Customer Reviews: Topaz Heat: The Jewel Series (Volume 3)
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on November 19, 2012
Robin, Maxine, and Sarah are introduced in Sapphire Ice as three young women working hard to overcome a background of fear, deprivation, and neglect, raised by a drug addicted mother. Robin's sense of responsibility pushes her to work two jobs, both in the food industry, to put her sisters through college. Maxine has graduated and is a very successful advertising executive but Robin refuses her help paying for Sarah's nursing degree.

These women, while coping with the fallout of their pasts, have landed on their feet with some real hang-ups about any long term relationship with a man. Robin does not entertain any relationship but comes face to face with a man just as determined to win her heart in Sapphire Ice. Tony, a born again believer with a street gang background appears to be the one person who might change her mind about the opposite sex.

Emerald Fire opens with Maxine and Barry on a collision course to a lasting relationship. Barry, best friend to Tony Viscolli and his corporate lawyer, discovers his estranged wife is pregnant with another man's child. His faith in a faithful God is tested when she dies in a skiing accident after Barry prayed for God to mend his marriage. Maxine comes to the rescue but before their relationship blossoms, Maxine is involved in a life threatening accident. Barry comes to her rescue while sister's Robin and Sarah look on.

In Topaz Heat, Sarah takes center stage as OB/GYN nurse in the large Boston Hospital. Her nemesis, Derrick, uses every opportunity to gain her attention after returning to Boston to run one of Tony Viscolli's hotels. Sarah has no memory of her early childhood. She was the only sister who was adopted out of her circumstances as a child and raised by loving Christian parents. Sarah cannot relate to Derrick's street wise background.

I highly recommend this trilogy.
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on January 17, 2013
While I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the Jewel series, this was definitely my favorite! Watching Sarah, the main character, develop from a snobbish, stubborn, judgmental little sister to a loyal, determined, and humble woman was a treat to read. The depth of character that the writer depicts is a rare find, and I highly recommend this book if you are in the mood for a great story of God's transforming grace!
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on May 18, 2012
Sarah Thomas has always shunned Derrick DiNunizo. Her brother-in-law, Tony, helped Derrick get off the streets, clean up his life and gave him a home. Most of all, Tony introduced Derrick to the Lord. Derrick has loved Sarah from the first time he met her, but instead of seeing the new person he's become, all she sees is the unkept, street kid who has lots tattoos. Derrick even left town thinking distance would shake the love he has for her. Now several years later he returns home to run one of Tony's hotels. He realizes that his feelings haven't changed but Sarah is just as stand-offish. When she gets sick and Derrick sweetly nurses her back to health she begins to see him in a different light. But just when things look kinda hopeful Derrick's past returns with a vengeance. Before all is said and done, they will be stretched to the very limits of their faith.

Topaz Heat is an excellent romantic suspense! Hallee Bridgeman is a new author to me so I wasn't sure what to expect. Wow! What a wonderful surprise! The story was very well written and seemed to have the perfect blend of suspense, romance and intrigue, with some splashes of humor along the way. I fell in love with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of the 'family' and the closeness they shared. I really appreciated the underlying message that, as believers, we are new creatures in Christ and that our old self is done away with. Derrick was a great example of how God can change a heart and when He does He changes a life as well. That's always an encouraging message to hear. Sarah was a very relateable character and though we don't like to admit it, I'm guessing we probably all have a little 'Sarah' in us. You'll find Derrick to be very romantic. There were several toe-curling moments between him and Sarah. And I must say, the Epilog was totally sigh-worthy! Topaz Heat is Book 3 of the Jewel Trilogy but I didn't feel lost not having read the other two books (Sapphire Ice & Emerald Fire) first. I will, however, be reading those very soon. I think reading them in order would be beneficial in gaining the family history but not necessary for understanding the story. Topaz Heat is a great romantic suspense and one I would definitely recommend. Great job, Hallee!

*This complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*
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on April 21, 2013
This was my favorite book in the Jewel Trilogy. First meeting Sarah as a young girl in Sapphire Ice, she grows up separated from her sisters due to their circumstances. By the time we reach Sarah's story in this book, she is a nice and polite, but comes across as very shallow when she (re)meets Derrick, whose background is very different from hers. Or so Sarah thinks. I simply loved how much she grew and blossomed throughout the book, and how she came to learn that it's not the outside that matters.
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on November 4, 2012
I've read all 3 of Jewel Trilogy books, and have loved each of them. The characters, while strong Christians, are flawed and easily relatable to real-life people. The story takes some great twists that makes this a page-turner. There is an edge to Topaz Heat that is unlike most Christian Fiction. It's not a sappy story. Mrs. Bridgeman writes about difficult subjects (abuse, murder, drugs) without minimizing them into something surreal. What I love most about her series is each book could be read out of order, and you would still come to love each character. In fact, I find myself thinking of them as if they were friends. Topaz Heat is a quick read, but full of thrills, laughter, and even a few tears. I highly recommend this book, as well as any in the series.
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on September 2, 2013
Book 4 of the Jewel Series is about the third sister Sarah Thomas and Derrick DiNunzio. Derrick is featured in the second and third book of the Jewel series.

The events take place almost six years after the end of book 3. Derrick has finished college and has worked his way up to assistant manager of the New York Viscolli hotel. Called back to Boston by his employer Tony Viscolli, Derrick is offered the job of manager of the Boston hotel. Shocked and honored Derrick accepts the position and prepares to return to Boston over the weekend. Tony offers him the use of his city apartment since he has moved his family to a house in the suburbs and rarely uses the apartment.

Sarah Thomas has fulfilled her dream of being a nurse with the help of her sister Robin and works as a nurse in the maternity ward. Her job is hard but fulfilling and she manages to help some of her patients by telling them about her faith and how it will help them. Sarah is happy and since Derrick the bane of her existence now lives in New York she rarely thinks about him. After a grueling night Sarah remembers that her apartment is being painted and gets permission from her sister Robin, to use the city apartment while she can't go home. Not realizing that Derrick is now in residence Sarah walks to the apartment after her car won't start. Meeting Derrick is not the best way to top off a hard work day.

Derrick has always had feelings for Sarah, he doesn't know why she dislikes him so much but hopes after all the time that has passed they can be friends but, that is not going to happen as he soon finds out.

Sarah has to work her way through her issues, she has no memory of her life from the day she was taken home by the Thomas family. She did not meet her sisters again until she was fifteen and although she loves them, she doesn't have the connection with them that she would like to.

This story was absolutely wonderful! I loved the different areas of emotion and conflict, Sarah has to reconcile her life from before adoption; Derrick has to show that he has changed and is not the same person that Tony bought in off the streets; Sarah has to realize that she her feelings for Derrick are judgmental and not the way a Christian should feel and finally Derrick has to fight for his life against a charge that appears to have no other outcome but him losing his freedom.

A very moving and powerful story. A must read!
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on March 24, 2013
Received Greater Than Rubies for free and decided to go back and start from the beginning. I am so glad I did. So glad when a free book turns into a great series to read. This book has the best mystery element of the entire series.
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on September 29, 2013
The final book in The Jewel Anthology left me wishing there had been another sister for Hallee Bridgeman to write about. I normally do not read romance novels because the rarely reflect real life. Of course, all the stories end well in the series, but I found myself wanting the books to keep going so I could follow the lives of the three sisters and their families. I have introduced several friends to the Jewel Anthology and all have loved the books as much as I do.
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on May 27, 2012
This is the final installment in the series about 3 very different, but wonderful sisters. From the first book, the reader is drawn into a beautiful, yet realistic love story that is masterfully written and powerfully executed....I took my time in reading this, because I knew this was the final stop in the trilogy and oh! I did not want it to end....It is my fervent hope that the author keeps writing such beautiful stories that inspire and touch the heart....not everybody can write clean, beautiful Christian romance....but honey, this author GETS IT!!......Buy the series....and get ready to be blown away!!
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on May 22, 2012
Out of the three books in this trilogy, Topaz Heat is by far my favorite. In the first two books, I love the heroine. They are strong, overcoming women. In this last one, I find myself admiring and rooting for the leading man. The story that is woven is not so fanciful that it is unbelievable; instead it is unapologetically open about dealing with one's past, present, and ultimately shaping one's future. Faithful love, loyalty, and family run through the story line and leave you feeling uplifted even while you escape into the wonderful story Bridgman weaves. My only complaint? It's the last one. I cannot wait to read more by author Hallee Bridgeman!
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