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: http://www.lizcarlyle.com/
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.
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.
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.