Monday, September 26, 2011 Posted by Dina N
Sir William Christie, a ruthless self-made tycoon, is dead. His four adult children, born to three different women, gather for the reading of the will, only to learn that he has offered each sibling a test, rather than riches.
Born out of wedlock to Sir William and a French dancer, Lady Vivienne Bancroft endured life in a Parisian slum until Sir William adopted her following the death of her mother. Keenly aware of her bastard status, Viv longs to gain financial independence and finally be rid of her estranged husband, Miles Durham, a sexy viscount with a penchant for cognac and poker.
When the gambling man comes back into her life 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, Vivienne and Miles must determine if the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare — or the most treasured reward?
Vivienne, the heroine of Flawless, believes she is the polar opposite of her husband Miles. An illegitimate child adopted from the slums of Paris, she has worked diligently to obtain a position in society and her father's approval. Viv's marriage to debonair aristocrat Miles started as a business deal rather than a love affair: she gets a title, he gets the money to support his estate and expensive habits. When Viv's father dies, she inherits a failing diamond business and the challenge to make it profitable - or get nothing. For her, Miles is an unlikely ally but the two agree to join forces and try to make the business a success.
Most of the events in the book take place in the Cape Colony in Africa during the 1880s. I learned some interesting tidbits about the diamond trade at the time. Viv and Miles's characters are well-developed against a fascinating background of people and events that are reminiscent of the Wild West. Their business acumen is put to the test but so are their feelings for each other. In the biggest gamble of their lives, Viv and Miles may just uncover a flawless treasure - or lose everything they care about.
Flawless by Carrie Lofty is new this week from Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. It's the first book from The Christies series - and I am looking forward to the others.
Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation has been obtained for this post. Photo and book info courtesy of the publisher or PR firm.