The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9) by Lauren Willig | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9)

The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation Series #9)

4.2 31
by Lauren Willig

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Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation novels have been called "fun [and] fresh" (Kirkus Reviews) and "clever and playful " (Detroit Free Press). Now she introduces readers to a mismatched pair who find passion in the most astonishing of places...
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably


Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation novels have been called "fun [and] fresh" (Kirkus Reviews) and "clever and playful " (Detroit Free Press). Now she introduces readers to a mismatched pair who find passion in the most astonishing of places...
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, eloped with a Frenchman, and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Now widowed, she entertains herself by holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted—especially Augustus’s unexpected feelings for Emma.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The latest entry in Willig’s Pink Carnation series (after The Secret History of the Pink Carnation) finds Napoleon-era secret agent Augustus Whittlesby hiding his communiqués to the English in his insipid poetry. The young American widow Emma Delagardie covers sadness and intellect with a flirtatious gaiety. Her weekly salon, where Augustus’s work is enthusiastically critiqued, is famous. And Jane Wooliston is a friend to them both, and also the Pink Carnation, another British spy. Whittlesby learns of Napoleon’s plans to reveal a secret weapon at a lavish celebration and, by collaborating with Emma and Jane on a play for the event, gets a glimpse of what he believes to be a steamship. In fact, it is something more sinister, an invention that could greatly help Napoleon to invade England. Whittlesby isn’t the only one interested in the secret; a former lover of Delagardie is intent on selling the plans to the highest bidder. Whittlesby steals them first, but his feelings for Delagardie compromise his mission and force her to make a difficult choice. This time Willig sends Wooliston to the wings to focus on new spies and familiar contemporary characters (a researcher and her lover frame the tale). Whittlesby’s poetry is indeed laughably bad, but Delagardie is only mildly interesting, Napoleon appears rarely, the ex-lover lacks menace, and the double-cross is telegraphed. Even fans of the series won’t find much to engage with this time. Agent: Joe Veltre, the Gersh Agency. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
 Praise for the Pink Carnation novels:
“Willig’s sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Jane Austen for the modern girl.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Christina Dodd

"The author’s conflation of historical fact, quirky observations and nicely-rendered romances results in an elegant and grandly entertaining book.”—Publishers Weekly

“There are few authors capable of matching Lauren Willig’s ability to merge historical accuracy, heart-pounding romance, and biting wit.” —BookPage

Library Journal
Paris in 1804 is a playground for the effervescent Emma Delagardie, who, widowed at age 20, is now hostess of a famous salon. But it is Emma's connection to Napoléon's inner circle through her friendship with his stepdaughter Hortense and Hortense's mother, Madame Bonaparte, that makes her an irresistible temptation for English spy Augustus Whittlesby. Can Augustus use Emma to discover the truth behind Napoléon's secret naval weapon, or will his attraction lead to a fatal misstep? This may be the ninth book in the Pink Carnation series (after The Orchid Affair), but the characters and parallel story lines (the historical tale is set within a contemporary framing tale) are as fresh and engaging as ever. Mixing historical and modern-day drama poses no trouble for Willig, and the satisfying, uninterrupted progression within both time frames will please longtime readers. The historical pair's interaction consists largely of verbal sparring, and while that somewhat reduces the romantic tension, the trade-off is the enjoyable, witty banter. VERDICT Enlightening and entertaining as always, and full of plenty of romance and intrigue, this is a strong choice for historical fiction readers. And confirmed fans can rest assured, there's more to come! [See Prepub Alert, 8/8/11.]—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH
Kirkus Reviews
The latest installment in the Pink Carnation historical romantic suspense series is as fresh and charming as its floral theme. Emma Delagardie has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A young American who ran away with a scientifically minded older Frenchman, the petite blonde now plays the merry widow in Paris, hosting visiting countrymen and affecting a fashionable giddiness she does not feel. A friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she's recruited to create a masque for the soon-to-be Emperor at his country chateau of Malmaison. What she doesn't know is that her collaborator, and crush, the foppish poet Augustus Whittlesby, is actually an agent for the notorious British spy, Jane Wooliston (aka, the Pink Carnation), for whom he also feels an unrequited passion. Or that her American buddy, Robert Fulton, is not only working on a steamboat but also a tactical weapon that could allow Napoleon to invade England. Between Whittlesby's interest in Wooliston and Napoleon's in Fulton, Emma doesn't seem to stand much of a chance. But true hearts always win out in this delightful series, and this ninth installment holds true to Willig's (The Orchid Affair, 2011, etc.) principles that the female characters should be as involved in the swashbuckling espionage as their love interests. Meanwhile, the modern framing device has a film crew invading historic Selwick Hall, and a job offer back in the U.S. threatening grad student Eloise Kelly's fledgling romance with the smoldering Colin. It may be hard to worry overmuch, but the adventure is worth the ride--and this smart and funny installment concludes with the promise of more suspense (and a treasure hunt) in books to come. A reliable romp through Napoleon's court, filled with romance and yet another adorable and very active heroine.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Pink Carnation Series , #9
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
878 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

“Readers will be pleased to see the spy who inspired the series in action and will enjoy the charming, witty rapport between Augustus and Emma.”

Meet the Author

The author of eight previous Pink Carnation novels, Lauren Willig received a graduate degree in English history from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, though she now writes full-time.

Brief Biography

New York, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
March 28, 1977
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.A., Yale University, 1999; M.A., Harvard University, 2001

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