Former mail-order bride Millie Townsend came to the Jeweled Ladies and gave up her name because she thought it was the key to her salvation after her husband died. It doesn’t take long to realize she isn’t Topaz Gold. She only wants to be a wife and mother, not a whore. But when Matthew offers to take her away from the Jeweled Ladies, will Millie be allowed to leave?
Their Emerald: The mayor of Brimstone, Raymond Dupree, has a secret—he’s in love with his assistant, Hank O’Shea. The only person who knows the truth is Miss Emerald Green, the second-most famous Jewel in Texas. Raymond spends one night a week not with Miss Green but with Emmy, his closest confidant. She treasures her friendship with Raymond and although she wishes he could love her fully, she’s content. But when Hank kisses Raymond, everything changes.
The risk of their forbidden love is too great and Hank decides Raymond has to marry Emmy. But Emmy can’t give up her sexuality and she won’t cuckold Raymond. But will Hank’s proposal—Raymond and Emmy share him—be the solution to their problem?
Her Ebony: Prickly and difficult, spinster schoolmarm Minerva Krenshaw hides behind her shabby dresses and sad bonnet. She’s used to being invisible—until Miss Ebony White catches her eye.
Abigail Whithall escaped an abusive apprenticeship and is saving all her money from working at the Jeweled Ladies for her own dress shop. But more than the latest styles, she needs respectability—and to learn how to read. She offers to sew new clothes for the most respectable Minerva in exchange for reading lessons. But their lessons go far beyond letters. Will Minerva give in to the passion Ebony promises—or will she go back on her word?
Author Maggie Chase takes readers back to the American West for a new, historical, erotic romance series, The Jeweled Ladies. The heroines of the books are all women who work at a brothel in Brimstone, Texas and find love, but in very different ways.
The first book in the series is His Topaz, the book which introduces the world of Brimstone, Texas and the Jeweled Ladies brothel. Miss Topaz Gold is a woman who came west as a mail order bride and was left with nothing when her new husband died. As a result, the mistress of the brothel took her in and christened her Topaz. She meets the widowed Civil War veteran Matthew Hawkins on her first night of work. Matthew is a very lonely man who travels far from home for some physical comfort. He isn’t comfortable, but finds someone he cares about in Topaz. The two find an unexpected love but worry about whether the Mistress will let Topaz return to being Millie - and leave to marry Matthew.
His Topaz is a very quick, sweet and sexy read. The romance between Millie and Matthew is rather adorable. Neither are terribly confident about their sexual selves which adds a bit of awkwardness to their encounters. But this works for them.
Miss Emerald Green is the heroine of the second book in the series, Their Emerald which features three main characters: Emerald, Raymond Dupree and Hank O’Shea. Raymond Dupree is the mayor of Brimstone. He has a standing appointment at the Jeweled Ladies with Emerald. Little does anyone realize that he is paying Emerald for companionship not sex. Emerald is his best friend. Raymond is in love with his assistant Hank, but has no idea if his feelings are reciprocated. Of course, his life gets rather complicated when he realizes that Hank does indeed have romantic feelings.
Their Emerald is a bit more complicated of a story (as one might expect of a menage romance). Raymond needs to marry a woman to cement his political career. Emerald would be willing to marry him, but is unwilling to give up sex that Raymond cannot provide for her. Hank fortunately is bisexual - and he and Emerald find they have both an emotional and sexual connection. There is also some intrigue in Brimstone with the local judge who wants to discredit Raymond as mayor. But the intrigue works well with the romance. The three have to make plans in order to make their unique relationship work. The story is sexier than the first and has a bit more bite to it. I admit that it is my favorite of the first three in the series.
Her Ebony is a story that surprised me a bit. Miss Ebony White is a freed slave who was rescued from an abusive situation by Mistress. She is a seamstress who has plans to open her own shop once she has the money and the skills necessary. To help, Mistress arranges for the local schoolmarm to teach Ebony how to read. In exchange for lessons, Ebony, also known as Abigail, wants to make a new dress for the schoolteacher, Minerva. As they spend time together in an intimate setting, an attraction flares. But there are problems. Abigail is planning on a new life. Meanwhile, Minerva is overly concerned about her reputation. She is known to be prickly and unfriendly in town and has trouble dealing with her feelings for Abigail.
This third story of the series is a bit of a romance of awakened sexuality, mostly for Minerva who has had to deny her urges for most of her life. Abigail is the leader in their explorations as she is more experienced in such matters, even with women. I enjoyed this story quite a bit, and Abigail ended up being one of my favorite characters of the first three stories. She is one of the strongest of them all with great character development.
One of my favorite thing about these three books is the way that they fit together. Maggie Chase has created a wonderfully rich world set in the American West during the late 19th century. There are connecting story arcs throughout the series including an arc about the battles between the judge and Dupree, a thread about the mysterious Free Cyrus Franklin and of course questions about the Mistress and her intentions. These make it fun to read all of the stories (I do plan to read the remaining two), and they all work well together.
Interested in some sexy stories set in the American West? His Topaz, Their Emerald and Her Ebony will fit the bill. I look forward to seeing what Maggie Chase writes next.
Maggie Chase: http://maggiechase.com/
Book Disclosure: Ebooks were provided by the author.