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Provocative in Pearls Mass Market Paperback – February 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

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:

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; 1 edition (February 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515147621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515147629
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a published novelist, a mother and wife, an art historian and a teacher. My first historical romance was published in 2000 and my bibliography shows the list of books since then. My books have been on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USAToday, and Publishers Weekly (where I have also had three starred reviews.) I have won the RITA award twice and been a finalist seven times. My novels combine strong romances between layered and complex characters with plots that include mysteries or intrigues.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By B. Waltman on February 26, 2010
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!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By OLT TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 24, 2010
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.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maria E. Geraci on March 3, 2010
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.
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