Book Review: Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano (American Heiresses #2)

Other books in this series:

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.

My Review-

Whenever I pick up a book by Jen Turano, I know it’s going to be a good time, and this one did not disappoint! This is the second book in her American Heiresses series, and I am loving it! This one took a little longer to get into, but it picked up and I read it all in two days.

Unlike book 1 in the series, Flights of Fancy, this one is set in the New York Fashion scene: Poppy is originally from the countryside, but is being coerced by her grandmother to spend a Season in New York society. Although she means well, hilarity ensues.

The characters in this book seemed flatter than the other ones from previous Turano books I’ve read: I didn’t really feel like I got to know any of the characters and their motivations? I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

As usual, this book was incredibly witty and humorous: there were several scenes that had me chuckling out loud, which doesn’t happen often except in Turano books. It was just so bantery and funny, and I loved it!

The names in this book were super fun: Poppy, Murray, and Reginald, to name a few! They were just a wacky band of characters and it was so much fun! I also liked seeing characters from other places making a reappearance: cameos like that are some of my favorite :).

Some of my favorite parts from this book:

  • the character growth of several characters!
  • an in depth reflection about God and life by George, Poppy’s grandfather
  • Poppy’s friendship with Murray! it was SO NICE seeing a female/male relationship without turning into love
  • the volunteer work that Poppy and her friends did
  • it tackled mental health issues from the time a little: I would have liked to see more, but overall I liked the portrayal

Some not-quite-so-favorites:

  • A racial slur (g*psy) is used, in reference to a dance at the beginning of the book
  • There were a couple of mentions of kisses and married people sitting on each other’s laps and (spoiler alert) pregnancy, but it was all kept pretty PG-13. It didn’t bother me, but it did have a little bit more romantic content than Turano’s other books, as far as I can remember
  • The storyline was pretty much predictable: nothing extraordinary happened, and it was pretty easy to see where the story was headed
  • This particular book felt like it needed a larger amount of suspension of disbelief to picture all the things that happened. Most historical fiction books, even Turano’s, seems like that /could/ have been plausible, but some scenarios in this one seemed a little . . . out there.

Overall, this was really really fun! Jen Turano’s books are always kind of a guilty pleasure for me: they are just so witty and brighten my day! I’m looking forwards to reading the next book when it comes out!

My Rating-


I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.



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