Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchid

Title: Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchid
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: contemporary, adventure
Length: 129 pages / 42k words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Cryselle

Review Summary: A rollicking, stylish adventure that succeeded in drawing me back in after a pacing crash.

Blurb

Meet Scott Sapphire—lover of French champagne, Belgian chocolate and dangerous men. He is suave. He is sexy. He is a man of the world—and a man that the world desperately wants to catch.

For Scott Sapphire is the greatest jewel thief of our time.
Dashing. Daring. And always neck-deep in trouble.

But when Scott’s latest heist lands him in possession of a map to a rare and precious orchid, it’ll take more than bedroom eyes and a charming smile to stay one step ahead of one of the world’s most powerful business tycoons, as well as keep the CIA off Scott’s back and a handsome special agent out of his pants—or maybe not.

From the Venice canals to the Amazon rainforest, from Rio de Janeiro to the casinos of Monte Carlo, comes a brand new gay hero as irresistible as diamonds and pearls.

Adventure has a new name! And that name is Scott Sapphire.

Review

From the first moment of the story, the reader is thrown into a non-stop action adventure, with dashing heroes, daring escapades, elusive treasures, a romantic interlude or three, and more peril than you can shake a diamond encrusted wand at. (I made up the wand. It might be in a later story, the way this book reads.) Jake Stone and Scott Sapphire are both hot for each other and interested in some of the same things outside the bedroom, which plays out with a flourish and a promise, or maybe it’s a threat.

And then we never see Jake again. Wait, what?

But never fear, Scott and his acquired family are off to more adventures, in search of treasures to remove from the evil rich and repurpose to doing good in the world, although they might, in best Saint style, keep a dollar or two for themselves.

The story has a slew of running gags, and hearkens back to Leslie Charteris’ Simon Templar books for derring-do and slickly executed capers. The non-stop peril brings one more in mind of Indiana Jones, what with dashing through jungles, temples, and the occasional posh living room. There’s even a big dollop of Dickens thrown in, and that can’t be accidental when a secondary character is named Artie Dodge.

The mixture is a potent brew of lighthearted adventure, and so when the author broke the tension of a hugely gripping scene to throw in a Dickensian flashback, I actually shook my computer in frustration. I considered just skipping past it for the time being, and was angry for the pace getting yanked to a halt. I was having a good time and then: face, meet wall. Abrupt pace change aside, the story did succeed in bringing me back in, and I was interested in the flashback scenes once I got past the annoyance.

My other issue is an over-used stylistic quirk involving stacked single sentence paragraphs. They added to the tension in places and were merely irritating in others.

The story takes Scott into exotic locations all over the world, and each place is so lovingly described that one feels sure the author has used his favorite places to set this book, ranging from the palaces of Venice to the depths of the Amazon. Whether it’s the excitement of a rooftop chase or an unauthorized soiree in an expensive apartment, the setting is vivid and tactile.

While Jake faded into the past, a sexy new opponent pops up. He’s everywhere, and terribly attractive, and every time Scott thinks he’s either figured the man out or ditched him, there he is. He’s got more twists than a pretzel and an interesting mindset. Tom provides an enemies to lovers arc, and is the real romantic interest here.

The antagonists are delightfully over the top in the best Bond tradition, with skills, hardware, and motivation enough to slay our hero a dozen times over–they are worthy opponents. One particular quirk introduced an unneeded squicky element, as if we needed more reason to loathe them.

Nothing is quite as it seems in this story, and since it’s not overexplained, it’s a lot of fun. There’s a complete story arc between these covers, aside from the forgotten Jake. He had a large POV section, so he may well have a part to play in further installments. It’s not so much a cliffhanger at the end as a very pointy hook, and I’d like to know how Scott deals with this one. 4 stars

10 comments

  • I’ve been in the mood for more “fun” and less angsty stories, and this sounds perfect, love the cover also! Off to buy!

    Reply
  • Great review, I’ll have to check it out at some point! I love to travel, and when I can’t, I love the opportunity to do some armchair travel. Combined with hot men and sexy adventures (or sexy men and hot adventures?), this sounds fun. 😀

    Reply
  • To anyone who received the corrupted version of Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchid, please email me directly and I will send you the updated version. We did attempt to have Amazon send out the new version to the first few people who were unlucky enough to download on release day, but Amazon didn’t believe the issue of enough importance to actually send out the new version. So email me at the.dare.empire@gmail.com and I will see that you get it.
    Justin James
    Dare Empire

    Reply
  • Hey Batchelorboy!

    Amazon have fixed that issue. We Aussies do have to stick together! (I love how we get little flags on Wave’s comment page – LOL). 😀

    Reply
  • And here I was going to rave up Geoff and his other series. Us Aussies have to stick together.
    I would also recommend his YA? series The Pearl Trilogy and two novellas titled Drive Shift

    Mind you I put in a complaint to Amazon that the version of Scott they sold me included un-edited text, but still waiting for them to replace it. Maybe next time I get it from Dare Empire.

    Reply
    • I checked the Dare site and got flipped to Amazon, so there may not be other options. Not sure what Amazon can be held responsible for on unedited text–they post what the publisher gives them.

      Reply
  • Thanks Cryselle, love the review! If you want more of Jake, he’s already got three adventures of his own – Cross of Sins, Riddle of the Sands and Curse of the Dragon God. I used him to start this spin-off before hurtling him back into the next Fathom’s Five adventure! So many gay adventure mysteries to write, so many hot men to solve them! LOL

    Reply
    • I’m certainly up for more adventures. This was my first taste of your work, so I clearly missed some things coming in cold.

      Reply
      • I love writing adventure – I can only hope that readers have as much fun reading it as I have writing it! 😀

        Reply

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