the Rough left me disappointed in most of the categories: heroine, hero, conflict, predictability, and realism. It wasn't awful, but I can't really say that I liked it. Diamond in the Rough gets 2.5 Stars. Have you read Diamond in the Rough? What did you think? Let me know!
I absolutely loved this story! The writing is fabulously witty and fast-paced with tangible descriptions of countryside and mannerisms and costume. Poppy Garrison needs to be my best friend because then there would be someone in my life clumsier than I am. Her character is vibrant and fairly leaps off the page with enthusiasm. Reginald Blackburn was a bit uptight in the beginning but I still liked him immediately. He’s British, you know. ;) He has a big heart underneath his ‘stuffy’ exterior and is one of the best characters Turano has written, in my opinion.
Poppy and Reginald hold center stage in this book but there are a couple of other storylines that make it even richer in depth and characterization. Diamond in the Rough has a lot of heart amid the humor.
Fans of historical romance will want to grab a copy of this novel. I was provided a review copy from the publisher with no expectation of a review.
“He loved her. It was as simple as that, even though she was the most exhausting and exasperating lady he’d ever met in his life.“
For all that I immediately engaged in Izzie’s story in Flights of Fancy, it took me a while to get into Diamond in the Rough. I liked Poppy immediately – and admired her for her pluck and determination even when she’s the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. I also liked Reginald right away, despite his rather stodgy name, because even though he is also stodgy I saw his potential right away. Plus he’s swoonily British and finds Poppy fascinating – both additional points in his favor. So I’m not exactly sure why I had a hard time connecting with the book, other than just mental fatigue after a long week.
However, once I got over my initial lack of enthusiasm, I became immersed in the true heart of the story and enjoyed watching Poppy set the New York 400 – and Reginald, too – off kilter. She’s such a genuine character with a big heart, and my heart smiled with the emphasis on social justice that Turano wove effortlessly into this story, even when Poppy hilariously set even that a bit off kilter too. Seeing Reginald all ruffled by Poppy’s persistence in discussing undergarments, her magnetism for mayhem, and the way she’s tumbling her way into his heart is deliciously swoony… and Diamond in the Rough wins the award for my favorite kissing scene by this author. Keep a fan handy for that one!
Bottom Line: While I wasn’t a fan of Diamond in the Rough at first, I ended up completely enjoying the story after all. Which is appropriate, given the title, I suppose. Poppy and Reginald are such great characters – and the banter between them will keep you grinning besottedly throughout. Poppy’s family unexpectedly grew on me as the story progressed, and I loved the cameo from Miss Mabel & references to beloved characters from Turano’s previous books. And Murray! Oh I loved Murray. What a hoot. Another fun misadventure through the ridiculousness of the Gilded Age.
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased for my own collection.)
Jen has done it again! There is a reason Jen is one of my absolute favorite authors, because her books have the perfect ratio of romance, humor, a bit of mystery and characters I love. I have yet to read one of her historical books that I didn’t adore (and I have read them all!), and Diamond In The Rough is no exception. The escapades that Poppy somehow manages get tangled up in kept me in stitches and I loved the new characters we met in this story, especially Murray. He was adorable and I loved seeing his growth in the book. If you love to laugh, I HIGHLY recommend this book. As for me, this book has more than earned its place on my keeper shelf next to the rest of Jen’s lovelies.
I received this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
A hilarious, laugh out loud historical fiction novel in typical Jen Turano style. Readers will love the crazy antics of Poppy Garrison as she reluctantly joins the New York social season at the urging of her society grandmother. She finds herself being given etiquette lessons by Reginald Blackburn, who unbeknownst to her is the second son of a duke. This was an enjoyable novel that fans of Jen Turano will not want to miss. The humorous moments and outrageous predicaments that Poppy found herself in were my favorite parts of the story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
It's funny. I feel like I've said this about every one of this author's books, but it is a fact of truth. You want to smile like a maniac and forget all of the unpleasantness of reality? Okay, do yourself a favor and please---PLEASE---pick up a Jen Turano book. (Pleassse?)
(As you may have guessed) I've loved all of Jen Turano's books, but I loved this one just as much as "The Ladies of Distinction" series, which is basically my favorite series of books EVER. Something about this book brought me back to that series' feel, and it made me SOOOO happy.
Two words: Murray Middleton. There really isn't a lot of books I've come across where the heroine ends up striking a heartwarming male friendship that doesn't lead to fluttery feelings, and (eventually) love. Poppy's relationship with Mr.Middleton was a delight to read. The poor man was a rather humorous addition to the cast of characters, even if it was because he suffered some mishaps here and there. :-/ He's definitely my new favorite cinnamon roll character.
The heroine is unintentionally clumsy, and it made for some sublime reading. How Turano keeps coming up with all of these outlandishly hysterical situations for her characters time and time AMAZES me. (I particularly liked the elevator scene *snorts*)
There was a "villainous" character from a previous book that's shown mending their ways. A-D-O--R-E-D this! Redemption is one of my favorite concepts to read, and I liked how this book took a hard to like character and made me cheer him on.
Did Not Like So Much...
I did find the ending a little predictable. But Turano is a queen of comedy, so I one shouldn't expect the feel of a suspenseful thriller. So I'm not UPSET. I just wish that the endings of her books didn't always end with a similar element. (Which I can't really expound without spoiling those who haven't read her books...)
Overall, it's a new favorite. Definitely the cup of cheery tea I needed. I give "Diamond in the Rough" by Jen Turano a rating of four and a half (rounding to five), and recommend to every soul who desires a book that will at least make them crack a tiny grin on their face.
*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.
There are many adjectives that apply to a Jen Turano book. Delightful. Charming. Enchanting. Captivating. Fascinating. Engaging. Lovely. Scrumptious. All of these definitely apply to this Diamond In The Rough who, with the help of a certain English gentleman, is either going to turn into a diamond of the first water or a colossal disgrace during her first society season.
But, oh, Poppy's madcap adventures are so much fun! As is Reginald's amusing attempts to reign her in and save her from herself. I'd swear I say this with every new release, but it's true. Diamond In The Rough is probably my favorite Jen Turano book...so far...or at least until the next American Heiresses book comes out.
I've actually read this book twice. The first time in paperback and again when I got the chance at an audiobook. Yes, the story was familiar the second time through, but in a good way, and the narrator's sprightly voice brought the characters to life in an all new way. Sure, the accents are exactly spot on but she was the perfect choice to narrate the audiobook. The production quality was excellent and did justice to Jen Turano's wonderful story. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Diamond In The Rough, either audiobook or in print.
(I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are entirely my own.)
What a delightful novel by Jen Turano! The second book in the American Heiresses is filled with laughs and meaningful romance. I loved Poppy. She's headstrong and knows her own mind, but she is also a lady, even though she doesn't exactly know how to handle herself in every situation. Reginald is the perfect balance to Poppy's nature, giving level-headed advice and direction, but also finding himself falling for this woman who can't seem to fit in with the society mavens. Poppy is spunky and a friend that everyone would want to have (as long as you aren't trying to sabotage her). This book delves into more serious topics such as forgiveness, deception, and the meaning of family. I always adore Ms. Turano's books and this one was perfect for me at this time--light, but with a meaningful message.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Wow. Just terrible. I tried to like this book but the main female character just got on my nerves. I mean it is so unrealistic with the situations she gets in. It is suppose to be funny how witty and frank she is but honestly it comes off as annoying.
it was cute and fun (and i did like it!), and readers who enjoy Turano’s books will like this, but it wasn’t completely my cup of tea. her books seem a little more on the “hit or miss” side for me. i really liked the first book in this series though so i’ll probably read the last one to finish out the series. 😊
I'm not sure there are adequate words to describe how I feel about books by Ms. Turano. Anyone can say they love a book, but it doesn't seem to be appropriate here, because I more than love them. I adore them. I can't get enough of them. Her books always put a smile on my face, cheer me up on a bad day, and transport me to another world. Her character names are ingenious, some of their traits (and quotes) are entertaining, and the circumstances are always delightfully hilarious. Diamond in the Rough is no exception.
Poppy just might be my favorite character by Turano, ever. She says things at the wrong time, gets herself into some interesting pickles, and is a total handful. However, she is charming, not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right, and honestly tries to do the right thing. She is loyal to her family, and the cause of her grandmother trying to make her the best of the season. The scenes she has with children, with those less fortunate, and with her friends are such a pleasure to read. They show the true nature of Poppy - which should be seen by some other not-so-nice characters in the book.
There were so many laughable scenes I can't even remember them all! The first line alone was great, let alone talking about snails tasting like chicken, the deaf Mr. Phalen thinking Viola was changing her name to Frank, ending up in water, and so many more. Turano is known for her quirky lines and this book has several to enjoy. The way Turano weaves a little humor into a good portion of the book is just amazing. The fact that her mind can think up these crazy stories just blows my mind!
But don't let the humor fool you - Turano is also great at weaving in remarkable lessons in her stories. My favorite in this one happened to come from a character other than Poppy (I won't say who to refrain from having a spoiler). This person happens to have a scene with the less fortunate, and sees how they truly live. It is at that very moment the character realizes all that they truly have and take for granted. It is also at that time I started to think of all that I had and take for granted. Yes, even among the comedy, there are lessons to be learned, and thoughts you cannot help but think. Bravo Ms. Turano for reminding me how good I really have it, even on days when I don't feel like I do!
All in all, as with every other Turano book ever written, this is a book that you need to read! The characters, the circumstances, the setting, are all worth your time. I encourage you to really read into the characters and try to figure out who the bad guys might really be. I think you'll be a little surprised with a twist at the end!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano is the second book in the American Heiresses series. It can be read as a standalone for those new to this series of books. However, I heartily recommend reading Flights of Fancy (it is a delight to read). From the very first page, I was drawn into this engaging and humorous historical novel. Poppy Garrison is a vibrant woman with a zest for life. She is twenty-two years old and could care less about society. However, she made a promise to her grandmother and Poppy intends to keep it. Viola did not count on Poppy’s clumsiness or how often she manages to get herself into sticky situations. Poppy’s antics had me laughing through the whole book (there is a snail incident, a busy bustle, runaway horses, a tiara incident and so much more). Reginald Blackburn is an English gentleman who believes is proper decorum. He agrees to give lessons to Poppy, but he had not idea it was going to be such a challenge. I like how the characters grow as individuals as the story progresses. While Diamond in the Rough is humorous, there are some sweet, tender moments. The story focuses on Poppy and Reginald, but there are side stories involving some of the other characters (like Charles Wynn, Murray Middletown, Viola Van Rennsselaer, and Poppy’s mother). I thought Diamond in the Rough was well-written and it proceeded at a fast pace. I like how Jen Turano captured the time period with the clothing, language, the dances, books, conveyances, and people. I was swept back to the Gilded Age and watched Poppy as she was let loose on New York high society. My favorite line comes from Poppy when she states, “I’ve always felt that misfits are far more interesting than normal folks.” Diamond in the Rough is by far my favorite book by Jen Turano. I cannot wait to read the next novel in the American Heiresses series. Diamond in the Rough is an amusing historical novel that has dizzying dances, runaway rides, an eager earl, rowing relatives, slippery snails, husband hunters and a peppy Poppy.
Set in Gilded Age New York where it was important to be a “diamond of the first water,” Diamond in the Rough features Poppy Garrison who despairs of ever reaching that goal. Delightful, quirky, and prone to mishaps, Poppy seems to attract chaos and pandemonium wherever she goes. She meets each new disaster with aplomb and continues to be her endearing and entertaining self.
“You must have realized by now that I’m not always keen to follow rules.”
Despairing of ever seeing Poppy fit into society, her grandmother hires Reginald Blackburn to give her etiquette lessons. What follows is a hilarious, entertaining romp that left me giggling, chuckling, and laughing out loud (with maybe a snort or two for good measure)! And, yes, I realize that precludes me from being a diamond of the first water! I’ll have to settle for being a diamond in the rough like Poppy. I love Poppy and Reginald. They are both fantastic characters—some of my favorite Turano people. They aren’t perfect, but they’re perfect for each other. A stellar supporting cast adds to the enjoyment and fun of the tale. Filled with witty banter, humor, romance, intrigue, and a few life lessons, it’s a delight to read. I loved the message to be yourself and not who others want you to be.
Jen Turano is an incredibly gifted writer with an amazing sense of humor. Her characters come alive on the page and are so delightful and fun. The settings are all so richly painted, and the colorful imagery in her stories brings them to life. If you’ve never read any of her books, do yourself a favor and grab one. You can start with this one—it’s part of a series, but it can easily be read alone.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.
When I think of historical romances that make me laugh out loud (even in public), I think of Jen Turano. This one was no different. Though this is the 2nd book in the American Heiresses series, it could easily be read as stand-alone. Though the main character from the first book is referenced and a couple of minor characters in the first book have appearances in this book, there is enough information given that you're not missing anything if you haven't read "Flights of Fancy". (Though you should read it - it's fantastic!)
This book follows the life of Poppy Garrison, whose parents own Garrison Farms. When the bank calls in their loan early, Poppy chooses to allow her grandmother to bail them out in exchange for debuting in society for a season. Her grandmother desperately wants Poppy to become a "Diamond in the First Water", but Poppy always seems to find herself in the most ridiculous of predicaments, making her more of a "diamond in the rough". This lends to the hilarity of the book and makes the romance aspect that much better. In spite of the frivolity, though, there is a good spiritual thread and a bit of drama included and the characters are well fleshed out and likable as well. This book truly has it all!
There were a few sub-plot stories that tied up a bit TOO neatly for my liking, which is why this one got 4 stars instead of 5, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the story-line and I believe that Poppy and I would have been the the very best of friends.
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced E-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to write a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.
From start to finish this is such a fun, high-spirited, effervescent story *insert happy sigh*!! Without fail, I know that I can depend on finding an enjoyable story when I pick up a book written by author Jen Turano.
With vivacious and often quirky characters that beacon you to kick-up your heels and join in the fun antics. Toss in a measure of light-hearted banter and you have the perfect recipe for a story that is sure to have you both gasping at the sheer genius and laughing out loud wishing you had thought of something similar yourself. I just love the characters of this book!
Jen Turano has a knack for artfully tucking into her light-hearted stories serious topics that often in polite conversations we tip-toe around. The savy reader will appreciate the delicate, balance achieved here and appreciate the blend of fun and serious that most skip right past in joyful abandon.
If you are searching for a fun, entertaining novel to lighten your mood and bring laughter to your day then this is the book for you! To be sure this story has found a place of honor on my keeper shelf!
(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Jen Turano’s American Heiresses series continues with great fun in Diamond in the Rough. To help her family, Poppy Garrison agrees to participate in the New York social season—but having grown up on a horse farm, she is quite unprepared for what that entails, of course. Enter Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke. He agrees to help Poppy, but she might just prove to be more than he can handle.
Opposites in so many ways, Poppy and Reginald make a delightful pair. As is typical of a Turano novel, they encounter one silly situation after another, and complement each other well through it all. I so enjoyed my time with them; seeing them learn, grow, and fall in love made it easy to do. If you love historical romance, I’m sure you will enjoy it just as much.
"You seem to be an original, my dear, so perhaps you won't feel the need to wait so long before you abandon what's expected of you, embracing who you truly are and who God meant you to be, instead of trying to embrace a sense of who others want you to be."
I am head-over-heels for this book! It has great slapstick humor, in the form of mishaps and mayhem that follows Poppy, and equal measurements of heart.
Poppy is a heroine you love right off the bat - exuberant, headstrong, and refreshingly original. Reginald is a brooding, proper British gentleman that is sure to give readers Mr. Darcy vibes - he definitely won me over with his protectiveness, kindness and good heart. These two opposites attract so well - their banter and interactions exhibiting their exasperation, wit, and chemistry perfectly.
The storytelling was fantastic; I loved the character development and growth for the secondary characters and main ones.
Delightful, hilarious, and quite charming! Diamond in the Rough is perfect for your keeper shelf! I highly recommend it.