Review: When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

When You Give a Duke a Diamond
by Shana Galen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When You Give a Duke a DiamondAs a courtesan, Juliette’s life depends on being seen as notorious and fascinating.

As a duke, William’s self-respect depends on being reserved and haughty.

When Juliette witnesses William’s intended being brutally attacked at a ball, she tells him what she saw and asks for his help protecting herself. It’s no wonder William is slow to believe her at all.

But when the evidence mounts up and William realizes she’s truly in danger, he whisks her away to Yorkshire where she’ll be safe and he can investigate. But doing so may tarnish his own reputation beyond repair.

I loved these characters. Two people for whom reputation is everything, but one of them craves discretion while the other has to give at least the appearance of indiscretion in order to survive.

William is every inch a duke. He believes he should never have to apologize because he’s above nearly everyone around him. The only person he needs to avoid is the Prince Regent, because he can say no to every other request that’s made of him.

Both William and Juliette are survivors of abuse. This hidden vulnerability helps them look beyond the masks that they each show the world and see each other for who they really are. With William, Juliette learns to stand up for herself (even if he’s sometimes the one she needs to stand up to). With Juliette, William learns how to have an identity beyond his title.

Shana Galen’s novels are always a treat for me to read. When You Give a Duke a Diamond has a bit of suspense, a good dose of humor, and a bucketload of irresistible sensuality. I look forward to the next two novels in this series, featuring Juliette’s fellow courtesans.

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Have you read When You Give a Duke a Diamond, or any of Shana Galen’s other novels? What did you think?

Last chance! Subscribe to my blog and comment on any post by August 31, 2012, for a chance to win my Bookstravaganza! giveaway.

When You Give a Duke a Diamond

He had a perfectly orderly life…
William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…
Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

Bookstravaganza! giveaway for blog subscribers & Facebook friends

When I was at RWA’s National Conference in Anaheim, a lot of very generous authors gave me books to give away.

A LOT of generous authors.

So for the next few months – or until Smarty Pants sees our postage bill – I’m going to be giving away books to some of my favorite people: my blog subscribers and Facebook friends.

On the blog

Between today (August 13th, 2012) and August 31, 2012, leave a comment on any post on my blog for a chance to win three books. You don’t have to limit yourself to the posts that are published in that time period – you can comment on earlier posts.

I’ll randomly select ONE winner to get ALL THREE books. You must be a subscriber to my blog in order to win. See that email form on the right side? Go forth and subscribe.

Here are the three books you could win in August. Can you guess the theme for this month?

Devil's BrideDevil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire ton by offering his hand in marriage. No one had dreamed this scandalous rake would so tamely take a bride. As society’s mamas swooned at the loss of England’s most eligible bachelor, Devil’s infamous Cynster cousins began to place wagers on the wedding date.

But Honoria wasn’t about to bend to society’s demands and marry a man just because they’d been found together unchaperoned. No. She craved adventure. Solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, but once the crime was solved, Honoria was set on seeing the world. But the scalding heat of her unsated desire for Devil soon had Honoria craving a very different sort of excitement. Could her passion for Devil cause her to embrace the enchanting peril of a lifelong adventure of the heart?

Rogue Pirate's BrideThe Rogue Pirate’s Bride by Shana Galen

Revenge should be sweet, but it may cost him everything…

The Marquis de Valère escaped certain death in the French Revolution and is now an infamous privateer. Out to avenge the death of his mentor, Bastien discovers himself astonishingly out of his depth when confronted with a beautiful, daring young woman who is out for his blood…

Forgiveness is unthinkable, but it may be her only hope…

British Admiral’s daughter Raeven Russell believes Bastien responsible for her fiancé’s death. But once the fiery beauty crosses swords with Bastien, she’s not so sure she really wants him to change his wicked ways…

Highlander's PrizeThe Highlander’s Prize by Mary Wine


Sent to Scotland to be the king’s mistress and produce an heir, Clarrisa of York has never needed a miracle more. But the brusque Highland laird who kidnaps her is a bit too rough to be considered divine intervention.


With rival lairds determined to steal Clarrisa from him and royal henchmen searching for her allover the Highlands, Laird Broen MacNicols has a mess on his hands. Worse yet, there’s a magnetic attraction berween them, although he’s betrothed to another. But even an independent–minded lady like Clarrisa knows that a Highlander always claims his prize…

On my Facebook page

I’m also hosting a giveaway of two fantastic contemporary romance novels written by a couple of my favorite authors – Jill Shalvis and Katie Lane.

You have to answer a simple question. Even better – there’s no right answer. You will have to “Like” my Facebook page before you can vote, and you’ll have to enter your email address in a popup after voting because otherwise I won’t know you voted.

I’ll randomly select one person to win both books.

Animal AttractionAnimal Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Jade Bennett couldn’t be happier to escape her past for the quiet ranching town of Sunshine, Idaho. Plus, there’s nothing like working for veterinarian Dell Connelly. And though Dell has no intention of settling down, Jade’s strength and sass are enticements no red-blooded male can resist.

Going Cowboy Crazy by Katie Lane

Faith Aldridge wants answers. Bramble, Texas is the only place she can find them . . . as well as Hope, the identical twin sister she never knew she had. But the townsfolk reckon that shy city-girl Faith is really her long-lost sister Hope, back in Bramble at last. And they’re fixin’ to do whatever it takes to heat things up between her and Hope’s long-time flame, Slate Calhoun. Going Cowboy CrazyIf that means rustling her car, spreading rumors like wildfire, and reining in some explosive secrets, well, there’s no way like the Lone Star way . . .

But Slate’s no fool. The woman in his truck may look like Hope, yet the way she feels in his arms is altogether new. He’s determined to keep this twin in his bed and out of his heart.

Trouble is, the real Hope is headed home, and she’s got her own designs on Slate. If Faith wants to avoid heartbreak, she’ll have to show a certain ruggedly handsome cowboy that this crazy-impossible love is worth fighting for.

These giveaways are open internationally.

Enjoy! I look forward to getting to know you all better on this blog and Facebook. And a huge thank-you to the authors giving away books at RWA2012!

Review: The Rogue Pirate’s Bride by Shana Galen

A fantastic high-seas adventure bringing together passion, action and laughter in a perfect storm

Rogue Pirates BrideThe evil pirate Captain Cutlass brutally murdered Raeven Russell’s fiance, and she’s vowed revenge. The daughter of a British naval Admiral, Raeven’s handy with a sword and dagger, so when she finds Cutlass she attacks.

And discovers he’s more than she bargained for.

Captain Cutlass is really the Marquis de Valère, who was a young boy when his family was murdered during the French revolution. (This novel is the third in the Sons of the Revolution series. The first is The Making of a Duchess, and the second is The Making of a Gentleman.) He went to sea and became a privateer, working hard to seek vengeance of his own until he meets and accidentally kidnaps Raeven and suddenly has the British navy after him.

I loved the interplay between Raeven’s anger at Bastien for killing her fiance, and her undeniable attraction to him. Kill him or kiss him – she wants to do both, and the combination is explosive.

Continue reading “Review: The Rogue Pirate’s Bride by Shana Galen”

Winner of the Lisa Dale giveaway!

Slow Dancing on Price's PierThanks so much to everyone who commented on my interview with Lisa Dale, and to Lisa for giving away a copy of Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier.

The very lucky winner is…Maureen!

Maureen, send me your mailing address to romancingkatrina (at) gmail (dot) com.

Everyone, this week you have the chance to win Shana Galen’s upcoming historical romance, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride (and learn some cool facts about pirates, too!).

The real pirates of the Caribbean: Guest post & giveaway by Shana Galen

Shana GalenI’m so happy to have historical romance/adventure author Shana Galen here today talking about some of the fascinating research she’s done on pirates. She’s giving away two copies of her upcoming release, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. I’ve read and LOVED it, so make sure you leave a comment by Tuesday January 31st!

Take it away, Shana!

Hello! I’m thrilled to be on Reader, I Created Him today. This is the first stop on my tour for The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. What a great way to begin! I want to thank Kat for inviting me. I met her in New York over the summer, and if you don’t know her, be assured she is really as nice and smart and talented as this blog would indicate.

English: Johnny Depp at the Pirates of the Car...
Image via Wikipedia

This is my second paragraph, and I already have a confession. My book isn’t actually about Caribbean pirates. The Rogue Pirate’s Bride is set in 1802, which is a little past the heyday of the Carribean pirate. But there were still Barbary pirates operating in the Mediterranean, and they were based primarily in the ports of Tunis, Tripoli, and Algier (aka the Barbary Coast). But that wouldn’t have worked as a title, and the Barbary Corsairs had a lot in common with their Caribbean counterparts.

My pirate hero, actually he prefers to be called a privateer, is Sebastien Harcourt. He’s captain of a ship named Shadow and frequently takes on the British Navy. His men are loyal and tough. They have to be. Pirates slept in the smelly lower deck, all packed together in hammocks along with the extra supplies. Bastien, of course, has his own cabin, but his ship is small (and subsequently fast), and he’s the only one with the luxury of privacy.

I read quite a few books about pirates when I was researching for this book, and I learned some interesting facts. Bastien’s enemy, Jourdain, has a shaved head. Pirates often shaved their heads to keep their hair free of lice and bugs. Jourdain also wears gold earrings as does Ridley, Bastien’s bosun, shorthand for boatswain. A bosun is sort of like the deck supervisor. But the interesting thing about Ridley and the other pirates who wear gold earrings is that they wore the earrings so that if they were thrown from a ship during a battle or storm, and their bodies washed up on shore, the earrings would be valuable enough to provide them with a burial. Some pirates wore earrings to symbolize survival from a shipwreck. If I were a hiring captain, I might be wary of hiring any pirate with more than one earring. He could be bad luck, and pirates are very superstitious.

Continue reading “The real pirates of the Caribbean: Guest post & giveaway by Shana Galen”