Skip to main content




Jamie Brenner, the bestselling author of BLUSH, returns with GILT, a bejeweled and bedazzling novel about a family’s jewelry dynasty and the youngest member who is determined to dismantle it in order to reclaim what is rightfully hers.

“A diamond says love.” With these four words, Elliot Pavlin not only launched his family jewelry store into the spotlight, he began decades of engagements drenched in diamonds, previously a less-than-popular gemstone. Since then, the Pavlin family has decorated the ears, necks, wrists and fingers of both society’s elite and those desperate to buy into the fantasy of the luxury of the diamond.

Later, in 1994, Elliot’s son, Alan, launched the Electric Rose, a 30-carat pink diamond. To draw even more media attention to the event, he started a competition among his three daughters: whoever became engaged first would be gifted the Electric Rose. And so the glamorous Pavlin sisters --- serious Elodie, bohemian Celeste and provocative Paulina --- were pushed even further into the spotlight and pitted against one another with irreparable outcomes. Now that Pavlin & Co is celebrating their centennial with a public display of the family’s private gemstones and jewels, all eyes are on the Pavlins…especially Gemma’s.

"[E]ven beyond her gripping plot and high-stakes adventure, Brenner once again has accomplished something remarkable with her heartfelt and poignant fiction: she has gifted readers with a startling education in jewels, gemstones and even fashion trends."

Orphaned at just eight years old, Gemma is the only daughter of Paulina, the first and only true owner of the Electric Rose. But when her parents were killed in a tragic accident, the Electric Rose more or less vanished into the family’s history, and Gemma was taken in by her paternal grandmother, who warned her to stay away from the dangerous Pavlins. Now that Gemma has graduated from the New York School of Design and won their coveted Senior Award for her collection titled “Old New York,” her own jewelry-making career seems to be on the rise. But she lacks one significant element: funding.

Gemma knows that highlighting her connection to the Pavlin family could help her get ahead. But more than riding on the family’s coattails, she wants the Electric Rose. It’s the last and most sentimental gift from Paulina, and it was promised to her by both her mother and her grandmother, Constance. She also is determined to dismantle the old guard and launch a new era in jewelry design. What better way than to reframe and remodel the Electric Rose?

Now the CEO and president of Pavlin & Co, Elodie has everything she ever dreamed of, but even she cannot deny that the diamond industry has fallen behind the trends. She claims that millennials have killed yet another industry, but the truth is that Pavlin has not diversified or innovated since Elliot’s initial ad campaign for diamond engagement rings. With the centennial drawing the public’s attention back to Pavlin, Elodie is approached with a compelling offer: an auction of the family’s private collection. It only takes a few moments’ consideration for her to see the benefits of auctioning off the family’s jewels, but she knows that the world will want to see --- or at least find out what happened to --- the Electric Rose. That's a topic Elodie is not willing to broach.

The diamond is long thought to be cursed, and after the media had a field day with baseless accusations when her sister died, Elodie wants no part of that ghastly legacy. With that in mind, she sets out to begin the preparations for the auction, only to find out that the family jewels are held in a trust owned by her, Celeste (who long ago gave up the family name), and Gemma, the niece who reminds her a bit too much of the sister who stole her only chance at happiness.

Through a series of forced connections and misleading accusations, Elodie, Celeste and Gemma find themselves in beachside Provincetown, Cape Cod, where Celeste has built up a beautiful partnership and storefront selling antiques. Perhaps the most emotionally mature of the women, Celeste is still holding tight to some old heartaches that have cursed her with tunnel vision where her family and her views on love are concerned. The Pavlin women will have to face decades-old betrayals and hurts to reach a settlement about the trust. But more than that, they will need to explore what the Pavlin name and its legacy means to them.

GILT is a tremendously full novel. Once again, Brenner manages to immerse readers not only in the weight of a family legacy, but in the individual experience of that legacy through her three vastly different (yet strikingly similar) characters. The stakes are mile-high because of the money and jewels involved, but Brenner meets them equally with every moment of character development --- from Elodie’s cautious steps away from her family lore to Celeste’s journey of acceptance and Gemma’s path to forgiveness. And, of course, there are a few love stories along the way, each as swoonworthy and compelling as the last.

But even beyond her gripping plot and high-stakes adventure, Brenner once again has accomplished something remarkable with her heartfelt and poignant fiction: she has gifted readers with a startling education in jewels, gemstones and even fashion trends. It sets this lovely and powerful novel firmly in reality, while the love stories she unpacks makes it the perfect summer read.

Reviewed by Rebecca Munro on July 8, 2022

by Jamie Brenner

  • Publication Date: June 13, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0593087844
  • ISBN-13: 9780593087848