Letty Alsworthy has an appalling nasty habit of being whisked way by seemingly innocent carriages! What was it about her that made everyone within grabbing distance want to and act upon the sudden urge to toss her an anything with wheels, one would be abductor in particular–Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale Snipe.
In Lauren Willig’s latest Pink Carnation romantic spy thriller series, The Deception of the Emerald Ring, Letty Alsworthy finds herself in a precarious situation…her sister Mary is secretly engaged to Lord Pinchingdale and plotting to elope with him.
Letty discovers the plot moments before Mary literally flies out the window right along with her reputation….Letty manages to get to Lord Pinchingdale’s carriage before Mary does and to her satisfaction prevents their elopement but before she can gloat too much, Letty finds herself in the compromised position–NOT Mary.
When the coach delivers Lord Pinchingdale’s bride to him, before he can confirm the identity of his beloved, he finds himself swept up in a moment of passion only to reveal he is snogging the WRONG sister! With Letty’s reputation at stake, Lord Pinchingdale does what any English gentleman would do–he marries Letty.
Not out of love or passionate devotion but out of duty and responsibility. Forced into a marriage neither of them desire, Lord Pinchingdale and Letty must come to some sort of agreement but they can hardly stand the sight of each other.
Lord Pinchingdale is suddenly called away to continue his work in the field of international espionage and French spies on the day of his wedding…but not to France, to Ireland and his plans most certainly do NOT include his new wife.
Lord Pinchingdale literally gets up in the middle of their wedding and leaves out the back to an awaiting ferry to Ireland siting a sudden need to purchase a horse as his reason. Alone insulted and mortified beyond reason Letty does what any girl would do–she gets totally and utterly drunk. Letty wakes up the following morning on a ship bound for Ireland in search of her flighty husband.
Little does she know that the elusive Black Tulip is in Ireland plotting the demise of the Pink Carnation spy syndicate and the Pink Carnations agents, one of whom is Lord Pinchingdale. Letty clumsily finds herself all but blowing her new husbands ‘cover story’ and all for the sake of her wounded pride.
But ever the more sensible sister, once Lord Pinchingdale and his friends, and other secret agents, set her right Letty makes up her mind to set her pride aside and go along with the whole thing. Like Lord Pinchingdale, Letty is level headed, strong, and will always do her duty as required. Somewhere in the middle of all hurling insults between Lord Pinchingdale and Letty….they find mutual attributes in each other that is threatening to turn into mutual love.
Meanwhile the Black Tulip is on a murderous rampage eliminating double agents and those who have used up their ‘useful-ness’. Lord Pinchingdale and the other secret agents of the Pink Carnation need to stop the Black Tulip before the Black Tulip eliminates Letty who is also quickly wearing out her welcome in Ireland. Will Lord Pinchingdale throttle the Black Tulip and the Black Tulip’s evil plan? Will Lord Pinchingdale actually fall in love with his own wife?!?! And the biggest question of all….will Letty escape the latest carriage she has been hoisted into?!!?!
Willig’s novels play host to a variety of characters with every novel belonging to a specific hero and heroine in this case Lord Pinchingdale and Letty who are both in the previous books (Pink Carnation and Black Tulip) but in the previous books they are only secondary characters.
Knowing that, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t care for this book as Lord Pinchingdale was not a very memorable character next to Richard and Miles. Out of the trio of best friends I liked Lord Pinchingdale least. He was not as dashing and romantic as Richard nor was he as comical and charming as Miles. However, after reading the novel I think I have to say there is a large part of me that likes him the most.
This book reminded me in many ways of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility….and since I am most like Elinor Dashwood (the sensible, level headed of the two Dashwood sisters) I liked Letty out of all the heroines so far. Lord Pinchingdale and Letty both understand there is more to a good marriage match than lust and passion….you do have to be able to tolerate each other and respect each other. Love and passion are as fleeting as a dalliance, respect and mutual understanding are constant which I totally understood and liked about their match.
I liked the novel immensely, but I didn’t like the direction of the adventure necessarily (which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars). I think this novel left off with too many loose ends surrounding the adventure/spy age and too many loose ends and not enough progress with Collin and Eloise (the modern romance part).
As I have said before, I am reading this series (at least the series in part) for the Regency & Victorian Reads Challenge over at the Royal Review’s blog. I am REALLY happy I decided to finally start this series because it is undeniably amazing! I literally find myself laughing so hard I’m crying at times….its funny, rich with history, full of quirky action and comedy….all mixed with a spot of dalliance making it just my cup of tea!
- Paperback, 464 pages
- Published September 4th 2007 by New American Library
Challenge: Regency & Victorian Reading Challenge
- Hosted by: The Royal Reviews Blog
- Books for Challenge Completed: 3/4
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 (comical romantic novel that will sweep you off your feet)
Genre: Historic fiction, Regency fiction, chick-lit, romance
One might admire a well carved statue but it would be deuced uncomfortable to cuddle up with at night (346)