The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
by Lauren Willig

Dutton Publishers, part of Penguin Books, 2008. ISBN 978-0-525-95033-2.
Reviewed by Jennifer Melville
Posted on 08/06/2008

Fiction: Historical; Fiction: Romance

Mary is an "old maid" whose marriage options seem to have vanished, yet the last thing she wants to do is rely on her new brother-in-law—and former lover—to finance another London season. She agrees to a secretive assignment from the Pink Carnation through the powerful and mysterious Lord Vaughn. She will infiltrate the ranks of the dark and elusive French spy, the Black Tulip, and in return Lord Vaughn will pay for her final chance to find a husband. She unexpectedly finds love and possible happiness, but has she gotten herself too deeply involved in the world of death and deception to survive?

At the same time, the author takes us to modern-day Eloise Kelly as she discovers the story of Mary and Lord Vaughn and herself becomes romantically involved with a descendent of the infamous Vaughn. Willig intricately intertwines the stories of past and present for an enjoyable web of love, lies, intrigue, and danger.

Lauren Willig's The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is a well-written addition to her historical spy series. Her prose is intelligent and detailed. Her characters are engaging and entertaining. This was the first of Willig's stories that I've read, and I wouldn't hesitate to read another of her adventures with the Pink Carnation.

Lauren Willig is a historical romance novelist who lives in New York City. She has graduate degrees in both law and history from Harvard and was a litigation associate at a New York law form before turning to writing full time. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is the fourth addition in her Pink Carnation series. Visit the author's website.

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