Thursday, February 17, 2011
Title: The Orchid Affair
Author: Lauren Willig
Genre: Historical romance
Rating: 4 Crowns
In this eighth book in the Pink Carnation spy series we are introduced to a new agent, the Silver Orchid, otherwise known as former governess Laura Grey. Worn out after sixteen years as a governess, Laura was glad to be recruited by the Pink Carnation and trained as a spy. However her first assignment is to don a familiar role-she must act the part of governess to the children of André Jaouen, a man with government connections who works for the Prefect of Police. What should have been a straightforward assignment becomes complicated when Laura uncovers a Royalist plot and André appears to be involved.
The Orchid Affair is a return to form for the Pink Carnation series after the lighthearted previous book, The Mischief of the Mistletoe. There is more danger and suspense as well as heated romance between the main characters. Laura Grey is a fun protagonist. She is intelligent, brave, and quick witted which makes her a good spy and a great match for André. They share excellent chemistry although at times it take a back seat to the adventure. The setting is interesting as we see life in the dangerous political climate of post-Revolutionary Paris. The historical details are fascinating, especially about the traveling theatre troupe.
The one thing I did not enjoy was the return of the modern narrator Eloise Kelly. Her sections intruded on the story and interrupted the flow at times. I could easily have skipped those chapters to read only the historical narrative and enjoyed it more. For those new to the Pink Carnation series, this would not be the story to start with as it gives away the identity of that particular spy. Instead, I would recommend picking up a copy of the first book, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. However for fans of the series, The Orchid Affair will be sure to please. I found it to be the strongest book in terms of espionage since The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.
Readalikes: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent, The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips
Visit Christina T. @ Reading Extensively
Royal Reviewer Angela Renee at 2:44 PM