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The Secret History of the Pink Carnation | [Lauren Willig]

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803.
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Publisher's Summary

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation�the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?

©2005 Lauren Willig; (P)2005 Penguin Audiobooks and Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Willig's story is a decidedly delightful romp." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (789 )
5 star
 (264)
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3.8 (347 )
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Story
4.1 (341 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rachel San Diego, CA, USA 05-11-06
    Rachel San Diego, CA, USA 05-11-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Couldn't Wait to Hear More"

    "Good heavens," I found this book to be very entertaining and couldn't wait to get back into my car to listen. Although based on history, I wouldn't read this story for that reason. It's a basic love story. At times it's a bit frustratingly predictible.

    The story meshes two stories together - one in current times and the other in the times of Napoleon. I could have done without the current day story - I found that storyline to lack in realistic character interaction.

    I was disappointed by the ending though. I understand this is a series book but the ending of the book raises more questions than answers.

    Even though it was a bit cheesy at times, and there were two sexual encounters that were unnecessaryily descriptive (and actually took away from the story for me), I still found myself laughing out loud at times and wanting more. All and all, I'd recommend it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Dallas, OR, USA 02-24-06
    Katherine Dallas, OR, USA 02-24-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    "Easy fun to read"

    This is funny & easy read. Some of the romance is a bit cheesy, but the author put a smile on my face and I just enjoyed listening. I can't wait to read the sequel. If you want deep and indepth intellectual reading skip this one. This is for fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manuel Miami, FL, USA 02-10-06
    Manuel Miami, FL, USA 02-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    104
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great & fun!"

    I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I loved this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Forest Hill, MD, United States 09-29-05
    Heather Forest Hill, MD, United States 09-29-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    328
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    512
    83
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    40
    0
    Overall
    "the secret History of the Pink carnation"

    I thought this book was very good I loved the suspence and romance together I didn't put my Ipod down untill the book was over it was that good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Wichita, KS, United States 09-13-05
    Rebecca Wichita, KS, United States 09-13-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    175
    37
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    2
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    Overall
    "A likeable book with a bit of an identity crisis"

    I agree with the folks that say this book could have been more than a frothy period romance. It wasn't grand and sweeping enough to be more than that, yet the characters' passions were a little too overwrought, and the pace too sluggish, to make it truly "frothy".
    I found the modern-day heroine likeable and sort of Bridget-Jones-ish. The modern male-female repartee was rather childish for people their reputed ages and education levels, and the historic male-female dialog seemed too modern, but perhaps because it was imagined. I don't mean to whine though, for I did enjoy the book and was disappointed by its abrupt ending. Perhaps a sequel is in development--I'd read it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony waterboro, ME, USA 06-19-09
    Anthony waterboro, ME, USA 06-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Love the series"

    I didn't favor this books but the rest of the series is excellent. I love book two with Miles and Henrietta.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Richmond, VA, USA 10-09-05
    Elizabeth Richmond, VA, USA 10-09-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    173
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Yuck!"

    How disappointing. Smarmy love scenes and really, really bad male voice imitations by the narrator made this toooooo long novel even longer. Gawd! Let me make better choices next time!

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Tremblay Cole 02-23-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    477
    33
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "A Regency Romance"

    -(in spirit - Yes, George III is still on his throne.) This book doesn't give a reliable sense of the times, and while you don't read light fiction for historical accuracy, the anachronistic details are often jarring. And the characters predictably follow the standard conventions of the genre. "People who like this sort of thing will like this."

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy Austin, Tx, United States 02-17-11
    judy Austin, Tx, United States 02-17-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    140
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "A Good Read-Not!!!"

    The easily angered character Amy who naively jumped to conclusions as quickly as she jumped into adventure was not believable. She and the purple gentian came off as flirting teenagers. As an historical novel, it is extremely weak. The tit for tat between the main characters overwhelms any history and became tedious.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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