by Beth Anderson
Category: Fiction / Historical
267 pages; ISBN: 1-59279-968-X
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Mayra Calvani
Years ago in an emerald mine in Colombia, Michael Shaunnessey and Emilio Castivenette become partners as well as friends. As more and more emeralds are excavated, their fortune rises.
Then one night Emilio’s son, Girardo, seduces thirteen year-old Leigh, none other than Michael’s only daughter, and she becomes pregnant. When Michael finally finds out about it, it’s too late for an abortion. He sends Leigh to Switzerland to secretly give birth, then gives the baby to his servant to raise as her own. Outraged, he swears vengeance against Emilio Castivenette and his son. One by one, he steals all the largest emeralds and buries them in a secret place. Emilio eventually finds out about it, and murders Michael. Before dying, however, Michael tells the secret of the emeralds to Leigh. Now that her father is dead, Leigh, intelligent and ambitious, must take charge.
Even though there are several subplots, this book is really Leigh’s story. We follow her life from the time she’s an innocent child, through her ordeal during her pregnancy, through law school, and finally we see her rising to the very top of her political career in Washington D.C. We see her struggling with her family, with the men she loves, with institutions and society as a whole.
When she finally reaches the very top, something dark from her past reappears and threatens to destroy her. For Girardo Castivenette is now a powerful and dangerous man, and he wants his father’s emeralds back, or he will crush her and everything she has worked so hard to achieve.
This is a fabulous 5-star novel, the special kind that keeps you enthralled and wondering till the very end. Excellent characterizations, a suspenseful and intriguing plot, and a fine elegant style seem to flow effortlessly from the pen of this astonishingly talented author. From the emerald mines of Colombia, to the upper crust of San Francisco, to the power and glitz of Washington D.C., this story has all you may wish and more—suspense, romance, secrets and murder. The ending is thrilling. Very highly recommended.
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