A man who lives two lives risks dying twice.
He’s known as Merlyn Ross, an actor and petty thief. He’s a handsome commoner who wears a leather eyepatch, his other eye a piercing emerald green. He’s also known as the Comte de Valure, a dashing French nobleman who wears a grey wig and a silk eye patch, his other eye an chanting sapphire blue. Admired by men, adored by women, no one suspects that Merlyn and the Comte are one and the same, or that both men steal more than kisses when setting out to seduce London’s wealthiest women. But one night changes everything.
Cassandra, a highborn lady, is the target of a robbery, and the victim of amnesia. Locked away as a vagrant, she is sold for one night’s pleasures to a prisoner who has been condemned to death, a man with an emerald eye. One year later, as Cassandra’s memory has been partially restored, her child, conceived on that fateful night, is being held hostage by her father-in-law. It is only here that she meets the Comte and realizes who he really is. Determined to keep the woman he fell in love with on their night together in that dark prison, Merlyn must pull off the heist of his lifetime against a formidable foe, and he must become the one singular man worthy of his one true love.
©1983 Laura Parker (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"Emerald and Sapphire" is a strange story. Kudos to Ms Parker for writing something quite different than the norm in the Historical Romance genre, but perhaps it was a little TOO different. I listened to it all the way through, hoping for something exciting to happen, but found it lacking in substance. The characters were well defined, but not very likable, other than the Heroine, Cassandra (Cassie), whom I felt sorry for.
It is a story of survival, of a naive innocent, and an unscrupulous, yet kindhearted thief, gambler, actor who helps others in need....about a con man who falls in love.
One thing that bothered me was the author's unrealistic creation of a character with an eye-patch who masqueraded as different personalities, and got away with it. Whether he wore it on his right or left eye it would be noticeably, and the Hero, Merlin, and his other personas, discovered.
The ending was unsatisfactory...one can only assume a HEA,
Was it worth a credit? I don't think so.
This is one of those listens that was really good 'BUT' (see further on), it had a very unusual plot which was a nice entertaining change and the Hero Merlyn was a charming, likeable, charismatic thief and master of disguises. He is set to hang at dawn but spends his last night in the arms of a virgin who will go on to haunt his dreams and change his life forever. He will endure anything and go above and beyond for the woman he loves but, sadly, she is totally unaware of his feelings.
Unwanted Lady Cassandra is suffering from amnesia, she's terrified, lost and alone in a dirty prison and now she's just been sold to a stranger that's due to hang in the morning but his face, body and charm gives her the comfort she badly needs. However, the consequences of that one tender night will have dramatic ongoing results.
The couple are eventually reunited just when Cassandra's obsessed evil Father-in-Law has shocked her about his plans for her future. Drastic action must be taken then suddenly Merlyn is there but their troubles are far from over. Lots of action ensues with a reunion, danger, passion and an emotional roller coaster follows. Unfortunately, just as plans are made, a betrayal brings the past crashing down on them and it doesn't look like they'll ever get their HEA ending.
So the 'BUT's (which are just my own peeves)..... a dislikable Heroine Cassandra who came across as selfish and no matter what Merlyn did for her she always hurt him with her thoughtless words and actions. The sex scenes were very mild, the story was too quickly tied-up at the end and I would have loved an Epilogue.
Worth a credit? This is Book 4 of the Masqueraders series but they each seem to be stand-alone listens. It was a very enjoyable fast paced Georgian listen (thanks mainly to the romantic unselfish Hero) and YES, IMHO, creditworthy.
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