Amethyst (Chase Family Series, Book 1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Regular price $4.99, now FREE!

A Top 10 Nook Bestseller from a New York Times Bestselling Author!

London, 1666

Amethyst Goldsmith makes dazzling jewelry, but her future isn’t nearly as bright as the pieces she creates. Though custom dictates she wed her father’s apprentice, her heart rebels against the match. In mere days Amy will be condemned to a stifling, loveless marriage, and she sees no way out—until the...

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Amethyst (Chase Family Series, Book 1)

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Overview

Regular price $4.99, now FREE!

A Top 10 Nook Bestseller from a New York Times Bestselling Author!

London, 1666

Amethyst Goldsmith makes dazzling jewelry, but her future isn’t nearly as bright as the pieces she creates. Though custom dictates she wed her father’s apprentice, her heart rebels against the match. In mere days Amy will be condemned to a stifling, loveless marriage, and she sees no way out—until the devastating fire of 1666 sweeps through London, and tragedy lands her in the arms of a dashing nobleman who knows a diamond in the rough when he sees it…

Colin Chase, the Earl of Greystone, has his future all figured out. He’s restoring his crumbling castle and estate to its former glory, and the key to its completion is his rich bride-to-be. But the Great Fire lays waste to his plans, saddling him with trouble—in the form of a lowly shopkeeper’s daughter with whom he’s most inconveniently falling in love...

BOOK DETAILS

• Humorous historical romance
• Book One of Lauren Royal's Jewel Trilogy
• A Chase Family Novel
• Special Author's Cut Edition (revised in 2011)
• A full-length novel of 120,000 words (about 480 book pages)
• R-rated content: Steamy love scenes!
• Originally published by Penguin Putnam (Signet)

This Author's Cut Edition e-book has been completely revised from the original and includes Bonus Material: an Author's Note, a preview of Lauren's next book, and a link to an online contest where you can enter to win a piece of jewelry featured in one of Lauren's books.

• Top 10 Bestseller on Nook, Kindle, and iBooks!
• Nominated by Romantic Times for Best First Historical Romance!

CONNECTING BOOKS

While AMETHYST can be read as a stand-alone novel, many readers enjoy reading it as part of a series. All of Lauren’s books feature Chase family members, Ashcroft family members, or both. Should you wish to read them in chronological order, this is the sequence:

The Jewel Trilogy
1666 - AMETHYST (Colin Chase)
1667 - EMERALD (Jason Chase)
1668 - AMBER (Kendra Chase)

The Flower Trilogy
1673 - VIOLET (Ford Chase & Violet Ashcroft)
1677 - LILY (Lily Ashcroft)
1677 - ROSE (Rose Ashcroft)

The Temptations Trilogy
1815 - LOST IN TEMPTATION (Alexandra Chase)
1816 - TEMPTING JULIANA (Juliana Chase)
1817 - THE ART OF TEMPTATION (Corinna Chase)

Also Available
FOREVERMORE (A Jewel Trilogy Novella set in 1667)
THE JEWEL TRILOGY - all three books in a specially priced boxed set
THE FLOWER TRILOGY - all three books in a specially priced boxed set
THE TEMPTATIONS TRILOGY - all three books in a specially priced boxed set

Keywords: Restoration, Charles II, Chase Family, jeweler, jewelry, Great Fire of London, earl, 1600s, castle, 17th century, trilogy, wedding, aristocrat, nobility, wealthy, rich, humor, comedy, romantic comedy, marriage, love, family life, friendship, England, English, london, free, freebie, historical romance free, free ebooks, romantic, ebooks, historical romance best sellers, sex, sexy, novels, series, authors, best sellers, kindle books

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Editorial Reviews

Kathe Robin
A wonderful read! With a deft pen, Lauren Royal captures all the pageantry, excitement, and color that was Restoration England.
Romantic Times Magazine
Suan Wilson
An enchanting tale in a new trilogy. Amethyst is a delightful debut!
Old Book Barn Gazette
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A jeweler by trade, Amethyst Goldsmith is expected to carry on her family's centuries-old tradition of jewelry-making by marrying a man of her profession. When, in the early 1660s, a London fire leaves Amy homeless and alone, save for a chest of gold and jewels she''s to protect for generations to come, she's taken in by Colin Chase, Earl of Graystone, until she can find her way to relatives in France. Colin's family thinks she's a perfect match for him and wants her to stay, and Colin agrees. The problem is that he's betrothed to another woman, and broken betrothal agreements are not taken lightly--especially Colin's, as he's already spent his fiance's dowry to restore his crumbling estate. Colin knows that if he marries Amy, he'll have to pay back the money or spend the rest of his days in Newgate Prison. The only solution is to use her inheritance, which he promised he'd never do. Readers looking for a richly descriptive historical romance will be satisfied with this debut novel. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938907005
  • Publisher: Novelty Publishers LLC dba Novelty Books
  • Publication date: 1/5/2013
  • Series: Chase Family Series , #1
  • Sold by: Draft2Digital
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,228
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

I decided to become a writer in the third grade (or, as my Canadian friends call it, grade three), after winning a "Why My Mother is the Greatest" essay contest and having my entry published in a major newspaper. Seeing my words in print was a thrill! But everyone told me it's too hard for novelists to get published, so after college I spent fourteen years as the CEO of my own jewelry store chain before writing my first book. A mistake? Maybe...but my first heroine, Amethyst, was a jeweler, so at least I took advantage of that wise old saying, "Write what you know." And I learned a good lesson: Don't let other people tell you what you can or can't do!

I write humorous historical romance mostly set in England and Scotland in the 17th and 19th centuries (Restoration and Regency periods). I've been oh-so-lucky to see my books hit bestseller lists all over the world, including the New York Times and USA Today lists, and win awards including the Golden Quill and Booklist's Top 10 Romance of the Year, making this second career a real dream come true. I live in Southern California with my husband, our three young adult children, and one constantly shedding cat, and I still think my mother is the greatest!

Visit my website at http://www.LaurenRoyal.com, where you can see the real people and real places in my books, enter a contest, sign up for my newsletter, and find historical recipes for the foods in my books.

Follow me on...

Facebook Profile: facebook.com/readLaurenRoyal
Facebook Page: facebook.com/LaurenRoyal
Twitter: twitter.com/readLaurenRoyal (@readLaurenRoyal)
Pinterest: pinterest.com/LaurenRoyal
Blog: http://CrumbsFromMyKeyboard.com

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue & Chapter One PROLOGUE

London Monday, April 22, 1661

"Here, there's room!" Amethyst Goldsmith shouldered her way through the crowd, her parents and aunt murmuring apologies in her wake. "Come along, 'tis starting!" When she finally reached a few bare inches of rail, she clasped it with both hands and turned to flash them a victorious smile.

Hugh and Edith Goldsmith came up to join her, shaking their heads at their daughter's tenacity. Laughing, Hugh's sister Elizabeth squeezed in behind. Ignoring the grumbling of displaced spectators, Amy spread her feet wide to save more room in the front. "Robert, over here!"

Robert Stanley tugged on her long black braid as he wedged himself in beside her. She shot him a grin; he was fun. Although he'd arrived only last week to train as her father's apprentice, Amy had known for years that she was to marry him. So far they'd gotten along fine, although he'd been surprised to find she was far more skilled as a jeweler than he. Surprised and none too pleased, Amy suspected. But he would get over that.

She might be female, but her talent was a God-given gift, and she would never in this lifetime give up her craft. Robert would just have to get used to the idea.

With a sigh of pleasure, Amy shuffled her shoes on the scrubbed cobblestones. "Look, Mama! Everything is so clean and glorious." She breathed deep of the fresh air, blinking against the bright sun. "The rain has stopped . . . even the weather is welcoming the monarchy back to England! Have you ever seen so many people? All London must be here."

"Even more from the countryside, I'd wager." Her mother waved a hand, encompassing the crowds on the rooftops, the mobbed windows and overflowing balconies.

Amy looked up as a handful of tossed rose petals drifted down, landing on her dark head like scented snowflakes. She shook them off, laughing. "Is it not beautiful? Just look at all the tapestries and banners."

"Just look at all that wasted wine," Robert muttered, with a nod toward the fragrant red river that ran through the open conduit in the street.

Amy opened her mouth to protest, then decided he must be fooling. "Marry come up, Robert! You must be pleased King Charles will be crowned tomorrow. Twelve years of Cromwell's rule was enough! Now we have music and dancing again." She felt like dancing, like spreading her burgundy satin skirts and twirling in a circle, but the press of the crowd made such a maneuver impossible, so she settled for bobbing a little curtsy. "We've beautiful clothes, and the theater--"

"And drinking and cards and dice," Robert said pointedly.

"That too," Amy agreed, turning back to ogle the mounted queue of nobility parading their way from the Tower to Whitehall Palace. Such jewels and feathers and lace! Fingering the looped ribbons adorning her new gown, she pressed harder against the rail, wishing she too could join the procession.

"Where did they possibly find so many ostrich feathers in all of England?" she wondered aloud, then burst into giggles.

Her aunt laughed and wrapped an affectionate arm around her shoulders. "Where do you find the energy, child? You must come to Paris. Uncle William and I could use your happy smiles."

Amy hugged her around the waist. Aunt Elizabeth had lost her three children to smallpox last year, and Amy knew she still bore a heavy heart.

"We need her artistry here," Amy's father protested, poking his sister with a grin. "Your shop will have to do without."

"Ah, Hugh, how selfish you are!" Aunt Elizabeth chided. "Hoarding my niece's talent all for your own profit." She aimed a mischievous smile at her brother. "'Tis no wonder we moved to France to escape competition."

Amy giggled. Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle William had been forced to move their shop when business fell off during the Commonwealth years. But they'd flourished in Paris, becoming jewelers to the French Court, and would not think of returning now.

"I'm glad you came for the coronation, Auntie. 'Twould not be the same without you."

"I'd not have missed it," Elizabeth declared. "Old Noll drove me out of England, but though my home is elsewhere now, 'tis God's own truth that no one here is happier than I."

"Listen!" Amy cried. A joyous roar rolled westward toward them, marking the slow passage of His Majesty in the middle of the procession. "Can you hear King Charles coming? There are his attendants!" The noise swelled as the King's footguards marched by, their plumes of red and white feathers contrasting with those of his brother, the Duke of York, whose guard was decked out in black and white.

All at once, the roar was deafening. Amy grasped her mother's hand. "'Tis him, Mama," she whispered. "King Charles II." Glittering in the sunshine, the Horse of State caught and held her gaze. "Oh, look at the embroidered saddle, the pearls and rubies--look at our diamonds!"

Amy cared not for horses--she was terrified of them, if the truth be told--so she paid no attention to the magnificent beast himself. But three hundred of her family's diamonds sparkled on the gold stirrups and bosses, among the twelve thousand lent for the occasion. "Oh, Papa, I wish we could have designed that saddle," she breathed.

Aunt Elizabeth laughed, then her hand suddenly tightened on Amy's shoulder. "Charles is looking at me," she declared loudly.

Amy's father snorted. "Always the flirt, sister mine."

Amy's gaze flew from the dazzling horse to its rider. Smiling broadly beneath his thin mustache, the tall King waved to the crowd. His cloth-of-silver suit peeked out from beneath ermine-lined crimson robes. Rubies and sapphires winked from gold shoe buckles and matching gold garters, festooned with great poufs of silver ribbon. Long, shining black curls draped over his chest, framing a face that looked older than his thirty years; the result, Amy supposed, of having suffered through exile and the execution of his beloved father.

But his black eyes were quick and sparkling--and more than a little sensual. Some women around Amy swooned, but she just stared, willing the King to look at her. When he did, she flashed him a radiant smile.

"No, Auntie, he's looking at me."

Before her family even stopped laughing, the King was gone, as suddenly as he had arrived. But the spectacle wasn't over. Behind him came a camel with brocaded panniers and an East Indian boy flinging pearls and spices into the crowd. And then more lords and ladies, more glittering costumes, more decorated stallions, more men-at-arms, all bedecked in gold and silver and the costliest of gems.

Yet none of it mattered to Amy, for there was a nobleman riding her way.

'Twas not the richness of his clothing that caught her eye, for in truth his was plain in comparison to those around him. His black velvet suit was trimmed with naught but gold braid, his wide-brimmed hat decorated with only a single white plume. He wore no fancy crimped periwig, but his own raven hair fell in gleaming waves to his shoulders.

Deep emerald eyes bore into Amy's, singling her out as he angled his horse toward her. His glossy black gelding breathed close, but she felt no fear, for the man held her safe with his piercing green gaze. She felt as though he could see through her eyes right into her soul. Her cheeks flamed; never in her almost-seventeen years had a man looked at her like that.

He tipped his plumed hat. Flustered, she turned and glanced about, certain he must be saluting someone else. But everyone was laughing and talking or watching the procession; no one focused their attention his way. She looked back, and he grinned as he passed, a devastating slash of white that made Amy melt inside. Long after he rode out of sight around the bend, she stared to where he had disappeared.

"Amy?" Robert tugged on her hand.

She turned and gazed into his eyes, pale blue, not green. They didn't make her melt inside, didn't make her feel anything.

Robert smiled, revealing teeth that overlapped a bit. She'd not really noticed that before. "'Tis over."

"Oh."

The sun set as they walked home to Cheapside, skirting merrymakers in the streets. Her father paused to unlock their door. Overhead, a wooden sign swung gently in the breeze. A nearby bonfire illuminated the image of a falcon and the gilt letters that proclaimed their shop Goldsmith & Sons, Jewellers.

There came a sudden brilliant flash and a stunned "Ooooh" from the crowd, as fireworks lit the sky. Amy dashed through the shop and up the stairs to their balcony. Gazing out over the River Thames, she watched the great fiery streaks of light, heard the soaring rockets, smelled the sulfur in the air. 'Twas the most spectacular display England had ever seen, and the sights and sounds filled her with a wondrous feeling. If only life could be as exhilarating as a fireworks show.

When the last glittering tendril faded away, she listened to the fragments of song and rowdy laughter that filled the night air. Couples strolled by, arm in arm. Robert stepped onto the balcony and moved close.

His voice was quiet beside her. "This is a day I'll never forget."

"I'll never forget it, either," she said, thinking of the man on the black steed, the man with the emerald eyes.

Robert tilted her face up, bending his head to place a soft, chaste kiss on her lips. 'Twas their first kiss; she was supposed to feel fireworks.

But she felt nothing.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE

Five years later August 24, 1666

"Are you telling me you made this bracelet? A woman? This shop is Goldsmith & Sons, is it not?" Robert Stanley puckered his freckled face and made his voice high and wavering. "Where are the sons?"

From over by the stone oven, Amethyst Goldsmith's laughter rang through the workshop. "Lady Smythe! A perfect imitation."

"Well done, Robert." Her father smiled as he brushed past them both and through the archway into the shop's showroom.

Robert's pale blue eyes twinkled, but he stayed in character, cupping a hand to his ear. "Imitation? Imitation, did you say? I was led to believe this was a quality jewelry shop, madame. I expect genuine--"

"Stop!" Amy struggled to control her giggles. "You'll make me slip and scald myself."

Robert's gaze fell to Amy's hands, watched her pour a thin stream of molten gold into the plaster mold. His expression sobered. "I like Lady Smythe," he muttered. "At least she buys the things I make."

"Oh, Robert." She sighed. "Why should it matter who made something, as long as we're selling a piece?"

"I'm a good goldsmith . . ."

"You're an excellent goldsmith," Amy agreed. Although she also thought he was a bit unimaginative, she kept it to herself. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"You're a woman."

She clenched her jaw and tapped the mold on her workbench, imagining the gold flowing to fill every crevice of her design. "I'm also a jeweler," she said under her breath.

"Never mind." He walked to his own workbench and plopped onto his stool, lifting the pewter tankard of ale that sat ever-present amongst his tools.

Ignoring him, Amy picked up a knife and a chunk of wax, intending to whittle a new design while the gold hardened. The windowless workroom seemed stifling today--hot, close, and dark. She dragged a lantern nearer, but the artificial, yellowish glow did little to lift her mood.

Five years she'd lived and worked with Robert Stanley, and still he didn't understand her. She couldn't believe it. She was marrying him in two weeks, and she couldn't believe that, either.

Once it had seemed like a lifetime stretched ahead of her before she had to wed. She'd put it off, and put it off, then last spring her father had announced she was twenty-two and it was time to get on with it. He'd set a date, and that had been that. No matter that Robert thought his wife should stay home and mend his clothes; no matter that he resented it when her designs sold faster and she received more custom orders than he did.

No matter that she didn't love him. Not the way a wife should love a husband. Not the way it was in the French novels she read. Not the way she had felt, five years ago at the coronation procession, when that nobleman's emerald eyes had locked on hers. She'd never forgotten that feeling.

She would learn to love Robert, her father said. But it hadn't happened--not yet, anyway. Not even close. Amy sighed and lifted the braid off her neck, rubbed the hot skin beneath. She had set out to talk to her father dozens of times, but her courage had failed her. Since the death of her mother in the Great Plague last year, it seemed she could take anything but her father's disapproval.

When the casting was set, Amy plunged it into the tub of water by Robert's workbench. She rubbed the mold's gritty plaster surface, feeling it dissolve away in her hands, watching Robert's knife send wax shavings flying as he sculpted a model. She scowled at his curved back. "I believe I fancied you more as Lady Smythe."

Robert turned and stared at her for a moment. He hunched over suddenly, and his face transformed, taking on a definite Lady-Smythe-look as his voice rose in pitch. "Are you certain, madame? I hear tell you've had dancing lessons and speak fluent French. Such pretensions. I don't hold with women reckoning account books, you know. Not at all." Then his voice deepened into his own. "Or making jewelry, either."

Amy flinched. She pulled the casting from the water and carried it to her workbench to brush off the last remaining bits of plaster.

He rose and came up behind her, tilted her head back with a hand beneath her chin. "Two more weeks, and a proper wife you'll be." With little finesse his mouth came down on hers. The faint scent of his breakfast had her squeezing her eyes shut, praying for the end to this torment. "Part your lips, Amy," he demanded against her mouth. She didn't. She wished he'd use one of those newfangled little silver toothbrushes Aunt Elizabeth had sent from Paris.

Finally he raised his head. "Two weeks," he repeated.

Her eyes snapped open and burned into his. "Papa would never allow you to keep me from making jewelry." She looked down and brushed at the casting harder.

"Hugh Goldsmith will not be here forever." His hand moved to snake down her bodice, but Amy's gaze flickered toward the showroom in warning. "At least soon he'll not be able to threaten me with bodily harm for sullying his virginal daughter." He strode back to his workbench, back to his ale. "Two weeks." He flashed a grin as he raised the tankard in a salute. A grin that Amy had once thought boyish, engaging . . . but of late had made her uneasy.

They both turned as the bell on the outside door tinkled. "I'll get it." Amy stood and whipped off her apron.

"Your father is out there," Robert reminded her. "He can handle it."

She paid him no mind, but smoothed back a few damp strands that had escaped her braid. Pausing to straighten her gown, she put a shopgirl smile on her face, then headed through the swinging doors into the cool, bright showroom.

"A locket," a young woman at the case was saying, smiling up at a gentleman with his back to Amy. Deep red curls draped to the lady's bare shoulders; her lavish golden brocade gown had a neckline much lower than Amy's father would ever allow. The man's mistress? In the years since the Restoration, the nobility had taken King Charles's lead as far as morals were concerned, which is to say they had very few.

The tall man addressed Hugh. "My sister would like a locket." He urged the lady-- his sister, not his mistress--forward. "Go ahead, Kendra, see what you fancy."

Amy took a step closer, though the gentleman seemed determined to work with her father. Hugh smiled. "Have you a style in mind, or a price, Lord . . . ?"

"Greystone." The man waved a hand. "Whatever she likes." Although his back was to Amy, she sensed his impatience by the set of his wide shoulders under his hunter-green velvet surcoat.

Hugh cleared his throat. "Perhaps my daughter can help you decide. Amethyst, please show Lord Greystone the lockets."

She took out a tray and moved to set it on the counter, smiling at the man's sister. Lady Kendra nodded and grinned in return, her beautiful red curls shimmering to rival the glitter of jewels in the case. Amy's hand went reflexively to her own head, as if she could rearrange her hated black hair into something more fashionable than her serviceable braid.

She picked up an oval locket with tiny engraved flowers. "See the gold ribbons forming the bale?" As her father had taught her, her voice was sweet and confident, reflecting her certainty of both the quality of the piece and her ability to sell it. She snapped open the locket and extended it, looking up at Lord Greystone.

"'Tis--" Her voice failed her.

Hugh nudged her, frowning. "Amy?"

"'T-tis quite feminine," she stammered out.

It couldn't be him.

Emerald green eyes locked on hers--as they had done five years earlier. It was him . . . the nobleman from the coronation procession. Her heart seemed to pause in her chest, and for a second she thought she would drown in those eyes; then she looked away, with an effort, and down to the locket she was holding.

Lady Kendra reached to take the locket from Amy. "Oh, look how pretty it is, Colin." She held it up to her bodice, turning to model it for her brother.

With seeming reluctance, Lord Greystone swung his gaze toward his sister's chest. "I know not that I care for it."

"Notice the fine engraving, my lord," Hugh rushed to put in. "'Tis truly first-quality."

Lord Greystone ignored him and looked back to Amy. When his eyes narrowed, Amy found herself studying him in return. Classic symmetrical features, carefully sculpted. A long, straight nose; a slight dimple in his chin; his clean-shaven complexion more golden than was the fashion. God in heaven, she had never seen such a handsome man.

Her heart sped up when he finally spoke. "Have you a locket with . . . amethysts?"

His voice, smooth and deep, sent a shiver down Amy's spine. Amethysts . . . She opened her mouth to answer, but the words refused to come out.

"No, my lord, we do not," Hugh said. "But emeralds would suit the lady--"

"Yes," Amy interrupted, finally finding her voice. "Yes, we do have amethysts! If you'll but wait one moment . . ." She reached to grab the key ring off her father's belt, then turned and bolted for the workshop.

"We'll wait," Colin murmured, watching her disappear through the swinging doors, her braid flying behind--a long, thick, ribbon-entwined braid his fingers itched to unplait.

She was back in a flash. An orange-haired man followed her out, wiping blunt hands on his apron, leaving streaks of abrasive gray slurry. He lounged against the archway and fixed Colin with a distrustful light blue stare.

"Here it is," Amy announced proudly, handing the locket to Colin. She kept her gaze on him even while she plunked the key ring into her father's outstretched hand.

Colin wasn't much for jewelry, but he blinked at the piece in his hands. "'Tis beautiful . . . 'tis truly beautiful."

Amy beamed. "It does have amethysts, my lord, and diamonds, too."

"I can see that." Wrought in shimmering gold, the locket was exquisite. On top, a cutwork pattern of diamond-set leaves surrounded an amethyst flower. The lozenge-shaped locket dangled beneath, encrusted with amethysts and diamonds, its lid enameled with delicate violets. Swinging from the bottom, a large baroque pearl gleamed.

Colin had never seen anything quite so splendid. He looked up at the jeweler. "'Tis remarkable . . ."

"I made it." A pink flush blossomed on Amy's cheeks.

Kendra's mouth dropped open in surprise. Colin's startled gaze swung to Amy, over to her father, who nodded proudly, and then back to Amy. "I don't believe it. You're--"

"A woman?" There was a challenge in her amethyst eyes.

He grinned, caught out. "However did you learn to make something like this?"

Her father cleared his throat. "We'd not much to do during the Commonwealth, my lord. I expect you were abroad?" Colin nodded his assent. "Well, jewelry was much frowned upon, other than some mourning pieces. I had time aplenty to train Amy in the arts of goldsmithing. She's a natural--even did the enameling herself." He placed a possessive hand on his daughter's shoulder.

"I must--I mean, Kendra--must have it."

The jeweler shook his head. "I'm afraid it is not for sale. 'Tis Amy's own keepsake."

"Of course it is for sale, Papa." Amy regarded Colin with a speculative gaze. "But 'tis very expensive."

"I'd expect so. We'll take it."

Kendra turned to him, a frown creasing the area between her light green eyes. "Are you sure, Colin?"

He looked down at his sister. "Do you not like it?"

"'Tis lovely, but . . ."

"I said I would buy whatever you chose for your birthday. I want you to have it." Colin knew he was acting out of character, but in all his twenty-eight years he had never met anyone like the girl who had made this piece, and he wanted his sister to own it. He fished a pouch of coins from his surcoat. "Here. Take what is fair. Include a chain; I want her to wear it now."

Colin watched Amy fumble with the pouch, taking note of her distraction, the way her gaze darted back and forth between the coins and his face. She felt it, too--this compelling, undeniable attraction. He smiled to himself. It made a man feel good, though nothing would ever come of it.

"Papa?" Closing the pouch, Amy showed her father the gold she'd taken.

Hugh nodded. "'Tis fine, Amy." He pocketed the coins and placed a chain on the counter.

As she returned the pouch to Lord Greystone, he handed her the locket. His fingers brushed her hand, and a brief, warm shiver rippled through her. Her breath caught; she hoped he didn't notice.

She stiffened when Robert sullenly pulled a cloth from his apron pocket and moved from the archway to stand beside her. He polished the glass case as she threaded the chain through the bale on the locket, then held it up for Lady Kendra to see.

"Ooh . . ." Lady Kendra breathed. "Will you put it on me?" She turned, and Lord Greystone lifted her hair so Amy could fasten the clasp. Lady Kendra faced Amy and touched the locket reverently. "Thank you so very much. I'll treasure it always."

"Thank who?" Lord Greystone prompted with a smile.

"Thank you, Colin."

When Lady Kendra turned to embrace her brother, Amy bit her lip, feeling an unexpected twinge of envy for this woman's shiny red curls and low-cut gown. But most of all, she envied the way Lady Kendra was hugging Lord Greystone. She looked down at the counter, lest Robert catch sight of her telltale eyes.

Lord Greystone ushered his sister outside, then lingered in the doorway, looking oddly reluctant to leave.

"Can . . ." The long fingers of one hand drummed against his muscled thigh, then stopped. "Can you make a signet ring?" His question came low across the small shop, to Amy, not Hugh.

"A signet ring?" she said with a small smile. "Of course, 'tis a simple matter." Beside her, Robert stopped polishing.

"Good." Lord Greystone paused, frowning a bit. "I'll send a messenger with a drawing of the crest," he said at last. "And the address to deliver it when you're finished."

Amy nodded, feeling a quick stab of disappointment that she'd not be seeing him again. Robert's hand resumed its deliberate circular motion on top of the counter.

"I thank you," Lord Greystone said. Then he melted out the doorway and into the teeming streets of Cheapside.

Amy stared after him until her father cleared his throat.

"I cannot believe you sold your locket," he remarked. "I thought it was your favorite piece."

"It was," she answered dreamily. "But I can make another one." Her stomach fluttered with happiness, just knowing Lord Greystone admired her craftsmanship and his sister would be wearing her locket. And soon, he would be wearing her ring.

"If you ask me, 'twas a clod-headed idea," Robert put in with a shake of his carrot- topped head. "You'll never find time to make another locket with all the custom orders you get."

Amy and her father shared a quizzical look.

"Besides, I didn't like him," Robert added. "I didn't like the way he looked at you."

Amy lowered her gaze and brushed past him into the workshop. She'd liked the way Lord Greystone looked at her, very much. Very much indeed.

* * *

Colin entered their carriage to find Kendra seated inside, her arms crossed. "What took you so long?"

He sat opposite her and looked out the window. "I ordered a signet ring."

"You what?"

He brought his gaze to hers. "I need it, for a seal."

Kendra shot him a look of patent disbelief. "You couldn't even afford this locket." She shook her bright head. "Something happened in that shop."

"Nothing happened." His younger sister was observant as hell, and it could be deucedly inconvenient at times. "I just thought it was a beautiful piece of jewelry, and I wanted you to have it."

"Od's fish, Colin, you're the one always lecturing us about saving funds . . ."

He turned off her voice in his head, instead considering the possibility of landing that enticing little jeweler in his bed.

" . . . planning for the future."

She was completely off-limits, of course. Not a widow, not an actress, not a lightskirt . . . not a highborn member of King Charles's licentious Court.

"And you ordered a ring. You never wear jewelry."

A sheltered young woman of the merchant class, 'twas most likely she would never bed with any man outside of marriage. And Colin Chase, Earl of Greystone, had no intention of marrying beneath himself.

"I cannot believe you bought this locket in the first place."

Besides, he was already betrothed to the perfect woman.

"I do love it, though."

As they passed Goldsmith & Sons, he glanced out the window. He would never go back there. It had been a harmless flirtation, nothing more. He couldn't remember the last time he'd set foot in a jewelry shop, and . . . no, he had no reason to ever return.

"Thank you, Colin. I truly do love it."

He blinked and looked at Kendra. She was sighing, gazing down at the locket and fingering it possessively. What had she been saying? Oh, she loved it. "I'm glad. Shall we go buy our brother that telescope he's been hankering for?"

"Oh--are you sure? Ford will be thrilled." Kendra bounced on the seat, then settled her skirts about her, as though she'd just remembered she was grown up. "Can it be from me, too? Sometimes he drives me mad as a Bedlam wench with his scientific obsession, but he is my twin, and I love to see him happy."

Colin gave his sister a fond smile, hoping the man she finally consented to marry would have more energy than he did. "Yes, it can be from you, too. Now, where do you suppose we might find such a contraption?"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 205 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(116)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 230 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Great book!

    This really is a very well told story and quite enjoyable!
    I am a bit confused when reading previous reviews.... several people referred to how long this book was, (900 pages). I'm reading on a nook, my page is about the same as most paperbacks and I only have a little over 400 pages and less than 390 are actually used for the story itself.
    I would have been terribly dissapointed had I read those reviews first!
    If you have a problem with taking the Lords name in vain, steer clear! There are enough cuss words available for that not to be neccesary! It is offensive to a lot of people!

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Wonderful!

    A great story and sooo worth the money. Actually its a bargain because its almost 900 pages (and not the kind where is jumps alot of pages each chapter). Great read and now im off to start book 2

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Buy the box set

    I loved all three & wish i would have seen the box set before purchasing all three seperately. I definately recommend the Jewel series, so buy the box set!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Everything you want in a romance novel.

    This story is well told, and the premise isnt one you find in a lot of romance novels (lord and commoner). Before this story I had never read anything about Restoration England, it sounds scandalous. I will definitely get the next book in the series.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Fun Easy Read

    Loved the pace of this book and the way it flowed the characters were fun to follow and made you want to follow them.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Loved this book!!

    Enjoyed every page. Love books from this time period. I will definitely be reading the rest in this trilogy.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Delving into the romance genre is not for the faint of heart. Y

    Delving into the romance genre is not for the faint of heart. You can read a lot of really poorly written romances that just drag on and on and never go anywhere. I however like to think that reading the poorly written ones allows you to clearly know a gem when you read one. Lauren Royal’s Amethyst is just that, a gem. (Yes, pun intended!)

    Amy Goldsmith (although her real name is Amethyst) is a successful jewelry maker who has quite the unfortunate personal life. She is scheduled to marry a man whom she does not love in two short weeks. To make things worse, he wants her to become a stay at home mom, and give up her career, which she is not ready to do. Although she is stuck, Amy does not want to back out of the marriage for fear of embarrassing her father. She longs for true love, and she gets a glimpse of it when Colin Chase, the Earl of Greystone, enters her shop. Although she feels that he is definitely above his notice, her life is changed when a fire devastates her shop and home and Colin comes to her rescue. He takes her to his home to rehabilitate, and although Colin’s siblings take a liking to Amy, he remains distant and asks her to leave as soon as possible. Amy, however, has begun to have feelings for Colin, and enjoys her time with his family. Unfortunately for her, Colin is betrothed to another woman, who’s dowry has been spent towards the reconstruction of Colin’s castle. Unwilling to break up this monetary agreement despite his attraction, Colin is locked in a battle of wills against Amy, who wants him no matter the cost. Will Colin eventually reconsider and give in to is heart’s desire?

    I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction novels that use true events as their backdrop, as opposed to just using a specific time period and developing a story. In Amethyst that true event is the Great Fire of London in 1666. As sad as the event was, it is an excellent plot device that sets the reader on a journey of self discovery with Amy and Colin that we certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of without the amazingly detailed and intricate imagination of Royal.

    To me, Amy read as a nod to the modern woman. Your first taste of her modern ideals comes when she stands up to her fiancée, Robert, and expresses her desires to continue being a jeweler. Robert’s jealousy over her jeweling skills are what drive his desire to have her stay at home and give up her occupation. After the fire when Amy is able to escape and meet Colin, she continues to hold onto her ideals that she can run the family jewelry business. Even after finding herself in love with Colin she realizes a marriage between them would end any future she has with her craft. She forces herself to make a tough decision: choose love or her craft. Royal does an incredible job weaving this difficult journey of “staying true to self vs heart” effortlessly. I can honestly say that Amethyst is one of the only historical romance novels that I actually truly believed in the conflict of heart that the heroine and hero go through. Every romance novel I’ve read has a conflict drawing the heroine and hero away from each other, but it’s rare to find one that has to do with something other than conflicting social classes. Amy’s need to continue her craft made for a much more interesting conflict. It was refreshing, honest, and definitely a worthy addition to anyone’s “to read” pile. Go pick up a copy!

    (Reflections of a Book Addict)

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Ameythest

    Excellent four book series love story. Could'nt help but think how much my mother would enjoy this "thick book". Because she wanted me and daddy to get our moneies worth out of the book and enjoy them also.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2014

    Great Read.  Awesome characters, very well written.  400 Nook pa

    Great Read.  Awesome characters, very well written.  400 Nook pages.
    I loved it, a common merchant and a lord.  History was great and woven into the story very well along with tragedy, love, humor, and suspense.  Very well done. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Well written and great plot twists.  Enjoyed the author's writin

    Well written and great plot twists.  Enjoyed the author's writing style, and the book is not a short story. Hard to believe that this book was free. 

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2014

    Excellent author... recommended

    Excellent author... recommended

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Loved it.

    I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    Avef A very good love storh Abery Averry good love story

    I could.t rrad fast enough. I took myook every where i went.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    wonderful

    Very good and entertaining

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Couldn't put it down!

    I love historical romance novels and this story drew me in from the very beginning. This story has a love that you root for the entire time. When you think you know what is going to happen, the story takes an unexpencted turn. I now love this author and have no problem buying every one of her books. Lovely story and nicely written. Definitely a 5 star score!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2014

    I really enjoyed this book. It was set during the Restoration pe

    I really enjoyed this book. It was set during the Restoration period in England, which I had not read much about before. The author did a great job of weaving in all the historical details of the plague years, the Great Fire, the exile of Charles and his followers, and the Restoration. I also enjoyed learning about the jewelry craft. And of course, the romance between the beautiful Amy and the dreamy Colin was steamy. I'm looking forward to reading more about the rest of the Chase family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    Wonderful first book of the series!

    I have completed the series, and loved them all. I love how Ms. Royal pulls you not only into the story, but has a great way of pulling on your heart strings. You will fall in love with the Chase family. They are all so different, but all so very loveable. Love for Chase and Amy wasn't smooth. You ached for all they endured to realize what each had to give up if they were to be together! Get lost in this series and get to know the Chase family, (ljb)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2000

    A wonderfully passionate novel.

    I'm not a big fan of paperbacks, but this one caught my eye. It was one of the best books I have ever read. The storylines were wonderful and full of details that made the story seem oh so real. Great book!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2000

    A wonderful read

    What a sweet and tender tale. Be swept away in a passionate love story as Lauren Royal makes you part of the adventure. I can't wait for the rest of the trilogy!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2000

    Great Read

    WARNING! Do not start this book unless you have time to read it from cover to cover or you will be frustrated! :) I've never served dinner so fast! I had to finish it. I loved every page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 230 Customer Reviews

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