Catherine's Reviews > Passion Wears Pearls

Passion Wears Pearls by Renee Bernard
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Apr 10, 2012

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bookshelves: boring, england, deaf-mute-blind-mad, fiction-vixen-reviews, first-reads-arcs-won-a-copy, historical, read-2012, romance, series
Read from March 04 to April 01, 2012 — I own a copy

*2.5 Stars*

This book took forever to read. I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t precisely like it, either. I thought it was perfectly pleasant (until it got silly at the end) but I felt distant from it. I picked up the book expecting something more than I was given. I read on the back cover that the hero, an artist, was losing his eyesight after his imprisonment in a dungeon in India. That led me to expect some depth and intensity to his storyline. I didn’t precisely want angst, but I wanted more feeling. I mean, the man is losing his eyesight! His career, his passion, is slipping through his fingers, and it’s all because of his imprisonment. How can that not inspire some intensity in the hero? At the very least I expected some torment and bitterness.

I wouldn’t characterize this book as fluffy—well, the end was pretty fluffy, I have to admit—but I would definitely call it light. The characters stayed cheerful and amiable for the most part, and even when they were arguing, or the hero was brooding over his failing eyesight, the story maintained a fairly upbeat, pleasant tone. It made it easy to like the characters in the beginning, but it made it difficult to ever progress beyond that faint liking. It’s hard for me to really connect with a character when all I’m given is a superficial understanding of them. I never felt like I got any meat to them, even Josiah, which is surprising given that their backgrounds gave me the impression that they would have that in spades. I guess it was just not fleshed out enough for me.

I liked that the author stayed out of the nobility and focused on two working class people. Eleanor had fallen on hard times after the death of her father and was forced to work to support herself, but even before that her father wasn’t nobility; he was simply a man in trade. Eleanor even laughed at the thought of ever meeting a lord. She couldn’t imagine a circumstance that would ever lead to that. Josiah is the son of a lord, but he’s a third son and not a favorite of his father’s to boot. He was a struggling artist before he came back from India rich. He’s still an artist, looked down on in some circles, and the only difference now is that he doesn’t have to paint to support himself. I found it a refreshing change. Of course, Eleanor was similar to the typical heroine since she was hung up on all the etiquette lessons that she was taught in the hopes that she would raise her social position with marriage, but she was willing to seize the day and be with Josiah a lot easier than a typical lady would.

This is the fourth book in the Jaded Gentleman series, which features an ongoing subplot where the Jaded try to flush out the Jackal, who apparently wants something they took with them from India. That’s about all I really got about the overall plot. It was not an important part of the story and could have been skipped entirely, in my opinion. It was given so little attention that I’m not even really sure how long the hero was stuck in that prison. The villain pops up at the end of the book in a completely eye rolling scene. Their interaction was over in a blink and I was left praying for patience over the ridiculousness of the whole thing. I’d go into more detail about why it was so ridiculous, but I don’t want anyone screaming SPOILERS!!! at me since it’s the climactic scene.

Eleanor and Josiah fell in love with each other easily, although Josiah’s pride kept them apart far longer than was necessary. I can’t say that I felt any spark between them but they were pleasant together. Given then overall light, pleasant tone to the book and their relationship, I was rather shocked when one of their sex scenes came around. All of a sudden the heroine is having the hero drip hot wax on her and the hero starts to flirt with anal play. Sounds random and out of place, right? It was. It did not match with any of their earlier sex scenes or the tone of the book in general. It felt completely unnatural and like it was shoehorned in just to try to spice things up. I may not blink about that kind of stuff in another book, but it felt extremely weird in this one.

I know I’ve said the word ‘pleasant’ about a billion times in this review, but I can’t think of another way to describe it without being mean and just saying ‘meh’. Is it odd that I’d rather hate a book than feel so ambivalent about it? It’s just so hard to continue on when you’re bored.

Favorite Quote:
"I don't want to ruin you, Eleanor. Not now, not ever. And for you, is my touch not the very definition of ruin?"

"No! Yes...I don't know anymore."

"This is no flirtatious game, Miss Beckett, that ends in chaste kisses." He let go of her hand, hating the taste of defeat. "I know you well enough, Miss Beckett, to know that until you are sure, I have my answer."

*Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen*
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Reading Progress

03/05/2012 page 124
37.0% "This is a pleasant read but it's lighter than I expected. It's not fluffy, but I'm not seeing any real depth." 2 comments
03/12/2012 page 159
47.0% "

"I don't want to ruin you, Eleanor. Not now, not ever. And for you, is my touch not the very definition of ruin?"

"No! Yes...I don't know anymore."

"This is no flirtatious game, Miss Beckett, that ends in chaste kisses." He let go of her hand, hating the taste of defeat. "I know you well enough, Miss Beckett, to know that until you are sure, I have my answer."

" 6 comments
03/31/2012 page 208
66.0% "Hmm. The hot wax sex play seems kind of out of place in this book." 5 comments

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead fluffy is good but only when you are wanting fluffy!


Catherine Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "fluffy is good but only when you are wanting fluffy!"

I thought that with a hero slowly going blind after being imprisoned, we'd have a story that felt...not exactly angsty, but richer and deeper. Know what I mean?


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Catherine wrote: "Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "fluffy is good but only when you are wanting fluffy!"

I thought that with a hero slowly going blind after being imprisoned, we'd have a story that felt...n..."


Definitely! Seems like a dark subject that doesn't deserve fluffery (new word alert).


Catherine I love the new word. :)


Juliana Philippa Still have to read this author - on my long list of TBR!


Juliana Philippa How are you liking it so far?


Catherine The TBR is never ending!

It's okay so far. The read is pleasant but I find it easy to set down and read something else.


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