Revenge is said to be a dish that is best served cold, but what would happen if it could be served hot? Really hot? Steamy, sweaty, decadent and deliciously hot? Because ” hot ” is exactly what the impeccable young aristocrat Lord Arthur Godwick is . . . and revenge on her family is exactly what Regan Ferry, a glamorous young widow with an icy edge, is looking for. His revenge involves Arthur, deprived of his privileges and pretentiousness, in his bed and grace for 10 unforgettable nights. If he refuses, the priceless painting that his ruthless brother exchanged will be lost forever. If he accepts-if he accepts-he gets the board back, but what will he lose in its place?
Author Tiffany Reisz Has a lot of fun playing, reversing and questioning positions of power in her recent erotic novel The Pearl. Arthur-nicknamed King Arthur-seems to be a man who has everything: youth, beauty, wealth, influence, an impeccable reputation, a bright future and a legacy steeped in history, from generations of men who held the reins of power firmly. The hotel, which Regan inherited from her passed away husband, the Pearl, was a popular meeting place of Arthur Malcolm’s great-grandfather in the day it was a brothel, and every woman there was Malcolm for the family. Regan comes from one of the Pearl whores and has her own bitter experience that a man buys her via a wedding ring and appreciates his authority over her. No wonder she likes to flip Arthur’s brooch: let him kneel before her and serve it in the hotel owned by her passed away husband, in the rooms where Arthur’s ancestor once ruled.
In a more subtle exploration of power, the rooms are decorated with a series of paintings (real, beautiful paintings—look at them!) Of artists with their own dark stories – not so different from Regan-Of cruel and carefree men who were trying to break their spirits. Paintings of fear, captivity, objectification, pinching or despair in which the artist, bloodied but not bent, has the last word. And mixed among them-watching over them-is the one for whom Arthur negotiates, the irreplaceable painting that his family cannot do without. This is a portrait of Lord Malcolm himself who, it seems, could have secret powers and a very own Agenda.
Reisz always delivers searing reading, and there’s plenty of erotic fun here, while Regan and Arthur explore their desires and let their passions run wild. But the Pearl is also a deeper and darker meditation on love and trust and what it means to voluntarily and freely surrender to another, to leave oneself vulnerable enough to love and forgive, in exchange for love and acceptance.