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Diamond in the Rough Book #1

Title:  Diamond in the Rough (Charm & Deceit #1)
Author:  Jennifer AlLee and Lisa Karon Richardson
Pages:  254
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Whitaker House
The year is 1861 and trouble is brewing between the states.  In Eureka, California, Lily Rose is the heiress to a fortune via her father, who has made his money in the lumber industry.  She has convinced him to allow her to use part of her inheritance to buy some land on which she wants to build a school and a church for the local Native American population.  She has written a missionary organization requesting a preacher to come and help with the building of souls as well as structures.  Her prayers are finally answered when the handsome Reverend Crew arrives.  However, will the cruel Mr. Abernathy foil her plans for the local Indian tribe?  Will she be forced to accept his marriage proposal?
Grant Diamond is in a desperate way.  He is a gambler, but has a Pinkerton agent on his tail.  The agent thinks he is guilty of murdering a woman back East.  Grant seizes on an opportunity to “die” and assumes the identity of a preacher.  He arrives in Eureka unknowingly answering Lily’s prayers.  He thinks he can keep his false identity long enough to fleece some people in town out of their money and then move on.  However, once he meets Lily, he can’t bear to disappoint her and also thinks she is pretty.  He takes an immediate disliking to Mr. Abernathy and stops his bullying tactics, but for how long?  Also, the Pinkerton agent catches up to him much more quickly than Grant had hoped and is now suspicious of him after an impromptu meeting.  How long can he keep up the charade?
There is much more going on in the emotions of the characters than I have room to write, but suffice it to say this book is definitely worth reading.  The opening scene is quite funny and there are other touches of humor throughout the story.  Themes of repentance, forgiveness, evangelism and more are presented in this charming romance.  It was so cool to see how God worked in Grant’s life to make Himself known and to show Grant that he wasn’t beyond redemption.  I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in the series, Vanishing Act, which features Carter Forbes, Pinkerton agent, who has a strong supporting role in the first book.  Reading this book would be a great way to spend an afternoon.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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