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Provocative in Pearls [Mass Market Paperback]

Madeline Hunter

Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 23 2010
Their marriage was arranged, but their desire was not...

After two years, Grayson Bridlington, The Earl of Hawkeswell, has located his missing bride Verity Thompson. Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. Now, the couple must make the most of an arranged marriage-even if it means surrendering to their shared desire.

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Provocative in Pearls + Dangerous in Diamonds + Sinful in Satin
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; 1 edition (Feb. 23 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515147621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515147629
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 10.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #313,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Madeline Hunter has published twenty-one critically acclaimed historical romances. Her books regularly appear on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. More than five million copies of her books are in print, and her books have been translated into twelve languages. She has won two RITA awards and is a seven-time RITA finalist. Madeline holds a PhD in art history, which she teaches at the university level. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website: www.MadelineHunter.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Opposites Attract Feb. 26 2010
By B. Waltman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We've seen the equation before--Hawkeswell comes from aristocracy, and Verity from another class. But in this case, she unwillingly brings the bacon that will refurbish his house and lands. The sizzle we see in the opening scenes steams up from fear, resentment, and distrust.
Madeline Hunter's characters pulled me in so that I cared immediately about the outcome of this story. She fleshes them out with common human emotions, but flavors them with authentic-reading motivations. This is NOT the saucy modern American psyche dressed in 19th century British gowns. Verity knew a childhood of love, but when her father died, she was under the thumb of a petty and abusive set of relatives. Their treatment was par for the course in that era. Her father protected her wealth, however, and whether she lived or died, the metalworks factory and its secrets are hers. Only blood relatives can inherit, leaving out cousin Bertram.
Grayson (Hawkeswell) keeps his short temper on a leash. Their falling-in-love unfolds slowly, as do the mysteries. Verity's lost childhood friend, Hawkeswell's violent youth, payback to the smarmy relatives, and various relationships kept me reading until way past my bedtime. There's humor here, too, a great relief from some of the tension of the plot.
What I love about Hunter's novels: her characters are never predictable, except that you know you'll love the book. Their motivations and reactions are colored by their time period, not modern notions of romance and HEA. There's always a lot of steam and occasionally smoke and mirrors. At the end? I can't wait for the next book in this series. Counting the days!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe four and a half stars but let's round up. Feb. 24 2010
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is book two in M. Hunter's new Regency quartet, following RAVISHING IN RED, which was released Jan. 26 of this year. You can read this one as a stand alone book but there will be recurring characters in all four and it's nice to meet them in order. This one showcases the romance of Grayson, Earl of Hawkeswell (friend of the hero from book one) and Verity Thompson (friend of the heroine from book one). Grayson's an impoverished earl and Verity a rich heiress not of the peerage and their marriage had been arranged when Verity was still a minor and was powerless to avoid it. So she becomes a runaway bride the day of the wedding and isn't found until two years later and is forced to return to Grayson's control. The story has two central plotlines: 1) the marriage of convenience developing into a real marriage of love, and 2) some mysterious happenings in Verity's ironworks, her source of income which she inherited from her late father. Getting to the bottom of the problems in the ironworks is also important to the improvement of the relationship of hero and heroine and the story takes off well for me in the second half of the book. There are interesting issues of class showcased in the marriage of a peer and non-peer and social issues involving the working class in the ironworks and, to me, the story rings true in historical authenticity. Also, as is usual with M. Hunter male protagonists, Grayson is quite autocratic, this in keeping with the time period when men were the "deciders" and women considered not much more than chattel. It is always interesting to watch the Hunter male start out so autocratic and chauvinist and end up developing a "softer" side as he falls in love with the heroine and the two become equals in an emotional partnership.

If I have a criticism of this book it is that in the first half of the book, Verity and Grayson become intimate before any of the issues and conflicts between them had been aired sufficiently. I would not have expected Verity, who held some mistaken ideas about Grayson's involvement in some dealings which hurt people dear to her, to feel such a strong attraction to him until these issues had been dealt with.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the male bonding! March 3 2010
By Maria E. Geraci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Provacative in Pearls in the 2nd book in the Rarest Blooms quartet series by Madeline Hunter. I loved the 1st book, Ravishing in Red, and was anxious to see how the 2nd book would compare. As usual, I was not disappointed.

Verity Thompson is an heiress who is forced by her devious social-climbing cousin to marry the earl of Hawkeswell. Verity's father made his money in iron, so bascially she's a tradesman's daughter. Hawkeswell's estates are falling apart and he needs money badly. Believing that Hawkeswell was in on her cousin's evil plot and seeing no other way out, Verity "fakes" her death shortly after the wedding ceremony. Her plan is to hide out until she reaches her majority and then seek an annulment. Meanwhile, Hawkeswell who has the responsibilities his title implies, has been in limbo, unable to use the much needed money he should have received as a settlement in the marriage. Plus, the tabloids have been having a field day with Verity's disappearance, making Hawkeswell a victim of public gossip and scrutiny. The book opens when he discovers Verity is very much alive. Angry, and feeling like he's been made a fool of, he demands that Verity take her place as his wife. He convinces her to accept 3 kisses a day thinking that he can bind her to him with passion.

In the beginning, of course, Verity tries to plan ways to end her marriage. She wants back the life she believes she was meant to live, which certainly does not include living as a noble. One of the things I really love about Hunter's historicals is how she meshes the politics of the day into her stories. On the surface, it might seem that the conflict between Verity and Hawkeswell centers around the deceit involved in the marriage, but there is a real class struggle going on between them as well which makes the plot so much more interesting. The one only tiny weakness in the story is that I think Verity gives in a little too quickly to Hawkeswell's ardor (not that I blame her really). Once the marriage is consummated, her plans for an annulment are basically moot, but the conflict between them continues to rise and escalates until the extremely satisfying resolution at the end of the book.

One of the things I loved most about this book were the scenes between Hawkeswell and his friends Sebastian Summerhays (the hero from Ravishing in Red)and the magnificently debauched Duke of Castleford (I can not wait for his story!!!) The dialogue is absolutely wonderful. It's witty, urbane and makes their scenes come alive in the most wonderful way. It's almost like 19th century Sex in the City for Men. Absolutely fascinating!

I would highly recommend this book and am anxiously awaiting the 3rd book in the series.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing in Action March 11 2010
By dreamweaver25 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dopey hero behavior: Didn't believe that the hero Hawkeswell could just stop being mad so quickly - he certainly had a right to be angry, his bride disappeared because she THOUGHT he did something wrong. (Hmm - nobody thought about discussion? No, assumptions are more dramatic.) Then he falls in love, practically immediately. Yeah, right.

Dopey heroine behavior: Deciding to be haughty when she was so obviously in the wrong. Then deciding she liked sex so she'd stay married, but not be intimate. Then ask for all kinds of favors without explaining context. And using sex to get what she wants. Ick.

Dopey writing: No real problem to solve. There was a very muted plot where people were disappearing from a district where the heroine used to live, but we don't know these people or care about them, or suspect anyone we know could be involved in the violence...this plot needed either commitment or elimination. When it finally got resolved, it happened 'yesterday' and we heard little snippets about it but I felt cheated that we didn't get to participate in the final event.

More dopey h/h behavior: cultivating jealousy. Never a good idea.

It all worked out but honestly I had more fun with the side-kick characters. Can't wait to see how Castleford manages an adult relationship.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing and a big bore - March 4 2010
By avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
what happened???? for one of my favorites author - this was such a big disappointment, especially since I loved the first book in this series. I did not like the main character, she was a bore - she had no character - the whole story line had nothing going for it, it was so uninteresting. MH usually writes a great story with twists and turns all over - Her earlier books were great - but this one was so wimpy I did not even bother to finish it. I cannot believe all the good reviews - have our expectations come down? Hope the next one will be better, and this time, I will wait for all reviews to come in.

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