The Jewel Thief by Jeannie Mobley
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 3.2 MB
A lush, slow-burn romance set in 17th century France, and based on the history of the Hope Diamond-The Glittering Court meets Alex and Eliza.
Her story begins . . . in Paris. The only daughter of the King’s crown jeweler, Juliette marvels at the large, deep-blue diamond Louis XIV has commanded her father to make shine like the sun. But Jean Pitau has never cut a diamond quite like this, and shaping it is a risky endeavor. As Jean spirals into depression, Juliette takes it upon herself to cut the stone, and with every misstep, brings her family closer to ruin.
Her story resumes . . . in a cold, dark cell of the Bastille prison. Charged with stealing the King’s diamond, Juliette has but one chance to convince him that her motives were pure. If she fails, this night may very well be her last. Though, death wouldn’t be her worst fate. Because recording Juliette’s confession is René, a court-appointed scribe, and the man she loves. But René holds his own grudge against Juliette, and this is her one and only chance to win back his heart.
I grit my teeth again. What answer does he expect me to make? The mouse never knows the rules of the cat’s game, except, perhaps, that it can’t win. All I can think is to repeat a warning I should have heeded a year ago. “If you are the sun, Your Majesty, my father is Icarus.”
“Ah, Icarus, who flew too close to the sun in his waxen wings and fell. Do you expect my pity, mademoiselle?”
A single tear falls down my cheek before I can stop it. “My father believed he was doing your bidding, Your Majesty.” It’s what I should have said before.
“And was that your intent too? To do my bidding?”
I lower my gaze to the enormous bows on his shoes, hoping humility will lend credence to my answer. “Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Then tell me where the diamond is!” he demands, slamming a fist on the arm of his chair. The assembled ministers jump, puppets on a single string.
I jump too. Pain explodes along my ribs where I was kicked mercilessly the night before. My hand jerks instinctively toward my side, but the chains that bind my hands deny me that comfort.
“Spain, perhaps? Were you working for Charles of Spain?” the king asks, pulling my attention back.
“Our work has been for you and no other, Your Majesty,” I assure him, though my mouth is nearly too dry to speak.
“Then why do you defy me?”
Choosing words wisely has never been my talent, but I struggle forward. “The diamond is not ready, Your Majesty. Give my father two more days and you will have it. I swear on the Virgin Birth, I am telling the truth.”
“You will forgive me if I have little confidence in your claims of truth,” he says.
I raise my eyes to his again. Such boldness could cost me dearly, but he must see my sincerity. “If you will grant us the time, I will confess all and the diamond will be returned more glorious than you can imagine.”
His lip curls in an arrogant smile. “You underestimate my imagination, mademoiselle.”
I smile back, dangerously matching his arrogance, knowing I do not. “Two days, Your Majesty. Please.”
“And if I do not grant you that time?”
“Then I will tell you nothing and your diamond will be lost.” The words are out before I can stop them, but even as I speak, I know I have gone too far. If stealing the diamond didn’t solidify my fate, my impudence surely will.
The king throws back his head and laughs so hard it sets the long black ringlets of his wig bouncing. His ministers try to join in, but they cannot seem to muster more than a nervous tittering.
As for me, I must clench every muscle in my aching body to remain still.
“I have no need of your bargains, mademoiselle,” the king says when his mirth has died away at last. “Monsieur Colbert, have the charges read. She is wasting my time.”