The Barnes & Noble Review
Lauren Willig follows up her two earlier engaging romances with a third rollicking historical about British spies and romance in the early 19th century, set against the background of a possible Irish uprising. It stars the trustworthy Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale, determined to woo the beauteous Mary Alsworthy, and her younger sister, Letty, who is equally determined to break up an elopement that would mar the family's good name. As a result, Geoff and Letty wind up in the same carriage at midnight, which means, in 1803, that they are very much compromised -- and forced to marry immediately. Nonplussed by marrying the wrong sister, Geoff sets off to Ireland on a mysterious voyage; secretly, he is a spy, high up in the League of the Purple Gentian. Letty decides to track him down, falling right in the middle of his secret life, with wonderful comic and romantic results. Once again, this is set as a story-within-a-story, with a contemporary romance slowly blossoming between historian Eloise Kelly and Colin Selwick, whose family papers star in The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Ginger Curwen
Harvard Ph.D. candidate Eloise Kelly continues her research of early 19th-century spies in the smart third book of the Pink Carnation series, following the well-received The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and The Masque of the Black Tulip. This installment focuses on 19-year-old Letty Alsworthy, who, after a comedy of errors, quickly weds Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, her older sister's intended. Geoffrey, an officer in the League of the Purple Gentian, flees to Ireland the night of his elopement. Unbeknownst to Letty, his plan isn't to abandon her; it's to quash the impending Irish Rebellion. When Letty tracks down her prodigal husband in Dublin, not only does she learn of his secret life as a spy, she's sucked into it with hilarious results. Willig like Eloise, a Ph.D. candidate in history draws on her knowledge of the period, filling the fast-paced narrative with mistaken identities, double agents and high stakes espionage. Every few chapters, the reader is brought back to contemporary London, where Eloise gets out of the archives long enough to nurse her continuing crush on Colin Selwick. The Eloise and Colin plot distracts from the main attraction, but the historic action is taut and twisting. Fans of the series will clamor for more. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The third title in Willig's historical series about British spies at the turn of the 19th century (begun in the wonderful The Secret History of the Pink Carnation) finds our flower, nee Jane Wooliston, more active than in the last volume (The Masque of the Black Tulip) though still not the focus of the inevitable romance. That honor falls to agent Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe and Letitia (Letty) Alsworthy, whose shotgun marriage is the result of trying to prevent Letty's sister, Mary, from running off with Geoff. Geoff himself runs off on their wedding night to continue the anti-Napoleon campaign in Dublin, where a real uprising stands in as backdrop for the goings-on. Letty ends up on Irish shores as well, and the undercover fur begins to fly. Unfortunately, the modern frame for the historical series-the research of Harvard Ph.D. candidate Eloise Kelly into the archives belonging to Colin Selwick and the couple's not-quite-romance-has collapsed, rendering this work little more than a sorry chick-lit beach read. But the series is proceeding, so we assume eventually our Carnation, as well as Eloise and Colin, will find love if not Napoleon. This reviewer hopes Willig will adjust her palette and discover the right color finally to satisfy her readers. For public libraries with Carnation fans.-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
France's most notorious secret agent, the Black Tulip, foments the 1803 Irish Rebellion in this third installment of Willig's delightful series (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, 2005, etc.). Plump Letty Alsworthy awakens to find her gorgeous sister Mary plotting a midnight elopement with Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale. Determined to save the family's honor by thwarting the runaway marriage, she heads downstairs in hopes of reasoning with Mary. In a case of mistaken identity, Letty is thrown into the getaway carriage; her spotless reputation compromised, she is forced into matrimony. At their wedding the next day, Geoff (who, unbeknownst to his bride, is an English spy and second-in-command of the League of the Purple Gentian) receives orders to leave immediately for Ireland to quash the uprising. Humiliated by his sudden disappearance, Letty decides to forestall any further gossip by following her husband to the Emerald Isle. There, the two join forces with Miss Gwen and Jane, fellow agents of English master spy the Pink Carnation, and hit upon a surprising revelation: Perhaps the Black Tulip isn't a single agent after all, but two, or even three or more. As they foil the Black Tulip's plan to incite insurrection, Geoff and Letty fall in love, Jane retains her cool demeanor (just what is going on between her and Lord Vaughn, anyway?) and Miss Gwen once again employs the parasol as her weapon of choice. As in the first two installments, grad student and intrepid researcher Eloise Kelly, living in the 21st century, unravels this tale, all the while lusting after hunky Colin Selwick, descendant of the Purple Gentian. Heaving bodices, embellished history and witty dialogue: What morecould you ask for?
Praise for The Deception of the Emerald Ring
“History textbook meets Bridget Jones.”—Marie Claire
“A fun and zany time warp full of history, digestible violence, and plenty of romance.”—New York Daily News
“Heaving bodices, embellished history, and witty dialogue: What more could you ask for?”—Kirkus Reviews
“Smart...[a] fast-paced narrative with mistaken identities, double agents, and high-stakes espionage....The historic action is taut and twisting.”—Publishers Weekly
More Praise for the Novels of Lauren Willig
“[This] sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Jane Austen for the modern girl.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Christina Dodd