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Diamonds & Deceit

Leila Rasheed
"The Averley family return for more historical scandal, romance and decadence"
Diamonds & Deceit – picture

The Averley family return for more historical scandal, romance and decadence

The London Season of 1913 is in full swing, and Rose has never felt more out of place. She can’t help but feel like a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then she meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard all sorts of gossip about Alexander, but he alone treats her as a friend. Rose should know better than to give her heart to a man with a reputation, but it may already be too late.

Meanwhile, Ada’s also feeling miserable. She should be happy – she’s engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? She knows that without this marriage, her family will be ruined, but it seems that in matters of love, the Averleys can only follow their hearts…

Publication Date: Thu 2 Jan 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471402135
ISBN Ebook: 9781471402142

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Author

Leila Rasheed

Leila Rasheed was brought up in Libya and moved to England when she was thirteen. She has worked as a children's bookseller for Waterstone's in Brussels and for a national children's literacy charity, but now writes and teaches creative writing full time. She has two Masters degrees, one in Children's Literature and one in Writing.

She currently lives in Birmingham with her husband, who is a Danish composer, and their baby son. She loves reading about history and archaeology and would like to be reincarnated as Indiana Jones. Leila has previously written three fiction books for younger readers called THE DIARIES OF BATHSHEBA CLARICE DE TROP, but SECRETS & SAPPHIRES is her first novel for young adults. Follow Leila at www.leilarasheed.com or on Twitter: @LeilaR

Extract

Curious, Rose looked up at the terrace and saw a broad-shouldered young man standing on the top step, facing the crowd. He seemed to have just come through the open French windows. His hair was unfashionably long and tousled, the breeze plucked at his red-gold curls as if he stood on the bridge of a ship. Rose understood at once why people were staring and smiling. He wasn't dressed at all for a garden party. His long sleeves were stained with something gray and blue, and he wore no hat at all. She found herself feeling irritated. Whoever he was, he was clearly so certain he would be well received that he hadn't even bothered to dress correctly. "The Duke of Huntleigh," announced the butler. "My dear Alexander . . ." Rose's stepmother swept forward to welcome him, her brightest smile vying with her diamonds to out-dazzle the sun. "Huntleigh!" exclaimed a lady nearby, and she and her neighbor glanced at each other. "Trust the countess to capture the season's roariest lion." Rustles of excited whispers ran through the crowd like a forest fire. Clearly the Duke of Huntleigh was another desirable prize for the season's ladies to grapple over. Rose had met a few of these prizes-not for long, no one wanted to waste time on a former housemaid who did not even have a dowry to go with her new title-and had quickly decided that not even a hundred thousand a year could make up for a lifetime of having to make conversation with them over the tea table. Rose glanced up at the Duke of Huntleigh again. He was just walking down the steps with the countess; his mouth curved into a small smile as he looked at the crowd. It wasn't a smile of happiness. There was something contemptuous in the way he waved away the footman who stepped forward to offer him a glass of champagne. Rose turned away. But no doubt everyone thinks his fortune makes up for his arrogance, she thought. Oh how I hate this world, where no one's smile is real.