Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter

The Rarest Blooms, Book 2

Jove

Historical

ISBN: 978-0515147629

Reviewed by Shayna

 

   

 

For two years, the Earl of Hawkeswell has been living in limbo.  He married heiress Verity Thompson, but on their wedding day she disappeared, all signs pointing to her having drowned in the Thames, though her body was never recovered.  Unable to prove that she’s dead, Hawkeswell cannot remarry, but neither will her trustee hand over her desperately-needed money, as it has not been decided if there was ever a marriage at all.  Fate smiles on Hawkeswell, however, when he goes with his friend to The Rarest Blooms and finds none other than his supposedly deceased wife.  Hawkeswell is determined to bring Verity home, but his wife isn’t so willing to be trapped in a marriage she never desired with a husband she does not want.  So Hawkeswell strikes a bargain with her: in exchange for three kisses a day he will leave their marriage unconsummated.  But as circumstances draw Hawkeswell and Verity closer together, both wonder if three kisses a day will ever be enough.  Yet Verity and Hawkeswell’s blossoming relationship may never survive if Verity cannot learn to move on from the past.

A devastatingly sensual hero brings life to the second installment of Madeline Hunter’s Rarest Blooms series.  Ms. Hunter has a knack for creating handsome, patient heroes who are sure to charm their way into readers’ hearts, and Hawkeswell is no exception.  I so wanted him to find happiness, and admit I felt sorry for him during the first three quarters of Provocative in Pearls.  I understand why Verity fled their marriage and even why she tries to bring Hawkeswell around to the idea of an annulment at first.  But as Provocative in Pearls went on, I grew more frustrated with Verity’s attitude towards her husband.  That being said, Hawkeswell and his friends kept me invested in Provocative in Pearls.  I loved revisiting Sebastian Summerhays, the hero of the first Rarest Blooms book (Ravishing in Red) and I am in danger of favoring the hedonistic Duke of Castleford above all of Ms. Hunter’s characters.  Even with my reservations about Verity, I enjoyed Provocative in Pearls overall and cannot wait to see what happens next in the world of the Rarest Blooms.

     

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