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The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle
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The Bride Wore Pearls (edition 2012)

by Liz Carlyle

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705171,029 (3.22)1
Member:Frannycesca
Title:The Bride Wore Pearls
Authors:Liz Carlyle
Info:Avon (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle

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Showing 5 of 5
stubborness to the extreme, opium use in excess, arguing constantly for first 90 pages.
  2Sunny | Apr 6, 2013 |
s dramatic openings go, it would be hard to beat hanging the hero before he ever meets the heroine of a romance but that is just what happens in this latest installment of Liz Carlyle's series of books centered around the secret St. James Society. Opening with Rance Welham being paraded out to be publicly hanged for the murder of young Lord Percy Peveril, a murder he maintains he did not commit, this Victorian-set historical romance immediately launches the reader into the driving force in Rance's life and a major factor in delaying the destined romance.

Lady Anisha Stafford and Rance Welham, Earl of Lazonby, meet years after the attempted hanging when Rance is sent to collect Anisha from the ship that she, her two sons, and her younger half-brother have taken from India to England to live with her oldest brother Lord Ruthveyn following the death of both Anisha's father and her husband. They have an immediate awareness of each other and yet a full year passes off the page as the two of them develop a close and treasured friendship. Each is attracted to the other but they are unwilling or unable to act on this attraction. Rance is consumed by finding out the real murderer and clearing his name once and for all and feels he cannot sully Anisha with his reputation or with the sordidness of the quest. Anisha just wants to be seen as a grown woman who is capable of making her own decisions and not be protected and coddled.

In addition to the mystery of who would have had reason to frame Rance, there is a touch of the exotic in this tale as Anisha is bi-racial with a Scots father and an Indian mother. This fact makes it hard for her to be seen as acceptable in the eyes of English society and so her closest friends and confidantes are all members or related to members of the St. James Society, which is a genteel front for an ancient organization of people possessed of second sight and those sworn to protect them. Anisha herself can read palms and has a basic understanding of astrology thanks to her mother. Rance, while more properly a Guardian (or protector), himself has extraordinary insight into people and their emotions. But despite their gifts with others, neither of them can read each other.

As is often the case when sexual tension is high and being denied, they bicker with each other and dig their respective heels in on their decisions no matter what. Rance is tortured both by his inability to keep his hands off Anisha and by the dead ends he finds as he tries to uncover the real murderer so he sinks himself into the dangerous depravity that is absinthe. Anisha, meanwhile, tortures Rance with the threat that she will look elsewhere to fulfill her needs if he's not willing to share her bed. But ultimately they must partner together in all ways to have the life they want to lead.

There are a plethora of secondary characters in this novel and often they are only on the page fleetingly, leaving the reader to wonder at their purpose. Perhaps as this is one in a series, their presence is necessary to prior or future books. Rance as a character spends a lot of time wallowing (in a crystal glass filled with a cloudy green liquid) in his unsuitableness for Anisha and the sordidness of his past rather than actively pursuing a resolution. But the two characters had good chemistry and their scenes together sizzle. As an escapist read, this definitely fit the bill. ( )
  whitreidtan | Aug 22, 2012 |
I usually like Carlyle's books, but this one just didn't click with me for some reason. I ended up kind of skimming it. ( )
  readinggeek451 | Aug 16, 2012 |
I haven't read a romance novel in quite a while so I figured it was time I did. I don't recall having read any by Ms. Carlyle in the past but giving my reading volume and my bad brain I'm sure I have. I went through a stage more years ago than I care to count where I read many a historical romance...

In this tale we meet Lady Anisha Stafford, recently returned to England after the death of her husband. She has come back to family - namely her brother a member of a mysterious group called the St. James Society. He is not available to meet her upon her arrival so he sends his friend, Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, a man with a very nasty past. Of course it's love at first sight for both of them but the rules of society decree that THEY CAN'T BE TOGETHER.

Anisha decides to help Rance clear his name from the murder his purportedly committed even though he has been supposedly exonerated. HE won't feel he is free until he finds the real killer. And so they embark upon a dangerous path to find who did the killing of Percival. (Percival?!)

I will say that while the tale conformed to the boy meets girl, etc., plot line it was not as predictable as it might have been. There was a modicum of change in the manner leading to the requisite happy ending. I had hoped for more from Rance but all he seemed to do was drink, complain and lust after Anisha. She was at least an interesting character; like most of her ilk in these books she had intelligence and spunk but her mystical elements and her bits of life from India made for interesting character development.

It was, overall a satisfactory beach read. I understand that this might be part of an ongoing series and perhaps that might be part of my dissatisfaction - there was a certain feeling of not always understanding what was going on with all of the ancillary characters. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Aug 9, 2012 |
You've heard it all before: I'm a faithful Carlyle reader and I think that some of her earlier books are as good as current romantic fiction gets, BUT she's boxed herself in with this series. 'The Bride Wore Pearls' was boring. And while the heroine wore pearls (and even that comes across as contrived) there was no wedding. The title is as misleading as the cover.

This is another book with a very thin premise. Hero has a sordid past and a bad reputation, so although he loves the heroine he won't marry her because his ill repute might rub off on her. But rather than clear his name, he pouts and drinks. A secondary character from an earlier book gives him the name of someone who can probably help him set things straight, but he'd rather pout and drink.

Things move Very Slowly. Then suddenly as the required word count has been reached, things move Very Fast and all is well.

bah humbug! ( )
2 vote dianaleez | Aug 3, 2012 |
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Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061965774, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Fleeing her native India to seek refuge within London's secretive St. James Society, exotic beauty Lady Anisha Stafford is intrigued by her protector, the Earl of Lazonby, and, with no one to trust, these two passionate souls risk everything for a love that could be their salvation or destruction.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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