Saturday, July 15, 2017

It Started with a Diamond - Teri Wilson (HSE #2561 - July 2017)

Series: Drake Diamonds (Book 3)

Heiress Nabs Polo Star

A Page Six Exclusive Report

Stunning world-class equestrian Diana Drake's stayed out of the family business for decades. But now Diana has the inside track on a coveted diamond…not to mention a polo-playing partner in crime in Franco Andrade. And after mere weeks, the city's most eligible bachelor is engaged to the jewelry heiress! Still, this whirlwind romance may not be as glittering as the jewels in Drake's. After all, we hear that Franco's first love has always been the polo team that unceremoniously sacked him. And Diana's still recovering from the loss of the sport she's always cherished. Can the handsome Argentine help his new fiancĂ©e capture the diamond of the century…and in the process repair her shattered heart?

Good conclusion to the trilogy. Diana is working for the family business, still not ready to go back to her promising equestrian career. The loss of her beloved horse, Diamond, still haunts her. Instead, she is stuck working the Engagements section of the store, which she absolutely hates. She is there when the new "face" of the store arrives for a publicity shoot - one Franco Andrade, Argentinian polo player. She and Franco have a history and it isn't a pleasant memory. She's horrified when she gets roped into participating in the shoot.

Franco is well known as a player, both on and off the field. His off-field antics have resulted in being kicked off his polo team. Working for Drake Diamonds is an attempt to repair his image. He's surprised to see Diana working at the store and not out pursuing her Olympic dreams. He's even more surprised by the attraction he still feels for her.

Both Diana and Franco are shocked when one of the pictures of the two of them together becomes an overnight sensation. Because Drake Diamonds is in the running to be the company to cut a newly discovered large diamond, Diana's brother and CEO, asks them to pretend to be a couple for the next three weeks. This will keep Drake's in the headlines and increase their chances. Diana is reluctant, but agrees to do so in exchange for being made co-CEO of the company. Franco agrees because it will help him prove to his team management that he has changed. Diana is determined to keep Franco at arm's length and the relationship for public consumption only. She doesn't count on being even more attracted to Franco now.

I loved the development of their relationship. Franco is attracted and intrigued from the start. He remembers their one night from three years earlier, and regrets how it ended. He sees this as a chance to make amends. As he spends time with her, he also notices pain and sadness in her eyes and wants to help her. Diana has closed herself off from her feelings. Not just the loss of her horse, but also her mother's death and everything that led up to it, have left her convinced she's better off alone. However, the chemistry between Franco and Diana continues to build and begins to break down the walls around her heart. I loved how he just knew that she needed a puppy to help her start caring again. When the sparks between them burst into flame, the connection between them is amazing. That connection takes a hit when Franco announces their engagement - without telling Diana about it first. He needs her help, just as she needed his, but she's justifiably angry at the way he went about it. She gets a bit of an eye opener about Franco during a night out at the Polo Club, when she has a chance to meet his best friend. She realizes that there is more to him that she thought, and begins to look at him differently. But all her fears come rushing back when Franco is injured during a match, and she pushes him away. Both of them needed to come to terms with their pasts before they could move on to a future together. I loved the assistance they both had from those that cared about them. Franco's big moment at the end was awesome. The epilogue was great and was the perfect ending for the story.

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