REVIEW: Romancing the Rough Diamond by Clare London

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Length: 244 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Alexandria Corza


Romancing The…

Trust is the most precious jewel of all. 

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?

Just the facts: M/M Romance, gay main character, book 4 of series (stand-alone), angst, misunderstandings 

When Joel and Matt meet, they are instantly attracted – it’s too bad they don’t know that they’re on opposite sides of a business deal that has lasting implications for both of them! This is a deliciously tangled up mess of business, sexual attraction, a fiery temper and passion!

My thoughts bit: I really enjoyed this novel! it has all the right things to make for an entertaining m/m romance novel. Matt and Joel meet and find that they have instant chemistry in spite of the fact they agree to exchange nothing more than first names. They have a great conversation…. realizing without details that they have a lot in common with respect to the art of jewelry design. Then, after an emergency phone call to Matt, they part without a way to contact each other.

The next time Matt and Joel meet it doesn’t go nearly as well as their introduction. Joel is inadvertently the head of a company that took over Matt’s family jewelry business from his ailing father.

There are several things that I loved about this book! Matt and Joel and two very different characters and they clash at first. I loved the way their relationship developed. The instant attraction was there, for sure, but this is no “Insta love” book. Both men are complex characters and have different challenges to overcome.

Matt is gruff, quick to anger but also quick to forgive. He’s forthright and candid… perhaps a little too real sometimes. Joel is a very clever businessman but also loves the art behind the business. He has a darker family history that makes honesty and lack of complication important to him. Maybe his business means “too” much to him but he’s okay with that.

There is a lovely embedded plot in this novel. The Prince in the Royal Family is marrying his partner and Joel’s company has been contracted to make the wedding jewelry and gifts. I adored the Royal couple. In their brief appearances in the novel, London wrote them as complete characters. I’d love to read a story about them.

This is a fast-moving, engaging gay romance. The supporting characters are well-written and hold their own, which I always enjoy. I loved the wit and humor in the novel and the emotion hit just the right notes! Definitely a 4-star book for me.

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) lots of misunderstandings, volatile tempers, potential arrest, mentions past criminal behavior (not the main characters), HEA

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel


Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

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I received an ARC of Romancing the Rough Diamond by Clare London published by Dreamspinner Press via Signal Boost PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

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