Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose-Lauren Willig

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
Lauren Willig
Dutton, Feb 2008, $24.95
ISBN 9780525950332

Graduate student Eloise Kelly continues her research into the Napoleonic era Vaughn family with information on the tangential Mary Alsworthy. Mary wishes the best for her younger sister Letty who inadvertently fell in love and married her sibling’s betrothed (see THE DECEPTION OF THE EMERALD RING). Mary finds social events quite boring especially loathing those who pity her as they all point to her living off her brother-in-law’s charity. Thus when spymaster Lord Vaughn asks her to help him uncover uncover French spy the Black Tulip, she accepts as their target obsesses over dark-haired young women.

Mary hooks the interest of the Black Tulip, who sees her as more than just another flower petal to toy with. However, he wants much more from Mary, which upsets Lord Vaughn who finds he is falling in love with his agent.

The fourth Pink Carnation tale is an exciting historical espionage romance that fans of the series will enjoy as two secondary players (Lord Vaughn was in THE MASQUE OF THE BLACK TULIP) return as the stars. The story line is fast paced especially when the events focus on the nineteenth century. When Eloise intrudes with her modern day issues, the story line decelerates as she feels like an unneeded interloper. Still readers will enjoy this fine romantic suspense.

Harriet Klausner