Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson: Review

October 17, 2014 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.

Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson: ReviewRough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson
Series: Erica Jewell #1
Published by Penguin Australia on January 30, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 354
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Funny, romantic, and action-packed, Rough Diamond introduces Australia's own Stephanie Plum – the unforgettable Erica Jewell.

The shock ending to Erica Jewell's marriage left a huge hole in her bank balance and a bigger one in her heart. And now her life goals make a very short list: no surprises, no debt and, definitely, no men. That is, until she finds one bleeding to death in her Melbourne garden one stormy Friday night.

Jack Jones is a man whose emotional wounds are more life-threatening than the bullet in his shoulder. Under orders, he recruits Erica to his secret team of vigilantes, and Erica suspects her safe, predictable world is about to be turned upside down.

And she's absolutely right.

I’ve just started commuting to a new job on the glorious melting pot that is Melbourne’s public transport system, and it is allowing me quite a lot of extra time to read.

So, I decided to scour my Kindle for something to read the other morning, and came across one that I’d requested a while ago from NetGalley – but somehow overlooked, and that book was Rough Diamond by Kathryn Ledson.

After finishing it, I had to give myself a rap over the knuckles for not reading Rough Diamond earlier. Gosh, this was a lot of fun to read.

Here are my thoughts on Rough Diamond:

I’ve heard a lot of comments comparing the fabulous heroine of Rough Diamond, Erica Jewell, to Stephanie Plum. I must confess I’ve never read the Plum series, but to be honest, I think I’d prefer Erica any day of the week. She cracked me up – some of the things that happen to her throughout the course of the story made me laugh. I loved how she reacted to what was going on around her – even though the situations were often far-from-everyday (how often do you find a man bleeding out on your doorstop?)

The relationship that develops between Erica and said bleeding man, the ever-mysterious Jack Jones is wonderfully done. They oscillate from frustration to attraction, from jealousy to temptation. I loved watching these two interact on the page, the tension between them delicious.

We see the story unfold through Erica’s eyes, and in Erica’s voice, and while this style doesn’t always agree with me, it definitely did in the case of Rough Diamond. I loved the real Aussie-ness of the story – never cartoonish, the characters and the setting definitely reflect the Melbourne I know.

The characters around the periphery are fabulously colourful and entertaining, from Erica’s friends to Jack’s sidekick Joe, and my personal favourites, Erica’s family. I am definitely looking forward to seeing them again.

Even though the ending is not a traditional one – no white horse, sunset, or violins – I loved it. The setup for the further development of Erica and Jack’s relationship, and the potential for the next of their adventures, is perfect. I just need to grab myself a copy of Monkey Business to see how it all pans out.

A terrifically funny, smart and entertaining read, Rough Diamond is well worth getting your hands on for a read. A heroine you can relate to, a sexy and mysterious hero and lots of laughs & excitement along the way – what’s not to love?

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