Lauren Willig’s enchanting Pink Carnation series is basically Georgette Heyer meets The Scarlet Pimpernel with a bit of Bridget Jones. If ever I were to paste the term “something for everyone”, I would use it as a label for this fresh series. Fresh, still, and uncannily, seeing as it is on its 9th book!
But the plot-within-a-plot structure, coupled with Willig’s devotion to the time period and her fervor for splendid and sparkly research provide readers with another glimpse into the world of romance, danger and espionage: this time, featuring the newest in the network of the Pink Carnation, the beautifully named Augustus Whittlesby and the New York born Emma Morris Delagardie.
Sparks fly, intrigue ensues and it is up to the American student Eloise and her erstwhile love interest Colin Selwick to excavate once more some of the most endearing, endangering, sexy and suave history of the British Empire.I especially enjoyed Augustus Whittlesby’s penchant for bad poetry. Of all of Willig’s incredible captivating regency heroes, this one proved to be the closest descendant of Sir Percy Blakeney, that indomitable and elusive Pimpernel.
I realize that my thoughts here are rather over-arching and not as specific to this particular novel and that is because, after looking through my blog, I don’t think that I have ever written about this series previously and I want readers to pursue the entire series. ALL OF IT! I have enjoyed all 9 books immensely and crave many, many more and I would heartily recommend starting at the very beginning ( especially for the well-worthwhile introduction to the Pink Carnation ring and to Eloise and Colin and their charming exploits around a beautiful old English manor: said to house the greatest secrets of the scheming carnation and her floral-power counterparts …)
I mostly enjoy Willig’s work because her passion for the period and for romance and for the tongue-in-cheek reverence that follows is so deftly acute. It infuses every one of her books and makes for rip-roaring fun.
Even though her research loans pitch-perfect verisimilitude to each of her endeavours, it is her sparkly wit and the devilish fun that hops off of every page. Willig is more than a competent writer: her pen was MADE for this era. She will throw in enough laughs, enough tawdry villainry, enough steamy romance and enough wit and sparkle and denouement to thaw even the most reluctant of historical readers.
I heartily recommend The Garden Intrigue, yes; but strongly advise the entire series for optimal enjoyment.
Just see if you don’t fall for dashing Augustus and his dastardly couplets, verses and rhymes
-Visit Lauren Willig
-Find the sequence of the Pink Carnation series here
-Buy the Garden Intrigue on Amazon
-My thanks to TLC for allowing me to host the most recent book by one of my favourite contemporary writers.