"Pride and Prejudice lives on" (USA Today) in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, which has been hailed for its addictive blend of history, romance, and adventure. In The Orchid Affair, Willig introduces her strongest heroine yet.
Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte's minister of police. Jaouen and his arch rival, Gaston Delaroche, are investigating a suspected Royalist plot to unseat Bonaparte, and Laura's mission is to report any suspicious findings.
At first, the job is as lively as Latin textbooks and knitting, but Laura begins to notice strange behavior from Jaouen: secret meetings and odd comings and goings. As Laura edges herself closer to her employer, she makes a shocking discovery and is surprised to learn that she has far more in common with Jaouen than she originally thought.
As their plots begin to unravel, Laura and Jaouen are forced on the run with the children, and with the help of the Pink Carnation, they escape to the countryside, traveling as husband and wife. But Delaroche will stop at nothing to take down his nemesis. With his men hot on their trail, can Laura and Jaouen seal the fate of Europe before it's too late?
©2010 Lauren Willig (P)2011 Penguin
After two installments that did not deal with the Pink Carnation and France, Lauren Willig brings her readers back to Paris with the Pink Carnation and the Silver Orchid, a graduate of the Selwick's spy school. The plot from the past is satisfying. And the Eloise's personal story takes on surprising turns. Fans of the Pink Carnation series will enjoy this.
If you ever enjoyed The Scarlet Pimpernel books, you'll definitely enjoy The Orchid Affair. I really liked the way the story goes back and forth between contemporary and historic times--two stories in one. This is a very cleverly done novel. I highly recommend it!
The story was enough to keep me interested but there wasn't much mystery to it as there was in the first books in this series. The plot was fast paced and good but I was expecting more of a mystery. As always, Kate Reading was a fabulous narrator. She always does an excellant job. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book in the series.
I truly enjoyed learning about the Pink Carnation and the back and forth from Modern Day to the past is smooth and well done. This is a enthralling story that grabs you and won't let you go. Slightly slow at the start but then gallops on to its ending. I found I had to just finish it because I couldn't wait to see how it all turned out.
Say something about yourself!
Kate Reading yes, Lauren Willig, probably not for a while. I read The Mischief of the Mistletoe about a year ago and loved it. I thought this would have a similar feel. I like light humor and tongue and cheek banter between characters. This didn't have much of it.
I also seriously disliked the whole contemporary story line thrown in. It seemed totally out of place and I fast forwarded through most of it. Granted, I've not read/listned to any other of the Pink Carnation series. I would imagine the contemporary story line makes more sense to those who have read other books in the series.
I'm not sure yet. I usually go for the sale items.
I'm not too picky about readers, but in a romance novel I much prefer a female reader. Kate Reading does an excellent job reading both male and female parts. I know some reviewers complained that they could not distinguish between the male voices, I didn't have that problem.
I would cut out the contemporary store line. It seemed more of an interruption rather than an addition to the tale.
Typical with Twist
The plot of the historical sections of the book were very engrossing and I found myself impatiently waiting to go from the "present" day scenes to the those. The setting of post revolution France was very engrossing and the addition of the arts was really interesting. I found the present day story line a bit boring, especially at first. They seemed very shallow until the plot thickened. I don't like the reader's inflection's when she is doing an American accent.
If you liked the others in this series this one won't disappoint I think.
I loved the main character Laura Gray, mature and strong character, she's smart enough to handle rough situations and even work her way out of them.
Kate Reading is a brilliant narrator. I have listened to many of her audio books. She is wonderful at doing mens and womens voices and terrific at accents.
I loved the ending how Laura dealt with the villainous Gaston Delaroche, it was marvelous. Laura was one of the strongest female's in this series in my opinion. Looking forward to reading the next book
the story kept me interested
Love Kate Reading as a narrator, she brings the story to life
I'm glad this was my introduction to the series because, after taking a look at Willig's earlier works, I believe her writing improves with each book. Listening, you can play "spot the references" to gothic and other romances ("Oh, Mr. Rochester!"). Willig avoids cliche with her use of well-drawn characters and a just-right level of suspense. Most important, this writer does her research.
It ranks really high in this genre. Lauren Willig is a wonderful author. This is the only series of this type I listen too and I forget that it could be considered a romance novel. Her characters are will developed and they are multifaceted. She not only creates actions, she gives her character purpose. For me the love story is an aside but they always make me feel good in the end. She has a way creating the perfect amount tension between her main characters. I avoid the term love interest but that's what they are. Her secondary characters are also ALWAYS well developed as well.
Its a toss up between the mail and the female lead. They both have great back stories and good reasons for doing what they do.
As always her performance was top notch. I simple love her reading this series
I think I would take out one of the secondary characters. I would take the old painter. I know the stories of his life would be fascinating.
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