Author: Liz Johnson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Georgia Coast Romance #3
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Penelope Hunter loves her job as the event manager at one of Savannah's premier historic venues--until her ex-fiancé walks into her office with his new bride-to-be. Surely she cannot be expected to plan their wedding. To make matters worse, a scheming social matriarch is threatening to take her big-ticket event elsewhere, especially if Penelope insists on being seen with her best friend, Tucker Westbrook.
Since returning from serving two tours in the Middle East, Tucker has built a thriving security company. His work is nearly as stabilizing as his lifelong friendship with Penelope. But when the lone candidate for county sheriff goads him, Tucker loses his cool and ends up on the ballot--and on the receiving end of a smear campaign claiming the Westbrooks were traitors to the South.
To clear his name, Tucker and Penelope must join forces to find the truth behind a lost Civil War treasure. But the more time they spend together, the closer she comes to losing her job--and falling helplessly in love.
Reviewer: Mary Polyakov
What initially caught my interest about A Dazzle of Diamonds was the best-friends-to-lovers relationship. That trope doesn't have insta-love, and the relationship is built on trust and reliability. There's so much potential there, as this book shows.
PJ and Tucker's support of each other through good times, bad times, and weird times made the book. I liked how their concern for each other showed in the little things and how they went out of their way to help each other.
This quote puts it so well:
"Because it had always been that way. Even when he was halfway around the world, she'd known to tuck gummy worms and caramels into his care packages."
That support made their relationship solid, and they never once backed out on each other. The author pointed out that because they were best friends, they could "talk each other into just about anything," and that was so fun to see. I liked how the mystery played out, and the settings were described well.
The last quarter had more kissing and romance than I was comfortable with (just personal preference), and the other romantic relationship felt rushed, but it did have to move fast because it didn't get that much screen time.
The theme of embracing adventure and embracing the unknown was tied in beautifully, and Aunt Shirley was such a fun character who put that into practice.
Fans of sweet contemporary with a historical thread would enjoy this book.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required.
Reviewer: Jill Jones
Johnson’s Georgia Coast Romance Series gets better and better.
When a writer can change your opinion about a particular genre, that writer is very good. Liz Johnson, the author of the Georgia Coast Romance series, writes romance novels that make you want to fall in love all over again. I was introduced to Johnson when I read A Sparkle of Silver, which I chose primarily because of the location (Savannah). I love Savannah with its history and gorgeous scenery, so any story that takes place there instantly draws my attention.
Johnson’s newest book, A Dazzle of Diamonds, thrills with its story about a jilted bride, Penelope Hunter, who is trying to find God’s purpose and plan for her life, and Tucker Westbrook, her best friend who is trying to prove his worth to his father and to her by running for sheriff. When a letter dating back to the Civil War era outs the Westbrook’s ancestors as traitors and thieves, Penelope and Tucker set out to find the truth, but in discovering the truth about his family, they discover deeper truths about themselves.
A Dazzle of Diamonds is an enjoyable story with enduring characters. I love how Johnson, in all three of her stories in the series, incorporates letters from ages ago into her stories and how they intertwine with her characters.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews and Reviews, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Reviewer: Abigail Harris
After hearing glowing recommendations for Liz Johnson's book, I knew that I had to read A Dazzle of Diamonds. And, man, am I ever so glad I did!
With a smooth flow from present to past Penelope's and Tucker's romance with a dash of mystery is the perfect summer read.
While I love civil war stories, I have not read any like this one, the mystery was not the usual mystery one finds in civil war stories. It was a different mystery that was still hidden many years later.
For a romance, A Dazzle of Diamonds was clean, there was some kissing. Spiritually, this book was well done with a wonderful message of hope.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing (Revell), through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Cheryl Wood
A Dazzle of Diamonds is a dual timeline story that involves journals and missing Civil War treasures. What do a treasure hunt, a diary, and letters mean to Penelope and Tuck?
Penelope Hunter loves her job as the event manager at Savannah’s historic venue until her ex-fiancé, Tucker, walks into her office with his bride to be. Surely, he doesn’t expect her to help plan their wedding?
Tucker has returned from serving two tours in the Middle East and built a thriving security company. Their friendship is rekindled when Tucker is on the receiving end of a smear campaign.
The author wrote a wonderful story of second chances between Penelope and Tucker. A story of finding true love and faith even when we are at the low of lows. God’s plan is always the best, and He knows who will enter our lives at just the right time.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
The setting of the story is Savannah, Georgia. This city is rich in history, especially during the Civil War. There are two time periods - modern-day and the Civil War.
Penelope Jean Hunter (or PJ) was the main character. She has known Tucker Westbrook for many years, and they are good friends. PJ was jilted at the altar by Winston - things become very complicated when Winston shows up with a new fiance named Emmaline. PJ hasn't really gotten over Winston. Winston has not told Emmaline that he and PJ dated and were engaged to be married. Now Emmaline wants to have her wedding at the site where PJ works as a wedding/party planner.
Tucker was shamed into running for sheriff by his competitor. There were accusations from his competitor that the Westbrook family was a disgrace. Tucker and PJ set out to prove everyone wrong so that Tucker can win the candidacy.
Tucker and PJ find a letter (with the help of Aunt Shirley) from Caroline - she lived during the Civil War. Caroline is Tucker's relative. Then they found Caroline's diary. Caroline hinted and suggested in the diary that there were stolen goods involved.
There is much intrigue about finding this stolen treasure. There is also a sweet romance between Tucker and PJ.
I enjoy learning more about what happened during the Civil War, so this book was very interesting to me.
This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Perhaps love means facing the hardships together. For life is not easy, and he has a terrible burden to bear. I wish to help him carry it. I wish to help him make peace and see him returned to the fullness of joy."
Such a delightful and enchanting story of lost treasure, finding faith and love during the lowest of times, and rallying for the downtrodden. Liz Johnson has a way of creating romantic and breath-taking backdrops and plots filled with quirky, memorable, and down-to-earth characters attempting to heal from brokenness. This is book three in the Georgia Coast Romance series set in Savannah, GA, but can be read as a stand-alone. If you enjoy well-written contemporary romance, this book will enthrall you. It really does dazzle like diamonds!
Other diary and letters are involved in this plot. This time, the diary and letters belong to Tucker's ancestors from the Civil War era, which could lead him to find a lost treasure to help fund his run for county sheriff and also clear his family's smeared name. Tucker is smart, loyal, compassionate, and driven but suffers from poor self-image and feels that he always has to prove himself worthy.
Penelope is a fun, joyful, vivacious woman who thrives on lists and organization but she, too, had suffered a blow to her heart and ego when her ex-fiance left her at the altar. Tucker and Penelope (PJ) have been best friends forever, and it takes this dive into the past to salvage the future that brings them together. Their friendship and love for each other are genuine, and their romance, despite hiccups and naysayers, is incredibly sweet. I really appreciated that their relationship wasn't the typical one best friend carrying the torch for the other but they gradually realized each other's potential as more than friends.
As much as I loved Tucker and Penelope, Tucker's aunt Shirley totally stole the show. Her maturity, knowledge of family history, unconditional love, and sage advice brought the plot and characters together seamlessly. There is forgiveness, reconciliation, letting go of fear, and finding true worth embedded into each character and subplot. This book is a must-read for your summer!
I received a copy of the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. I was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
A very enjoyable book that has kept me entertained throughout the story with romance, mystery, and faith all rolled into one.
Penelope is an interesting character and one I grew to like as the story went on. She even gave me a few laughs, as well. Some of her antics I can relate to.
Aunt Shirley comes in as my second favorite person. She's full of wisdom, and I love her form of hospitality, she is an interesting character for sure. She's someone I could be friends with.
The mystery and history part of the book is what I enjoyed the most. I like learning about things. I always look forward to Liz Johnson's stories because no matter where she writes about, she draws me into the book, and I find myself not wanting to leave afterward.
I did not like Tucker's nemesis, some of the things he did were just downright mean.
The cover of this book is just gorgeous. I give this book five stars although I wish I could give it more. I want this for my keeper shelf. I highly recommend this book. You will love it as much as I did.
My thanks to Revell/Baker publishing group for a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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