I've just finished reading The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig. This was just as good as her previous titles in the "Pink Carnation" series. Reading these books is like revisiting dear friends after a long separation. It was quite nice to get back to the relationship trials and tribulations (ah new love) of Eloise and Colin. During this story they take their first major trip together and travel to Paris. Of course, Eloise finds time to do more research. I'm beginning to think she'll never finish her doctoral dissertation. I won't even get into the family drama that occurs, suffice it to say the Selwick family is just as dysfunctional as others.
The main characters in this story are Laura Grey (aka Laure Griscogne), governess and a newby to the spy game and Monsieur Andre Jaouen, widower and father of two. The verbal sparring between these two was delightful. Of course, Ms. Grey/Griscogne saves the day through her work as a member of the Pink Carnation network. She is quite amusing and doesn't seem to be the governess type as she is not meek or humble enough for the life of servitude.
The romance is not as overplayed in this book and is more intellectual in its presentation. This does not detract from the story line of international espionage during war time (France and England in the early 1800s) and, of course, romance.
I thought the action and dialogue moved a bit slow at times but it was still a great book. I was just a little disappointed that there wasn't as much Eloise and Colin in this story. It felt like long-lost friends leaving after only a brief visit. Of course, this means that I'll look forward to visiting with them again in the next book of this series.
What's next? This is a difficult decision to make because my TBR list seems to grow daily. However, I was recently given the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood (scheduled for release later this year) so this seems to be the front-runner for now. I'll keep you posted...
Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading
"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor
“Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen
"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde
"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller