- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
A Precious Jewel Mass Market Paperback – 24 Nov 2009
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
About the Author
Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man's Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
'A Precious Jewel' feels in some ways like a prototype for 'More Than A Mistress', one of my favourite Balogh books. In this story Priscilla Wentworth is a gentleman's daughter whose father and brother have died and who is now at the mercy of her nasty cousin who has inherited everything. When he starts making improper advances she leaves his house and travels to London to see her former governess who has set up a finishing school in the hopes that she can gain employment with her. Unfortunately when she arrives at Miss Blythe's establishment she finds out that the finishing school is actually an extremely high-class brothel. In due course Prissy realises the only way for her to survive financially until her thirtieth birthday (when she inherits some money from her dead mother) is to become a whore, and thus she does. After two months she gets a new client, Sir Gerald Stapleton, who likes her so much that he asks her to be his mistress.
Prissy and Gerald get to know each other much better once she is his mistress. She is still doing a 'job', of course, although she is in love with him, but Gerald is beginning to learn about real life through her. Gerald is an unusual hero for this kind of book - he isn't tall, handsome, witty, but instead is a man of average looks, average intelligence and rather alarming naïveté. He finds the time he spends with Prissy as comfortable, she does what he wants, looks after him and isn't demanding in any way. Gerald has little experience of love, having been failed by his parents and his stepmother and having sworn off marriage and long-term women.
But spending time with Prissy makes them both begin to reconsider their lives, but when something untoward happens and Prissy breaks it off, both she and Gerald have to find their new places in the world and how to live apart from each other.
Sir Gerald reminded me very much of Freddie Standen in Georgette Heyer's 'Cotillion', the 'nice but dim' man who isn't particularly good at anything but who bumbles through life. Prissy is very much more the stronger character with intelligence, talent and skill but she is able to hide all this so that she can carry out her job. Part of the charm of the story is the way in which these two rather different people bring out the best in each other. Not much is made of Prissy's job as a prostitute in Miss Blythe's brothel and I think the repercussions of this might have been rather more significant in the long term than they are shown in this book but it is still a charming and romantic read.
There are a few awkwardnesses in the plot that had to just be glossed over by the reader. I wondered how someone suitable to be governess to a lady might within a few years be running a brothel and who appears very good at it - did she have previous brothel experience, and consequently why on earth was she considered suitable as a lady's governess? Gerald's naïveté is also rather strong in places - I wondered how someone so dim at times still had his fortune - but his protective feelings of Prissy showed what a pleasant man he is. He came across as younger perhaps than his 27 years and far from the usual hero but still a man with whom the reader knows Prissy can be happy.
Like pretty much every book Mary Balogh has written, this is a great read and much better than most other books out there in this genre. It's an earlier work and that shows with less of a plot (for example, in 'More Than A Mistress' which has some similarities the heroine is hiding a murderous past and the hero in that book is a much stronger character with his own demons) but the characterisation is still good and the overall experience of reading it one of great enjoyment.
The heroine finds herself forced to seek accommodation with her old governess who now runs a brothel. There were numerous other employments the heroine may have been able to undertake at the brothel other than the obvious one chosen for the plot and I still find it hard to believe her old friend allowed her former pupil to follow that course, underneath she must have been as hard as nails to have allowed it. Nevertheless, we would not quite have had the same romance development if she had been a mere secretary!
Having said all that, as usual Mary delivers a beautifully written and lovely romance set in the era we historical romance readers love so much.
Another bonus for readers of Mary's books is that she grew up in Wales and so we are not subjected to the Americanisms which constantly appear and spoil the mood in many of the historical romance novels today.
I chose to read this book as the hero appeared first as a friend in another of Mary's books and I love books that re-introduce characters I already know, even if only in a cameo role.
If you like a gently developing romance with well rounded, believable characters without chapter upon chapter of bedroom antics to make up the page numbers then you will enjoy this book.