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

Overview

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 Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England. Every spy has a weakness and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women?his ?petals? of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipated that his own heart would be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in a treacherous garden of lies.

And as our modern-day heroine, Eloise Kelly, digs deeper into England's Napoleonic-era espionage, she becomes even more entwined with Colin Selwick, the descendant of her spy subjects.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In the fourth installment of the Pink Carnation series, Mary Alsworthy suddenly finds herself on the outside of polite society after her younger sister, Letty, marries Mary's intended. Partly from boredom, partly from fascination, Mary accepts the advances of spy master Lord Vaughn when he asks her to help uproot a French spy called the Black Tulip who has a weakness for dark-haired women. As it turns out, the Black Tulip is no longer interested just in beautiful companions; he demands a sacrifice of Mary that she is reluctant to make. Navigating both the world of high society, where, if Mary doesn't find a husband soon she'll be doomed to live off her sister's charity, and the underworld, Mary may only realize too late that the Black Tulip is more connected to her than she ever imagined. This historical romance is filled with witty repartee and arch conversations between Mary and Vaughn, leaving no doubt as to the story's conclusion. Though the occasional jumps to the modern-day travails of Eloise Kelly, a grad student researching the Vaughn family for her dissertation, are as jarring as ad breaks in the middle of a film, the novel handily fulfills its promise of intrigue and romance. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Eloise Kelly, Willig's perpetual Ph.D. student, remains in London trying to piece together her study of the spy network that operated during the time of Napoléon (begun in The Secret History of the Pink Carnation). Having uncovered the identity of our heroic Carnation in the archives of spy Richard Selwick, Eloise continues her floral fascination with the unmasking of the dastardly Black Tulip in this latest blossomy imbroglio (after The Deception of the Emerald Ring). While Eloise ponders all things espionage and the romantic potential of Colin Selwick, readers are thrust back two centuries to follow the machinations of the reputedly dissolute Lord Vaughn as he enlists the aid of Mary Alsworthy in an attempt to bring the Tulip to justice. Mary agrees to work her wiles for the price of a dowry and a London season. Together, she and Vaughn force the Tulip's hand, as they fight their mutual attraction and parry verbal badinage that never ceases to charm and amuse. But is their quarry really dead at novel's end? You never can tell with Willig. And when will the Carnation herself (yup, she's a gal) find her own true love? This appealing sequel holds up well on both ends, with Eloise and Colin encountering some intrigue of their own. Recommended for public libraries, especially those growing the whole botanical series. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/1/07.]
—Bette-Lee Fox

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101211908
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/31/2008
Series:
Pink Carnation Series , #4
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
128,588
File size:
438 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
March 28, 1977
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., Yale University, 1999; M.A., Harvard University, 2001
Website:
http://www.laurenwillig.com

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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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