From acclaimed USA Today bestselling author, Renee Bernard, comes a new trilogy of gothic power and twisted sensuality.  Here’s a slice of historical romance not generally found in the mainstream—so pull up a chair, settle in for a good read and hang on!

LADY RISES serves up the next relentless installment in the Black Rose Trilogy and leaves no doubt that Hell hath no fury like a woman wronged but when that woman is Raven Wells—the Devil himself would rather keep out of her way.

From the ashes of LADY FALLS, Raven Wells is transformed into Lady Serena Wellcott.  Now with wealth and power all her own, she is the founder of the Black Rose—a secret society dedicated to securing justice for women who have been abused or wronged in the private corridors of Victorian society.  She has dedicated her life to revenge, honing her skills at the bequest of others but biding her time until she has the two men she loathes most in this world in her sights.

Sir Phillip Warrick has scars of his own from their fateful encounter years before and his heart has never healed from the loss of his beautiful Raven and the irrevocable mistake of brutally ending their affair.  But when he found no trace of her, he let himself believe that she was dead.  Except Phillip isn’t that lucky.  When he is introduced to Lady Serena Wellcott at his cousin’s country home, his world begins to implode.  Because once again he has a tigress by the tail, except this time, it’s a dangerous mix of passion and poison when it becomes clear that what the lady wants most is his head on a platter.  If only he didn’t still love her with every fiber of his being…

In a dance of desire, Serena has her own struggles reconciling the man she once loved with the irresistible rake she has vowed to hate.  Vengeance is its own mistress and it’s a race to the finish as the Black Rose takes on a quest to carve out justice and find mercy even where it’s been forgotten.  Love may rule but Lady Serena Wellcott doesn’t believe in playing fairly and she also doesn’t believe in surrender.

In lieu of my normal review I am instead posting this as an open letter to the mastermind of the Black Rose trilogyRenee Bernard.

Dear, dear Renee,

Are you trying to drive me as mad as the Hatter? First you lure me in with what appears at first to be a sweet love story with hints of revenge until the ending of LADY FALLS turns that assumption smoothly on its ear and left me begging to find out what would happen next. Now, as Raven’s story picks up in LADY RISES we see how the events of the past have shaped her into a new woman with a new name…and a new purpose.

As the prevailing force of vengeance for wronged women as the Black Rose, Raven has become a woman to be reckoned with in a big way. “YOU GO GIRL” I cheered (mentally, of course, so as not to frighten the neighbors). When her newest mission puts her back in the path of her once beloved and badly-wronged-by, Philipp, I knew that before everything was said and done the Sh…poop, would hit the fan.

But then, you had to go and make me like him again. Although he hasn’t quite been redeemed yet, you did make me see more into his point of view and understand how despite it all Raven could still have feelings for the man.

…the love part wins out every time.

BUT THEN, you dropped another bomb and left me hanging on the edge of my seat again. Clumps of hair wore lost, fingernails demolished…the straight jacket was not far away, at one point, after I tapped my screen a dozen or more times hoping the next chapter would magically appear!

Although I have to hand it to you, the outcome of Raven’s Black Rose mission was pretty spectacularly played and she gave new meaning to “Dramatic Exit” following a very emotional confession, but you are killing me with the cliffhangers!

It’s definitely a love-hate relationship I’m having with this series, but since you can’t ask for a more exciting and emotionally charged story as this has been, the love part wins out every time.

I can’t wait to read the thrilling conclusion when LADY TRIUMPHS brings this epic saga to an end, but I can already tell you that I will miss Raven when her story is done.

Giving KUDOS where kudos are due, Ms. Bernard…personal insanity aside, the Black Rose trilogy is truly a masterpiece.

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.