Nay. Hatred would not bar my heart against pain. Hatred would only bar my heart against healing, redemption, love. ~Rachelle Rea Cobb, The Sound of Diamonds
I love a good rogue romance. Unfortunately, most of those romances I hold so dear rarely come true, so to put it (*coughs* I'm looking at you, Guy and Marian). But this... My dear friends, this was so good.
Gwyneth Barrington is on the path to becoming a nun. Living in a convent in Leiden, the Netherlands, she suffers from the memory of her parents' murders, and their promise for her happy future.
And then the assumed murderer shows up, claiming that Leiden's convent is under attack, and he wishes to bring Gwyn to safety.
If only it were that simple.
I've been interested in The Sound of Diamonds for a while, now. That gorgeous title, that intriguing cover... As Prince Edward from Disney's Enchanted would say, what's not to like? So when a review opportunity came up, I pounced. 😉
The first chapter begins with action and adventure. Gwyneth, a young, headstrong noblewoman. Dirk Godfrey, a redeemed rogue with a scandalous past. Two of Dirks closest friends, a strict nun, and a sweet postulant.
The characters -- One of my biggest pet peeves in religious romance novels (and probably the main reason I don't read more romance, period) is the helpless (and very beautiful) Mary Sue and the slightly flawed (yet still very handsome) Gary Stu. I love how Rachelle took these stereotypical characters and tossed them out the window. 😄
We have a feisty daughter of nobility (with glasses! *cheers*), a God-pursuing son of a lord and lady, and a cast full of fun characters.
My only complaints in regards to the cast were Cade and Ian, both of whom seemed very similar (though the latter got much less "screen time"); and the villain, who, though his reasons seemed comprehensible enough, felt like he needed a little more motivation.
The romance -- I'll start by saying that the side-romance (between a certain friend and postulant *winks*) was super sweet. There was what was possibly an implication of sorts later on in their relationship that seemed a bit out of place, but it was left open to interpretation.
But the main romance. Our hero and our heroine. (*smiles*) Even though I know the answers, I'm still tempted to scream at them, "What took you so long?!" ♥
The writing -- I've yet to experience a novel so wonderfully historically accurate, yet so well written at the same time. Never in my life have I heard of the Dutch Revolution, but Rachelle brought it to life in wonderful ways, with her little phrases in late-Renaissance Dutch and Spanish.
The setting -- I'm not big on description; in fact, if there's more than one sentence of description in a book, that's the part I usually skip. However, I did feel as if this area could've done with a tad more development.
The plot -- Fantasy lovers, take your favourite fantasy quest -- journeys across seas, through forests, to castles, you name it... Now apply it to a historical romance, with an emotional murder mystery along the way. (*nods*) Remarkable, isn't it?
So, yes, my dear friend -- go read The Sound of Diamonds! Even if you're not big on historical romance, go do it. You won't regret it. ☺
You may want to know: There is violence (murder included) and kissing, as well as a few slight implications.
NOTE: I received a free ebook copy of The Sound of Diamonds from the author, in exchange for my honest review.
Click here to read my Goodreads review.
❤, the Book Dragon