The Garden Intrigue

February 16, 2012

The Garden Intrigue
By: Lauren Willig
378 pages

Napoleon is planning to invade England. When the "OK" is given sooner than expected, The Pink Carantion's team sets out to foil the plot. Augustus, who poses as a poetically challenged poet, must secure an invitation to Malmaison. Enter in Emma. A widow who has close ties with Napoleon's wife and daughter. What is supposed to be a simple mission becomes more than either Augustus or Emma expected.

I've been a fan of The Pink Carnation series from the first book. I've always loved how Lauren Willig weaves history, romance, spies, and great characters together. Between the historical plot and the modern day plot, you are always in for a good read. I'm happy to say The Garden Intrigue is no different.

Emma is the girl who ran off with a man at 15 years old. Not quite prepared for real life after the fun of wooing, Emma runs away. While she eventually comes to her senses and returns to her husband and new life, she doesn't know that time is running out for them. Her husband dies shortly after their reunion. Since becoming a widow, Emma had a brief and regretful affair. An affair she was happy to see end, but Georges was not. Now she is at a crossroads. Not wanting to return home to the United States, but knowing the life she has built in France is changing, she doesn't know what to do. Enter Augustus.

Augustus is a man of poetry. Rather bad poetry, but it has served him well so far. His poetry is really the cover and code for his being a spy. He works with The Pink Carnation and is given a mission: Get the plans of the device Napoleon intends to test at a party held at Malmaison. Upon his arrival he is exposed to a critical Emma. As if that isn't frustrating enough, she is his ticket to gaining access to Malmaison. She has been asked to write a Masque that will be performed at the party. He offers his assistance, and she eventually takes him up on it.

The predictable plot of the book is that they fall in love and survive a few road blocks. Predictable, yes, but enjoyable, too. I love the banter these two had. They played very well off each other throughout the entire book.

The less predictable storyline is the modern day one between Eloise and Colin. Colin's family is related to The Pink Carnation and has all the research she needs for her dissertation. But while she was researching the famous spy, she was also falling in love with Colin. Now a wrench threatens to cause big problems for their future. She's been offered a head teaching job in her hometown of Cambridge, MA. That means moving back to US. Will she take it? Or will she risk it all for the sake of love?

I enjoyed the latest installment in this series. It was a great way to spend my weekend. Lauren Willig's books are ones I look forward to and count down the days for when the release is on the horizon. She does a phenomenal job of taking history and turning it into a story that you can't walk away from.

Rating: Borrow From Library


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