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Seduction of the Crimson Rose
Pink Carnation series, No 4

by Lauren Willig


     This fourth installment of Lauren Willig’s best-selling Pink Carnation series starts out with Eloise Kelly, a fifth-year graduate student, continuing her research in London into the Napoleonic era and the Vaughn family. This time, her main area of focus is Lord Vaughn and Mary Alsworthy.

Mary Alsworthy has lost the man she set out to marry, Lord Pinchingdale, to her younger sister Letty. Tired of social events and the pity she sees in other’s eyes, Mary seeks any reasonable means to avoid being financially dependent upon her brother-in-law. When master spy Lord Vaughn asks for her help to find the Black Tulip on behalf of the Pink Carnation, Mary accepts. Though she considers Lord Vaughn to be an infuriating rake and knows accepting the assignment would put her in constant contact with Vaughn, she will do anything to achieve her aim of financial independence.

The Black Tulip is a French agent whose primary desire in women is raven-colored hair, an attribute Mary possesses. Mary’s assignment is to obtain information from the French spy to prevent an invasion of England. Soon enough, Mary catches the eye of the notorious spy, but then the Black Tulip wants far more from Mary than she’s willing to give. Lord Vaughn also comes to want Mary, and returning that affection, she soon becomes embroiled in past secrets and present dangers...

Meanwhile, in the present, Eloise Kelly, the story narrator, becomes more involved with Colin Selwick, a descendant of the spy subjects she is researching.

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is a mesmerizing book, one that alternates from the Mary and Vaughn’s involvement as they rush to discover information that can prevent an invasion, to the present day between Eloise and Colin. The simultaneous story lines are fast-paced, the characters are fully developed, the history is enthralling, and the excitement never stops. More than anything, the writing is outstanding, clever and thoroughly captivating. Ms. Willig is a wonderful author who has written a tale filled with adventure, history, intrigue, and growing romantic relationships that make for a spectacular read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, No 1  [review 1] [review 2]
The Masque of the Black Tulip, No 2    [review]
Seduction of the Crimson Rose, No 4    [review]
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, No 5  [review]
The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, No 6  [review]
The Mischief of the Mistletoe, No 7  [Audio]   [Book]
The Orchid Affair, No 8   [review]
The Garden Intrigue, No 9   [review]

The Book

Dutton Adult
February 2008
0525950338 / 978-0525950332
Historical - London, Napoleonic era (1803)
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The Reviewer

Linda Morelli
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award-winning author of Lani's Challenge, Shadow of Doubt and Fiery Surrender. She is also an Associate Editor for Port Town Publishing and Historical Editor for Gotta Write Network Online.
© 2008