Tis the season to get Pink! Lauren Willig's beloved Pink Carnation series gets into the holiday spirit with this irresistible Regency Christmas caper.
Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies....
Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh - often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation - has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, "Meet me at Farley Castle," the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens' modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate twelve-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? Is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella's and Turnip's hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?
©2010 Lauren Willig (P)2010 Penguin Audio
I wasn't sure how I felt about Turnip being the hero of his own story. Turns out, I absolutely adored him! He sort of bumbles and fumbles about, but he is so genuinely caring that one does not care. Arabella was a perfect match for him, overlooking his faults and accepting Turnip as is. In turn, Turnip overlooks status and class and loves Arabella for the spunky yet pragmatic woman she is.
Kate Reading is, as always, a fabulous narrator, easily transporting us to the time and place. We also get a visit from none other than Jane Austen herself, who is unassuming and witty. Eloise and Collin do not make an appearance in this story, due to the fact that it takes place between Crimson Rose and Night Jasmine. I missed them, but completely understand their absence. Mistletoe is a fantastic addition to the Pink Carnation series and a must read for any fan!
(My only complaint would be to the producers of the audiobook and not the book itself. A bit of the music from the beginning is inserted absolutely randomly throughout the book. I could almost understand if it happened only once or in between scene changes. But it happened at least half a dozen times and in completely bizarre places. One would think that a producer or editor would have noticed that.)
This was my introduction to The Pink Carnation series. I fell in love with Turnip & his dopey, well-meaning ways. Miss Dempsy's practicality is a nice balance to him, & he helps her to have some fun. I'm no historian, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of every detail of the book, but if you're looking to find yourself lost in a Christmas mystery and meeting a few new friends, this is a good book for that. It was a delightful escape into another time & place.
Yes, I said Turnip. That is the name of the unlikely hero of this clever and lighthearted romance about a true gentleman who may not be so full of knowledge in the noggin, but whose loyalty and good-heartedness wins the female lead (and me!) over completely. Go Turnip, you rock - for King and Country and all that, you know... The narration is excellent and i can honestly say that i have never seen a Christmas pudding used as such a clever and intriguing plot device before.
This is my first book of this series, and I enjoyed it immensely. Perhaps those who are au currant with the series would get more from this book, being familiar with the characters and general settings, but other than the occasional 'huh' on my part, I didn't particularly feel the lack. It is funny and sweet and, for me anyway, a real feel-good little book that I imagine I will re-listen to during the rainy season.
I love Kate Reading anyway, and she does this book justice with accent and character differentiation.
If you like historical romance, you'll probably like this one.
This Christmas offering from the lovely and gracious Lauren Willig, is fabulous fun. Funny, suspenseful and romantic - all wrapped up in one. The icing on the cake is that it is narrated by the marvelous Kate Reading. I could not have asked for a more delicious way to spend my holiday leisure hours.
Night Jasmine which is supposed to be book 6 Has Turnip un-married Although this book was funny and wonderful.
There is humor and some sadness, but as in all books in this series, there is a war between England and France and we are dealing with spies.
so, I've never thought that an actually stupid man could have a love affair with an intelligent woman, but Ms. Willig made a believer out of me. I also never really thought about Turnips story before but now that it is written I think it worth while and a great addition to the series. I must say my favorite parts generally involved the Christmas Puddings :)
I am also glad that there wasn't the switching back and forth between time periods thing in this addition. I was getting a little bored with "Whats-her-names" story line.
Only one thing marred this book for me and it was the seemingly forced entrance of Jane Austen into the mix. I am still very confused as to why she was there and what her character added to the story other then getting those of us die hard Jane Austen freaks to look twice at the book.
Oh! And 2 thumbs up for the narrator as well! She was great!!! in some ways she made the story for me!
I have read or listened to the first 8 books in this series and I read this one out of order, but it is my favorite so far. There was a lot of tongue in cheek/offbeat humor, and I really liked Turnip & Arabella's characters. Willig's books are pretty light reading and formulaic, but she is excellent at defining characters and personalities and mixing them up. I enjoyed the book and was laughing out loud in several spots.
I laughed out loud! Kate Reading does brilliant character differentiation and does the single best voices of both women AND men that I have heard (and I have over 500 books in my Library),
The characters are true and consistent. They are delightful to boot, and the story is so much fun.
Can't pick a "favorite scene." Every time I try, I find another to replace it. I enjoy the entire series, but this one is so much fun that I smile every time I think of any single moment in it.
First, I should note that I love Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation books. Getting a chance to see inside the head of "Turnip" Fitzhugh was priceless. I loved all of the actions revolving around fruitcake. I will certainly listen to this one again.
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