Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle (Fraternitas Aureae Crucis, #3)

  • Title: The Bride Wore Pearls
  • Classifications: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 432 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (July 31, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0061965774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061965777
  • Author's Website:

Fifteen Years ago, Rance Welham, The Earl of Lazonby, narrowly missed death by the hangman's noose. He'd been accused of murdering Lord Percy Peveril. It was his membership in the Fraternitas Aureae Crucis that had ultimately saved him. He vowed he'd prove his innocence in the matter and was determined to find the identity of the real murderer. 15 years long years later he still hadn't discovered the truth of what happened that ill fated night. He had hope by now to have restored his life and reputation. But the clues just weren't forthcoming.

A year ago Lady Anisha Stafford came to England shortly after her father and husband died. She wanted the best for her two sons and decided England had more to offer them. So she uprooted them all from India, the place they'd always thought of as home, to live with her brother, Lord Ruthveyn (Adrian). But London society didn't exactly welcome a woman of mixed heritage with open arms, and sometimes Anisha wondered if she'd made the right choice. Her first marriage had been arranged and as she was independently wealthy, she decided if there'd be a second marriage in her future it would be a love match. She had a certain gentleman in mind, but alas, she knew she'd have to take matters into her own hands if she wished anything to come of it. So after making a few inquires and using her feminine wiles, she managed to coax her way into a look at the files of Lord Lazonby's case. If that didn't work well, seduction was always an option.

I have to confess the beginning of this book confused me. I believe the person being hanged is Rance, but it sounded like whoever it was being hung died. If it was Rance, how did he survive? I didn't find an explanation. There was a dream that seemed to be a flashback, perhaps to what happened? For this reason, I recommend reading the first two books of this series so you won't be wondering if you're assuming too much.
Other than the confusing beginning (I hadn't read the prior two books), it took a little while for me to get hooked on the book. Once the romance between Rance and Anisha started to heat up, however, the book started to pick up its pace. That was when things got more interesting and Anisha started finding answers that no one else had. 

Anisha was such an interesting character.The constraints of society hold less of a grasp on her than most because she is a widow and independently wealthy and could therefore pretty much do what she wanted. She is confident, smart, and has a good head on her shoulders. She also knows what she wants (namely Rance) and how to go about getting it. She's waited for him to make the first move, but now she'd become impatient and decides to speed things along.

Rance, aka Lord Lazonby, was accused of a murder he didn't commit. While saved from death, he doesn't have the best of reputations and is shunned by society. He'd never been able to remove the belief in their minds that he was involved in the murder. Because of this, he doesn't feel comfortable making any woman his wife because she'd be equally shunned by society. That countered with his wish to comply with his best friend's wishes, Anisha's brother, to keep his hands off his sister make this such a fun and complicated romance.

As for the romance between these two, well, it sizzles and ignites the pages. There is a scene with a pearl necklace that is now one of my all time favorite love scenes. I believe it is that scene that inspired the title. I bet if I showed this scene to my hubby I could get a shiny new string of pearls for myself. lol I will definitely have to check out more of Ms. Carlyle's books.

Overall this one gets a 4 out of 5 roses. I loved the mystery of who truly killed Lord Percy Peveril and how Anisha figured it out. There was plenty of action, suspense, and romance. Plus, I adored Anisha and her handling of Rance. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one got STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

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