So this is the book that everyone has been waiting for in this series…..Jane’s romance with maybe the exception of me.
But I had to finish the series all the same and Willig is always so good at making me fall in love with her heroines, I tried to keep an open mind.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.
It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue (summary from Goodreads).
This one was hard to review. I still never really warmed up to Jane but yet Jack Reid was sexy as hell and I was happy to love him! He made this book worth reading. We are introduced to Jack Reid (in the flesh) back in the sixth book and then we see him on the fringes of the tenth book (but in memories/stories) so I was primed and ready to meet this devilish double agent that we had heard so much about.
You honestly couldn’t have picked a better romantic interest for Jane than Jack Reid. He was every inch the perfect match and I loved that Willig came in strong with his character and built him up in other books because I don’t think it would have had the same impact had he been some randomly met guy for Jane. I wanted to run off with him from the start so I really loved his character and how he evolved in the book.
Jane on the other hand never really solicited any sympathy from me. I felt like she knew what she was signing up for when she entered the spy arena and it bugged that there was such a focus on her losing everything…..that’s the job right? Sometimes you just can’t have both roots and wings. I also felt like she pushed everyone away and I found myself questioning how long before she pushed Jack away. I was thankful though that there was the epilogue because that helped me accept their romance more.
I’ll be honest, I was completely lost in the Portuguese situation. I had no idea what was going on with the history of that region at the time and throughout the series there was such a focus on France and England, even India and I just felt like setting this story in Portugal was a play out of left field. There was so much ground work put in with the other settings that this felt flimsy.
I also didn’t care for how things with The Gardener resolved. There was such emphasis in previous books put on how unscrupulous he was and how he was Jane’s archenemy and then in this book things changed and that seemed to go against the grain for me. I felt disappointed in that regard.
For me, Jack saved this book. Did things tie up ok at the end of the series….sure, there was nothing left unresolved and yes Jane got her HEA and so did Eloise, however this just didn’t have the same heavy hitting plot and romance than some of the other books in the series did.
Satisfying, yes. Solid book end to the series, no.
- Review copy provided by: Personal Collection
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3 out of 5
Genre: historical fiction, romance, Regency lit