The beginning prologue and first chapter of "Her Master's Touch" by Patricia Watters sets up much to be desired from this racy novel. Two main characters, each trying to obtain their own definition of fortune, set up a ploy to use the other as nothing but a means to an end.
Enter Damon, living in India after being banished from England he wants nothing more than to be able to return. That means one thing. Having something to bargain with so the Queen will have no choice but to invite him back to his home country with open arms. Buying jewels, Damon's hobby, leads him to be in possession of a stone with a history. The Black Opal named The Burning of Troy. With this much sought after stone in his hands, he is almost prepared to return to England, the trials of his past - a mere memory.
Enter Eliza, an Englishwoman turned Gypsy who wants to keep it that way. Yet, to earn her honor after being deemed a half-breed (half-gypsy and half-English) she must do something for the tribe. Steal the opal and return it to its rightful owners, the gypsies. She begins her mission by weaving a delicate cloth of events that unfold rather quickly and she finds herself traveling with Damon to his home. The home that used to be hers. All she has to do is keep the memories at bay, steal the opal, and disappear. Simple enough right?
Beginning of Chapter 2 and neither one of these characters are who they seem to be to each other. Yet, even knowing that as the reader - we still question who they really are? Watters doesn't let us in on why they hide their true identities, motives floating like auras in the background. Why is Damon banished? What are the memories that Eliza struggles with and why has her mind chosen to block some of them out? Watters has my interest piqued as I begin to turn the pages more swiftly.