Love, Diamonds, and Spades (Cactus Creek #2) by Violet Duke

Love, Diamonds, and Spades (Cactus Creek Book 2)


A standalone companion novel to Love, Chocolate, and Beer: Rylan & Quinn’s story* 

Surprise! The flood of fan mail worked, you guys! LOL. I love that you all fell so hard for Rylan & Quinn in Love, Chocolate, and Beer (I did too). *grin* I hope you enjoy their by-rabid-request parallel story that I just adored writing for you all. Happy reading! 

She’s the Self-Proclaimed Wicked ‘Witch’ of the West 

Fiercely independent single mom Quinn Christiansen is used to flying solo. She’s been raising her young son and figuring out how to pay his pediatric hospital bills on her own for years now. And truth is, Quinn loves the notorious reputation she’s already gained in town of having a heart too hard for any man to break. Because it is. Two carats too hard, to be exact. Courtesy of the two-carat heirloom she’d had to barter to cover her ex’s debts when he took off after she got pregnant. The day she’d promised herself never again. 

So color her pissed when the universe goes and decides to make the one man in Cactus Creek not afraid of her natural ball-busting charm another gambling musician. A ridiculously handsome, wickedly gruff and gritty, pushy one at that. 

He’s Everything She’s Sure She Can’t Possibly Want 

Rylan Grey isn’t used to getting a woman so worked up…well, not in a bad way, at least. But somehow, his mere existence seems to annoy the guarded and gorgeous Quinn to no end. Surprising, really. A dirt-and-jeans landscaper by day with a regular gig to perform for a packed house by night, Rylan considers himself a decent guy. Sure, he’s made some gambles to get to where he’s at, but they were all of the life variety, with risks as important as the rewards, fate betting as the house, and not a single dollar in play. 

While Rylan never wagers anything he’s not willing to lose—namely his heart—he’s more than ready to ante up once he sees past Quinn’s icy defenses. Quick as a firecracker, loyal to a fault, and sweet when no one’s looking, she could be his riskiest gamble yet. 

*This standalone companion novel can be read before or after Love, Chocolate, and Beer, but, it is recommended that it be read after. Happy reading! 


Love, Diamonds, and Spades was another cute read from Violet Duke. We got to see parts of Rylan and Quinn's relationship in the first book, but this is more of the story.

Rylan is in the local band and when he first sees Quinn he knows she is something special. He is not some big rock star. His band doesn't tour, they are not players, some are married, etc. He is just a good guy who likes to play music. He gets together with his friends and plays poker occasionally, he plays in his band, he is good friends with Dani, he is just a normal guy. When he first meets Quinn's son he doesn't even bat an eye. He is so great with her kid, so amazing with both of them,just really a great guy.

Quinn is used to projecting a stay away vibe. Ever since her musician, gambling ex left her pregnant with debts to get out of she has told herself never again. Never again will she be with a musician, with a gambler. She caught her ex cheating on her after all. He couldn't stay away from the groupies and that lifestyle. She has enough problems to deal with without adding that headache to the mix. Only Rylan seems different. He seems like a good guy. Can she trust him?

This story was cute and sweet. Rylan is very patient with Quinn and he is there for her and her son. While I did enjoy the story I felt like it was still only bits and pieces instead of a complete package. I know you always only get parts of the story, but this one felt like there were pieces missing. I don't quite know why, and it was a good read, it just wasn't as amazing as the other books I have read. I still enjoyed it and it was fun. Now on to Lia and Hudson's story.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

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