EMERALD by Lauren Royal
Signet - 2000
ISBN: 0451201426 - Paperback
Historical Romance

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore, MyShelf.Com
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As he attempts to apprehend the villain who slaughtered many of his townspeople, Jason Chase accidentally kills another, innocent man and the culprit escapes. Filled with guilt, he sets off in pursuit of his enemy, the Gothard brothers. When he finally catches up with them at an inn, a young man gets in the way and is injured. To Jason's shock, the youth is a maiden, Cait Lesley, who is traveling as a young man for safety's sake while she goes to London to see her brother and get him to sign over his claim to their estate. However, due to her dress and the amulet she wears, Jason believes her to be the outlaw, Emerald, and causes her to miss her coach. Feeling responsible, he agrees to get her to London as he pursues Gothard. The pair's rocky relationship settles to an uneasy friendship as they share adventures and enjoy things like a carnival or a gypsy dance. 

Arriving in London, Jason places Cait in the care of his family while he sets out to foil his enemy's plan to assassinate another Lord. During this time, he comes to discover that the man he killed was actually Cait's brother, and he despairs because he has come to love her. Gothard kidnaps Cait, and the true Emerald rescues her and helps Jason bring the rouge to justice. In the process, many secrets are revealed, including the identity of the man Jason killed. Despite this, Cait still loves him. 

Though not a fan of historicals, I found the plot to have certain appeal. The surprises revealed at the end are worthy of any modern soap opera. Cait proves a strong heroine, complemented well by Jason. I would have liked to see the true Emerald have more of a story, but perhaps that will be a future book. I do believe anyone who enjoys a good historical romance would find this a treasure. 

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