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Monday, June 8, 2015

the sound of diamonds {book review & giveaway}

My dear readers, I am so excited about today's review!  About a year ago, I was 'introduced' to Rachelle Rea through the Go Teen Writers community.  I conversed with her a bit and loved talking to her!  When I heard that she was getting ready to publish her debut novel, I could not WAIT to read it!  And boy, I was not disappointed...

//title: the sound of diamonds//

{Releasing June 15, 2015!}

//author: rachelle rea//


Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates. 
With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent. 
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash? 
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome.

Overall, I loved it!  Mystery, romance, truth searching, full of surprises, rich with history, this book has it all. I had a difficult time ever putting it down, and when I did, I was anxious to get back to it.  Which doesn't happen with many books!

I loved the characters. So rich, complex, so full of history and heart.  Gwyn's spiritual struggle during her journey--her weaknesses and faults made her relatable and real, but her courage and passion for God made her beautiful and honorable.  Dirk's character was strong and admirable, but the cracks in his strength--his weakness for Gwyn made him oh so lovable and real.  I could go on and on, but my favorite part about this book was the intricacy of the characters--so beautifully crafted!

This historically rich tale is written from a first-person perspective from two characters' points of view.  The prose was elegant, richly giving off a flavor of the historical era in which the story took place.  This made the book a bit harder to read--completely enjoyable, having to read a tad slower to savor it, but a little more difficult to understand nonetheless.  At a few points in the story, I found myself a little lost, unable to build an image of the scene in my mind.  I went back a few lines, reread and was able to craft a picture, filling in some of the 'understood' blanks.  But because of this I wouldn't define this book as an 'easy read'.

All in all, I loved the book.  The intricate characters and plot, the inner spiritual struggle, the idea of portraying the heart of a Catholic girl with poor eyesight in the world of flowering Protestantism was sheerly brilliant!  As I was going through the book, I found myself telling my sisters, "It's books like this that make me fall in love with reading all over again!"  Driving home from work the other night, I was anxious to get back to it...only to finish it in the wee hours of the morning.

Brava to Rachelle for such an excellently crafted debut!  I am so much looking forward to the next books in the Steadfast Love series.

About the Author

Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

Further links:

I'll bet you're dying to read it now, aren't you?  Well, good news!  Rachelle is hosting a giveaway where you can win a copy of The Sound of Diamonds AND a $20 Amazon gift card!  Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh Amy! I love this--all of this. Thank you so very much for your thoughtful review!

  2. This book looks so good. Can't wait to read it!!

  3. Wow! I have seen this cover everywhere. I cant believe its finally out!

    Now if only this was for $20 Paypal money, I would be a very happy camper, lol. Ive totally got etsy bills to pay, isnt that embarrassing? :)

  4. Questions? Oh, lets see: What writing communities are you in? How can I get matched with someone to work with?

  5. Hey Rachelle, I was wondering what first inspired you to write a historical fiction novel. Have you always preferred that genre, or do you like to write other fiction too?