Friday, July 11, 2014

Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things

Author:  Rachelle J. Christensen
Genre:  Mystery
Four Stars

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding.  But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered three days before the wedding, Adri's world falls apart.  She moves to the posh resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch.  Thanks to her impeccable taste and unique style, Adri lands two celebrity clients and her business is headed for success, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported.  It is a race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim.


Adrielle (Adri) Pyper has a burgeoning wedding planner business, due to the fact that her two newest clients are ex-soap star Sylvia Rockport and Natalie Berlin, who is marrying movie star Brock Grafton.  Adrielle met Natalie through her partner and co-worker, Lorea Zubiondo, who is Natalie's best friend.  Sylvia is Brock's ex-girlfriend, and wanted to use the same wedding planner in the hopes of outdoing Natalie and possibly finding out information on her wedding plans.

The catch is that Sylvia is the epitome of bridezilla.  She throws tantrums, screams, and decides that nothing is exactly the way she wants.  So when Adri and Lorea receive a shipment of wedding dresses they had specially made, Sylvia's dress is certainly among them, but not her alternate choice.  After filing a complaint with the company that sold, and the one that delivered, them, they realize that there is a need for some fast talking to keep Sylvia happy.

Regardless of the fast footwork of Adri, she has more than one thing to be concerned about:  trying to plan two weddings at the same time, and handle the attentions of her new boyfriend, Dallas - well, while Adri is reluctant to call him that, Dallas is well on his way to falling in love with her.  And if that weren't enough, the new lawyer in town, whom Adri refers to as "the hottie," appears to be taking an interest in her also.  The problem in that: he specializes in divorces, pre-nups, and, rumor has it, has a penchant for talking couples out of getting married, if he can.  A dilemma indeed.

The reason Adri moved to Idaho is because when she started her business, her first client was also her best friend, Briette.  Briette was brutally murdered three days before her wedding, and the killer was never caught.  Because of this, Adri has been gun-shy about dating, and doesn't want to get involved with anyone, despite the fact that one of the men is persistent and patient, a fact she can't miss.

When some of the wedding dresses, along with her office safe, are stolen, Adri is at a loss to understand why.  That is, until one night when she is meticulously taking the hem down of the dress which is currently too short for Natalie.  A small package falls out - filled with various uncut diamonds.  Since the police have confiscated the rest of the wedding dresses, and Adri refuses to let that happen to Natalie's dress, she hides the diamonds and decides to call the police later.  Which may be the worst mistake she ever makes.

When photos of herself appear on her doorstep and it seems she is being stalked, she realizes that she will have to tell Tony, (a local detective who is also her brother's best friend) what is happening, but not before she extracts a promise that he won't take the dress.  Almost too late, everything becomes totally clear, and Adri has to keep her wits about her if she is to stay alive.

While I really enjoyed the book, I thought that Adri could have saved herself some trouble and given up the diamonds earlier instead of hiding them.  When she finally extracts a promise from Tony to allow her to keep the gown, after explaining why, I thought that if she had told him the reason earlier he would probably still agree with her and go along.

I also didn't like the fact that she rescued a tuxedo kitten (whom she named "Tux"); but because she occasionally brought wedding dresses home kept him on the patio as an outdoor cat (He's a kitten, and you leave him alone on an outdoor patio?).  And in one scene where she spent the night somewhere else, she forgot to feed him.  I don't believe in outdoor cats, as they are prone to shorter lifespans.  If she couldn't keep him as an indoor pet, she should have found him a home with someone who could.  It would have made more sense to confine the dresses to one room, and train him to stay out of that room - I know from experience it can be done. 

Aside from this, I really liked the book. The plot is good, even the subplots, as they are woven into the story nicely.  There are even some nice wedding ideas at the beginning of every chapter, for those who might be interested.  Recommended.

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