The Bride Wore Pearls
by Liz Carlyle
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-006-196577-7
Let me state off the top that if you have read other books in this series, you may be able to find some enjoyment out of this book. But even then, you would have to enjoy stilted dialogue, pages of self-reflection and a lot of innuendo that leads to little. Whatever Liz Carlyle was trying to accomplish, she missed the boat on this one.

This is one of a series about a group of people, some of who have special powers and are in an organization a little like the Knights Templar, except the concepts they follow are Druidism and Greek religions. The story starts off with an intriguing view of a man about to be hanged. Then we are enveloped into the life of a lovely young widow who is part-Indian. She is heading to London and worried she won’t be accepted despite the fact that her brother has just inherited a title from her British father. These are the two heroes.

Rance is now Lord Lazonby. He has a horrible past, having escaped the noose, he is embedded in this secret society. He drinks, he moans about his past and he drinks some more. I could never really get into his psyche and after a while, didn’t want to. The lady is Anisha Stafford. Her past too has some unsavory issues, with her marriage being one. It wasn’t until almost half into the story that I figured out her mystery and then it felt forced. She too spent a lot of time lamenting her heritage and the fact that she might never be accepted in society; the other part she was questioning why she even wanted to be accepted. But she is loyal and was determined to help Lance even when in danger herself.

There are a lot of people trying to kill the other, with plot after plot revealed; sadly I really struggled trying to keep them straight and figure out who was who and who was after who. Even the servants were confusing to keep track of. Many of the plots seem to erupt in the middle, with the foundation possibly from previous stories. Anisha had two sons who were conveniently thrown in at times and then seemed to disappear for pages. Her brothers were part of the story and yet, at the same time, were not. And through it all, Anisha and Lance lust for each other and after initially fighting their attraction, they enjoy some hot sex and plenty of it.

In looking at this review, it is clear I have not laid much foundation of the plot, but frankly, other than the fact that people were in danger and there were lots of machinations to explore the past and the present dangers, I couldn’t tell you why the story was so convoluted or how to figure out how it all unscrambled in the end. I am not sure it ever did. The Bride Wore Pearls is not a book for the unseasoned Carlyle fan…and maybe not even for them.

--Shirley Lyons

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