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Diamond Dreams (The Drakes of California) Mass Market Paperback – March 20, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Award-winning author Zuri Day snuck her first Harlequin romance from her older sister’s collection and was hooked from page one. Knights in shining armor and happily-ever-afters spurred a lifelong love of reading. Zuri now creates these stories as a full-time author. Splitting her time between the stunning Caribbean islands and southern California, and always busy writing her next novel, Zuri still loves to connect with readers via Zuri@ZuriDay.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



"I'm proud of you, Diamond," Donald Drake said as he continued to flip through the latest report that she had provided. "The sketches are fantastic, and your attention to detail continues to be impressive. These innovative interior-design ideas are going to make ours one of the best resorts in California."

"One of the best resorts, period," Diamond corrected. "I told you that I could do it, Dad. I'm glad you trusted me with such a major aspect of our expansion." Diamond beamed from her father's words of praise. She considered herself the ultimate daddy's girl and never wanted to disappoint. And being the only girl in the family made her quite competitive with her two brothers for their father's attention.

"I don't know how much trust had to do with it," Dexter Drake drawled. Diamond's always lovable yet sometimes annoying younger brother reared back in his chair and placed his interlocked fingers behind his head. "I think it was all of that whining and begging you did that finally wore him down."

"I believe the correct verb is negotiated, dear brother. Mine was the best proposal submitted, period." Even as she said this, Diamond knew that there was a thread of truth to Dexter's statement. Her older brother, Donovan, handled most of the construction projects and had overseen the first phase of this one. It had taken a lot of research, idea submissions and—okay, maybe a little whining and begging—to convince Donald, the company's founder, board president and chief operating officer, that when it came to the interior-design work and final stages of construction for Drake Wines Resort & Spa, Diamond was the woman to oversee the job.

Dexter continued his needling. "Was it the best proposal? Or just the only one submitted twenty times?"

"Ha! Come on, Diamond. Fess up," Donovan said with a chuckle. "You did send that thing in several times."

"I sent in several addendums to keep everyone up-to-date on the evolving ideas and projections," Diamond retorted, with a tilt of her chin. "Which you would know, Mr. VP of Sales, if you pulled your head out of the books long enough to see what's happening with the rest of the company."

Donovan calmly rubbed his goatee. "I don't miss a thing that happens around here, baby sis. Believe that."

"How could you," Dexter queried, "with those Dumbo-size ears on the side of your head?"

Diamond laughed as Donald frowned. "Watch yourself," he said, his narrowed eyes fixed on Dexter. "Donovan's ears are shaped like mine."

"Dad, I'm not sure that is something I'd be pointing out," Diamond said, still laughing.

"Sister, it's something that he has no need to point out." Dexter's dark brown eyes twinkled and his brow wriggled as he looked pointedly at his father's ears and then at the replicas on his big brother.

Donald couldn't keep the frown on his face any longer. He burst out laughing. It had always been this way among his children: friendly teasing and healthy competition all held together with huge doses of love. From the beginning, he and his stay-at-home wife, Genevieve Drake, had raised their children to be a part of the business and had involved them in every aspect of their award-winning vineyard almost from the time they could walk. And while each person had their specific job title, theirs was a working knowledge of the business as a whole, and they were encouraged to multitask along those lines. This is how Diamond, the director of marketing and public relations, was now overseeing the major expansion project of turning Drake Vineyard into Drake Wines Resort & Spa.

Donovan was the most serious among the siblings, and no one was surprised when he steered the conversation back to business. "Do you believe the job will stay within the latest budget you've presented?"

"I'll have a better answer for you after I meet with the interior designer—" she looked at her watch "—which is happening very shortly. So if there are no more questions, gentlemen, I need to go."

A few minutes later, Diamond sat at her desk, speaking with her assistant before heading out of the office. "Kat, I'm going to the site to check out the construction, not the candy,," she chided, though a smile belied Diamond's sternly delivered words. "Man candy" is what Kathleen Fitzpatrick had deemed the construction workers who'd invaded their space. For months, a crew of around fifty men had been hard at work building the five-star facility that upon completion would include restaurants, a bar, lounge, day spa, gym, expanded gift store, executive offices and boutique hotel.

"Besides," Diamond continued, "I'm not into candy right now. I'm watching my wait, spelled W-A-l-T!" Kathleen fixed Diamond with a chagrined look. "I'm just not ready to jump back into the dating game." She reached for a batch of drawings and placed them in her briefcase. "And even if I were…there's no time for that. Duty continuously calls."

"Pretty good speech but that's hogwash and you know it." At fifty-six years old, Kathleen was not only Diamond's assistant, but sometimes she felt like a second mother to the woman who was twenty-plus years her junior. And after many years as a dedicated Drake employee, she felt comfortable speaking exactly what was on her mind. "It's been two years, girl. How long are you going to let that jerk of an ex-boyfriend run your life? Oh, my, did I say run? I meant ruin!"

"Ha! Stop exaggerating, Kat, before you set that Irish blood to boiling. My ex, whose name is no longer worthy of being uttered from my lips, has not ruined my life. He just helped to enhance my search skills and made me very selective. Right now, my man's first name is Resort and his last name is Spa."

"Go ahead. Hide behind your pesky professional obligations."

"You call a thirty-million-dollar renovation pesky? You go, girl!"

"But just remember," Kat continued, not missing a beat or taking the bait. "You're not getting any younger. You may have pushed it to the back of your mind, but I remember a young woman who not so long ago was eagerly looking forward to marriage and motherhood. The right man to make that happen is still out there."

"Amid the glass, bricks and plywood that currently litter our vineyard?"

"No, sweetie, perhaps amid the blood, sweat and mass of muscles moving that stuff around! I'm not saying you should marry one of the workers, but you should at least take a look. I have and let me tell you…there's some honeys in the bunch."

Diamond's phone rang. It was just as well that the conversation end and that she take her mind off men—her sore spot—and put it back on work—her salvation. Besides, when it came to those particular M&Ms—men and marriage—there was no use arguing with her trusty assistant. Kathleen had wed at eighteen and borne five children. In her mind one hadn't lived until they'd snagged a man, had a child, adopted a dog and got a house surrounded by a white picket fence. She'd been married longer than Diamond had been alive. So when it came to heartbreak and breakups, what did she know?

"That was the designer," Diamond said after completing the call. "She's at the site. I'll be back in less than an hour."

The clicking of Diamond's four-inch heels punctuated the air as she walked to her parking space. She unlocked the door of her shiny sports coupe and slid inside. Belatedly realizing that the heat index in sunny Temecula, California, had risen, she shed her suit jacket, grabbed a pen in the cup holder and hastily placed her shoulder-length dark auburn hair into a chignon. The construction site was less than a mile away from Drake Wines' executive offices. As she drove down the picturesque lane lined with colorful maple trees boasting red, orange and yellow leaves in the autumn sun, Diamond knew her focus should be on windows, tiles and color swatches and making sure that every aspect of the job to which she'd been entrusted was being executed to perfection. Instead, it was on man candy.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Drakes of California (Book 278)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Kimani (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373862539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373862535
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,931,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lady Raven RAVE! VINE VOICE on March 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BRIEF SUMMARY
Set in Southern California, Diamond Drake is apart of the Drake dynasty who owns a vineyard. Although she's a daddy's girl, she works hard as she is apart of the family business. As they are looking to expand on the vineyard, she has to work in close proximity to Jackson 'Boss' Wright, owner of Boss Construction.

THOUGHTS

I love romance novels that involves family and this book was an exception. While reading this story, I enjoyed myself immensely along with getting to know the Drake family.

Diamond and Jackson's first encounter was interesting and a bit entertaining. The story remained at the same peak while characters are being established. However, once everyone was established the story and the plot took off. In the beginning, Diamond was playing hard to get but once Jackson's charms and physical attributes takes a hold of her, she is unable to resist. Jackson was always taught not to mix business with pleasure, but with Diamond, he is looking to break those rules. I enjoyed their romance and physical attraction/ bedroom workouts throughout the story as I thought it got better as the story developed. What I also enjoyed about the story was that the author not only gave us romance but some mystery as well surrounding Jackson's past that could put everyone in danger. I believe this gave the plot an extra push.

As for the family, I loved all of them. I selfishly wish their parents had more kids but I'm satisfied. We were introduced to Donovan and Dexter, Diamond's brothers. Donovan is the serious one and I can't wait for his story. Without giving too much away, just reading about his introduction to a certain female has me a little impatient for his story. Dexter is the love them and leave them type and the youngest of the family.
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THIS IS A GREAT START FOR SERIES OF BOOKS.. I LIKE THIS BOOK I LOVED THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN DIAMOND AND JACKSON IT WAS OFF THE CHAINS HOT LIKE FIRE.THEM LOVE SCENES HAD ME NEEDING A FAN.THEY AT FIRST APPEARED TO BE FIRE AND ICE BUT THE MIXED WONDERFULLY. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK THE WAYS MISS DAY GAVE THE DESCRIPTION ON THE THE WINE BUSINESS AND THE GAPES GROWTH WHAT THEY USE IT MADE U FEEL LIKE U WAS RIGHT THERE WITH THEM MAKING THE WINE OR IN NAPA VALLEY I REALLY LIKED U CAN TELL SHE DID HER RESEARCH.. NOTHING WORST READING A BOOK AND NOTHING FITS IN THIS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN GOOD JOB.. I REALLY LIKE JACKSON HE WAS NOT PERFECT HE COCKY AS ALL GET OUT BUT HE WAS VENERABLE ALSO NOT IMMUNE TO GETTING HER OR BEING HURT I LIKE THAT ITS OKAY FOR MEN TO HAVE FEELINGS LOVED THAT IT DIDN'T TAKE AWAY FROM HIS HIS CHARACTER NOT ONE BIT ONLY MADE ME LOVE HIM MORE.. I LIKE THIS BOOK HAD A SOMEWHAT MYSTERY BUT U FIGURE IT OUT FAST THAT WAS THE ONLY DRAW BACK TO ME I WANTED A LITTLE MORE SURPRISED ON IT ALSO THE REASON TO WHY? THE SUPPORTING CHARACTERS NOW THEY FUNNY I WANT DONOVAN BOOK NEXT SEEMS LIKE HE HAS SOME BUSINESS TO HANDLE WITH JACKSON SECRETARY CANT WAIT..LIKE I SAID BEFORE A GREAT START TO WHAT SEEM LIKE A REALLY WONDERFUL SERIES..JOB WELL DONE..
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In Diamond Dreams, her first Kimani Romance novel, Zuri Day gives readers a juicy romance to start the summer. The middle child and only daughter of Donald and Genevieve Drake, Diamond had a lot to prove. As director of marketing and public relations, Diamond was in charge of one of the company's biggest expansion project - turning Drake Vineyard into Drake Wines Resort & Spa. To do that, Diamond made sure that she reviewed everything from construction to interior design. As the project neared its completion and last minute changes were being made, Diamond received news that the resort and spa would be featured in the February edition of O magazine. As she made one of many inspections of the site, Diamond was not prepared for the tall, dark piece of chocolate at the site.

After inheriting his uncle's company, Jackson Wright turned Boss Construction into one of the biggest multi-million dollar construction firms. When he won the bid for the Drake Vineyard, he was ecstatic. However, nothing could have prepared him for the magnetism he felt when he saw Diamond. Determined to have her, Drake set out to win her heart and keep his past life in the dark.

Diamond Dreams was fun and sexy to read. Readers will quickly become involved in the sexual banter between Diamond and Drake as they fall head over heels in love. In addition, Day managed to give readers on a tour of vine yards and how wine is harvested. I recommend this story for everyone's summer reading list.

The uncorrected proof was provided by the publisher for review purposes only.

Priscilla C. Johnson
APOOO BookClub
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Diamond Dreams is the story of Diamond Drake, the daughter of a wine tycoon, and her love story with Jackson Wright, owner of Boss Construction Company. Diamond and Jackson meet when his company is working on her family's vineyards. There's immediate electricity, and the couple soon began a whirlwind romance. The scenes of intimacy are totally hot! That's one thing Zuri Day does exceptionally well. What I think this story is missing is a little more substance. Diamond doesn't have anything really going on in her life outside of her interest in Jackson. Jackson has a side story, but it's predictable. And when Jackson's side-story hit its climax, it kinda fell flat. I wasn't afraid for the main characters at all, even though their was gunplay involved. But this is a romance novel, so the sex is most important. And the sex is definitely worth reading this book for. I would give it three and a half stars, but not quite four.
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