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The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation Series #4)
     

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation Series #4)

4.2 93
by Lauren Willig
 

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Now in paperback-a novel that 'handily fulfills its promise of intrigue and romance.'(Publishers Weekly)

Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the

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Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation Series #4) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fan of the Willig series, I was thrilled that the devastatingly clever and slightly wicked Lord Vaughn was set to star in the fourth book. Despite the focus on social-climbing nitwit Mary Alsworthy (jilted sister from the horrid Book #3), it was a page turner. There was less of the insufferable, latter-day Taster's Choice couple Eloise and Colin to contend with, which is an improvement. However, I censure the author's judgement and her editor's wisdom in pushing forth a well-researched but utterly dry diatribe on the Jacobite Rebellion when Willig's true charm lies in witty dialogue (of which there is plenty) and steamy interludes (sadly lacking despite protestations of the anti-hero's profligate tendencies). In other words, the book is slow, burdened with the author's literate but heavy-handed knowledge of English history, and cheats the reader out of an amusing, awkward Alsworthy-Vaughn country wedding and, the annoyingly lascivious title being a bit of a misnomer, any "seduction" was obviously sacrificed in the editing process to make room for more of Ms. Willig's Shakespearean epigraphs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all of Lauren Willig's books, and I really enjoyed the main characters in this book, and their jaded, world-weary witticisms. However, while I hate to admit my prurient romance novel inclinations, this book was too PG-13 compared to her previous books, and those that enjoyed the R+ rated passages in the series' previous books are going to be disappointed...there's no spicy pay-off scene(s) at the end of Mary and Lord Vaughn's 'courtship.' At least things moved along with Eloise and Colin, but I'm hoping she embellishes more with all characters the next time around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crimson Rose is unique among the Willig books; it harks back more than any of her others, in its overall level of sophistication, to the series' acknowledged inspiration, The Scarlet Pimpernel. In fact, Lord Vaughn and Mary Alsworthy come closer to Percy and Marguerite Blakeney in many respects than do any of Willig's other pairs so far (with the caveat that Percy is never described as having engaged in any kind of dissipation). Like Vaughn and Mary, Percy and Marguerite use their social and intellectual aplomb as a tool - Percy to mask his secret identity, Marguerite to hide the private heartbreak of their estrangement. Mary, not unlike Marguerite, gives the initial impression of being rather brittle yet becomes increasingly sympathetic as the novel progresses, while Vaughn turns out to be not quite so much a rake as the first three novels led us to believe. I found the story extremely satisfying, and while some readers have complained that it doesn't contain a big marriage-consummation scene, as the other Willig books do, the intellectual foreplay between Vaughn and Mary and their 'close encounter' after Vaughn is shot help to make up for that omission. (After all, there's no bedroom scene in The Scarlet Pimpernel or P & P, either - just the hint of things to come at the end, as is the case here.) Overall, an excellent read, including the Jacobite plot and the many Shakespearean allusions. For my money, while Black Tulip is far and away the most charming novel in the series, Crimson Rose is hands down the best written (with fewer editorial gaffes, as well). Plus, Eloise and Colin are finally dating! Having devoured the first four books in a month, I look forward to reading Night Jasmine, though I'm hoping the paperback comes out in time for beach season!
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