Monday, September 19, 2011

Mark of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles, #3)Mark of the Rose by Kate Pearce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

5 out of 5 kisses

2 peppers (oral sex, public sex)

I’ve been looking forward to Rhys's story since the first book in the series, and my anticipation was definitely warranted because he’s a fantastic hero. Verity Llewellyn, vampire hunter, believes there’s a plot to harm King Henry's wife, Queen Jane, and she has requested help in investigating. Sir Rhys Williams goes to court at the request of his best friend and Verity's cousin, Rosalind. He dismisses Verity's ability to handle the situation because he thinks she's untrained in vampire slaying. Of course she's furious at his dismissal.

Fortunately, Rhys is an intelligent man and he recognizes the fact that he does need her help in order to get close access to the king and queen. So he'll have to charm his way back into beautiful Verity's good graces. Verity has known Rhys all her life and also knows he was in love with Rosalind, and that knowledge is a barrier to their budding relationship throughout the story. But duty is paramount, so Rhys trains her and they team up to uncover the plot against the queen.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot because I know readers will enjoy unfolding it themselves. It’s brilliantly twisty and complex, and it was a joy to read. I especially liked that the villain’s identity isn’t obvious, so there’s a delicious element of suspense. Unlike the knowledge that romances will always have a happy ending (if they’re a good romance, that is), I like it when I’m kept guessing about the suspense and mystery elements in a book.

Mark of the Rose can be read and thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone book but I really think it’s better if you read the books in the series in order.

Kate Pearce weaves a tale with a brilliant merging of familiar Tudor history and dark paranormal intrigue. This series is fresh and addictive. The first two books in the series were great, and this one was outstanding. It’s my favorite so far. I’m hopeful Elias Warner will get his own book in this series. Having gotten to know him in the first two books and even more in this latest installment, I think he would make a fantastic hero. I also hope Christopher’s half sister, Olivia, will get her own book.

One final note that I think (hope) readers will appreciate knowing ahead of time: Mark of the Rose ends in a cliffhanger, so be prepared!

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