The Pearl (The Godwicks #3)by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Pearl’s story is about a wealthy 30 year-old recent widow and the 21 year-old future Earl of Godwick. (domme/sub theme.) Our “anti-heroine” Regan labored thru a 10 year bad marriage – basically of convenience for money and security. Her choice. Arthur is summoned to Regan’s hotel The Pearl to pay off his reckless brother’s decadent $100,000 tab. For hostage is the priceless portrait of Arthur’s great grandfather Malcom Godwick – a precious piece of art to Arthur’s parents (Mona and Spencer of The Red.) She offers to allow him to pay off the bill in bed and she will return the painting after the “debt” is paid. Arthur’s guilt to cover for his brother’s antics leads him to say “yes”. His choice.
Our couple decides to play out various scenes of some historic paintings – specifically all female artists. Sometimes scened out on purpose and other times are happenstance set up by – yep, Malcom’s shenanigans. We get some scary situations, some crazy sexy times, a back-story betrayal, lots and lots of pearls, and a creepy raven named Gloom. There is also a kiss to Camelot ala King Arthur and Morgan. Sounds like a blast am I right?
Lots of review chat about Regan being too cold and unlikeable. I could not disagree more. We need flawed characters to watch them evolve throughout the story. Who wants to re-read cookie cutter characters and stories all the time? This would be a forte of our authorette Ms. Reisz. All of her heroines cannot be Nora. Regan’s aloofness is a characteristic of her strong personality and it works to keep Arthur completely obsessed with her.
The Pearl is more romantic than the first two installments in the series but with the similar paranormal vibe. Arthur is endearingly in love with Regan from the beginning, but she is not. Her resistance is more from a secret dilemma that Regan holds against the Godwick family – which drives her quest for revenge. Once Regan accepts that she has actually fallen for the young Arthur, she has other struggles to overcome before she lets it happen for their HEA.
What is also so fabulous about this story – the education we get in exceptional art by female artists. These famous canvases are woven throughout this dramatic erotic romance. A specialty of our sweet author Tiffany Reisz. She delved into gothic art in The Red and we learned more about Greek mythological couples in The Rose. (Tip: you should Google the Female artists and their works throughout the book for an added nuance to the scenes.)
The Pearl is a steamy and erotic romance with lots of quirky surprises that hint back at the Godwick family’s previous adventures. The story is also very entertaining as a standalone. What will Ms. Reisz have in store for the youngest Godwick, Charlie, in the next installment? – Can’t wait!
*** Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.