In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped queen of Portugal.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman - especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad 73-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it's only a matter of time before she's found and taken.
It's up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower - an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.
©2015 Lauren Willig (P)2015 Penguin Audio
The Moonflower is not a totally imperfect.
Lauren Willig has allowed her readers to see beneath the serene mask and cold intelligence of England's dedicated spy, the Pink Carnation. It is also fun to see her forced to "take a road trip" on foot and by donkey with a fellow spy she doesn't trust. Reading about the two of them rubbing the edges off of their preconceptions, not to mention each other is fun.
It is a great way to tie up a series both in the eighteen hundreds and the present, but I still think the Moonflower's crossbow waving little sister deserves her own book.
I hate to see the end of the Pink Series, but what a way to go. Jane and Jack ( the Moonflower) go on a huge adventure to rescue a mad queen, and in the process find out they are more similar than dissimilar. Old enemies show up to thwart them, and old friends to aid them which all makes for a fabulously great tale.
On the contemporary side, Colin and Eloise get involved in their own mystery/kidnapping on the eve of a very special day. Fans of the series will be pleased with how the author wraps up their story line. 5 stars indeed!
I am a HUGE fan of the Pink Carnation series and I've listened to all of the books in the series multiple times. In preparation of the release of The Lure of the Moonflower, I went back and listened to 4 or 5 of the previous books just because I was so excited for this release.
I have to say I was disappointed in the Moonflower. Eloise's story was GREAT, but Jane's story just fell short for several reasons:
1) I don't think there ever was a really good description of what Jack was supposed to look like. With a Scottish descendant father and an Indian mother, he should have had a more distinct look about him and there was so little said about his looks.
2) There was no hot and steamy love scene for Jane and Jack. Oh they were in a steamy Roman bath, but that was about all the steam involved. All we got was "much later" - how disappointing. We heard more about Jane's and the Count than her love story with Jack.
3) I was hoping there would be more interaction between Jack and Ms. Gwen. There was so little and there could have been so much more. The tension between those two could have been played up and a lot of fun reading/listening for all.
4) SPOILER (in my opinion): My biggest issue was that I did not like that Jack ended up not really taking charge. Instead Jane continued to take charge and the plan was to do things her way with Jack providing the back-up plan. Jack was supposed to be a very clever agent and known for his ability to switch sides. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that he was basically going to play second fiddle to Jane.
5) SPOILER: And finally - I did not like that Jane's family disowned her. Her family has always been portrayed as ditzy and didn't notice anything that Jane did. This is one of issues Ms. Gwen had with Jane's family and Ms. Gwen was very vocal about Jane's parents and their lack of involvement in their children's lives. Now they disown her and worse! Not likely based on how her parents have been portrayed.
So to say the least I was disappointed in Jane's story. I will listen to the book again, but I'm afraid I'll still be disappointed.
A beautiful wrap-up to a fun series. A strong females from early books gets a lovely curtain call. Well worth the time.
This was a great way to end the story of the Pink Carnation. (Maybe Lauren Willig will change her mind.) The story is set in Portugal which is a departure from previous books and it gives Jane opportunities for disguises plus she meets Jack!
As far as Eloise and Colin, well, I'm glad their story had the ending it did but Eloise was annoying me. She acted more like a 16 year old than a 30 something. I felt this in the last book, too, and I really think it's the way the narrator portrayed her. Kate Reading is one of the best but her Eloise was grating to me.
I'll miss all these characters. Thank you, Lauren Willig.
But not in a great way. I have loved this series and was disappointed to realize it was coming to a close. None the less, I was happy when this book came out, excited to read it. But could not finish it. The major reason was it read like the author just did not care, and the story reflected it. "Let's just get the characters their happy ever afters and bring this thing to a close" could describe this book. I thank the author for all the previous installments, and will try her other books, but her readiness and need to end the Pink Carnation was palpable. On to new series and new adventures from the author. This one was great but one installment too long.
Jack...every inch the dashing, smart-mouth spy.
While I must caveat this by saying that I am a huge fan of Lauren Willig's series, this book felt forced. Almost like the well of ideas was running dry and she was just trying to get it to the finish line.
She never puts a foot wrong...wonderful narrator!
The Eloise/Colin storyline in this book was just plain ridiculous.
I've loved the previous books in the Pink Carnation series. This one, however, I did not care for and stopped listening after a few hours. First, the fellow spy that the PInk Carnation hooks up with is a smart aleck. Ok, but he calls her "princess." She doesn't object. Drove me nuts. Second, I found her uncharacteristically indecisive.
Humor and romance and historical details. I love learning history from fun sources.
Pink Carnation and author/narrator. Men a bit shallow/repeatitive, but its ok.
The constant observations about human nature are spot on and strike my funny bone.
I will miss this series.
I am John's wife. He would not read this. It is entirely feminine fun.
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