Flawless by Carrie LoftyPublisher: Pocket BooksPublished: September 27, 2011Pages: 416Received: for review and blog tour from publisher
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for stepsiblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire . . . and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
Lady Vivienne Bancroft fled England for New York, hoping to shed the confines of her arranged marriage to unrepentant rogue Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft—though she never forgot the fiery desire he unleashed with his slightest touch. And when the gambling man arrives on her doorstep for a little sensual revenge for her desertion, he is met with Vivienne’s dilemma: She must earn her father’s inheritance by profitably running a diamond business worth millions in colonial South Africa. Swept together in an exotic undertaking filled with heated passion and hungry temptation, will Vivienne and Miles discover that the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare—or the most treasured reward?
Flawless is the first book in a new series from Carrie Lofty and if it is an indication of what is to come, I think we will be in for some amazing trips to interesting locations. This first book takes us on a trip to the African diamond mines... such an exotic place to have this passionate and tension filled romance take place.
Viv is a stubborn woman who deep down just craves the love of a good man and if she can't have that then she would rather have her independence (which means she needs enough money to strike out on her own and leave her cad of a husband in the dust). Miles is a sexy lord who gives in to temptation and his vices: gambling and drinking. He's a bit of a bossy sort at times, but if he stays sober for long enough, there might be a chance for him yet. The two have a tumultuous relationship and I think the driving force is that they only have each other in this far away land so different from their own.
I would have to say their romance is a bit predictable, though it was enjoyable to read. Viv as a character grew on me as the story progressed (you really get her back story in the last 100 pages and it makes for a much more fleshed out character). And Miles – he was a bit of an ass at first, but I am glad to report that he redeems himself somewhat after realizing what he could lose.
I think one of the most interesting parts of this book is the concept of being in South Africa in the 1880s and working in a diamond brokerage. I can't even imagine what it would be like for a woman back then to suddenly find herself managing a brokerage for jewels in the middle of an unknown place. Woman were not looked upon for independence back then. Also, it was interesting learning the history and culture of this setting. How many of the rules were still followed though others were easily broken while away from the rules of England and the nobility. I loved learning about the entire process including mining and valuation of the gems. I think it would be so stressful to uproot your family on the chance of finding diamonds in a remote world you've never imagined you'd ever visit.
With that being said, I am really looking forward to reading the stories of Viv's siblings, to see if they were able to complete their assigned duties in order to earn their portion of their fathers estate. I wonder what places they will be sent to and what adventures await them all?