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Historical Fiction Review: The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig

Friday, December 11, 2009




Henrietta Dorrington's best bookish friend, Charlotte Lansdowne, stars in her own adventure in the latest installment in The Pink Carnation series. Her childhood infatuation, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned from India. But he's sending her decidedly mixed signals. Is he interested or not? Or is he involved in his own spy game?

Charlotte just isn't quite Henrietta, Letty, or even Mary. She spent much of the book just fantasizing about Robert. While interesting enough, I kept waiting for the comedy of misunderstandings and the adventure of French spies pitted against our faithful British crew to get started. About halfway through, things finally took off, Charlotte grew a backbone, and I got really interested. I think I finished the second half of the book in one night in bed, while it had taken me several days to get through the first half.

As for Robert--well, he just never felt very real to me. Since I mostly saw him through Charlotte's eyes, and he honestly wasn't very real to her either, I guess that's understandable. But he won't be competing with Miles for my affections anytime soon.

The humor that I've loved throughout the series still had me giggling like a schoolgirl, and I liked the historical backdrop of this novel. It's a few years later (I think), and I still can't say that I know anything about the period, but I can say that this American girl is a little more interested in "mad King George" than in Napoleon. Is it shameful for someone who reads as much historical fiction as I do to admit that?

I'm about to forget Eloise and Colin. I've never been very interested in their present day story, but I did finally get curious about what was going on this time. Let's just say that Colin has been keeping secrets.

I highly recommend this to those who don't take their historical fiction too seriously and who don't mind some romance thrown in for good measure. Now I can't wait for the next in the series, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily to come out! Just about a month to go!

You can read the prologue and first chapter on Lauren Willig's website. You'll get a taste of both Eloise and Colin and Charlotte and Robert. If you've already read the book, you can still read three deleted scenes. On the Storycasting website, you can create your own ideal movie cast for the book or see who others think would make the perfect Charlotte.

And since it's close to Christmas, I'll post a link to the free novella entitled Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas. I haven't read it yet, but I plan to get to it tomorrow. I'm sure it will be tons of fun though!

Have you read any of The Pink Carnation books? What did you think?

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