Congratulations to Maria Thomas our winner!!
About the Book
To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.
Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy's grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.
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Let me just say, our author's books just keep getting better and better! Poppy was such a heroine- formidable, clumsy, beautiful, and totally relatable. Reginald seems cool and distant at first, but we quickly find out he has a heart under all that etiquette. The historical detail truly transported me to the time and place described, and boy did I get a real mental picture. The plot was steady placed with twists and turns and a slow blossoming romance that truly delights. I love how the author always reminds us that true loves knows no obstacles, and that everyone is perfect just the way they are. In a time when individuality was truly repressed in young ladies, Poppy brings us the heroine we all wish was a BFF. Let's not forget the many foibles our heroine finds herself in including getting her tiara caught in her dancing partner's sleeve! Lol Overall, this book is relatable, richly historical, and a beautiful blossoming romance all in one package. Bravo, Jen!
I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.
Author Q & A
1. Is Poppy based off of any aspects of your own personality or someone else? If so, how?
I think all of my characters have a bit of me in them somewhere, and Poppy is no exception. She’s notorious for getting herself into the most unusual of situations, something that happens to me on a weekly basis. When the story opens, she’s managed to get her tiara stuck to the sleeve of her dance partner, and while that hasn’t happened to me, I did get my hair stuck in a loom I was using when I took this weaving class in college – a situation that left me parted from a great deal of my hair.
2. Everyone knows you are famous for humor in your books. What inspires the foibles our character manages to find herself in for Diamond in the Rough?
I have a wide assortment of friends, and over the years, all of those friends have managed to land themselves into some rather amusing predicaments. I have to admit I use their antics for inspiration, but I always change the names because my assortment of friends would certainly dwindle if any of them realized they were inspiration behind some of my more outlandish scenes.
3. We know you give such rich historical detail in your historical fictions. What history highlights can we expect in Diamond in the Rough?
Readers will find themselves in Delmonico’s – an establishment that hosted many Gilded Age events. Central Park is another setting I used in this story, and I delved a bit into what was expected with late morning calling hours. That was an event that included so many rules that I actually had to make a chart in order to understand all the intricacies that went into paying a lady a call. Fascinating tidbits there, let me tell you, and ones I wouldn’t have been very good at following.
4. Do we see any characters from your previous books make another appearance in Diamond in the Rough?
Miss Beatrix Waterbury appears throughout the story. She’s in all three books, and will then have her story told in book three, “Storing Up Trouble.” Readers will also find a character from another series show up, but you’ll have to read the book to discover who that is 😊
5. What did you enjoy most about writing the romance between the hero and heroine?
Poppy and Reginald are very different from each other, so it’s always enjoyable to write a story where opposites meet.
6. Which secondary character is your favorite and why?
Mr. Murray Middleton is one of my very favorite secondary characters. He was only meant to have a very small part in the first chapter, but from the moment I started writing him on the page, he took on a life of his own, and I’m delighted he did because he’s hilarious.
7. Did any of your characters not cooperate with you?
Reginald, the hero, did not behave at first. I thought he was going to be rather unlikable in the beginning, far too snobbish and set in his ways. However, he apparently didn’t like how I was writing him and simply stopped cooperating. When that happens, it’s like trying to write through mud. We finally came to terms, though, and while he certainly still has a touch of snobbishness, he’s more charming than I first intended him to be, something I do believe he was right about all the time, and right to balk when I tried to write him differently.
8. What do you like most about Diamond in the Rough overall?
I think it’s one of my most madcap stories yet, and I do so love a madcap story.
Thanks so much, Katie. Always a pleasure chatting with you!
All the best,
About the Author
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. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.
Jen is graciously offering a signed copy of Diamond in the Rough for one lucky winner! Click the link below to enter! Just entering gets you one entry, but there are bonus entries as well! Good luck! :)