The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation Series #5)

( 79 )

Overview

A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.

After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.

Charlotte ...

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Overview

A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.

After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.

Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.

Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Willig spins another sultry spy tale in her fifth installment of the Pink Carnation series. When Robert, duke of Dovedale, returns after more than a decade abroad, Lady Charlotte Lansdowne hopes the romantic world of her novels will soon come to life in the form of a love story between her and Robert. But the duke has come back from India to track Arthur Wrothan, a spy who killed Robert's mentor, and though his and Charlotte's reunion culminates in a blaze of kisses, he abandons her to track down his nemesis. On the trail, Robert cavorts with the Hellfire Club, which holds opium-fueled orgies that provide cover for Wrothan. In the meantime, Charlotte's efforts to help the king throw her again into Robert's path. The story unfolds within the frame of a contemporary love affair between Eloise, a Harvard graduate student researching spies of the late 18th and early 19th century, and Colin Selwick, descendant of one of the spies who so pique Eloise's interest. The author's conflation of historical fact, quirky observations and nicely rendered romances results in an elegant and grandly entertaining book. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Willig (The Seduction of the Crimson Rose) here ups the ante in her Napoleonic-era spy series. It is still 2004, and Ph.D. candidate Eloise Kelly continues to conduct research in the archives of Richard Selwick, aka the Purple Gentian, but now she is also involved romantically with Colin Selwick, the executor of the estate. As their relationship blooms, we return to 1803 Sussex. Charlotte Lansdowne, bosom friend to Richard's sister, Henrietta, lives at Girdings with her cantankerous grandmother. A Twelfth Night house party welcomes home the current Duke of Dovedale, Robert Lansdowne, a distant cousin who was Charlotte's emotional rock when she was orphaned at a young age. Turning slightly from France to intrigue in India, where Robert hied off to 12 years earlier, Willig freshens the pot as Robert initially is on a mission of revenge that involves bacchanalian rites. But, with Charlotte's aid, he helps to thwart a plot of royal proportions. Will Charlotte finally let herself love the man? Or can she not accept that her hero has feet of clay? Another well-written chapter in the series that began with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. For romance collections, especially where the other "Flower" titles have taken root. [See Prepub Alert, LJ10/1/08.]
—Bette-Lee Fox

Kirkus Reviews
Honor and romance again take the lead in 19th-century England, as yet another flower-named spy continues this high-spirited and thoroughly enjoyable series (The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, 2008, etc.). The beautiful but bookish Lady Charlotte is thrilled to welcome her cousin, the dashing Robert of Dovedale, home for Christmas to Girdings House. The year is 1803, and Charlotte is finishing her third season still unmarried. But her cousin, the hero of Charlotte's lonely youth, seems distracted by the dissolute young "Eligibles" whom Charlotte's grandmother has invited for the festivities-and a last chance at matrimony. Could Robert, the true heir of Girdings, be involved with that unseemly crew, or could something more be afoot? As fans of Willig's series will immediately deduct, Duke Robert is as pure-hearted as they come, but the two protagonists will end up romantically confused even as they team up to uncover a plot to kidnap the mad King George III. The discovery of yet another relative involved in espionage could strain credibility, but Willig, a Harvard-educated historian, mixes pitch-perfect period details with lighthearted romance for a fresh take on the genre. If not caught up in the fashions and gossip, what else do patriotic young gentleman have to do, after all, besides defend the honor of their countries, or their more or less innocent female relatives? And, in a nod to modern sensibilities, what else do young noblewomen have to do but save them right back? In a witty acknowledgment of such far-fetched conventions, Willig's modern heroine, narrator Eloise Kelly, finds herself wondering if her romantic mystery man, new boyfriend Colin Selwick, has continued his noblefamily's tradition. That both stories will end happily is a given, but Willig's lively writing and amiable young characters make the journey great fun. Smart characters of both genders, fast-paced plotting and a dash of self-conscious humor make this installment a winner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749008789
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/2011
  • Series: Pink Carnation Series , #5

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."

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    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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

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(38)

4 Star

(25)

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(6)

2 Star

(7)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Just Ok

    The first few of this series were wonderful. This one, not so much. I love the two stories within one, but seriously, after being with Eloise through it all - once she and Colin finally were alone for the weekend it was beyond boring. I was disappointed. On the historical side I actually liked the secret society plot mixed with King George - but the romance between Charlotte and Robert seemed to sort of appear overnight. A little more buildup would have been nice. And can we have some more Lord Vaughn please? He was always so nastily interesting. I'm sure Lauren could make him and his wife visit the next heroine for a spell. I will continue with the series and hope the next one is better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fans will enjoy this fine historical undercover romance

    After spending over a decade in India, Robert Lansdowne returns home to Sussex in 1803 to invesitgate the murder of his mentor at the Battle of Assaye. The duke¿s plan is simple; he will go undercover by joining the notorious Hellfire Club where he thinks he can begin to track down the killer, espionage agent Arthur Wrothan.<BR/><BR/>However, Robert failed to consider one problem with his perfect plot. His cousin a zillion times removed Lady Charlotte Lansdowne has made him the hero of her romantic dreams that she reads in the novels. He was there when she became an orphaned child and she wants him there as her beloved husband. In spite of kisses that inflame his desire, Robert begins his quest only to have Charlotte join him over his objection and together they get embroiled in a seditious anti royal scheme.<BR/><BR/>As with the previous Pink Carnation tales Harvard graduate student Eloise Kelly doing her research uncovers the latest account of a Napoleonic Era female spy while having a romantic interlude with host executor Colin Selwick. Though this reviewer has found Eloise¿s modern day piece unnecessary but well written, fans will see how far she has come from Massachusetts (see THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION). However, the tale belongs to Charlotte as her adventures in espionage and in love are not anywhere near the romantic images she has of both. Fans will enjoy this fine historical undercover romance even without a flowery title (see THE MASQUE OF THE BLACK TULIP, THE SEDUCTION OF THE CRIMSON ROSE and THE DECEPTION OF THE EMERALD RING) as the real human Robert falls off the pedestal in the eyes of his spying associate even as their love blossoms.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    Fairly Enjoyable Reading

    I have read each of the previous Pink Carnation Series as well as the Christmas edition,and truly enjoyed each one.... but I'm having a harder time finishing this one....maybe I'm burned out on the series or the story lines are getting weaker......I'm sure I'll finish it eventually.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    A Charming Read

    This was an entertaining and enjoyable book. I have been following the series since the beginning and I have loved all of them. They are an easy read, but extremely engaging. The characters are lovable and engaging. The plot is great as are the other books in the series. I really like how there are two simultaneous stories that intertwine within each other. The entire novel is simply charming and a fun and easy read. It's perfect for a vacation or sitting in the sun and just loving life. It made me happy, something that I enjoy being. Read it because I promise that if you like spies, espionage, romance, danger, comedy and drama then you'll love this book!!

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

    An inventive plot and well written. A bit of intrigue and mystery with two likeable leading characters, this was a fun read.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

    Now that Eloise and Colin are dating, this research trip to the house differs. First, there's the question of how to act. Next, there's the question of how much time you can really put into researching while not neglecting your boyfriend.

    It's hard not to snoop around and uncover your boyfriend's secrets. It's not hard to lose yourself in research of spies from his family tree.

    Robert, Duke of Dovedale, returns to his home to find the Dowager Duchess and his cousin, Charlotte, there on Christmas Eve. He didn't return home for pleasure or the holiday, but for revenge upon the murder of a father figure. To complete his revenge, he'll have to infiltrate a secret society to uncover the culprit. To make matters worse, his cousin has grown up considerably and she flirts outrageously with him - or is that just his imagination?

    Charlotte's happy her cousin has returned, but she can see he's in trouble. If only he'd allow her to help him. When she gets involved with her own mystery, will their paths cross in their dangerous games?

    Can both couples find a way to understand each other and express their true feelings?

    The fifth book in the PINK CARNATION series flirts with more danger, more suspense, more secrets, more romance, and a whole lot of fun! Although part of a series, readers will have no trouble following along with the story in THE TEMPTATION OF THE NIGHT JASMINE.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Succumb to the temptation of the night jasmine

    In the fifth installment in her Pink Carnation Series, more Napoleonic espionage ensues as Lauren Willig spins her captivating tale of the exploits of the reluctant Duke of Dovedail, Robert Lansdowne and his bookish young cousin Charlotte. Set in England in 1803, Robert's unexpected return to his ducal estate in Sussex after a decade in the Army in India rekindles Lady Charlotte's idealistic romantic fantasies. Fueled by her passion for romantic novels such as Evelina, she is hopeful that Robert has come to rescue her from her from the embarrassment of three failed London seasons and her grandmother's succession of unacceptable eligible bachelors. Robert's main objective is not romance, but to track down the spy who murdered his mentor during the Battle of Assaye. Even though their reunion sparks a romance, Robert abruptly ends their relationship and departs for London in pursuit of the elusive spy who signature scent is jasmine. Meanwhile, Charlotte acting as lady in waiting to Queen is witness to the madness of King George, or is she? Robert and Charlotte must join forces to thwart the plot, and learn to trust each again before they can catch a spy, and, re-fall in love.

    Reverently harkening to her predecessors Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, Willig handles comedy, historical context and dialogue beautifully. In addition to The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, the Pink Carnation series included The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, The Masque of the Black Tulip, The Deception of the Emerald Ring and The Seduction of the Crimson Rose. Her next novel in the series is The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is due out in January, 2010. If you re in the mood for a Regency era romantic spy comedy, I recommend the series highly.

    Laurel Ann, Austenprose

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Reviewing The Temptation of the Nightjasmine

    This is a very well written book. Not Lauren Willig's best, but it is a wonderful book! Charlotte, the herion, is very original and complex. Robert, the hero, is a girl's knight, but in an original way. However, I advise that your read the first four books before you venture to this one. All-in-all, I rather enjoyed this book and if you like Pride and Prejudice or any spy book, you'll like it too.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    5th book in a fantastic series

    I started with the "The Ledgend of the Pink Carnation" this spring. I Continued to read the next 3 books and the this book appeared at the library. I couldn't wait to read it. The romance and mystery in each book is wonderful. It is great to read books in this time period where people fall in love and marry for love, not status. Laura writes wonderful novels. I have had a blast reading each one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    great

    I love this series. The historical story in The Temptation of the Night Jasmine is a little slower than the first few books, but I love Eloise and Collin so much that they make up for all of Charlotte's story's blunders. If you like the series, you need to get it.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Night Jasmine holds as much interest as Pink Carnation

    First, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the entire Pink Carnation series. I think that Lauren Willig is a delightful and innovative novelist. As I began the Temptation of the Night Jasmine, I was immediately swept into the modern life of Eloise and Colin like I had never left. Eloise's over analytical assumptions keep me laughing and make her lovable. As Eloise sat down once again to immerse herself in the Selwick letters, I was drawn into a vivid regency world that could be on a postcard or landscape painting. I do have to say that I had a more difficult time accepting that our previously central families from past books played a very secondary role in Night Jasmine, but once I began to understand Charlotte and Robert, they became real to me. While the plot was not as strong as previous books, it still was very fun to read. All in all, Lauren Willig gives us a great balance between a modern love story and the traditional historical. Have fun reading it.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Historical Intrigue and Romance

    This lovely, entertaining family of novels by Lauren Willig has a new sibling which easily holds its own! Once again the juxtaposition of current activity with historical action as uncovered by our narrator works to produce a fast-moving and very enjoyable novel. I love the female characters of both eras who surmount their fears and anxieties to achieve their objectives,.both practical and romantic!

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Willig again delivers!

    I just love Lauren Willig's historical fiction Pink Carnation series. She is always well researched and stories/characters well developed. I always look forward to reaidng her next book in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    As always, Lauren delivers an exciting book in the Pink series.

    This book was not one of my favorites by Lauren, but only because Charlotte is not one of my favorite characters in the series. This made it a hard book to start. But, once I started, I was entranced and kept reading. This is a great addition to the Pink collection and should please readers of the series.
    It's a definite read!

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as good as the others in the series

    I absolutely loved the first book in this series, and I really liked the next 2. I was a bit disappointed with the 4th book, but this latest edition in the series was quite disappointing to me, especially as these are supposed to be romantic novels. In many instances, I didn't feel that the characters acted with logical motivation, and there were just too many contrived plot components in both the historical and modern-day stories. I thought the romance between Robert and Charlotte was uninspiring. The most disappointing part of the book, was the "interaction" between the modern-day characters, Colin and Eloise, or rather, the lack thereof. Here they are, off for a hopefully romantic stay at his manor house, but he's always gone somewhere for the day, while she's snooping around, and even though he's asked her to stay in his bedroom, not the guest room, there's no romance at all -- what is up with that?!! I'm really hoping things turn around in the next book, and Ms. Willig gets back to the style we saw in the first books, but the way this romance has started to sputter, I'm afraid Eloise is going to be back in the guest room, permanently.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read!!

    You need to start with the first Carnation book to really understand the relationship between Eloise and Colin.

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  • Posted February 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing #5 in the series of the Pink Carnation. Characters and plot not as exciting as the previous series.

    I enjoyed reading the previous Pink Carnation Series. I could hardly wait to read this last book. Rather disappointing in its text and trying to imitate previous plots. This book did not hold me spellbound as the first four series. It seemed rushed and unfinished. I hope there will be a #6 book coming out. I am eagerly awaiting its publication to see if it will surpass the other books in this series.<BR/><BR/>Cherry Blossom

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    The audio version

    Although I read the print edition first, I enjoy the audio version of giving each of the characters added personality with the inflection on the conversational passages. I have enjoyed all of Lauen Willig books and am always ready for the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    Fun Read

    I came across the first book in this series at a yard sale and became hooked. I read all 4 books and have passed them around to friends. We all loved them. They are just fun to read. The characters very likable and believable and the storyline is very interesting. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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