Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (and its sequels) feature two ongoing parallel stories: one about a modern-day scholar, and one about the people that she’s researching. The scholar is unlucky-in-love American graduate student Eloise Kelly, who is spending a year in England hunting for information on an English spy who went by the name of “the Pink Carnation”--a mysterious figure known primarily as a less-famous contemporary of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Willig is obviously a solid historian and a very enjoyable romantic-comedy writer, although I found some of her dialogue to be distractingly anachronistic. (Also, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the dresses featured on the cover art are from the wrong time period.) But all of these complaints are small (hell--tiny) potatoes compared my biggest objection:

There is a scene in the first book where the hero and heroine get X-rated in a boat.

A boat with a BOATMAN IN IT. A boatman who COMMENTS on the... action.


See above. Again: EW!


Other Recommendations:
The Scarlet Pimpernel, by the Baroness Orczy

The Talisman Ring, by Georgette Heyer

And, for a "serious" novel with similar structure, try A.S. Byatt's Possession.

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Posted by: Julia


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