Amethyst

Amethyst - Lauren Royal 3.5-4 starsSet in London in 1666, "Amethyst" is the story of Amethyst (Amy) Goldsmith and Colin Chase, the Earl of Greystone. Amy lives with her father in their Cheapside Goldsmith & Sons jewelry store. Her mother died just a year before during the Great Plague. Amy is affianced to Robert Stanley, her father's apprentice. It's tradition that if there are no sons in the family, that the eldest daughter marries the apprentice. Robert is from a good jewelry family. But as Amy's gotten to know him over the years, she finds that Robert isn't so light-of-heart and fun as he first was. And Robert is determined that once they're married, Amy will stop making jewelry and be his wife only. Amy's convinced that Robert's jealous that she has more custom orders and her designs sell more. And she doesn't like the way that Robert is not only possessive of her, but the way he grabs her and kisses her.But Amy's father is too lost in his grief for her mother and his work. He knows that Amy doesn't want to marry Robert, but he forces Amy to promise that she'll do whatever necessary to keep Goldsmith & Sons going. To him, that means marrying Robert Stanley.Amy caught her first glimpse of the Earl of Greystone at the coronation parade of Charles I. Colin Chase is the 2nd son of a Royalist family that chose to be outlawed with and fight for the royal family against Cromwell. While he lost both parents in the final battle, Colin and his brothers and sister find themselves back in London and firmly in Charles I's court and affections. So Colin was riding in the parade... when Amy caught a glimpse of him. The looks that they exchanged - he, flirting openly; she amazed - finds Amy unable to forget about the way that her heart fluttered. She tries to convince herself it's only fascination and attraction.But when Colin comes to Goldsmith & Sons to buy a present for his sister, Kendra, Amy & Colin find themselves sneaking glances at each other. The attraction is still there and very strong. Strong enough that Colin commissions Amy to create a signet ring for him.Robert sees this exchange and doesn't like it one bit. He pushes for the marriage to happen, as does Amy's father. But Amy holds off.Then The Great Fire happens... and Goldsmith & Sons shop is burned to the ground. Amy loses her father in the fire, when he ran back in to get her mother's portrait. Amy managed to lug her case out - the case containing all the gold & jewels that make up the Goldsmith wealth for centuries... the materials that they use to make their jewelry.Colin takes Amy and several children separated from their parents by the fire back to his eldest brother, Jason's home. There Amy's wounds heal, but not her heart. She writes Robert to call of their engagement.Colin's family accepts and embraces Amy, but Colin stubbornly insists that she must go to France - to her aunt's home, where Amy can continue making jewelry. Colin finds her too irresistible, and Amy isn't of his class; she's a merchant! And Colin is engaged. He's already used a good portion of his fiancee's dowry to rebuild his own castle and lands, given to him along with his title by King Charles.But, of course, this is a romance, and we all know where it's heading... it's just how they get there!Other reviewers find Colin cruel and a real cad. But Colin is true to his times; and while much has changed in London with King Charles, the Great Plague, and the Great Fire, society is still what it is. It's a bit unusual and unlike the people and the times to accept Amy so willingly at court. She might be wealthy, but she's a merchant - not nobility. The way that Colin's fiancee treats her is more in line with how Amy would be perceived and received.It's all a matter of whether he can overcome his inbred class prejudice (and society, too) and whether she can figure out how to love Colin & keep her promise to her father. Oh, and whether or not Robert Stanley can kidnap and coerce Amy to marry him, so he can get his hands on her jewels and her trade...