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Publisher's Summary

In the ninth installment of Lauren Willig's best-selling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleon's invasion of England.

Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can't bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.

New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus's side. An old school friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus's poetry.

As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend's entertainment.

Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She'll do anything to postpone the decision - even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte's house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted - especially Augustus's feelings for Emma.

©2012 Lauren Willig (P)2012 Penguin

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  • J-9
  • Cary, NC, United States
  • 02-26-12

Disappointed. :(

What did you like best about The Garden Intrigue? What did you like least?

I like Lauren Willig's writing. She writes well developed descriptive paragraphs. I really enjoy reading and listening to Ms. Willig's books because they are so well written. What I liked least about this book was the plot. There wasn't one. There was no espionage and no mystery whereas the other books in this series had a good mystery that required espionage. <br/><br/>Augustus Whittlesby was such a well developed character in the other books that I was looking forward to him having his own book. Mr. Whittlesby whould be let down that his story didn't do his years of espionage justice. <br/><br/>Eloise and Colin's story was also incredibly BORING! There was nothing.

What about Kate Reading’s performance did you like?

I truly enjoy listening to anything Ms. Reading reads. Her character portrayal makes the reading very believable.

Do you think The Garden Intrigue needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

This book itself doesn't need a follow-up; however, I'm looking forward to the next edition of the Pink Carnation Series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another great spy story of the Napoleonic era

Would you consider the audio edition of The Garden Intrigue to be better than the print version?

Kate Reading if a fabulous reader, not only in her overall production/delivery of the story but actually pronouncing all the french names correctly

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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More of what we expect from Lauren Willig

Intriguing characters, new and old. Solid reading by Kate. Lots of funny moments, awful poetry and clever parallels between the past and the present. Excellent set up for the next installment.

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Average & pretty forgettable

I'm a fan of the Pink Carnation series, but some of the books I definitely like more than others. This was one of those ones that I didn't like as much - it was just sort of boring to me. And I felt like the ending for Augustus and Emma could have gone further (like back into England) - it leaves you wondering if they ended up happily ever after or not. The present day storyline was weak. The further I've gotten into the series, the more I've wondered if Willig is just cranking out books on a deadline sometimes.

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Oh dear!

This story had such potential, and I kept waiting for it to come for fruition. It never did. There were 2 plots, one contemporary and the other in Napoleon's France. I never did find out why. They were almost entirely disconnected. Maybe, just maybe, this story would have made more sense if I had read the previous 8 novels. But if they are as badly written and performed as this one, I would have been spared wasting my credit here. There are many better versions of Napoleonic spies and many better comedic romances, if that's what this was supposed to be. Spend your credit on one of those.

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This Series Doesn't Disappoint!

The Garden Intrigue is a great addition to the Pink Carnation Series. Lauren Willig and Kate Reading continue to be one of the best author-narrator combinations I've heard on Audible.

I find it interesting that all of the other books in this series have flower names. But, this one doesn't. Hmm.... I think it's because while The Pink Carnation and Mr. Whittlesby are up to their same old antics, this book delves into the personal life and perspective of the Pink Carnation in a way the previous books haven’t. Like the previous books, this one goes back and forth between historic and present time periods—mostly focusing on the historic pieces. I have to say, one of the most amazing thing about all the books in this series is the amount of research Willig has done while still managing to make this seem like a fun, light read. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. What a talent she is!

I was skeptical about how Willig was going to make Mr. Whittlesby less annoying—someone the heroine, Emma Delagardie, could fall in love with. But, she dealt with that issue fairly quickly and neatly. After that, you get to just sit back and enjoy an easy read by a wonderful author.

All of this has me interested in listening to the 10th installment of this series. So please get this soon Audible :)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Light, Mindless Romance

If you are looking for a light, mindless romance, that makes you laugh, this book is perfect. If you want a scholarly work on the Napoleonic Wars, you will be sadly disappointed. As I was seeking the first, I was very pleased with this latest addition and look forward to the next book in the series as soon as Lauren Willig can write it!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Others Are Excellent and so much fun...

but Garden Intrigue is definitely my least favorite Willig novel so far. The storyline was quite plodding and I couldn't get into the hero and heroine. Don't worry that Willig has lost her touch though. The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, the following book, is wonderful and fun.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Flirty Spies

This book brought back into the picture more the pink carnation which was nice. I liked the two main characters and their storyline. The addition of the steam devices was particularily interesting. I also liked Colin and Eloise and I wish there was more of them. The book followed more or less in the form of the previous books in this series so going in I knew what to expect with the main outline having different elements thrown in. I'm looking forward to the release of the next installment. Kate Reading did, as always, a fantastic job. Her pronunciation of the french names and place names was, to me not a native speaker, excellant.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful