- File Size: 781 KB
- Print Length: 260 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Etopia Press (January 15, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 15, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HW9QTP2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,522 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Loving Lady Lazuli (London Jewel Thieves Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
According to Romance Writers of America, romance books garnered $1.08 billion in sales in 2013 and accounted for 34% of the fiction market. With stats like that, I’m wondering why I didn't choose the romance genre but then I remembered — I have no talent for it. Ah, but Lady Shey does.Loving Lady Lazuli is the classic storyline of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl again, but told as a relentless, breathy romantic mystery.
It’s been decades since I read a bodice-ripper if you don’t count the Outlander series by Diana Gabladon which markets itself as romance, but is really a hybrid — the love child of Romance and Historical Fiction — and I may have never read another one if I didn’t chance upon Shehanne Moore’s blog and struck up a friendship with the Lady Shey. Now, announcing your desire to read a virtual friend’s book and write a review can be a tricky process even if they don’t live across the street from you because, well, the blogosphere has limits, too, writer’s tend to travel in the same circles, and you just don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Thank GOD that I just adored this book because all that worry is now a moot point. After reading a few chapters of Loving Lady Lazuli, I was hooked. Moore writes a self-described brand of romance that she calls “smexy”— a cross between smutty and sexy — a classic pot-boiler of a book with the trademark characteristics of historical fiction adding to its allure.
Loving Lady Lazuli is the story of Sapphire, the renowned London jewel thief who no one has ever seen. Sapphire’s greatest defense has been her invisibility. Her many costumes and identity changes have allowed her to remain elusive and because of that, the most successful jewel thief in England. But one evening Sapphire makes a terrible mistake. Her “mark”, the famous Wentworth emeralds, are in her grasp, but the escape route is not. Her partners have let her down and there is no way out except a long trek across an open field in winter, and in an evening gown, no less.
Complicating matters, there is a witness, the rich, young, handsome Devorlane Hawley who happens upon the bewitching Sapphire while driving by in his coach. The unsuspecting Hawley has no idea what’s happening when he offers Sapphire a ride. It all happened so quickly, that kiss, that hand where hands should not be when strangers are involved, the pawning off of the Wentworth emeralds into Hawley’s pocket without him even knowing, and her alighting from the coach before he could catch his breath and clear his addled brain. Months later, he’s been enlisted into the army, the rich man’s version of punishment for a theft, preferable to hanging from the end of a noose, but still a high price to pay for a crime he didn’t commit. She caught him all right, with a breathy kiss and a swift goodbye and he will use all his resources to exact revenge.
For ten years Devorlane harbored his enmity, for ten years, he replayed the events of that night, and for ten years he swore that one day he would find and catch Sapphire and make her pay for ruining his life. Ten years of feeding and nourishing that hatred which festered like the wound to his leg when, upon his return, he is met with a sight that makes his heart both soar and shatter — it’s her, Sapphire, sitting in his drawing room. Now who’s caught?
Want to find out? Then read Loving Lady Lazuli, a romantic page-turner of first order. You may want to ditch the tea and crumpets for something stronger!
Page three puts our main characters—Devorlane Hawley and Sapphire—in a forced encounter, which we quickly learn is not a first for them. Their attraction is rekindled immediately, and readers...hold on tight to your e-readers or books because it goes fast from there. In the next few hundred pages, there’s lies, sex, betrayal, death, sex, conditions and misunderstandings, sex and finally love.
I won’t spoil your enjoyment by delving into the story details, but I do want to point out that this is a historical fiction story. Through the author’s expert storytelling, readers peek into English customs and culture, are exposed to various dialects, and relearn a few historical facts, all of which adds great depth to the story.
On a side, but related note, I have to say a word about the author. This is the second book I have read by Moore and while I appreciate many things about her storytelling, it's her humor I enjoy the most. With her books (at least the two I've read but probably all of them), you will be amused. So if you don't mind a good chuckle while you read, check out Moore's canon of works.
Loving Lady Lazuli is book one in the London Jewel Thieves series. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. Give it a try and I bet you will too.
Lord Devorlane Hawley returns home and finds that he has no need to search for the jewel thief that destroyed his reputation and relationship with his family. She’s in his home and lives next door. This is where he story went off the rails to me. There were so many characters at the party that was to be held in his honor that you had difficulty keeping track of them. Many of them played no part in the book after that event, but the author was so detailed about each person it made me feel compelled to try and remember everything written about them. There were some plot twists and turns, but they didn’t lead to any great revelation or add to the storyline. There were times where it was difficult to follow the convoluted storyline. For example, a man from Sapphire’s past shows up and claims to be her husband. However, she has already claimed to be a widow. The explanation for that was really weak and the man ended up dying a few pages later. Which begs the question of why even include that part? The author took great pains to include the thoughts of both characters throughout the book, but I don’t think any reader wants to know every single thought going through a character’s mind. It became extremely wordy and tedious to try to read all of their self-talk and dialogue. This was especially true because there didn’t seem to be any logic to what the characters were thinking or doing.
Both Lord Hawley and Sapphire were flawed characters. I usually love to see characters that aren’t the classic spotless knight in shining in armor, but I didn’t enjoy these characters at all. I think it’s because the story became so mired in details that the characters never really fully developed. I never felt an attachment to the characters or the story. I didn’t really care if they had an HEA because I couldn’t get past the huge deal breakers that Devorlane Hawley possessed. He was a wounded, drug addict with a penchant for prostitutes. He verbally and emotionally abused Sapphire on several occasions. He was downright rude and mean to her. Saphire showed some spunk, but I didn’t connect with her on any level. If I had connected with her I think I would have been shouting for her to run as far and as fast as she could away from Devorlane Hawley. What woman would want a carouser, abuser, and drug addict all in one? I didn’t see any redeeming features in his character. All I could see was Sapphire as a victim of abuse choosing another abuser.
It was a heavy read for me, and I really had to force myself to finish this book.
Reviewed by Michelle for <a href="http://www.cocktailsandbooks.com">Cocktails and Books</a>
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