Diamonds in the Dust by Charmaine Pauls

 

Title: Diamonds in the Dust, A Diamond Magnate Novel
Series: Diamonds are Forever Trilogy #1
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2020

 

Men like us, we see things.
We do things, things that make us unfeeling.

That’s the price of power and money, of living la belle vie and running the French mafia. Then she came along like a pretty wildflower pushing through the cracks on a dirty pavement—fragile yet resilient, a breath of beauty among the filth. She was supposed to be just another job, a nameless person I was to pluck from her life and hand to my brother, nothing but a pawn in the gamble of our diamond business.

There’s a psychological label for men like us.
We lack empathy and guilt.
We do things to have what we want, things that make flowers wilt.

(Diamonds in the Dust is Book 1 of the Diamonds are Forever Trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. Diamonds in the Rough (Book 2) releases on 14 July 2020 and Diamonds are Forever (Book 3) on 15 September 2020.)

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EXCERPT

His tone is gentle, one you’d use trying to coax the truth out of someone. “Why were you still a virgin?”

“I was waiting for the right man,” I say like it doesn’t matter.

He nods, a silent acknowledgment of understanding. There’s no remorse in his voice when he says, “No man can be more wrong than me.”

I’m shaking violently when he picks me up, sheltering me against his chest. He carries me inside and easily closes the door balancing me in one arm. He goes to the bathroom and lowers me onto the rug next to the bath. I wrap my arms around myself, shivering as I watch him open the tap to let the water run warm. The petals and candles are gone. The bath has been cleaned. Housekeeping came in while we were having dinner.

The bath is only a quarter full when he slips his palms under the jacket and brushes it off my shoulders, carelessly disregarding the expensive garment crumpled on the floor. He picks me up and puts me on my feet in the bath. Taking a jar of bath salts from the edge, he empties the whole jar in the bath and scoops water into the jar that he empties over my shoulder.

The warmth dispels the cold. My skin contracts with goosebumps. He refills the jar and drains it over my other shoulder. He does the same with my front and back, and then he crouches down to soap a sponge. He starts at my waist, dragging the sponge from my hip to my thigh before squeezing out the sponge and letting the soapy water run down my calf. Meticulously, he washes me, stroke by gentle stroke removing the blood and the cold.

The bathroom is warm, but I’m still shivering. When the bath is half-full, he turns off the water and guides me to lie down. Twisting my hair in a knot, he trails it over the edge of the bath. The water stings between my legs, but heat envelopes me, melting the last of the bitter frost under my skin and calming my shivers. All the while, he continues to bathe me, washing away the remnants of our coupling in a strangely humble way as if I’m the princess and he the servant.

When my skin starts to wrinkle, he pulls the plug and takes my hand to help me out of the bath. Draping a fluffy towel around me, he dries my body. When not a patch of wetness is left on my skin, he leads me back to the room and makes me sit on the loveseat while he strips the sheets off the bed, leaving the duvet. Folding it back, he looks at me in silent command.

I’m spent. My fight is cold. I get up without arguing, dropping the towel at the side of the bed before getting in. Turning on my side, I face the wall. He gets in beside me, flicks off the lamp, and spoons me from behind with an arm he throws over my stomach to anchor me to him.

Our breathing is quiet. We’re both awake, but neither of us speaks. Light from the streetlamps falls through the window into the room. It plays over the walls, creating a shadowed reflection of the free world outside.

After a long while, he says into the darkness, “If I had the time, I would’ve made you fall in love with me first.”

At the words, I stop breathing.

They’re meant to be a consolation, but they’re stunningly cruel.

 

 


Diamonds in the Dust by Charmaine Pauls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of this author. HUGE. I know her words. I know how she thinks. I know how she writes. I’ve read some of her books two and three times just to make sure I got every single layer she put into them.

What just happened? …. #sendhelp

HOLY BALLS, she slayed me. She vested me! I am stupefied! For a very long period of time after I finished, I sat with a blank mind. I wasn’t really thinking about the book itself; it was more like I was absorbing what I had just read. This book and what is to follow is a thing of beauty, in my opinion. I don’t think there is a better way to describe it. I’m not going to go into plot points because enough reviewers do that already so you just have to take me for my word. THIS WOMAN IS EPIC!

This is only the beginning. The story is going to change. It is going to fork. Without a doubt, I will more than likely be stupefied once again when I read the next installment, but I don’t think she can out-do what she’s written here as the beginning of this journey. We shall see…

Read Charmaine’s work. It’s not superficial reading. It almost always deals with perverse topics and the dark edges of society where the monsters live but she is really good with the words so it is exhilarating and riveting and enthralling and so well layered and developed that it will blow your mind. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. #trust

Sidebar: There is this very tiny thing I have to say because I am me and I don’t know how to not say it but the cover … Lord, who told that man it was okay to shape-shave his chest hair like that?? #twitchy

View all my reviews

 

COMING SOON

#2 Diamonds in the Rough – Releasing July 14

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#3 Diamonds are Forever – Releasing September 15

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Apple Books: https://apple.co/2ZcC7f5
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YZyFUM

 

 

Meet The Author

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published over twenty novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://charmainepauls.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ForbiddenArts
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1120749574670443
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Charmaine-Pauls/e/B005LY9B82
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5161287.Charmaine_Pauls
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CharmainePauls
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/charmaine-pauls
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charmainepaulsbooks

 

 

 

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