The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

May 10, 2010

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
By: Lauren Willig
426 pages

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own? -- Barnes &

I loved this book! From start to finish I was glued; I could not put the book down! The historical and modern day story lines were very well written and wove together seamlessly. The characters were amazing and fun to read. The two main characters from the past, Richard and Amy, were great! The banter between the two was so fun to read. She would have him unglued so fast and not really understand why. More than once I was giggling or laughing. Another great set of characters was Miles, Richard's best friend, and Harriet, Richard's sister. He was funny and she was hilarious. Amy and Jane's chaperon, Miss Gwen, was the prim and proper lady with an umbrella she wasn't afraid to poke anyone with. Of course, while she's doing that, she taking notes for the novel she's writing. Lastly, Lady Uppington. She had to be my favorite supporting character of them all. She's Richard's mother and the perfect blend of funny, naive, spunky, and devilishly smart. Not to mention being an example of why one should never threaten the safety of her children.

If I had to have a complaint it would probably be the genre this book is in. According to the author it's a historical romance book. If that is so, there needed to be a few more love scenes than there was. There was plenty of sexual tension and I enjoyed the love scenes there was, but I wouldn't have minded a couple more.

Lauren Willig's debut book was fabulous!! It's also the debut of a series. I think Willig did an amazing job. I never felt too much time was spent on one storyline versus the other. She had the ability of having me completely enthralled with whatever time period I was reading about. The pace was even and always going. I have already started reading some of the other books in the series and look forward to reading more of them.

Rating: Buy it!!!


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