My Favorite Part of Common by Laurie Lucking

Well, okay, let’s be honest here: I can’t tell you my favorite favorite part, because it’s at the end, and I don’t do spoilers.

(It’s sooooo good, you guys.)

But my second favorite part is near the beginning of the book, when Rafe, or Prince Raphael, and Leah are beginning to realize their feelings for each other.

You see, Leah is about to reach her Maturity–her sixteenth birthday–and Rafe makes it unforgettable by giving her a special present…well, why don’t I just show you? ;)

An excerpt from Common by Laurie Lucking:

My breath caught when I spied the glimmer of a candle in the window of Rafe’s chambers that evening. Though I’d tried to tell myself a servant’s birthday was of no consequence to a prince, I couldn’t help wishing he might remember. I struggled to keep my steps measured as I made my way to our closet. Did Rafe have something planned?
I pulled open the door.
Rafe jumped to his feet and produced a small box from his pocket. Approaching where I stood just inside the door, he presented it to me with a gallant bow. “I’ve been waiting all day to see you. Happy birthday.”
Gooseflesh crawled up my arms, and my pulse quickened. This was just the warm reception I’d hoped for, but now the reality of accepting a gift from Rafe made me want to turn and escape back down the hall. “You’re sweet, but this really isn’t necessary.”
He took a step closer. “Of course it is. Even if it’s only marked by your mother and myself, I think your reaching your Maturity is of the highest importance.”
My fingertips brushed his as I took the box from his hand. The brief touch produced a rush of warmth in my cheeks. Keeping my head down, I gently lifted the lid. The sight of an emerald pendant strung on a delicate silver chain propelled a rush of air from my lungs.
“Rafe! I…” I gulped. If anything, I’d expected a pastry or ribbon. Nothing like this. Few of the courtiers around the palace possessed a jewel so exquisite, and he was giving it to me? “I’m not sure I can accept this.”
His mouth fell open. “What’s the matter? You don’t like it?”
How could I explain my reservations without hurting his feelings? “It’s beautiful. Stunning. But it’s too much.”
A trace of his smile returned. “When I saw it in the marketplace last week, it reminded me so strongly of the color of your eyes, I knew you had to have it.”
That Rafe had been thinking of me in the middle of the marketplace—reflecting on my eyes, no less—sent a new surge of heat into my face. “But you must’ve had to barter something substantial for it.”
“I’m the prince, remember?” He leaned on the wall next to him, propped up by his hand. “I’m not required to barter.”
I backed against the door. “You mean you took this from the vendor without giving him anything in exchange?”
Rafe’s brows knit. “That’s always how it’s done in the royal family. We provide food, shelter, and protection for our citizens, and in turn, they offer their services without expecting any additional reward.”
Though it didn’t seem right, it should’ve come as no surprise. The queen never offered anything for Ma’s work on her gowns. “But even if it didn’t cost you anything…when would I wear it? None of the other maids own anything half as fine.”
“I guess I hadn’t thought of that.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “But still, you must keep it. Surely someday an opportunity will arise for you to wear it. In the meantime, you can hide it here and simply enjoy viewing it once in a while.”
He knew me too well. In spite of my protests, I was having trouble tearing my gaze away from the rich emerald as its various facets caught the moonlight. I steeled myself to argue further.
He put out a hand to stop me. “It’s yours. I’ll make it an official order if I have to. I can’t return it without causing the jeweler offense, and what would I do with a necklace? If it makes you feel better, I promise I’ll recommend him to every noblewoman in the kingdom so that his business ought to thrive. Please, just accept it. As a token of my friendship.”
I shook my head, my smile refusing to hide. “Thank you, Rafe. You will be happy to know this is the most momentous birthday I’ve ever had.”
His deep gray eyes brightened with pleasure. “Good, that’s exactly what I was hoping for. And you’re welcome.”
I crossed the room to sit on one of the barrels, still clutching the open box.
Rafe took a seat on an adjoining barrel. “Even if you won’t be able to wear it out there anytime soon, would you like to try it on?”
“I would, but…” Embarrassment clenched my stomach. “I don’t even know how to unfasten the clasp.”
He chuckled, taking the box from my hands. “Who would’ve guessed I’d end up teaching a young lady about jewelry?” He lifted the pendant off its small satin pillow, letting it dangle as he took the clasp between each thumb and index finger. “Here, it’s really quite simple.”
My mind still reeled from the enormity of the gift, making it impossible to concentrate as he demonstrated the workings of the catch mechanism.
He paused and held the ends apart. “Now turn around and lift your hair.”
I obeyed, holding my breath as he brought the pendant to lie at the base of my throat. His warm fingers grazed my neck as he secured the clasp, sending a tingle through my shoulders. Thank the new moon he couldn’t read my expression.
Rafe cleared his throat. “There.”
I lowered my braid to rest on my back once more and turned toward him. Reluctant to meet his eye, I glanced down at the gleaming jewel that produced such a stark contrast to the patched, faded bodice of my dress.
His gaze flitted to the pendant before returning to my face. “Perfect.”

{Get your own copy of Common right here!}

Happy sigh.

Isn’t that incredible?

And the best part?

Author Laurie Lucking is giving away an emerald necklace at her Facebook Launch party tonight, in honor of this breathtaking scene from her book!

Anyone is welcome to come (in fact, you can RSVP right here), and anyone in the U.S. can enter to win this beauty by showing up and commenting on the post.

Will I see you there?

And just because I love you, here are a few sneak peeks of other giveaways this evening.

See you in just a few hours!

In Him,


Want to know more about Common or perhaps order your own copy?

Check out the book description and order here!

Want to learn more behind-the-scenes facts about Common?

Check out the rest of the blog tour here!

And do not miss the Facebook Release Party tonight! It will be awesome!

About the Author:

An avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, releases in 2018 from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her writing by visiting

2 Thoughts on “My Favorite Part of Common by Laurie Lucking

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!!! Thank you so much, Michele! That’s one of my favorite scenes, too :)

What do you think?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: