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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The End of the Hope Diamond Trilogy

The Undercover Scoundrel (The Hope Diamond Trilogy, #3)The Undercover Scoundrel by Jessica Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last of The Hope Diamond Trilogy and, though the middle book was disappointing, this one returns to the excitement and enjoyment of the first. All three books revolve around the brazen robbery of the Hope Diamond by a bored womanizing aristocratic young man looking for a thrill. The first focuses on him, William and his lady love, Violet and is quite exciting when he realizes that he must return the diamond without revealing his role in its theft.

The second book focuses on Violet's mousey cousin, Sophia and the banker, Thomas Hope, owner of the diamond. They are also trying to recover it, since Hope's bank is losing customers since word got out that he wasn't able to protect such a valuable asset. He and his remaining clients, including Sophia's family are in dread danger of losing all they have. In this installment, the constant repetition of events from the first book made for boring and less than exciting reading.

This last entry in the trilogy returns to a higher level of excitement with the return of Henry Lake, an English spy, attempting to find the Diamond so that he might use it as a bargaining chip with Napoleon, who wishes to reclaim this lost gem of the French crown jewels. Henry hopes that he can trade it for the lives of British soldiers held captive by the French. His cohort in his quest is none other than William, the thief's, sister, Lady Caroline. Henry had married her in secret twelve years earlier, when he was 20 and she 18. He left her the day after the marriage to serve his King as a spy, without any parting word. She married his best friend and is now that man's widow. The excitement builds as spy vs spy battle to find the gem, as Caroline's brother attempts to hide his part in the whole affair and as Henry, who knows he must leave once more, attempts to avoid new entanglement with Caroline, who is also restraining her emotions.

Yet, as is often happens in these spun-sugar historical romances all's well that ends well. --Easy read and fun trilogy, to which I was introduced by a Goodreads win of the first installment several months ago.

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