by Barbara Metzger

June 2006
ISBN: 0-451-21867-1
Reviewer Graphic Button New American Library
Mass Market Paperback

Everyone in England seems to know about the Earl of Carde’s search for his missing sister Charlotte. The story of how the child was lost in a carriage accident that claimed the life of her mother, and her brothers’ vows to locate her, are the stuff of legend. When Jack Endicott, the earl’s younger brother, opened his gaming hall, many enterprising young women flocked to his doorstep, all claiming to be Charlotte. All of them failed the tests.

Then a new lead offered up a name – Queenie Dennis – to add more speculation to the story. Could the child have been raised without remembering her true parentage? It is possible. Charlotte was very young when she disappeared.

Queenie is very real. She was raised by a seamstress of humble origins, far from London. When Molly Dennis died, all that she left Queenie were questions, and a talent for dress design. Rather than confront her past, Queenie leaves England to find her fortune in Paris. Upon her return, Queenie, now known as Madame Denise Lescartes, hopes to become the designer for the ton.

Lord Harry Harking would rather be anywhere than London. Never one to rub shoulders with the glittering crowd, all of the pretense and superficial natures of the upper class get on Harry’s nerves. If he was not searching for a thief, he would still be on his country estate, getting ready for the next season of planting and harvest. Still, this trip has not been a total bore. A certain French designer has found a way into Harry’s heart, and stirred his protective instincts.

Author Barbara Metzger has capped off her trilogy with a fine finale. Queen of Diamonds is a sparkling gem, filled with romance at every turn. One can only imagine the turmoil that Queenie must feel when she learns that her entire life is based on lies. Her resolve to discover the truth is tested time and again, and it is with Harry’s strength that she is able to confront her past. Readers should feel satisfied with the ending, and the reunion of characters from the other Carde books.

Reviewed in July 2006 by Paula.

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