Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation #11) by Lauren Willig

This was the book  I was least excited about reading in the series. It sounded completely out of Willig’s usual formula….like so far removed from her usual style that I just wasn’t thrilled about it.

Vampires? In this series. No, no, and just no.

Plus the heroine, Sally Fitzhugh, is not one that has even been on the fringes of the series up until like the last book and even then it was minimal.

However, as I have said before, I am continually impressed with her ability to hook me into a believable romance and prove all my misconceptions wrong. So I tried to keep an open mind when I started reading.

In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.

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Review: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation #10) by Lauren Willig

I don’t know why but I always seem to go into the later Pink Carnation books with a preconceived notion of the romance.

With the last book, I was so not looking forward to it but found it was one of the more enjoyable ones! So one would think that I would keep an open mind. But I didn’t.

I was not really looking forward to an ‘old person romance’ in this book…not that I’m a spring chicken mind you but still…something about Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid just didn’t scream sexy to me.

In my mind, Miss Gwen is this old lady chaperone with pursed lips and grey hair while Colonel Reid seemed like this rough around the edges ladies man with grey hair….both charming in their own right but not anyone that I would fancy reading a romance about.

I am continually shocked with Willig’s ability to make me love her romances in spite of myself and my preconceived notions. Mind blown.

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Review: The Garden of Intrigue (Pink Carnation #9) by Lauren Willig

This year I decided to officially participate in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon for the first time ever. I had some time on my hands and some good books to start reading so I was eager for an excuse to sit and read undisturbed while my husband watched out little one.

I started The Garden of Intrigue almost immediately after completing The Orchid Affair and I’ll be honest, I was supposed to read it for Readathon but I almost finished it before Readathon even started!

Again, I’ll be honest and say that I was not looking forward to reading this one. Augustus Whittlesby was the singularly most annoying character in The Orchid Affair. His poetry was so over the top and I just couldn’t stomach him for more than a page or two.

I had serious reservations about this book but it’s the next in the series so I didn’t feel like I could avoid it.

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Review: The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation #8) by Lauren Willig

After diving back into the Pink Carnation series with the sixth book, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, I was eagerly ready to continue reading.

I have already read the seventh book so I moved on to The Orchid Affair instead. As with the previous books we meet a likable heroine in a decidedly awkward situation and a headstrong bachelor with the last thing on his mind being love.

While many of Willig’s books have a decidedly obvious formula, that has never turned me off to the series. I think what I love most is her ability to make me buy into the romance no matter how odd or challenging it is.

Veteran governess Laura Grey joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling adventures in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of André Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte’s minister of police.

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Review: The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation #6) by Lauren Willig

After the fifth Pink Carnation book, I kind of felt like I needed a little break from the Pink Carnation series. And by little break I mean like five years….thats how long it’s been since I read one of the Pink Carnation books.

I love the series as a whole but the last book in the series that I read, just left me a little wanting in the uniqueness category.

So I abandoned it in favor of other books, though I always knew that someday I would come back to it because lets face it, I am in love with this series, but I needed  little time to step away from it and come back to it in order to love it.

Granted five years seems excessive, but it happened eventually.

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