It’s hard to miss Cassie. She’s the one in the cowgirl boots who up until this morning wasn’t interested in boys. But, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday something inside her knocks loose. His name is Chad Holbrook. He’s a prep school boy from Albuquerque and Cassie’s “fair weather” friend. He promises to stay for Cassie’s sixteenth birthday. Just when Cassie thinks she can count on it, Chad breaks his promise. But he leaves behind a treasure hunt that convinces her Chad may be sweet on her, too. Cassie becomes jealous when she discovers her best friend Ahzi knows all about the treasure hunt. To make things worse, Cassie meets Maverick, a charming misfit, who threatens to steal her heart and the gold Grandpa has kept quiet about all these years. Maverick has a dark secret that draws Cassie and Ahzi into the perilous world of gold mining and drug dealing. Cassie must risk trusting Maverick if she and her friends are to get out alive.


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3 reviews for Diamonds At Dusk

  1. Amazon Customer

    From the first line of “Race you to the end of the field.” until the end, the author keeps the action and interest at high pitch. Rural New Mexico with its raw beauty and primitive atmosphere come alive as a unique backdrop. The characters are very accessible and relatable. This book should prove a lot of fun for the teenage reader.

  2. Amazon Customer

    A good read for the young and old. Shows the value of respect and friendship.

  3. Kate

    My daughter won a print edition of this novel through a Goodreads giveaway, and I borrowed her copy to read.

    The first thing that struck me about this novel was its vivid setting in the Southwest, which was portrayed so well. As with other reviewers, I found myself transported into this beautiful setting where I could smell the smells and feel the air on my face. Everything was described perfectly, with tiny details that could only have been added through the author’s personal experience with the area.

    Those important details carried through to the characters, which were well-developed and engaging. I loved that Cassie is nothing like the stereotypical YA heroine. She’s a “yes ma’am” and “no sir” kind of girl who grew up paying the proper respects and doing her chores. But she’s still a typical teenager in many ways. I felt that she read as an incredibly authentic character. I also loved the interplay between characters, and how all the characters were developed and rounded. There are also some adorable character interactions where the author really got the dynamic of friendship and portrayed it in such a sweet and fun way. So, between the setting and the characters, I found myself drawn into the story from the start.

    Top that off with some awesome language. I’m a total language junkie, and this book delivered a nice fix with some incredible turns of phrase sprinkled throughout. Somehow the author managed to do this and still keep the story totally accessible for younger readers. (Also here, I will note that the editing was nearly perfect. I only spotted a couple of missing words and maybe one grammatical issue.)

    With all that, you’re probably wondering where the fifth star went. The reason I rated the book four stars instead of five was because of some story issues. A little more than halfway through the book, something *big* happens. Something earth-shattering, ground-breaking, faint-inducing, and genre-bending. And the character’s reaction is pretty much, “Oh.” And I’m like… why isn’t she screaming? Freaking out? Questioning the grand scheme of the universe? She does nothing. This really threw me out of the story. I went back and read three pages about twenty times, wondering if I was misinterpreting. Was it a metaphor that I was taking literally? Could I have missed some pages? And then the chapter ends, the character moves on, and it is never mentioned again. I kept waiting for a reveal. For something. But this had me fixated for the rest of the novel, and, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t get back into the flow. The language was still beautiful. The characters were still great. The setting was amazing. But for me, there was this big elephant in the room. Also, as the story continued, I found myself really confused about the details of how things worked out. The connection between certain characters was unclear and there were a lot of claims and papers being shuffled around, and honestly, I got lost. Maybe that’s just me, but I felt like I needed someone to explain it to me, when all was said and done.

    Ultimately, did these issues keep me from enjoying the story? Honestly, a little. But I still thought the book was fun, intriguing, and well-written. Most debut novels have way more issues than this, and if I’m honest, I’m a pretty picky reader. I would recommend this book to friends or to anyone who enjoys YA.

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