Caught in a rainstorm, Miss Calliope Worthington takes shelter in a seemingly abandoned mansion. But when she finds a string of pearls in a dusty chest, she is caught red-handed by the house's reclusive owner - Mr. Ren Porter - a fiery demon of a man who demands that Callie pay for the necklace... with her innocence.
When he first lays eyes on the beautiful trespasser, Ren mistakes her for an angel. But when he realizes Callie is a thief, he strikes a bargain she cannot refuse. She must take his hand in marriage and pay him back in full: one night of passion for each stolen pearl. But when Callie surrenders to his desires - night after wicked night - he awakens something deep inside of her. Something powerful and passionate. Like a fairy tale come true, the monster she married has become the man she loves... when she said I do.
©2013 Celeste Bradley (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I first read it in paperback, then bought Audio, reread this week and saw that I had not posted review. Since this book is listed as a new series, the reader could miss that this is also the (probably) last book in the series encompassing the Liars Club and the Royal Four (or the Royal Handful, as Cali calls them), as it is also the long awaited tale of Ren Porter (last seen after horrific beating/left to die/ran away from all people).
Not knowing Ren's history and that of the earlier series will not harm your enjoyment of this book (the Worthingtons are a real hoot), but I suspect that readers of the earlier series will enjoy this one much more. There is more erotica in this one, but I do suspect that this is a product of publishers/promoters rather than essential to the tale. The pillow talk and mind mutterings add insight, and there is more than a hint of post-physical-damage fears and continued depression.
That sounds rather maudlin, but the story carries an upbeat thread of humor and snarkiness that is characteristic of the author's works. See publisher's blurb for plot hints.
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