Provocative in Pearls is a book I reread every so often. I’m a big fan of Madeline Hunter, and especially like the way she captures the power men of the English aristocracy had in the past.
I also really, really enjoy the way she creates both male and female friendships for her various characters.
I reviewed this book in 2013, and feel pretty much the same way about it now as I did then.
The Earl of Hawkeswell has been living in limbo for two years, ever since his bride, heiress Verity Thompson, disappeared on their wedding day. As she hasn’t been declared deceased, Hawkeswell cannot legally remarry and cannot access his wife’s funds — either of which would settle his dire financial crisis.
Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. With no interest in the earl’s title or status, she was willing to forfeit her inheritance in exchange for her freedom. Now that her ruse has been discovered, Verity is forced to return to a loveless marriage.
Hawkeswell strikes a bargain with Verity: In return for three kisses a day, he will not insist on his conjugal rights. But Verity discovers there are kisses … and then there are kisses … as she begins to learn the true meaning of seduction at the hands of a master.