Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Orchid Affair
The Orchid Affair
by Lauren Willig
The Pink Carnation series, book eight
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?
(description taken from Amazon.com)
Another great addition to the Pink Carnation series. This series really has it all...romance, intrigue, danger, loyalty, humor...I love it. Though this is not my favorite in the series, I think it's going to be hard to top The Mischief of the Mistletoe for me...I just love Turnip!, this book had a lot of great things to offer.
Laura was an interesting character. I loved the juxtaposition between her artistic, loose upbringing and her many years as a staid governess. It made her uniquely qualified to become a successful secret agent...the Silver Orchid. It was fun reading about her first mission - seeing her get her feet wet, so to speak.
I really loved how Willig ties in real events to her historical fiction. Her research is meticulous. The fall of the French Monarchy and the French Revolutionary period have always fascinated me and the way that this book delves into the turbulent period was compelling. I really enjoyed getting to see Andre and other characters within the governmental structure, as well as actually getting to see the Pink Carnation, herself, in action again.
My favorite bits, though, were definitely Eloise and Colin. In each book we get to delve just a little deeper into their relationship and I always come out smiling...a love pig...I mean how can you not love that? I love getting to read these chapters interspersed into whatever spy intrigue is currently going on in history.
I will definitely be on the lookout for book nine of the series!
Full disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher