Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria
By Lauren Willig
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary: Colonel William Reid has returned home from India to retire near his children, who are safely stowed in an academy in Bath. Upon his return to the Isles, however, he finds that one of his daughters has vanished, along with one of her classmates.

Having served as second-in-command to the Pink Carnation, one of England’s most intrepid spies, it would be impossible for Gwendolyn Meadows to give up the intrigue of Paris for a quiet life in the English countryside—especially when she’s just overheard news of an alliance forming between Napoleon and an Ottoman Sultan. But, when the Pink Carnation’s little sister goes missing from her English boarding school, Gwen reluctantly returns home to investigate the girl’s disappearance.

Thrown together by circumstance, Gwen and William must cooperate to track down the young ladies before others with nefarious intent get their hands on them. But Gwen’s partnership with quick-tongued, roguish William may prove to be even more of an adventure for her than finding the lost girls…

Review: Wow, I knew this one was going to be a great historical read, but I had no idea there would be mystery and secret spies involved. Instead of the same old historical romance, this book had much more intrigue, secrets, and, of course, a steamy romance. 

Colonel William Reid has returned from India in hopes of settling down with his children, but he doesn't expect to find his youngest daughter missing with one of her classmates. Lucky for William, the classmate just so happens to be the sister of the secret spy the Pink Carnation. Along with the Carnation comes her guardian Gwen, who will do anything to protect her country and the two innocent girls caught in the middle of a dangerous game. The girls, though, aren't the only thing on Gwen and William's mind as they spend more and more time together. They're both in for an adventure they definitely weren't expecting...

Like I said, this book was so much more than I was expecting. First, it starts out in the present day, which really threw me off. But the present day is about a couple searching for missing jewels and researching about the lives of our historical cast of characters. Then, it switches to the historical storyline where the spying and espionage comes into play. And you know what the best part is? The women are the kick-butt spies. And their gadgets are sweet! They have knives hidden in parasols and fans, and you have no idea what they'll pull out in their next fight (yes, there are actually multiple intriguing fights).

Not only was there actions and mystery, but the romance was more than enough to please me. I love how Gwen and William bicker so much, and yet their chemistry is completely undeniable. I also loved Gwen's character and how stubborn she is, but still caring and vulnerable on the inside. 

Overall, Lauren Willig's newest novel offers so much more than a simple historical read. I had no idea that there are 9 other books before this one in the Pink Carnation series, but I'd love to get my hands on them! Even if you're like me who hasn't read the other books in the series, this one can definitely be read as a stand-alone. And once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down until you figure out who the bad guys are and just where the missing jewels have been hiding for the past 200 years...

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