BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Release Day Review & Excerpt: Such A Pretty Girl by Tess Diamond

Review, Excerpt, Such A Pretty Girl, Tess Diamond, Bea's Book Nook
Publisher: Avon Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 26th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Avon | Book Depository* | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

In a gripping romantic thriller from Tess Diamond, an FBI profiler becomes a killer’s deadly obsession…

In Grace Sinclair’s bestselling crime novels, the good guys win and the bad guys always get caught. As the FBI’s top profiler, she knows that real life is rarely so straightforward. But her new case isn’t just brutal—it’s also personal. The victims look like Grace. And the FBI recruit assigned to her team is trouble of another kind.

This isn’t how Special Agent Gavin Walker imagined running into Grace again. Two years ago they shared one earth-shattering night, then she vanished from his life. She’s brilliant, fiercely independent, and in mortal danger from a killer masterminding a twisted game …

The body count is rising. Entangled in the case and in each other, Gavin and Grace are running out of time and chances. And as Grace puts the pieces together, she knows she’ll have to confront her own deepest secrets before the final, fatal move is played.

My Thoughts:

This book appealed to me as I'm a fan of the TV show "Criminal Minds" and the blurb had me at FBI profiler. Unlike "Criminal Minds" romance is a large part of the story too.

As I was reading, I thought I had figured out who the killer was and was disappointed to have figured it out so early. But, I was wrong! I was happy to be wrong especially when I realized there were hints to the killer's identity and actions waaaaay back in the first chapter. Happy reader girl. :)

Diamond spun a complex, intricate often dark story that kept me guessing, even when I was sure I knew who the killer was. Every time Grace came close, the killer would taunt her and slip away. She came so close to catching him several times and it began to feel like he would continue to slip away. I wasn't at all sure that she could catch him in the end. Grace was clever, smart, observant, and at times almost too perfect - she was young, beautiful, rich, a good cook, a successful author, an excellent markswoman, counseled troubled youth, etc etc. Fortunately she was also kind and funny and insecure, making her more relatable. After a cold upbringing and a bad relationship at college, Grace doesn't trust easily and doesn't get involved with men. She prefers to engage in a series of one night stands. But then she ends up working with one of those one night stands and he wants more from her. It's awkward at first, but they push past it.

Gavin is ex-military, ex-police, and now new to the FBI. He listens to his gut and gets hunches, the opposite of how Grace works. At first, that causes friction but then they begin to fall into a rhythm and work well together. Their different styles complement each other. There's also still quite a bit of heat between them and Gavin brings out Grace's playful, flirty side. He treats her with respect, appreciating her looks, her smarts, her guts, and her compassion but also enjoys teasing her. At times their romance dominated the story, taking over the mystery, and Gavin did some foolish things that would probably not go over well in the real FBI. I'm also not sure about agents on a team being romantically involved but it did make for a good story.

"Such a Pretty Girl" was intense, dark at times, fast-paced, full of action, and attention grabbing. It kept me reading and I will go hunt up her back books and check those out.

McCord’s Jewelers was a tiny place, tucked in a nondescript brick building just outside of downtown DC. The gold-leaf letters on the door shone bright as Gavin pushed it open, and bells tinkled as they entered.

Gavin automatically glanced all around, taking in the two cameras situated in the room. Surveillance meant tapes. Maybe they’d be able to catch their guy buying the earrings. That’d make this an open-and-shut case, for sure.

An older man with gray hair and a sweater-vest looked up from his place at the counter, where he’d been examining a tray of loose diamonds. “Welcome,” he said with a smile. “How can I help you? Wait.” He held out his hand. “Let me guess. An engagement ring?”

Gavin could feel his cheeks heating up a little as he glanced over at Grace. But she just smiled, shaking her head, pulling out her badge. “I’m afraid we’re here for business, not pleasure,” she said. “I’m Special Agent Sinclair. This is Special Agent Walker.”

“Oh, my,” he said. “I’m Anthony McCord. I own this place with my wife. How can I help you?”

“We’re investigating a murder,” Gavin said. “We believe the victim in question was wearing earrings purchased from your shop.”

Grace held out her phone, the screen showing a picture of Janice Wacomb’s earrings in an evidence bag. “Do these look familiar to you?”

Mr. McCord pulled on his glasses, leaning forward and looking at the phone. “Yes, those are definitely my work.”

“Can you remember who you sold them to?”

“If you get me the serial number, yes,” Mr. McCord said.

“Serial number?” Gavin asked.

“Each diamond that we sell has a serial number engraved on the stone. It’s microscopic; you can’t see it with the naked eye. It’s done for insurance purposes—if a piece of jewelry gets stolen or lost, it can be traced that way. Isn’t that how you found the store?”

“We’re not forensics, but I’m sure that’s how they found you,” Grace said. “Just give me a moment; I’ll get the serial number for you.”

She stepped away and Gavin smiled at Mr. McCord. “While she’s doing that, mind if I ask just a few more questions?”

“Anything I can do to help,” Mr. McCord said.

“What’s your surveillance like here? I see the cameras. Do you save your tapes?”

“We don’t have the capacity for that, I’m afraid. We’re just a mom-and-pop shop. We keep the tapes for only a week. Then they’re erased and recorded over.”

“Okay,” Gavin said. Damn, unless their killer had bought the earrings in the last week, they weren’t going to get a video of him. They would have to rely on Mr. McCord’s memory to discover if he’d been the one to sell the killer the earrings. “And how many employees do you have?”

“Just my wife and me,” Mr. McCord said. “She does the books, I make the jewelry.”

“Sounds like a good system,” Gavin said.

“She’s always had a better head for numbers than me.”

“And what about your customers. Anyone stand out to you lately? Maybe he was nervous?”

Mr. McCord smiled. “I’m a jeweler, Agent Walker. That means most of the men coming in here are looking for engagement rings. And that’s almost guaranteed to make a man nervous.”

Gavin laughed. “Okay, fair enough,” he said. “What about someone who put in a big order? Was there someone in the last few months who ordered multiple pairs of those earrings Agent Sinclair showed you?”

Mr. McCord frowned. “Actually, there was,” he said. “I remember there was a gentleman who came in to buy a pair of earrings for his wife. And then about a week later, he came back in and put in an order for three more pairs. He said that his wife had loved them so much, she wanted their granddaughters to have matching pairs. It was very sweet.”

“You remember when this was?”

“I’d say maybe two months ago?” Mr. McCord said.

“I’ve got those serial numbers for you.” Grace pushed a piece of paper across the counter and Mr. McCord took it.

“Let me go look in my files,” he said. “Just a moment.”

He disappeared into the back room, and Grace leaned lightly against the counter, gazing at all the baubles surrounding her. Gavin couldn’t help but think she shone the brightest, even surrounded by all these diamonds.

“You like this stuff, Sinclair?” he asked, gesturing to the dazzling array of bracelets in the glass case in front of him.

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” she said, but there was a dry note of sarcasm in her voice that surprised him. He looked over to her questioningly, and she shrugged. “I’m more of an art collector,” she said. “Most jewelry isn’t exactly practical in our line of work. I have a few pieces, but they’re mostly sentimental and inherited.”

“From your grandmother,” he said, remembering how she had mentioned her that night they’d spent together. She’d been wearing a necklace then; the sapphires had glittered darkly against her skin, making it seem luminous.

Something flickered in that extraordinary face of hers, her eyes widening in what looked like confusion . . . or maybe surprise. “You remembered,” she said.

Gavin couldn’t tear his eyes off her. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and touch her—any part of her, just to remind himself what it was like. “I remember everything about you,” he said quietly.
 About the author ~
Tess Diamond is a romantic suspense addict with a taste for danger – and chocolate cake. She lives in Colorado Springs with her law enforcement husband, two kids, and ferocious Jack Russell guard dog. She always dreamed of being an FBI agent, and now she almost is – if watching 24 reruns and plotting her next novel counts.

Find Tess Online:



  1. Ah I love it when that happens! You think you have it figured out and find out you're wrong. Sign of really good writing, imo. :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let's talk!