Romantic Times Magazine
Amethyst (Chase Family Series, Book 1)by Lauren Royal
Regular price $4.99, now FREE!
A Top 10 Nook Bestseller from a New York Times Bestselling Author!
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/p>/em>/p>/strong>/p>/strong>
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Regular price $4.99, now FREE!
A Top 10 Nook Bestseller from a New York Times Bestselling Author!
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...
• Humorous historical romance
• Book One of Lauren Royal's Chase Family Series
• Special Author's Cut Edition
• 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!
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. Should you wish to read them in chronological order, this is the sequence:
Chase Family Series
1666 - AMETHYST (Colin & Amy)
1667 - EMERALD (Jason & Caithren)
1667 - FOREVERMORE (Cameron & Clarice)
1668 - AMBER (Trick & Kendra)
1673 - VIOLET (Ford & Violet)
1677 - LILY (Rand & Lily)
1677 - ROSE (Kit & Rose)
Regency Chase Family Series
1815 - LOST IN TEMPTATION (Tristan & Alexandra)
1816 - TEMPTING JULIANA (James & Juliana)
1817 - THE ART OF TEMPTATION (Sean & Corinna + Griffin & Rachael)
Specially Priced Boxed Sets
CHASE FAMILY BOXED SET ONE: THE JEWELS
CHASE FAMILY BOXED SET TWO: THE FLOWERS
REGENCY CHASE FAMILY 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, nook books
Romantic Times Magazine
Old Book Barn Gazette
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."
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.
What People are saying about this
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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!
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
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!
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.
Enjoyed every page. Love books from this time period. I will definitely be reading the rest in this trilogy.
Loved the pace of this book and the way it flowed the characters were fun to follow and made you want to follow them.
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.
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.
A 380 page well-written free romamce book of a English jewelry/goldsmith and her attraction to a handsome lord weeks before her contracted marriage. The scene is set with the great London fire during the beginning of King Charles' reign and the ending of Cromwell's 11 year Reformation. Family, joy, angst, romance, drama, jealousy, daring rescues, contention, explicit sex scenes, romance, and drama. An excerpt for next in series imcluded.
Very well written novel that leaves one wanting more! This is Book 1 of the Chase Family Series, so more is on the way. The only "con" was the author's use of profanity sprinkled through the story, which was unnecessary and detracted from my enjoyment of this book.
I could.t rrad fast enough. I took myook every where i went.
Love love historical romance and this author captivates your heart strings. An easy flow to read which makes you continue to turn the page,
This is the 2nd of the Chase Family series books that I have read - once again Ms Royal has great characters in her books and describes them in a way the keeps the reader wanting to read to the end - I have the Nook App on my IPAD and styed up very late to finish this great story
Once i started this book i could not put it down. There were times when I wanted to scream and times when I wanted to cried. Very well written and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Colin and Amy's story was very entertaining. Amy from a jewelery making background and Colin an Aristocrat.. Their lives normally would not be intertwined. But a casual meeting and a London fire brought them together. The attraction to each other was powerful. The author's talent is amazing bringing these people and also their families to life in the story.
I personally like how the author took the great fire of London and the pleague pendemic to created an cute Romantic fiction out of it, while keeping it realistic and dramatic. Its a bit predictable but, most romances are.
Funny, and the characters are relatable!
This book was an absolute delight to read. I very much recommend it
Great i really enjoyed this book
Excellent author... recommended
I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. I couldn't put it down.
I enjoyed this one, and just purchased the 2nd in the trilogy.
It was a very nice story and worth the money for 400 pages. I really liked it
Very good and entertaining
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.