Saturday, April 24, 2010
The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
"Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she's been spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tulip--two of the deadliest agents to saunter the streets of nineteenth-centrury England and France. Not only has she been unearthing secrets that will rearrange history, but she's been dallying with Colin Selwick and looking for a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another fierce heroine running headlong into history.
In June 1803, Letty Alsworthy attempts to prevent her sister's midnight elopement--only to be accidentally whisked away herself. The scandal forces her into a hasty marriage with Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, who then decamps immediately to help the Pink Carnation quash a ring of Irish rebels led by the Black Tulip. Not to be outdone, Letty steals away to the Emerald Isle herself, ready to learn a thing or two about espionage--and never imagining she might learn a few things about love along the way..." (from the publisher)
It's book #3 in the Pink Carnation series, and I'm still absolutely loving the modern-day storyline of Eloise and the nineteenth-century historical characters and spies that are a part of her dissertation research. I honestly don't know how she does it, but Willig manages to hook me into her stories right from the beginning and I can't stop turning those pages. She's a master at building the suspense and intrigue and leaving you clamoring to know more when the chapter ends!
Fans of Georgette Heyer's Devil's Cub will notice a familiar predicament for Geoffrey Pinchindale and Letty Alsworthy.....Geoffrey, believing that he is in love with the beautiful and much-admired Mary Alsworthy, plans a middle-of-the-night elopement with her, but, (ooops!) sister Letty winds up in the getaway carriage instead and manages to have her reputation seriously compromised. Being a true gentleman, Geoffrey does what is necessary to protect a lady's reputation, and he agrees to marry Letty to save her from ruin. The course their relationship takes is interesting and believable, and I found myself cheering for Letty. Although she's not the beauty that her sister is, she's spunky and endearing and worthy of being loved for herself (freckles and all!)
Willig also keeps the laughs coming, and some of the best gems in the book are Eloise's thoughts on "man-isms"....hilarious and oh-so-true observations about men and their "unique" view of the world. ;)
Lord Vaughn is still as mysterious and enigmatic as ever.....I'm not quite sure where his loyalties lie, or whether he is friend or foe.....but he is a most intriguing character and I can't wait to find out more about him in The Crimson Rose.
Title: The Deception of the Emerald Ring
Author: Lauren Willig
Publisher: New American Library
genre: historical romance