Lily Dawson is the only unwed lady left of the famous courtesans dubbed the Three Diamonds by the prince regent. Called the Countess of Charm, Lily uses her social skills and dubious position to ferret out information as a spy for the Foreign Office. Her next mission has her cozying up to the Duke of Ravenscroft and find evidence of any treasonous activities. Unfortunately, the duke’s son may be more of an impediment than Lily anticipated.
Andrew, Earl of Darlington hates that the Countess of Charm has taken up with his father so soon after his mother’s death. He even wants to hate Lily, but there is something about her that sparks his interests. When he discovers that there is more going on than what is visible on the surface, Andrew offers to help Lily uncover the traitor, even if that traitor is his own father.
“Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend” is the final installment of Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton trilogy. In previous books, Darlington was the persistent suitor of Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance and the heroine of “If you Give a Duke a Diamond.” Then he seemed like a loveable, but shallow dandy, a man who had still not matured to adulthood. In this story the readers get see Andrew grow up, shed his rakish persona and show Lily and others his true self, a man who is ready for the mantle of Duke and responsibilities he will have one day. He isn’t perfect, but he sees that and tries to achieve better.
It was really satisfying to learn more about Lily. Her past–like those of the other Diamonds–is tragic and difficult. To see what she has become despite the heartbreak and horrors, gives her character dimension and strength without beating the reader over the head with the events. Instead the readers are treated to a look into the longing, heartache and despair some decisions create that feels genuine and sympathetic.
With these two characters you see a spectrum of emotions and with each passing page hope that–after they find the assassin–they get the satisfying ending that they and the series deserve.