Judith Gould, . . NAL, $23.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-451-21274-0

When struggling New York jewelry designer Allegra Sheridan is hired to fly to Paris and bid up to $100 million on an Arab princess's emerald ring, she figures it's an easy way to make some quick cash. From the moment she lies to her boyfriend Todd about her trip, though, it's clear that she's getting in over her head. Soon she'll be within arm's reach of a king's ransom in jewels—as well as the evildoers who always pursue such jewels. But warning bells don't begin to go off until Allegra narrowly misses getting shot at a private club after winning the emerald on the auction floor. And since the bank where she was to stow the ring is closed, she's under the "protection" of Ramtane Tadjer, a wickedly good-looking—and wickedly wicked—Paris jeweler with designs on the ring. Indeed, there are plenty of folks willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Just when it seems there's no safe place for Allegra and the emerald, Todd comes to the rescue—and then Allegra is plunged into even more serious danger. Fans of the bestselling Gould will enjoy her designer label name-dropping, her lush descriptions of the places rich folks romp and, of course, the deliciously trashy sex scenes, but they shouldn't expect much plot connecting them. Agent, Alan Nevins at the Firm . (Oct. 5)