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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

Review: The Diamond Conspiracy

The Diamond Conspiracy - Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine

Note: this review mentions events from previous books, therefore may be spoilerish if you haven’t read the earlier titles.


Having just barely escaped their adventures in America, Eliza Braun and Wellington Books are heading back home to the British Empire, taking their time to consummate their newly formed romantic relationship. However, back home, Eliza’s foster children, known as the Ministry Seven, uncover a monstrous plot against the Queen, putting themselves and housekeeper Alice in parlous danger. Books and Braun cut their trip short, racing back to meet up with Alice and the children, only to find out that the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is being hunted down by the Department of Imperial Inconveniences on orders of the Queen. Now its up to Books and Braun to save themselves, their family, and the Empire itself!


The Diamond Conspiracy is another exciting adventure from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Building upon the solid foundation laid in the previous three titles, Books and Braun are finally partners in all its meaning - growing into the dynamic duo I knew they could be. Their relationship is well played within the setting of the story, enhancing their working partnership while not creating unnecessary drama. It humanizes both Books and Braun, making them more relatable. That part of the story was absolutely perfect. 


The unfolding plot against the Queen and country is terribly engrossing and filled with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The not-so-mysterious-any-longer Maestro remains as the central bad guy, while his sanity continues to decline in its downward spiral, allowing an additional key figure to take charge. I adore the inclusion of several historical and literary figures as key players in the plot, one of which truly caught me off guard. However, the authors rely on the reader’s existing knowledge of these characters, so if you are unfamiliar, you may miss out on some of the implied understanding. I feel this also lead to a lack of physical descriptions of some of the tech and war machines, making it difficult for me to picture some of the events in my mind. 


While Books and Braun work to save the Empire, we have the opportunity to finally learn more about Wellington’s upbringing, specifically his father, who has always haunted Books. And with how things were left by the end of the book, it is clear that there is much left for Books to uncover about his own past. The events in The Diamond Conspiracy end one overall storyline, while beginning another.


The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is one of my favorites - filled with fantastical adventure, devious plots, clever mysteries, and interesting characters. Each book builds upon the previous, allowing for deeper stories and connections. The Diamond Conspiracy is an excellent addition to the series, providing some wrap-up to lingering plots. The story flows smoothly, even with the shocking twists. It is an enjoyable journey and fun story, with few surprises that made me smile. I look forward to discovering what the future holds for Books, Braun, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. 


My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Review copy provided by publisher.