The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

May 22, 2010

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
By: Lauren Willig
381 pages

Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation: to 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 black haired women- his "petals" of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipates that his own heart will be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction,impediments from their pasts, and of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in the shadows of a treacherous garden of lies. -- The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

I liked this book. I found myself curious how Mary and Lord Vaughn were going to interact. Both are two of a kind in the respects of being bitter from the directions life has taken them, cynical, and only out for themselves. Lord Vaughn is the mysterious character that no one is really sure of: is he good or is he bad? And, like Mary, he has a scandal of his own he had to endure (his wife died and some question the true cause). Mary is the family beauty who has gone several seasons with no proposal. Her closest shot at a secure future is now married to her sister after an innocent mistake.

Both agree to the Pink Carnation's assignment under the impression that it was going to be a short term thing and they would go their own ways after. Of course, neither of those things happen and neither of them expected what actually happened. The banter between them was great and doesn't stop even once they admit how they feel. Throughout the whole book both characters stay true to themselves.

Everything changes when Lord Vaughn gets injured and Mary is the one who takes care of him. This is when all the games and pretense stop and they lay it all on the line. Of course, it isn't smooth sailing for them from here on out. Nothing ruins a declaration of love like the "dead" wife showing up in the middle of it. So now they have to not only deal with the Black Tulip, but now they have to deal with his wife wanting to take back her place in life.

If you're like me and don't read a lot of historical romances, you'll enjoy this book. If you do read a fair share of them, I can see how this book would get lost in the crowd. There isn't anything really outstanding in it, but it's a fun read. Lord Vaughn and Mary are wonderful characters to read about from beginning to end.

Rating: Borrow From the Library


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read on May 23, 2010 at 5:19 AM said...

I love historical romances! This one looks interesting enough, and the cover is so pretty.;) I really like your review. I would borrow this book from a library, sure.

Jen on May 23, 2010 at 7:41 AM said...

Thank you. This is the 4th in a series. I did a review on the first one, too. I LOVED "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation". It's a good series & you don't have to read them in order.

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