Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England. Every spy has a weakness and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women -- his "petals" of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipated that his own heart would be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in a treacherous garden of lies.
And as our modern-day heroine, Eloise Kelly, digs deeper into England's Napoleonic-era espionage, she becomes even more entwined with Colin Selwick, the descendant of her spy subjects.
I was not too pleased to see who the hero and heroine of this book were to be, let just say that in the previous books that both these characters have been, they have left me a little cold. I stuck with the book because of series itself, and I like to follow Eloise and her discoveries.
Lord Vaughn, has a darkness about him. He exudes confidence and is not afraid to use his power to manipulate and use people as he sees fit. If anything, to me he would have a been the ideal double agent for the series. Mary, at the beginning I did feel sorry for her, having to witness her sister and her former suitor, but eventually her lamentations just got on my nerves. Her beauty does not compensate for her being a brat or her shallowness. But mostly what got on my nerves was that I couldn't see them falling for each other. It just didn't have the romance that the other book had. What saved the book for me was Eloise story, considering it wasn't too much but it was nice to have that break from Mary and Lord Vaughn.
Here's hoping that the next book will be better!
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig (2.5/5) Historical Fiction; Published: Dutton (2/2008); Series: # 4, Pink Carnation; Library; Books 2012 (22)