The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

...But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an old codebook is something juicier than she ever imagined.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

...But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an old codebook is something juicier than she ever imagined.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In this sequel to her delightful debut novel, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, Lauren Willig brings all the exuberance of a swashbuckler movie to the page -- action, romance, intrigue, swordplay, and history.

As modern-day graduate student Eloise Kelly goes through the Selwick archive, she uncovers the story of Lady Henrietta Selwick, who ultimate unmasks the identity of the Black Tulip, France's deadliest spy circa 1803. Henrietta had been angling to become involved in the war effort against Napoleon ever since her brother's exploits as the Purple Gentian; her cousin Jane spied most productively as the Pink Carnation. This left both Henrietta and Miles Dorrington, her brother's best friend, at home, on the shelf, and dying for action. How Henrietta deciphers secret messages and how she and Miles track down the notorious spy, all the while falling in love, makes for a wonderful romp through history. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Willig picks up where she left readers breathlessly hanging with 2005's The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. After discovering the identity of the Pink Carnation, one of England's most successful spies during the Napoleonic wars, modern-day graduate student Eloise Kelly is hot on the trail of the Black Tulip, the Pink Carnation's French counterpart. While researching the archives of dashing-but-grumpy Colin Selwick (a descendant of the Selwick spy family), Eloise learns that spy Purple Gentian (Richard Selwick) safely retired to the countryside; meanwhile, the Pink Carnation continues her mission with the help of Richard's younger sister. Spirited Henrietta Selwick discovers that the Black Tulip has resurfaced after a 10-year silence with the intent of eliminating the Pink Carnation. Miles Dorrington (Richard's best friend) works for the War Office and is directed to unearth the deadly spy. As he and Henrietta investigate, they try to deny their attraction for each other-and avoid becoming the Black Tulip's next victims. Hero and heroine can be quite silly, and there are overlong ballroom shenanigans aplenty; like last time, Eloise and Colin's will-they-won't-they dance isn't nearly as interesting as what takes place in 1803. No matter. Willig knows her audience; Regency purists may gnash their teeth in frustration, but many more will delight in this easy-to-read romp and line up for the next installment. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this sequel to The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, Harvard Ph.D. candidate Eloise Kelly travels to the Selwick home in England to look at the family's manuscript collection in hopes of learning more about the British spy the Pink Carnation. This time, the research and the story focus on Henrietta Selwick, the sister of Richard Selwick, the renowned (and fictional) Purple Gentian, and his best friend Miles Dorrington. Henrietta is currently serving as a courier for the Pink Carnation, and Miles continues to work at the War Office, trying to detect French spies and protect England from the wrath of Napoleon. Both want more adventure in their lives, and they find it when the War Office determines that the Black Tulip, one of France's most dangerous assassins, is out to kill the Pink Carnation and the Carnation's associates, including Miles and Henrietta. Though it has its moments, The Masque of the Black Tulip does not live up to the earlier book. There is another sequel planned, but the many loose ends and abrupt conclusion here will leave listeners frustrated. Kate Reading does her normal masterful job with a less-than-successful story. Libraries will want this title to meet demand. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After her pleasant debut chronicling England's most elusive spy (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, 2005), Willig is back with a second installment, this time featuring the Black Tulip, France's deadliest secret agent. Harvard graduate student Eloise Kelly is searching the archives in hopes of learning more about the Pink Carnation for her much delayed dissertation. Instead, she finds the Napoleonic-era correspondence between 20-year-old Lady Henrietta Selwick and the spy, which reveals that after a two-year silence, France's Black Tulip is planning murder. Unfortunately, no one knows the Black Tulip's identity. Lady Henrietta, who longs to be a spy, decides to unmask the secret agent before he or she strikes. Unbeknownst to Henrietta, the war office has asked Miles Dorrington, Henrietta's best friend and soon-to-be-beau, to solve the case. Is Lord Vaughn, the well known rake who favors masquerade balls, the Black Tulip? Or is it the beautiful Marquise de Montval, she of the immodest necklines? Or could it be the unlikely "Turnip" Fitzhugh, the foppish dandy? Willig's delightful plot takes Lady Henrietta to spy school, to the brink of a ruined reputation and on to romantic happiness. It's clear that alone or together, Henrietta and Miles are a force to be reckoned with. As for Eloise, the protagonist who sets off the novel within a novel, she is so little used that when she does appear, she seems to interrupt the espionage adventure. Perhaps in the third installment, the author will devote more time to this deserving 21st-century archivist. With such appealing characters and plots, one fears that Willig, currently a Harvard Law student and History Ph.D. candidate, will never getthose degrees.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101210819
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/29/2005
  • Series: Pink Carnation Series , #2
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 76,528
  • File size: 488 KB

Meet the Author

Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is a law student and Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University. She is the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.





Biography

Although she may not have realized it at the time, Lauren Willig had her life pretty clearly mapped out when she was a mere nine-year-old. That's when she completed her first "novel" -- 300 handwritten pages of a Nancy Drew-inspired mystery titled The Night the Clock Struck Death featuring not one, but two teenage sleuths. (Twin detectives, if you please!) She sent it off to Simon & Schuster -- who promptly sent it back. "I was utterly crushed for at least a week," the young author admits.

Crushed, perhaps, but apparently the pull of becoming a writer was considerably stronger than the sting of rejection. Several years later, while she was in grad school, Willig began work on another novel -- although she wasn't sure which novel it would be. "There were three contenders: one, the Pink Carnation; another, a mystery novel set at Yale; and the third, a historical novel set around a group of Luddites in 1812. The Yalie mystery novel nearly won out... but the image of a masked spy on a rope tipped the balance the other way, and The Pink Carnation was born."

A witty melding of espionage thriller, swashbuckler, and the kind of classic "bodice-ripping" romance novels she first discovered at the tender age of six, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation was published in 2005. The premise is irresistible: A modern grad student researching her dissertation in London stumbles on the identity of a mysterious English spy from the Napoleonic Wars. With its clever book-within-a-book format, Willig's novel was an instant sensation. Almost immediately, she penned the sequel, The Masque of the Black Tulip. Willig was off and running with a hot and sexy – not to mention bestselling -- series.

Although the Pink Carnation books build on one another, each story focuses on a different pair of lovers and can be read as a stand-alone. Willig tries to weave in any information from previous installments that might be key to understanding the characters or plot. All her books have become Romantic Times Top Picks. In 2006 Lauren was nominated for a Quill Award.

Good To Know

Even before she committed her stories to paper, Willig was amusing herself with her very own fiction in the privacy of her head. "I remember lying in bed, staring up at the underside of my canopy, composing complicated narratives complete with dialogue, generally based on whatever movie I had just seen," she told The Readers Place.com. "Star Wars spawned weeks' worth of bedtime dramas in which I starred as Princess Lea's best friend. Who would, of course, wind up with Luke Skywalker as co-ruler of the Universe -- you know what they say, if you're going to dream, dream big."

According to Willig's official biography, she is a Native New Yorker. However, she admits that this isn't entirely true being that she was actually born in Philadelphia -- a fact that her "real" Native New Yorker siblings aren't quick to let Lauren forget.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Willig:

"Like my modern heroine, Eloise, I spent a year in England doing research for my dissertation (mine is about Royalist conspiracies during the English Civil Wars in the 1640s), and living in a little basement flat in Bayswater. Unlike Eloise, on my very first week in London, I ate a bad kebab, and got so sick that I wound up briefly back in the States, on the same medicine they give people who have anthrax poisoning. Not exactly an auspicious beginning...."

"I still don't have a driver's license. Having grown up in Manhattan, there was never any need of it -- other than as a means of getting into bars, and learning to drive seemed a bit extreme just to get a drink. Of course, that was before I moved to Cambridge for grad school and realized that in other parts of the world, you can't just walk into the middle of the street, stick your arm up into the air, and, lo!, immediate transportation appears. Since I really don't want to have to learn how to drive, I've decided the only remedy is just to live in Manhattan for the rest of my life."

"Many years ago, at my Yale college interview, the interviewer took one look at my resume, and announced, ‘You can't be a writer.'

Getting a little panicky -- since no one takes kindly to having their life's dream flung in their face -- I blurted out, ‘Why not?'

‘Writers,' he said firmly, ‘are introverts. You,' he indicated the long list of clubs on my resume, Drama Club, Choral Club, Forensics, interschool plays and public speaking competitions, ‘are not.'"

"It is true; I've never been able to resist a stage. There are embarassing videos (which may have to be confiscated and burnt at some point) from various family weddings, where I, as a wee child, coopted the microphone to serenade the wedding guests with off-key renderings of "Memory" (from Cats). It's a wonder I lived past the age of ten without being murdered by a bride wielding a sharpened cake knife. Point me to a podium, and I can talk indefinitely (and usually do, as anyone who was with me in the Yale Political Union can verify). I simpered through Gilbert & Sullivan Society productions, taught drama to small tots through Yale Drama Hands-On Theatre Workshop, and was chairman of a debating society in college. And those were only the official performances. Recently, I appeared in a toga and bare feet (well, really a chiton, but why be picky?) in front of a hundred-odd people at the law school to argue a mock Athenian trial. And, yes, those pictures will also be confiscated and burnt -- as soon as I find out where my camera-happy friends hid them."

"I've always had trouble with the ‘writer as introvert' trope. I argued then, and still believe now, that the performative arts and creative writing have a great deal in common. After all, music, drama, public speaking, writing... all involve words! My interviewer wasn't too impressed by that argument, but there is a bit more to it than that. Singing and public speaking create an enhanced awareness for the rhythm of language. As for drama, how better to get inside one's characters' heads than to walk in their footsteps? Frequently, while writing, I'll tumble out of my chair (literally -- my chair isn't all that sturdy) and act out bits of a scene for a more concrete grasp of a character's movements. Most of all, acting, singing, and writing all involve the desire to get out there and share a story, a desire that can't be balked by the threat of rotton tomatoes, or even bad reviews."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 28, 1977
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., Yale University, 1999; M.A., Harvard University, 2001
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

"A footman was found murdered this morning in Mayfair."

Miles rested one booted leg against the opposite knee, trying not to look disappointed. He had been hoping for something more along the lines of, "Bonaparte is poised to invade England, and we need you to stop him!" Ah, well, a man could dream.

"Surely, that's a matter for the Bow Street Runners?"

Wickham fished a worn scrap of paper from the debris on his desk. "Do you recognize this?"

Miles peered down at the tiny fragment. On closer inspection, it wasn't even anything so grand as a fragment; it was more of a fleck, a tiny triangle of paper with a jagged end on one side, where it had been torn from something larger.

"No," he said.

"Look again," said Wickham. "We found it snagged on a pin on the inside of the murdered man's coat."

It was no wonder the murderer had overlooked the lost portion; it was scarcely a centimeter long, and no writing remained. At least, no writing that was discernable as such. Along the tear, a thick black stroke swept down and then off to the side. It might be the lower half of an uppercase script "I", or a particularly elaborate "T."

Miles was just about to admit ignorance for a second time-in the hopes that Wickham wouldn't ask him a third-when recognition struck. Not the lower half of an "I", but the stem of a flower. A very particular, stylized flower. A flower Miles hadn't seen in a very long time, and had hoped never to see again.

"The Black Tulip." The name tasted like hemlock on Miles' tongue. He repeated it, testing it for weight after years of disuse. "It can't be the Black Tulip. I don't believe it. It's been too long."

"The Black Tulip," countered Wickham, "is always most deadly after a silence."

Miles couldn't argue with that. The English in France had been most on edge, not when the Black Tulip acted, but when he didn't. Like the grey calm before thunder, the Black Tulip's silence generally presaged some new and awful ill. Austrian operatives had been found dead, minor members of the royal family captured, English spies eliminated, all without fuss or fanfare. For the past two years, the Black Tulip had maintained a hermetic silence.

Miles grimaced.

"Precisely," said Wickham. He extricated the scrap of paper from Miles' grasp, returning it to its place of his desk. "The murdered man was one of our operatives. We had inserted him into the household of a gentleman known for his itinerant tendencies."

Miles rocked forward in his chair. "Who found him?"

Wickham dismissed the question with a shake of his head. "A scullery maid from the kitchen of a neighboring house; she had no part in it."

"Had she witnessed anything out of the ordinary?"

"Aside from a dead body?" Wickham smiled grimly. "No. Think of it, Dorrington. Ten houses-at one of which, by the way, a card party was in progress-several dozen servants coming and going, and not one of them heard anything out of the ordinary. What does that suggest to you?"

Miles thought hard. "There can't have been a struggle, or someone in one of the neighboring houses would have noticed. He can't have called out, or someone would have heard. I'd say our man knew his killer." A hideous possibility occurred to Miles. "Could our chap have been a double agent? If the French thought he had outlived his usefulness..."

The bags under Wickham's eyes seemed to grow deeper. "That," he said wearily, "is always a possibility. Anyone can turn traitor given the right circumstances-or the right price. Either way, we find ourselves with our old enemy in the heart of London. We need to know more. Which is where you come in, Dorrington."

"At your disposal."

Ah, the time had come. Now Wickham would ask him to find the footman's murderer, and he could make suave assurances about delivering the Black Tulip's head on a platter, and...

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. The Masque of the Black Tulip alternates between the present daystory of Eloise, researcher and archivist, and the past story ofHenrietta Selwick set in 1803. How do these two stories enhance eachother? What do they suggest about women's roles?

2. How does Lauren Willig create an aura of mystery and suspensesurrounding "The Black Tulip"?

3. In chapters five and six, we are introduced to severalcharacters-Turnip, the Marquise de Montval and Lord Vaughn-who might be "The Black Tulip?" Who do you suspect?

4. How does the ironic tone and humor contribute to the novel?Week Two

5. At the beginning of each chapter, we are given the definition of aword taken from the Personal Codebook of the Pink Carnation. For example,chapter eleven begins with "Quadrille: a deadly dance of deceit." How do these quotations enhance the story?

6. How does Henrietta and Miles' story parallel Eloise and Colin'sstory?

7. In chapter twenty, we switch briefly to the Pink Carnation's point of view. Why does Lauren Willig choose to do this?

8. Were you surprised at The Black Tulip's real identity?

9. At the end of the novel, The Black Tulip escapes. Wheredoes Eloise believe the Black Tulip is headed and who might the Black Tulip meet?

10. Will Colin call Eloise?

11. In the Historical Note at the end of The Masque of the Black Tulip, Lauren Willig explains that "although the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Purple Gentian and the Pink Carnation are all fictitious, there were flower-named spies romping across the Channel." What other historical details contribute to the story's authenticity?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 110 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thoroughly charming

    Having just finished my own dissertation, like Ms. Willig's fictional Eloise, I needed a chick-lit break and found it with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, quickly followed by The Masque of the Black Tulip. These books are absolutely delightful, and the historical detail is well done. As an acknowledged homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, they leave a bit to be desired - Lady Blakeney (Marguerite St. Just) is never mentioned (at least not in either of the books I've read so far), and Ms. Willig's heroes and heroines don't begin to reach the depths of character that Percy and Marguerite share. (Besides, in the time when these novels take place, the Blakeneys would only be in their thirties and hardly out of the fashionable world - Percy was supposedly the Prince of Wales' closest friend, after all - so why do they never appear in a cameo?)

    Nonetheless, these books taken in themselves are a pleasure, and I applaud Ms. Willig for keeping the romantic mores true to the time - no consummation until the wedding night. (Heroes, heroines and readers are well rewarded for the wait.) That factor alone is so refreshing that it's well worth supporting by continuing to buy the series! In comparing the two books, I found the romance in Black Tulip even more endearing than that of Pink Carnation, although Pink Carnation had a slight edge in the swashbuckling department (which was clearly Ms. Willig's intention, as her hero and heroine in Tulip progress sweetly and convincingly from a brother-sister relationship into grown-up love). I really fell for Miles, and Henrietta is adorable. Richard's behavior toward Miles - challenging him to a duel, which precipitates the marriage between Miles and Henrietta - seeems a bit absurd since Richard, as the Purple Gentian, got into some very heavy petting with Amy before their marriage, and Miles hasn't progressed nearly as far with Henrietta when Richard comes upon them (but I suppose it is possible that an older brother might overreact in such a way, and I'm holding out hopes that the boys will make up in the next novel).

    As for Eloise and Colin, I don't find the interludes intrusive so much as too slow. They shouldn't jump into bed - that would be too out of keeping with the parallel historical romance - but by the end of the second novel, I would have expected a kiss. (As other reviewers have mentioned, there seems to have been a bit too much eye on the potential for sequels.)

    Ms. Willig's style is entertaining and breezy (the historical dialogue sometimes seems a little modern), but her editor needs to do a better job - her sentences do not always cadence as they should, and words are too often repeated in the same paragraph. In a novel of this length, a phrase like "made a sound that wanted to be laugh when it grew up" should be used once - and no more. That said, I couldn't not have spent two more pleasant weekend afternoons than I did with these two books - they are quick reads, and for romantic Anglophiles, a perfect love potion! If you read Baroness Orczy's Pimpernel novels first - in this order: The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Elusive Pimpernel, El Dorado, and The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel - you'll understand Willig's plots better and you'll get a tremendous dose of history, heroism and romance along the way. (At the very least, read The Scarlet Pimpernel.) Meanwhile, I look forward to reading The Deception of the Emerald Ring!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    It's a great read and part of a really fun series.

    I have enjoyed this installment of Lauren Willig's mystery romance set in two different time periods, yet intertwined. I like the way her characters carry from one book to the other. She also blends the tension and romance well. I have read four of the five and can't wait to read book five and the sixth which is soon due. I also have shared them with friends who enjoyed them as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2014

    Miles and Henrietta may be more bumbling as spies than the Pink

    Miles and Henrietta may be more bumbling as spies than the Pink Carnation and the Purple Gentian, but they just prove that anyone can be of service to their country if their hearts are in the right place! And, of course, they were a little distracted by the whole falling in love thing. They made a very cute couple!

    I enjoyed how the definitions from the Pink Carnation's code book at the beginning of each chapter informed what would happen in the chapter. The double meanings were great. And I liked how the modern-day story tied in with what was going on in the past.

    My only complaint is that the romance between Eloise and Colin in the present-day is proceeding very slowly. Guess I'll just have to continue with the rest of the series to see where they end up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    | Moo.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another Amazing Flower

    Second in the series, The Masque of the Black Tulip was just as delightful (perhaps more fun even?) as The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. If you've read Pink Carnation, then you've already met the main hero and heroine of Black Tulip. Henrietta Selwick, younger sister of the notorious Richard Selwick, is funny and bright and even occasionally silly. There's a scene where she hides from Miles Dorrington that it just hilarious. Miles is, of course, the hero of this story. Being Richard's best friend from childhood and very close to the whole Selwick family, he is deeply involved in all things spy. Miles is deliciously awkward and gets distressingly tangled up in things he shouldn't, including Henrietta.

    This was a fun romp full of mystery, romance and humor. A fantastic addition to the series. And don't forget, you get to follow along with modern-day Eloise and her budding crush on Colin Selwick, a descendant of Lord Richard, the Purple Gentian.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Love it!

    i couldnt pull myself away!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Darn!

    I really enjoyed the first book. I was very disappointed not long into this book. I forced myself to finish in hopes that it would get better if I just read a little farther. I still liked the first one enough to give the third one a try.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Calgon, take me away ...

    As with my review of The Pink Carnation, I also used this book as a cleanser of the mind. The plot is similar to its predecessor, making me think that Ms. Willig has come up with a formula to her writing - only time will tell. There is danger, romance (opposites falling in love) and the quest to find a secret agent, the Black Tulip. I recommend for those who wish to escape for a time, read the previous book or are interested in historical romances.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2009

    excellent series

    this is a great book in an excellent series! i highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    Amazing!

    Amazing book that I could not put down! It instantly topped my favorites list. I really loved every moment of reading it! You will not be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    More Romance than Historical Fiction

    I agree with another reviewer that this was more of a romance novel than true historical fiction. Everything is told from a rather 'flighty' perspective of a female character -- there's no depth to her. The love story was more central to the book (and the main character) than the political intrigue. It was a decent read for a 'bargain book'. I don't intend to read the next book in this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Dazzling! Pure Enchantment!

    The Masque of the Black Tulip is a pure gem of a novel written in such an intriguing way. The ironic parallels between Heloise and Colin's relationship and Henrietta and Mile's is so clever and unfolds in such a poetic way. Ms. Willig writes with such a Austenesque wit that any historical fiction chick-lit lover is sure to relish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    One Word: FUN

    Definitely the one word to describe this book would be fun. It's one of those guilty pleasure books that you just cannot put down. Soft core porn?? (in response to the previous reviewer) I dont think I would go that far at all. Maybe it doesnt have the depth that other historical novels have, but it was one of the more relatable and enjoyable ones I have read in a while. It's nice when a historical novel actually has a 'Happily Ever After.' If you like a mixture of genres this is definitely an entertaining read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2006

    A Sassy Fun Read

    Cute book that I found myself laughing through. Though the romance wasn't as capitviating as Richard's and Amy's, I do smile every time the hero and the heroine come together in this book.I cannot wait for the next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2006

    Wrong Genre

    I started out reading what I thought was a mediocre mystery/spy novel that was trying too hard to be Possession, and then I was surprised when it turned into soft-core porn. Be warned! This book would be more accurately described as a romance novel than historical fiction, so unless you want to read constant references to bulges in knee-britches and breasts popping out of bodices, I would recommend passing this one by.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2006

    Not as good as the first

    The book did not seem to hold my interest like the first book did. I felt that as soon as the book started catch my atention it was over. The plot was weak and the drama between hen and miles was not as thrilling as it was between amy and richard. I am looking forward to her next book though, I just hope it will make me not want to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    wonderfully readable but strangely familiar

    This book is undeniably fun to read. However, I only wish the author had shown a little more initiative, instead of making the book an almost exact copy of her earlier book, the pink carnation. The plot if virtually identical and certain passages read nearly word for word the same. Still, it's an amusing and diverting read, just somewhat disappointing for pink carnation fans who were expecting something new.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    She's done it again!

    Read this book in 2 days! I have a new favorite author. I have always been a Diana Gabaldon fan but can get quite frustrated with her typical 999 page epics. Ms. Willig does a great job of keeping you interested with all the characters and the romance it great! Not too overwhelming but just enough to enjoy the descriptives......Truly enjoyed the escape into 19th century England and France.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2006

    A great sequel

    I really enjoyed The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (which you should definitely read first), and this first sequel was very entertaining. I don't know how many more Pink Carnation books the author intends to write, but I hope she doesn't let her 'day job' of graduate school and law school get in the way. Personally, I think she should write full time! This novel has the same combination of romance, suspense, modern era and Regency period action as the last book. I would like to see more of the modern day characters Colin and Eloise in the next book -- the suspense and tension surrounding them is getting very interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    It gets better and better!

    I read the Secret History of the Pink Carnation and loved it, but the sequel is even better! The sometimes over-silliness of the first novel is nowhere to be found instead, Miles and Henrietta provide great wit and humor, and an extremely sweet romance. The emergence of a new spy, the Black Tulip, also takes the book from simple Scarlet Pimpernel take-off to true historical novel of intrigue and makes you long to see what's beyond the next page. Absolutely wonderful--Well done, Ms. Willig!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)