Flowery Spies Make the Best Lovers; Or So I Have Read

Lately  a young author, Lauren Willig, caught my attention. I was looking for some romance, and while scouting at my Library Express, I picked up one of the Lauren Willig’s   Pink Carnation novels. This  series falls under the chick-lit genre, well written chick-lit, but, I am happy to report, with a twist. The main character, Eloise Kelly, is an American historian who is trying to unveil the secret identities of a group of English spies who try to stop Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans to destabilize and invade England. Eloise, after having left Harvard and a boyfriend with a tendency to put his tongue in other girls’ mouths, ends up in London to pursue her research where her spies lived and loved. In London she meets Mrs. Selwick-Alderly, who not only opens her private archives to Eloise, but introduces her to her great-nephew, Colin Selwick. Lauren Willig cleverly splits the narration between nowadays London, where Eloise tries her best to conquer Colin, and 1800’s England, where flower-named spies find their soul mates in the long forgotten diaries and letters perused by Eloise. I am on my forth Pink Carnation novel, and the one I liked the most is The Deception of the Emerald Ring (the third one in the series). Eloise has come to terms that she really likes Colin, as in falling in love head over heels, and she is following the fate of the Pink Carnation through the scraps of information left behind by Letty Alsworthy. Letty’s misadventure starts when she tries to save her sister Mary’s reputation, and she finds herself married to Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snape, who is the man her sister was eloping with. I particularly liked the premises of this novel. Letty is forced to marry a man who is in love with her beautiful sister. Unbeknownst to Letty, Geoffrey is also the second in command of the League of the Purple Gentian, now helping the Pink Carnation to put an halt to an Irish rebellion against England led by the cruel French spy known as the Black Tulip. Geoffrey and Letty are reunited in Dublin, where, while being forced by circumstances to cooperate in a secret mission, they slowly start knowing each other. Appreciation  between the two follows, and as a result England is saved, again, and Geoffrey and Letty discover that they were meant to be. The novel ends with nowadays  heroine, Eloise, finally getting a date with her shiny English beau, Colin. Lauren Willig’s style is fresh and humorous, her characters are funny, her dialogues highly entertaining. It is also noteworthy that the author knows a great deal about the fascinating era she is writing about. The Pink Carnation series is the kind of reading that goes well with a steaming cup of tea, and a nice misty day.

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Flowery Spies Make the Best Lovers; Or So I Have Read

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