The Bride Wore Pearls
Release Date: Jul 31, 2012
Retail Price: 7.99
Heat Level: Hot
Beneath the elegant façade of Victorian high society, the mysterious men of the St. James Society play only by rules of danger and desire.
Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, has survived scandal and disgrace, even evading the Queen’s justice at the end of a hangman’s rope. Now he’s about to gamble everything on something far more dangerous—desire.
An exotic and elegant beauty, Lady Anisha Stafford fled her native India to seek refuge within London’s secretive St. James Society. But accepting protection from someone called a cold-hearted killer is a double-edged sword . . . especially when he’s the most intriguing man Anisha has ever laid eyes upon.
In a world where treachery abounds, no one can be trusted—and no true passion can be denied. Together, these two tempestuous souls will risk their lives for a love that could redeem them . . . or destroy everything they hold dear.
For those who enjoy Stephanie Laurens or Brenda Joyce.
Anisha Stafford has come to London under the impression of providing a good future for her two young sons and her younger brother. She doesn’t expect to find herself enthralled and driven to the heights of desire by a man with a scarred past and soul filled with the need for vengeance.
Lord Rance Welham, Earl of Lazonby, has sworn to protect her not debauch her. Yet for all his efforts, and attempts to keep his affections to friendship Anisha has gotten under his skin. The only thing preventing a claim on her future is his past and the horrible accusations of murder he’s never completely shed. Call it fate or destiny’s hand, but some force continues to draw them together even as other forces seek to tear them apart.
I found Anisha and Rance to be readable and I despised the steps their romance took. Both hero and heroine were driven by powerful emotions, but Anisha seemed to take certain actions just to piss Rance off. I didn’t like her cavalier attitude at times, and was surprised at how, even for a half British woman rose in India; she would discuss sexual relations without any thought to the company of the room. On more than one occasion I found Anisha to be a wonderful sibling and mother, but beyond that I questioned her desires and actions. She’s wholly absorbed by Rance yet trying her best to drive him crazy.
Rance on the other hand was a bit too wishy-washy to me. His reasons for staying away from Anisha include being loyal to her brother, and not wanting to drag her name in with his. He also thinks very poorly of himself, and I don’t think Anisha’s actions to make him jealous would’ve gotten rid of his low self-esteem. Beyond his fascination with revenge he has the bad habit of getting caught up in absinthe, and for me this was a bit of turn off to the character.
As to what was so delicious about the book: the sensual tension between Rance and Anisha was amazing, and stared from the moment they met. It’s a little bit of a wonder they were able to fight the drive to be together for so long. Add in Carlyle’s wonderful ability to weave a mystery, and I was absorbed. Carlyle is fantastical at creating characters and situations that make you realize quite quickly that nothing is as it seems. Even though there were a couple of points where the timing dragged, I was surprised more than once while reading by the plot twists alone.
This was my first Liz Carlyle novel, and I admit it felt a bit like showing up at a party and not knowing anyone. Carlyle has written a dozen Historicals. Most of them revolve around certain families and their children. In their own right, Carlyle’s books have a created a mystical version of England and the surrounding world; with psychic traits being a factor for several of her heroes and heroines. For rabid fans this is one you don’t want to miss as a lot of previous characters from other books make appearances. Overall, the H/H weren’t my favorite folks to read about, but Carlyle still crafted a good storyline that fit both of them and moved along at a decent pace.
Reviewed by Landra
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