Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick
Series: Burning Cover #7
Published by Berkley on May 2, 2023
Genres: Historical Romance
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Being Madame Ariadne, Psychic Dream Consultant, wasn’t Prudence Ryland’s ideal gig, but it paid well which was reason enough to do the work—until she realizes that her latest client intends to kill her. But Prudence, a master at reinvention, finds a new job and home as far away as possible and is finally able to relax—which turns out to be a big mistake. Letting her guard down means being kidnapped and drugged and waking up in a bloodstained wedding dress in the honeymoon suite next to a dead man. With the press outside the hotel, waiting with their cameras and police sirens in the distance, it’s obvious she’s being framed for the man’s murder. Prudence knows who is responsible, but will anyone believe her?
It doesn’t seem likely that rumored crime boss Luther Pell or his associate, Jack Wingate, believe her seemingly outrageous claims of being a target of a ruthless vendetta. In fact, Prudence is convinced that the mysterious Mr. Wingate believes her to be a fraud at best, and at worst: a murderer. And Jack Wingate does seem to be someone intimately familiar with violence, if going by his scarred face and grim expression. So no one is more shocked than Prudence when Jack says he’ll help her. Of course, his ideas for helping her involve using her as the bait for a killer, but Prudence feels oddly safe with Jack protecting her. But who will protect Prudence from her growing fascination with this enigma of a man?
Nostalgic backdrop reminiscent of Old Hollywood golden age detective movies with a zing of the paranormal make for a dazzling 1930’s Era backdrop to the latest Burning Cove romantic suspense. Snappy banter, sizzling attraction, and a twisting mystery captivated from cover to cover.
The Bride Wore White is the seventh entry in the Burning Cove series of moderately connected standalones. I say moderately because there are recurring characters, but no strong series plot threads running through so they could be read standalone or out of order. Personally, I liked getting them in order to understand the backstory of the few recurring side characters.
Prudence Ryland can’t catch a break. Her beloved grandmother passed, leaving her the family dream psychic consulting business on her own, her marriage was a failure, her last client tried to murder her, and now someone’s framing her for yet another murder. She’s in over her head so she goes to Luther Pell in Burning Cove to help her get to the bottom of this murder frame up. He assigns Jack Wingate, a criminology consultant, to handle her case. The pair are like oil and water and bristle from the get-go with snarky banter that somewhere along the way smooths out to some fun snappy exchanges.
But, the case brings out the darker secrets in a powerful, wealthy San Francisco business family with Prudence caught at the center of it all.
Yet again, I got caught up easily and fairly flew through the pages as I followed Prudence and Jack to the surprise finish. The Burning Cove setting and Jack’s creepy Hollywood horror house were great for the atmosphere. Wow, talk about dark revenge taking center stage!
Like with most of this series, the romance pair have a sizzling attraction and some good back and forth as they work out the case and have some danger moments. They were a fun pair because they had a playful acrimonious thing going that worked for them. Usually, that gets on my nerves, but I liked it in this case and I liked that Luther and Raina were part of this one.
Another Burning Cove installment was devoured quickly and now I must wait once again. The series will have a wider range of appeal since it blends historical, paranormal, and romantic suspense. Definitely recommend.
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