The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow – Review & Giveaway

April 4, 2015 Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 5 ★★★★

The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow – Review & GiveawayThe Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on 3/1/14
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 381
Source: BEA
My content rating: Mature YA (Characters have sex, but it's not really described; Lots of drinking)
My rating:
4 Stars

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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My Take

The Secret Diamond Sisters was a fun read, full of glitz and glamour and a life of privilege (with some back-stabbing and intrigue on the side).

The story follows the three Diamond sisters, who discover that their father is a billionaire hotel tycoon. When their mother ends up in rehab, the sisters head to Vegas, where they have to adjust to a whole new world. The story is told from four perspectives: the three Diamond sisters and Madison, a somewhat stuck-up Vegas girl who feels like the Diamond sisters are invading her territory. Because of the book’s format, I thought it would make sense to talk about each of the girls.

What I loved:

  • Savannah. Savannah was the youngest Diamond sister at fifteen. She was a bit naive and unsure of herself, used to living in the shadow of her best friend back home. When she headed to Vegas, she was thrilled with the chance to re-invent herself and very excited about living the life of the rich and famous. I actually think that I connected to Savannah the least out of the three sisters – she was cute and sweet, but her awe of Vegas and her naivete were a bit much for me sometimes. And I just knew she was setting herself up for failure when she set her eyes on the very attractive boy who lived in her hotel. Savannah gave into peer pressure a lot and felt bad when she didn’t, which was pretty realistic, but not necessarily a great example for teen girls out there.
  • Courtney. Courtney was the middle sister, bookish and always responsible. She spent most of her life taking care of her sisters, since her mother wasn’t really equipped to do so. Courtney handled the entire move to Vegas very practically and sensibly, just like she handled everything else, but when she started to have feelings for a boy who was completely off-limits she found herself tempted to actually break the rules. Gasp! I actually really loved Courtney. Even though she was responsible and practical, her POV wasn’t dry or emotionless and I really connected with her and felt for her as she constantly tried to take care of everyone (and realized that she had a little freedom not to once they were in Vegas).
  • Peyton. Peyton was the oldest sister. She was the wild child, rebellious one who wasn’t willing to give her father a free pass for abandoning his daughters just because he was rich. She didn’t really want much to do with the snobbish, upper crust life (though she enjoyed the partying aspect of her new existence). Even though Peyton had a chip on her shoulder, I didn’t think that she was an unlikable character – I found myself connecting with her and even sympathizing with her quite oft, though sometimes she did take things a little too far. Still, with her background, I kind of understood why she was messed up.
  • Madison. Madison was a typical, rich Vegas girl who lived in the Diamond hotel. She was a bit snobby (she had to be a part of the right crowd and do all the right things), but really insecure underneath it all, which kept her from being completely unlikable. Madison saw the Diamond sisters as a threat and couldn’t handle them nosing in on the boys in her life (her two best friends, who were sort of playboys and the boy she had a crush on, who really wasn’t interested in her). She was the type of character that you sort of want to hate, but you can’t quite bring yourself to do it – I found myself sympathizing with her, even when she was kind of sabotaging herself (and sometimes others).
  • Vegas. The Vegas setting was all sorts of fun – filled with wild parties and glitz and glamour. I loved seeing this world through the eyes of all four characters because they all saw it so differently!
  • The mysteries. Once the Diamond sisters started to get to know their father a little bit, it became obvious that they weren’t getting the full story when it came to the reasons that their mother had spirited them away and never told them who their father is. They were told that their father’s lifestyle was dangerous, but Courtney especially starts to suspect that there may have been more to it than that. I’ll be interested to see where Madow goes with those mysteries in the next book!

The negatives:

  • Nothing major. Really, there wasn’t anything specifically negative about the book, besides the fact that there was a LOT of bad behavior going on (which was kind of the point, so …). I wasn’t a fan of two of the boy love interests, but you really weren’t supposed to be, it seemed. The setting was fun, the characters were interesting and I enjoyed the romances. It wasn’t the type of book that blew my mind (I kind of saw a lot of things coming), but it was a really great read!!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun read with a unique setting and you don’t mind YA characters who make some bad choices. I’m definitely intrigued to see what happens next!  I give this book 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

Excerpt4

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … but that doesn’t matter when you live there.”

COURTNEY DIAMOND

The fireworks started before either of them could say anything more, bursts of light shooting into the desert sky, bigger than any firework show Courtney had seen in Fairfield. It was impossible to ignore the electricity bouncing between the inches of space separating her and Brett, dancing across her skin with each boom overhead. She couldn’t stop glancing at him from the corner of her eye. He looked lost in thought, although sometimes she swore she caught him watching her, too. This went on for twenty minutes, and then came the finale—shot after shot of fireworks exploding, without a second’s break between them. Some sored into their air like comets and others spread like meteor showers, filling up miles of sky.

When it was over, Courtney was sitting so close to Brett that their arms were an inch from touching.

“How did you like it?” he asked, not making an effort to move away.

“I loved it,” she replied. “Thanks for bringing me.”

Her head felt fuzzy, and she pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, her arm brushing his. She stilled at the touch, and he looked at her with more intensity than he had the entire night.

“Are you two ready to leave?” Dawn destroyed the moment, standing up and brushing invisible dust off her jeans.

Courtney jerked backward, torn out of her trance. If the others hadn’t been there, what would have happened between her and Brett? She’d never kissed a guy before, but from the way he was looking at her, she felt like he’d wanted to kiss her. And if he had, she wasn’t sure she would have stopped him.

She shook her head at the thought. Courtney had never broken a rule in her life.

Whatever had just occurred between her and Brett could never happen again.

BOOK 2

The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow diamonds in the rough
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #2
Published by Harlequin Teen on 10/28/14
Pages: 448

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.

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About the Author

Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida … but she loves going to Vegas.
To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!

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