by: Lenora Worth
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Published: August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback (224 pages)
Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)
***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
Another day came to a close at Carlisle Collectibles, and Esther Carlisle tallied up the meager receipts ready to greet the evening.
Carlisle Collectibles is a labor of love she’s inherited from her father, Jefferson Carlisle. When Esther’s mother died, Jefferson raised her and supported them through the antique shop, and now that he is gone, Esther is following in his tradition. After all, she owes it to him to care for it the way he did, but she has puzzled over his mind before death. He was always obsessed over a mythical jewel, but in the end, it was all he spoke about.
Jefferson Carlisle wasn’t much on speaking to feelings and he barely communicated much beyond the lore of antiques. When Esther was younger she’d get lost in his tales and relish at least this type of closeness that they shared. It wasn’t that she thought her father had no feelings, but he spoke around such things. For a growing girl who needed to know she was loved, it was hard that he never said it. Although, it was the lore she connected with as a child; Esther began to resent it as a young lady. Sometimes, she even thought he’d rather go looking for something that never existed than be with her.
She locked the door and was startled by the customer wanting entry. He was a persistent man who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Nevertheless, his Irish accent captivated her and she let him in.
Cullen Murphy had yet to figure out how he was going to tell her enough without telling her too much, but he was inside the store and laid out why he was there. He wanted the Levi-Lafitte chocolate diamond, and it was clear this beautiful woman didn’t even think it was real. It seemed just the mention of this left her with a sour attitude, but as much as he would love to explore why that was, he kept in line with his mission. As suspected, his admission to knowing and corresponding with her father, set Esther on her heels and he offered to show her Jefferson’s letters. She still refused to let him search the store and all but escorted him to the door.
Unfortunately, she left him no choice. Cullen simply had to manhandle her—for her own good.
They had company and these men wouldn’t care about how pretty and smart this woman appeared, they’d shoot first and toss the store looking for the gem. He kept shoving her toward the back, ignoring the terror in her eyes and the anger in her voice. Her stubborn streak would get them both killed, if he didn’t act. Picking her up just as the bangs erupted, he took away her phone and brought her back further into the shadows, as the smashing of glass sounded.
In THE DIAMOND SECRET, Lenora Worth weaves a stunning romantic suspense inside a dangerous treasure hunt!
Lenora Worth captures the flavor of New Orléans and creates a good “bad” boy character in Cullen Murphy. He’s dealt with a treacherous past but his wanderlust isn’t exactly what it appears to be. He is hiding more than one secret and fears what Esther will think of him upon knowing the truth. Keeping his distance is proving harder than he could have imagined and his sense of duty gains complications. Meanwhile, Esther is giving over her life to her father’s dream in much the same way her father did to raise her, but she’s having a hard time realizing that there was more to her father than she imagined. She’s jealous over his trust of a total stranger before her, but her emotions over this stranger is nothing she expects, since she’ll get hurt once he gets what he wants. His promise doesn’t mean much because he’s a life long wanderer who’s ready for the next great find.
Sometimes, it takes a stranger to find the truth, but danger can be nearer than you think inside this story of greed, betrayal, and freedom.
THE DIAMOND SECRET is a standalone title, but you’ll want to read Lenora Worth’s other Harlequin titles including THE LIFE OF RILEY (Harlequin Super Romance November 2012), ONCE IN A BLUE MOON (Harlequin Next March 2012), and THE RELUCTANT HERO (Love Inspired December 2011)!