The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganzawith complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusionand turn their lives upside down all over again.
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Savannah Diamond wanted her first day at her new school to be perfect, so she'd woken up extra early to get ready. But her nerves had her so on edge that she couldn't even sing into her hairbrush along with her favorite songs, pretending she was a pop star performing a show. Peyton used to get so mad at her for it every morning, since she, Courtney and Savannah shared a room, and Savannah woke up earlier than Peyton because she needed more time to get ready. Having a room to herself was the best.
If this were her first day of her sophomore year at Fairfield High, she'd have thrown on jean shorts, a pastel tank and spar-kly summer flats. But The Goodman School was a fancy private school in Vegas, and since she and her sisters had found out last summer that billionaire casino owner Adrian Diamond was their father, and had moved into the penthouse next to his in The Diamond Residences, Savannah was supposed to be a sophisticated hotel heiressnot a girl who'd grown up in a poor neighborhood in a small town. She needed an outfit to fit the part. And since the only dress-code rules at The Goodman School were no ripped jeans and no belly buttons showing, she had plenty of options.
She settled on a metallic spaghetti-strap top by Young Fabulous & Broke, paired with a black flair miniskirt and strappy Jimmy Choo heels. She curled her hair to give it volume, put on a Swarovski crystal headband and went all out with makeupdeep purples and silvers from her Urban Decay Vice palette, winged black eyeliner with liquid gold sparkles, extra coats of mascara and shimmery lip gloss. As she walked to her jewelry box to decide what to match with the outfit, someone knocked at her door.
"Savannah?" Her sister Courtney peeked her head into the room. "Breakfast is here, and Adrian and Rebecca are on their way. Are you almost ready?"
"Are these earrings too much with the bracelets?" Savannah motioned to her dangly crystal earrings and Alex and Ani bangles.
Courtney examined Savannah's outfit. "I don't want you taking this the wrong way, but isn't it a bit much for school?"
Savannah pulled at her top and frowned. "The personal shopper from Saks said the outfit was perfect on me."
"It does look great on you." Courtney bit her lower lip. "But it seems better suited for a cocktail party or other nighttime event____Not for school."
"I shouldn't have bothered asking." She played with her charm bracelets, shuffling her feet as she scrutinized the outfit in her full-length mirror. It was flashy. But she couldn't take fashion advice from Courtney, who had on jeans, flip-flops, a sky-blue T-shirt and practically no makeup. The only jewelry she wore was a practical watch and that boring old key necklace Grandma had given her for her birthday last yearan heirloom from their great-great-grandmother. "Sure, it would have been too much for Fairfield High, but this is private school in Las Vegas. The first day is when everyone gets most dressed up, so I want to be ready."
"I was just trying to help, but whatever makes you happy." Courtney toyed with her necklace. "You're lucky you aren't nervous."
"You think I'm not nervous?" Savannah had tossed and turned all night, and her hands had been shaking all morning. "I don't know anyone in my grade. And I have no idea what'll happen if I run into Damien or Nickwhich I'm assuming I will, since the school is small." She frowned, thinking about how stupidly optimistic she'd felt in the beginning of July at the Diamond Hotel grand opening, when Damien had apologized for kissing Madison, and Nick had given her attention all night. Because a week later, Damien had left on a month-long teen tour to Alaska and Hawaii, and Nick was always busy with work. "I'm worried that they'll see me and pretend they don't know me. Or that they've forgotten about me."
The pathetic part was that it had been weeks since she'd heard from either of themaside from an occasional text from Nick that he felt bad about not having time to hang outand she checked up on them daily on Facebook and Twitter. Nick had been inactive on both, but Damien had posted pictures on Facebook from his trip, of him with gorgeous, confident girlsthe types of girls who made Savannah fade into the background. Girls like Madison Lockhart.
Which was why it was extra important that her first-day-of-school outfit was perfect. She needed to stand out, not fade away.
"You'll make friends," Courtney said. "And if Damien and Nick ignore you, they're not worth your time."
"Maybe." She knew Courtney was right, but that didn't mean it would hurt less if they pretended they didn't know her.
"I'm worried about the classes," Courtney said. "What if the tutoring this summer wasn't enough and we're behind? I could barely sleep last night thinking about it."
"You do look tired." Savannah observed the dark circles under Courtney's eyes. "Let me help." She applied concealer on her sister's face, pink blush to brighten her cheeks, and mascara so she looked like she'd made a little effort. "That's better. Now no one will know."
"Unless I fall asleep in class." Courtney laughed, wringing her hands together.
"That'll never happen," Savannah said. "You'll probably find class so fascinating that it'll keep you wide awake."
"We'll see," she said. "But let's head into the dining room. Adrian and Rebecca will be here any minute."
Savannah jingled her bracelets again at the mention of their father, Las Vegas hotel owner extraordinaire Adrian Diamond. He still didn't know her or her sisters deeper than surface level, even though they'd been living here for weeks. But he and his fiancée, Rebecca Carmel, had insisted they order room service so that they could have breakfast together before the first day of school. Adrian had been making small attempts like this to chat with them all summer, but he constantly traveled for work, and when he was in town he had business meetings, golf games or was locked in his office. He made time for Rebecca, but whenever he talked to Savannah and her sisters, there was a wall between them.
Savannah followed Courtney into the dining room. "Is Peyton up?" she asked.
"She was waging war with the snooze alarm twenty minutes ago, but I forced her awake," Courtney said. "She should be out of the shower soon."
"Sure she will," Savannah said. Peyton was notorious for her marathon shower sessions that stole all the hot water and made them late for school.
Her phone buzzed with a text message. It was from Evie, her best friend in Fairfield. Her heart warmed when she saw the texttexting before school had been something they did all the time before Savannah moved.
Good luck on your first day! You're so lucky your new school starts in Sep. Stupid fairfield high starting so early. #jealous ;) thanks! I'm so nervous tho. wish you were here!!! <3
Fairfield high isn't as fun without you! <3 What'd you decide to wear?
Savannah snapped a picture of herself and sent it to Evie.
Cute! But isn't it too much for school?? I would totally LOVE it for a party, but you don't want everyone to think you're trying too hard it's fine for school in Vegas!!! ;)
Savannah's hands shook, and she paused before pressing Send. Could Evie be right? It was the same thing Courtney had said, and while Courtney didn't care about fashion, Evie did. Maybe she should switch out the skirt for jeggings, or match it with a more casual top, or wear shoes that wouldn't hurt her feet by lunch.
She was almost back to her room to change when the door to the condo opened, and Adrian and Rebecca strolled inside.
Adrian wore a navy suitSavannah had never seen him in anything but a suitand even though it was 7:00 a.m., his blue eyes were bright and his skin was glowing. The same couldn't be said of Rebecca, whose brown hair tumbled down her back in the most unruly way Savannah had ever seen it, and who was still in her pink silk pajamas. She poured herself a generous amount of coffee and cradled the cup as if it held the key to her survival.
"Is Peyton not ready for breakfast?" Adrian asked, pouring his own cup of coffee.
"I'll get her," Savannah said, glad to have something to do. Especially since this was the opposite of breakfasts back in Fairfield, which had usually been eaten on the go, because their mom had cared more about sleeping off her hangover than waking up so they could eat as a family.
"Peyton?" Savannah stepped into her sister's room and found her bent over, unraveling a towel on her head. "Are you almost ready for breakfast?"
"In a minute," Peyton mumbled, wrestling a hairbrush through her hair. Once finished, she flipped her hair up, giving a full view of her outfit.
"You're not allowed to wear jeans with rips in them," Savannah said. "It's against the dress code."
"Screw the dress code." Peyton marched to her vanity and lined her eyes with thick black liner. "These are the jeans I feel like wearing today."
"But you have so many jeans without rips in them," Savannah pointed out, knowing the only reason Peyton "felt" like wearing those today was because they were against the dress code. "Why don't you wear one of them instead?"
"Because I want to wear these." Peyton jutted out her chin and continued with her makeup. "And you apparently want to dress like you're going to a club instead of to school, but I'm not knocking your outfit and telling you to change, am I?"
"You just sort of did, but whatever." Savannah ran her hands over her skirt. Her clothes might have been more fashion forward, but they didn't break the dress code. Besides, what did Peyton know about what students wore at The Goodman School? No more than Courtney or Evie. "It's not my problem if you get in trouble. Are you coming to breakfast?"
"It's so dumb that we had to wake up thirty minutes earlier for this fancy breakfast," Peyton grumbled.
"I think Adrian's trying to be nice," Savannah said. "But you should see Rebecca. She's so not a morning person."
"I guess I have one thing in common with her." Peyton smirked. "And what about Adrian? Pristine, as always?"
"Of course," Savannah said. "You would think he doesn't need sleep."
"Maybe he's a vampire." Peyton laughed. "Like in those movies you like where they sparkle. They don't sleep, right?"
"I know you secretly like Twilight." Savannah's stomach rumbled, and she wrapped her arms around it. "But I'm starving, and the food smells amazing. Come on."
Room service had finished setting up breakfast, so the glass table had a white cloth spread on top of it, and the plates waiting at each seat were covered with silver domes like they were at a banquet. Adrian raised an eyebrow when he saw Peyton's jeans, but said nothing.
"Is Brett coming?" Savannah asked Rebecca.
"He had trouble waking up this morning, so he's still getting ready," Rebecca said.
Savannah wasn't surprised. Ever since Courtney and Brett's public kiss at the grand opening, Brett avoided as many family meals as possible. Savannah had tried talking with Courtney about it, but her sister had shrugged it off, saying the kiss was a one-time thing, since Brett was off-limits as their stepbrother-to-be, and she needed to focus on school instead of guys. It was so typically Courtneyshe was too much of a rule follower to rebel, and she was an expert at controlling her emotions. Savannah wished she could control her own half as well.
Still, she felt bad for Brett. He had a lot in common with Courtney, and they'd gotten along so well. But Courtney wouldn't budgeshe'd had schoolwork and studying for the SATs on her mind all summer. Brett would have to get over her.
Just like Savannah would get over Damien. And Nick. At least, she hoped so.
"Are the three of you looking forward to your first day of school?" Adrian removed the cover from his plate, and they all followed his lead.
"Yeah." Savannah poured syrup on her pancakes and took a bite. They were fluffy and delicious. "I'm excited to meet everyone." Her knees also bounced with worry about Damien and Nick, but she couldn't discuss her guy problems with Adrian.
"I'm nervous about the classes." Courtney cut her omelet, releasing the steam from inside. "I hope I'm not behind."
"Your tutor said you're ready to begin Goodman," Adrian said. "She was impressed by your work ethic."
"Thanks." Courtney took a bite of her food, although she chewed so slowly it was like she was force-feeding herself.
"What about you, Peyton?" Rebecca asked.
"The only thing I'm excited about is how this will be the last first day of school I'll ever have," she said. "I can't wait to be done with classes forever."
"You don't know that," Rebecca said. "You might change your mind about college."
"No, I won't." Peyton huffed and poured herself a cup of coffee. "I can barely sit through high school classes, and I've heard they're short compared to college classes. No, thanks."
"You can make a decision about college when you find out which schools accept you," Adrian said calmly. "No one is forcing you to go, but it can't hurt to explore your options."
"Whatever." Peyton shrugged and focused on her food.
Once they finished eating, Adrian placed his napkin on the table and glanced at his watch. "Your ride will be waiting at the valet stand in fifteen minutes," he said. "Peyton, you need to change your jeans before you leave."
Peyton crossed her arms and glared at him. "Excuse me?"
"You have to change your jeans before you leave," he repeated. "I assume you put those on to disregard the school dress code. Your point has been madeyou dislike following arbitrary rulesand while I understand your stance, it would be selfish to make your sisters late because you insist on fighting a battle you can't win."
Savannah couldn't stop a laugh from escaping, and Peyton's glare turned to her. She refocused on her food and took another bite of pancake, even though it was now cold and soggy, and she was full.
"It's almost time to leave," Adrian said, his eyes on Peyton. "If you would like, Rebecca or I can assist you in choosing a more suitable pair of pants."
"That won't be necessary." Peyton shoved her chair back, the metal shrieking against the marble floor. "I can dress myself."
"Glad to hear it," Adrian said as she slammed her door. No one at the table said a word, and the hint of a smile crossed his face. "I used to be the same way when I was a teenager."
Savannah couldn't imagine Adrian as a teenager, especially a teenager who was similar to Peyton. But his approach worked, because Peyton returned a few minutes later wearing black jeans with no rips or holes in them, her lips pressed into a pissed-off line. The jeans were so low-rise that a slit of skin showed between them and her shirt, but her belly button wasn't showing, so she wasn't breaking the dress code.
"Much better." Adrian nodded at Peyton's choice. "I have somewhere I need to be now, but I've made a reservation for dinner tonight so that you can tell Rebecca and me about your first day at Goodman."
They said their goodbyes, and Rebecca stayed behind, making sure their bags were packed with everything they needed. Instead of Savannah's ancient backpack, she had a new purple Longchamp totethe same bag that many of the volleyball girls at Fairfield High had had and that she could never afford. Inside of it was her MacBook Pro. Apparently at Goodman, bringing a laptop to school wasn't begging someone to steal or vandalize it.
As Adrian promised, a limo was waiting for them at the valet stand. Savannah had been on many limo rides since arriving in Las Vegas, but it still didn't feel normal. Courtney's bodyguard, Teddy, drove them, and Savannah's and Peyton's bodyguards followed in a car behind. One of them would be on the Goodman campus at all times when they were at school. So awkward.
"It's dumb that Adrian won't let me drive us," Peyton said once they were seated. "What good are the Range Rovers he bought us if we can't take them to school?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book! I loved it more than I loved the first one! Diamonds in the Rough releases October 28th, and if you haven't picked up the first book, get that one too! It's a quick and fun read, and who doesn't want one of those? The Secret Diamond Sisters was a fun novel, but I have to say this one went past my expectations. The parties, the hotels, the clothes, the drama- it all made for an entertaining and fast read- I pretty much finished the book in one sitting, and might I add Michelle is right in saying your opinions of some of the characters might change by the end of the novel. I wasn't sure the direction the second book would be taking, especially with the few unanswered questions from the first book, but I was so pleased and I already can't wait for the third book! ;) Without giving any spoilers, I must say that if you had fun with the Diamond sisters in their summer in Vegas- the school year can hold just as many surprises. "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...but that doesn't matter when you live there."
NO SPOILERS ARE IN THIS REVIEW!!!!! :))) I just finished this book and it was phenomenal. Let's be honest The Secret Diamond Sisters wasn't genius, but Michelle brought her A game with this book. Oh, it was so good. First of all, you got to know the characters and start to really understand and LOVE them, but the characters didn't carry the story, so that you were just reading for them. The plot was wonderful. It was so intricate with all of the plot twists, and the hints for the plot twists were so unrecognizable while reading them, but then when you hear the twist you feel like an idiot. It was frickin awesome, and mindblowing, and beautiful. Michelle does write SO beautifully, and as an aspiring author I hope to be as good as her one day. Plus, she is so amazing as a person. Like I love her, she is sweet, and stunning, and just good. If you're reading this Michelle, xoxo. Its not rare to see 5 stars because when I choose a book to read, I usually already know from trusted sources that they're spectacular , but this book is like an 8/5. So, go buy and read this book. I promise you wont regret it
Michelle Madow has done it again. Diamonds In The Rough is the perfect sequel to the much loved Secret Diamond Sisters series. Diamonds In The Rough is more dramatic; there’s more secrets, suspense, drama and an extremely powerful ending. Diamonds In The Rough is even better than the first book. Diamonds In The Rough had better and more dynamic story arcs, in comparison to its first book. You learn more about the big secret that Adrian has been hiding, the truth behind Courtney’s birth and sheds light into Madison’s life. Similarly to Secret Diamond Sisters, Diamonds In The Rough is also told in multiple POVs. It thought it was intelligent the way Madison’s voice has always been included in the POVs (and Diamonds In The Rough explains why!). It makes something so unimportant become important and adds a different dynamic to the story. The ending blew me away. It makes me anticipate for the third book even more because the ending is such a cliffhanger. I really love the way the series is being done: the first book was more “introductory” and character-driven while Diamonds In The Rough was more plot-driven. Diamonds In The Rough is fun and engaging and would definitely cater for fans of Gossip Girl. If you love teen drama set in Las Vegas, this one is for you.
SPOILERSSSS: BOOK 2 WAS EVEN BETTER OMFG! So this book is 10x better than The Secret Diamond Sisters! There is so much more drama and it's amazing. I love it. My favorite couple/otp is Jackson and Peyton! The drama between Peyton and Hunter though was sooooo good I couldn't stop reading. And then Peyton accidentally gets Jackson fired, oops. But Brett and Courtney's forbidden relationship is so good too! I mean they're gonna be step-siblings soon. I wonder what will happen to them. Plot Twist: Madison Lockheart is actually a Diamond?!?! READ THIS BOOK AND FIND OUT!
BOOK TWO!!!! Though it's a hard feat for most authors, Michelle Madow managed to make it better than the first in the series, The Secret Diamond Sisters. It still has all of the drama, all of the fun, and everything else that made me pick up The Secret Diamond Sisters in the first place! Once again, I was stuck by how much I love this series. I usually don't read books like this, drama types, I mean. But when I found out that it was written by Michelle Madow, the AHMAZING author of The Transcendence Trilogy, I just couldn't resist. Oh how much I regret not reading it sooner! All in all, it's a very fun, light book. It's very easy to read, and the words just flow off the page. I recommend it to anyone looking for a light read, or anyone is general, really!
If you thought there was drama in the first book, get ready! Diamonds in the rough had a Gossip Girl feel to it with maybe a touch of Cruel Intentions, but not enough to make it feel creepy. I enjoyed this book much better than the first one. I wasn't expecting a cliffhanger. Certainly not one like that. Dirty pool Miss Madow. You can't leave us hanging like that. ;-) The ARC of The Secret Diamond Sisters was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.
Diamond in the Rough picks up at the beginning of the school after The Secret Diamond Sisters leaves off in the summer. Serious this book is action packed with drama and even though I knew some things were coming, I didn’t always know what was coming. Michelle Madow definitely throws you through some serious loops that will keep you on your toes and speeding through. Once again we have the perspective of the four girls and I love how we see them change and develop, not only by reading it from them but also seeing them through each others eyes. I felt like I really bonded with Savannah in Diamonds in the Rough. In The Secret Diamond Sisters I remember often times finding her annoying but only because she acted like a young person trying to fit in. I think I didn’t give her enough credit and I think that she is getting shown in a different light. She wants to fit in, like most teenagers but she is also very aware. More than I think I thought she was in the beginning. She has a heart to heart with Damien of all people, that really put her in perspective for me. She’s still going to make mistakes and do stupid things but the thing about Savannah is that I think her heart is pure. Peyton...oh Peyton. I still can’t decide if I like her or not. She’s not bad and she’s not as resist to everything as she was in the first book. Some of her choices are kind of off kilter but it’s good to see she actually has a conscience about them as well. She seems to have a need to be loved and where Savannah seeks it through attention, Peyton looks for it to come from a certain person. Yet she seeks people who are unattainable so she doesn’t really have to make a commitment. It feels like nothing seems to ever really go her way. Dear little Courtney, she sometimes reminds me of me. Her parents or in this case Adrian and Rebecca don’t need to ground her or yell at her. Their disappoint is punishment enough for her. I so desperately wanted Courtney to take a chance on her love life, she works so hard in so many ways but I could see why she was scared. She learned to not be a throw caution to the wind girl because someone has always been counting on her. Even though Peyton wears her heart on her sleeve about their mom, I think Courtney has the most issues with her. She always feels like she is a bit disconnected and some things come to light about the past that definitely sheds some perspective on things. It’s hard to root for the bully usually but Madison is almost a different kind. This book she has toned down her hate for the sisters and I think it becomes obvious that even though she is kind of a mean girl. There is actually more to her. She has some serious drama in the beginning that turns her world upside down and then things really change for her. She really changes and by the end of the book, she reminds me a little bit of Peyton. I loved the book. This is such a great teen drama and the setting of Vegas leaves you so many different opportunities. I like that you see the characters changing and learning as they go along. I also really enjoyed the plot and I’m so anxious for the next book. How you can you leave me like that. As always the campus buzz is a nice a touch. It gives you yet another perspective because it’s fellow students commenting about the events going on in the book. If you enjoyed the first book then you will definitely not be disappointed in Diamonds in the Rough. The books keep getting better and I think the next book is going to be a whammy. I can’t wait!
Michelle steps it up for Diamonds in the Rough. I'll admit that I had a little trouble believing the plausibility of these sister's being the secret children of a billionaire, even if their parents split prior to the internet boom. Your father owns billionaire who owns casinos in Vegas and nobody knows of your existence and connection to him? I'm still skeptical about how this would play out in the real world but Diamonds in the Rough answers all these questions and more. Michelle teased that huge secrets would be coming out in this novel and she did not lie nor did she disappoint. Peyton, Courtney, and Savannah are slowing coming into their own after having their lives uprooted in The Secret Diamond Sisters. I grew to like the sisters more in this novel than its predecessor and a lot of that has to do with their character development. Peyton becomes less rebellious and slowly loses the "I hate everything" attitude, Courtney speaks up and stands up for herself, and Savannah is less naive. Michelle even manages to weave a story where I don't hate Madison - and that says something. Michelle does an amazing job of keeping each of her four main characters voices distinct and strong. These girls personalities are nothing alike and Michelle has the talent to keep them that way. They do not blend into one another and there is no way to confuse them with one another. Even her minor characters stand on their own and, regardless of the time they spend on the pages, have individual personalities. There are instances where things fall too easily in place, but Diamonds in the Rough is a fun and easy ready. One of the things that I appreciated about this over The Secret Diamond Sisters is just when you thinking everything is all sunshine and lollipops, Michelle throws these characters a curve ball. With a basketball. The beginning is a little on the slow side, but once things start rolling and secrets come out, there is no stopping the momentum. Things are definitely going to come to a head in the third installment of this series and I'm very curious and looking forward to see how it is all going to unfold.
As someone who usually reads nonfiction, you can imagine my surprise when I quickly became hooked after book one in Michelle Madow's Secret Diamond Sisters series. This page-turned transported me into a word of glitz and glam and kept my interest from cover to cover. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book 3 (hurry up, Michelle)! I'll keep my review short and sweet: buy this book!
I didn't think it was possible, but Diamonds in the Rough is even better than the first book in the series! While The Secret Diamond Sisters introduced us to the sisters and their new life in Las Vegas, Diamonds in the Rough dives further into the characters and their unique struggles as more of their past is revealed. The family drama, glamorous lifestyle, and lavish settings in this series will appeal to fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Michelle Madow does an expert job at crafting scenes that seem impossibly crazy, but have you rooting for the characters anyway. Somehow, in the midst of all the glitter, you’ll find yourself not only cheering for the sisters, but relating to them, too. While the book is indeed about a group of sisters thrown into the craziest of situations, it’s also story about girls on a journey to find themselves and find their way through the turbulence of adolescence – something almost all of us have to go through at one time or another. Book Three can’t get here fast enough!
If you have the secret diamond sisters then you will totally fall completely in love with Diamonds in the Rough. There are so many crazy secrets that come up and just connect the most unsuspecting people. Literally all I can say about it is WOW! I have been processing this book for a week or so before writing this and I still can;t wrap my mind around the ending. Its just such a great cliff hanger and I have to wait even longer for the last book. This series so far is one of the best series I have read and am into. It just grabs you and doesn't let go. This picks up right where the first one ended and the sisters are starting school. I;m sure if you read the first book then you know who they hate and who they are like and are getting to know. Peyton will surprise you in a great way but is also the same personality. Courtney goes through a lot in this book, with a big secret involving her mostly. It is sad to see her go through this but worth it as well. It needed to happen. Savannah is still doing her singing but you won't believe what happens, but it is great for her and her maybe future career? I love books where you don't know what is coming or what a secret is and this book definitely does not lead you to already know what is coming, There a quit a few spilled secrets and you will not see any of them coming and if you do see it coming then you wont guess who the person it either affects is or the connection. That's who good this book it. It is a MUST read, and a MUST read on the day it comes out!
The cover for Diamonds in the Rough is perfect for this story. The secrets start flowing from start to end without stop. In some ways this book reminded me of the original Pretty Little Liars series, especially as the plot became more complex as characters’ secret lives began to intersect and intertwine. The best part of this book is that we get to know the characters so much better than in the previous book. We finally see cracks in Courtney’s goody-two-shoes image, we finally get to delve deeper into the giant chip on Peyton’s shoulder, and we get to see Savannah’s insecurities. I love how real these characters are, Madow doesn’t try to create characters that we want to be, she creates characters that could be in high school today. I can easily relate to Savannah worrying about which clique she is getting siphoned into on the first day of school, Courtney’s anger with her family, and Peyton’s desire to find someone she can relate to. Unlike the first book, which had to spend a lot of time setting up the story, Diamonds in the Rough dives right in and within the first few chapters a huge secret is revealed which affects everyone and everything that happens. The plot becomes more complex (in a good way) as the book goes on and the characters learn more about their pasts and why their lives have turned out the way they have. It is pretty much impossible to write a real review without spilling something so the best that I can do is to say that you will not be able to put this one down until you are done with the very last page – and the author will leave you begging for more. Even if you weren’t a huge fan of the first book, the second one elevates the series to a completely new level and you should really give it a chance – this series is as hot as Vegas is ¿.
The secret diamond sisters are back for their first year of High School at the exclusive Las Vegas Goodman school. After surviving a summer as hotel heiresses they’re ready to get back to normal, if you count totally off-limits flirtations, budding stardom, and the revelation of completely insane family secrets as “normal.” It’s all the gossip, intrigue, and shocking turns even I wasn’t expecting. And, let me say this, I’m normally pretty good at guessing what’s going to happen next, especially in a book series like the Secret Diamond Sisters. I don’t mean anything negative by that. Michelle Madow does an excellent job – as she did in the first book – of making a totally engrossing world in that “watching a slow-moving car break on a patch of ice and slide into another car” kind of way. It’s usually the type of story where you relish the train wreck because you already know what else is going to happen. But there were a few things that went down in Diamonds in the Rough that even my best guesses weren’t expecting. In my opinion, the main driver for Diamonds in the Rough was Savannah. She’s working on getting her music YouTube channel up and running thus, entering the world of the pesudo famous (even more than being Adrian Diamond’s daughter). It isn’t without roadblocks, when a party gets out of hand she’s left with two choices – bury her head in the sand and pretend the embarrassing footage of her doesn’t exist. Or, to step it up and prove how awesome she is, with some handsome help. Handsome help brings up another important point… Who could forget all the swoon-worthy, page-ripping, “just kiss already” romance in this? Savannah has her flairs. There’s Courtney and Brett, the hot mess I love to hate. Peyton is playing with an older man that she really has no business with, and we get more opportunity to see Madison and Oliver’s relationship evolve, through blackmail of all things. If “blackmail” didn’t get you interested let me talk about some of the twists and turns without spoiling anything. This book takes high school drama to a whole new level. It deals with loosing one’s virginity, the anonymity of online gossip boards, how people change and what happens when their friends don’t change with them, even murder (oh yes, you read that right). Madow puts a giant magnifying glass on top of all these issues for the sake of page-turning entertainment, but the fact is that most of them are real issues that young girls deal with every day (okay, maybe not the murder). The concepts of finding one’s self, navigating romance, family issues, and the things that we have to balance the importance of between society and our personal feelings is all things that will resonate across many audiences. The book is 436 pages long,not some tiny read, but it goes really quickly. I devoured it in a Sunday afternoon and I can’t wait for the next one. The Secret Diamond Sisters got our feet wet, and Diamonds in the Rough has really cemented us in the world of Savannah, Peyton, and Courtney Diamond. The end of the book leaves us on a massive cliff-hanger and I absolutely cannot wait until the next release in the series.
Diamonds in the Rough is a real gem! I loved The Secret Diamond Sisters, so naturally, I was beyond excited to get my hands on Diamond in the Rough and it did not disappoint! I loved this book, it beat my expectations and Michelle made it nearly impossible to put it down! The sisters are back and their lives are becoming more daring as they take on their new elite private school by storm. But not all are happy to see the sisters, and soon secrets will be spilled, giving everyone something to talk about. You will be swept away into the lavish lives of these sisters and the posh and fabulous Vegas lifestyle. Diamonds in the Rough is a fun, flirty and fantastic read that will have you staying up late into the night! I can't wait to read the next book, release day can't come soon enough for this fangirl!
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow Book Two of The Secret Diamond Sisters series Publisher: Harlequin TEEN Publication Date: October 28, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC from the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): All-access doesn't mean no problems. The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again. Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters. What I Liked: Just a note - this review isn't a "street-team" review in the sense that me being on Michelle's street team made me give this book a high rating. I've been interested in this series for a looonnnggggg time, before Michelle created the street team. And you all know me by now. If I hated a book, I'd give it the one or two stars, no matter how much I liked the author, no matter if I was on their street team or in the same state or known them forever. Also, the publisher sent me the print ARC upon my request, not Michelle, nor did Michelle influence the publisher to send me one. Andddd glad we got that out of the way. In this books, Michelle Madow amps up the secrets and deviousness and flat-out trouble. The four girls - Peyton, Savannah, Courtney, and Madison (Madison being a Lockhart, and not a Diamond) - have a lot of drama in their lives, being rich heiresses, socialites, popular people. Everything is just so much more of a big deal in Vegas. None of the girls can even just talk to a guy without rumors being spread that the girl hooked up with him, or whatever. The stakes are higher, the secrets are deeper, and the tension is thicker... At first, I wasn't sure if I was enjoying this book, as I was reading it. The first two hundred pages weren't all that interesting, in my opinion. I know what Madow was doing though - she did a really good job of characterizing each of the four girls, and showing their gradual change in personality (at least, when it came to the three Diamond sisters). For example, Savannah. I feel like Savannah got a lot more stuck-up in this book, no longer as down-to-earth as she used to seem. Madow does an excellent job of showing readers this. Courtney is definitely still my favorite, since she and I are the most similar. She's more level-headed, intelligent, cautious, careful. I feel for her, and her almost-relationship with her step-brother Brett. I ship them so hard! Peyton definitely has the steamiest romance of the four girls, but she is the messiest of the four. She is totally attracted to Jackson, her bodyguard, but she hooked up with Oliver Prescott in book one, and in this book, her new English teacher (new school year) is smoking hot. She doesn't hook up with him, but sparks fly. I definitely still ship her and Jackson, for sure. Savannah... she is my least favorite Diamond sister, and for good reason. She is slowly turning into a brat, a snob, a cliche heiress, but it's hard to blame her when you're seeing the slow progression of things. She is stuck on Damian, but she's stringing Nick along, so I'm not sure what's happening there. I like her and Damian, but the romance for Savannah wasn't really big in this book. Getting her voice and music out there, her public image, seemed more important. Madison - well, I understand her more in this book, and feel really bad for her. For the majority of the book, a huge bombshell of a secret eats away at her, and it's destroying her inside. I would probably rip into someone if that was a secret about me. I'd be pissed. Madison shut down. Understandable, I suppose. I ship her and Oliver. With so many characters, it's easy to lose track of who is who, if they all sound the same. This book is written in third person limited (you know by the chapter title), but I think Madow did a good job of characterizing each girl, and making them sound unique. She also did a good job of making sure the story kept moving - although the first half of the book dragged, for sure. Once again, Madow does not just focus on the romance for each girl. This series is not a contemporary romance series - or at least, not JUST that, not PRIMARILY that. There is plenty of rich-people drama, plenty of other relationships that are explored, plenty of the-past-coming-back-to-haunt-you action. Which I liked a lot! The secrets are so cray-cray. Like woah, they involve everyone and everything and oh my goodness, all the blackmail and hush-hush. I'm excited to see what happens in the next book. These girls' lives and personalities are so different from mine (except for maybe Courtney's personality), but I enjoy reading about them. Fun! What I Did Not Like: Like I mentioned above, the first half of the book dragged, a lot. This book is over four hundred pages, so when a good chunk - half - of the book doesn't capture the reader's attention, that's bad. But I wasn't NOT going to finish it, because I always always always finish what I start, so it wasn't the worst thing ever. It just took me a long time to finish this book, to get to the good stuff. Once the good stuff was going, I was hooked. But getting to the good stuff took entirely too long. Would I Recommend It: If you enjoyed book one, definitely keep reading this series! And if you haven't read book one... well, this series is contemporary, there is plenty of romance, plenty of relationships (sisters, sister-father, friends, girl-guy), plenty of developing characters. There is a lot of depth to what should seem to be a shallow-content-filled book! No offense meant by that statement. Rating: 4 stars. I'll be eagerly awaiting the third book to the series! I so love the title Diamonds are Forever. Cool cool cool!