Leigh Ann Percival works for Alex’s father, Edward, as his administrative assistant. Not only is she expected to cater to Edward’s demands but those of his twenty-five year old fifth wife Samantha as well. It’s an impossible task on the best of days but when she’s trying to dodge the unwanted advances of Edward’s youngest son Max it’s decidedly overwhelming. Leigh opts to proposition Alex as a way of turning off Max – not once did she think that Alex would actually take her up on her offer.
Alex doesn’t have anything to do with his father, the multimillion dollar family business or his half-brothers Zach and Max. Just when he thought he could safely escape the gala and return home to his ranch Zach approaches him and insists that Max would like to see him too. He’s not happy about delaying his departure but then a petite bombshell takes the seat next to him at the bar and makes a request that stuns him. He’s certain that she has an agenda, but what could she gain by sleeping with the outcast Diamond? In a huff Leigh disappears into the crowd only to reappear with Max’s arm draped around her – and looking like she’d like to be anywhere but with Max. Alex opts to rescue her from Max’s clutches but she made him an offer and he fully intends to take her up on it.
After spending the night in Alex’s bed, Leigh is summarily fired because she didn’t babysit Edward’s errant wife the entire evening and see her safely home. Alex offers her a position at his ranch in Manitoba and Leigh assumes she’ll be taking care of ranch administration – only Alex has more carnal positions in mind and they have nothing to do with paperwork or the ranch itself.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is the first book in Peggy Hunter’s DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER trilogy. Alex and Leigh come together under unconventional circumstances but there’s no doubt that their stubborn personalities allow them to mesh perfectly. I really admire Alex’s decision to not permit his father to control him and love how masterfully he handles Samantha. Leigh is simply a working girl who’s doing the best she can. These characters are charming to read about and their sexual encounters are positively scorching. For a little added humor Ms. Hunter taunts readers with Alex’s crusty old foreman’s callous ways which left me alternately horrified at his bluntness and laughing because I know people like him – and his wife who doesn’t take his guff. We’re even allowed a little insight into the difficulties of running a ranch and how impossible it can sometimes be not to get emotionally attached to the livestock. Well done Ms. Hunter! I look forward to learning more about the other Diamond brothers when their stories become available.