Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Release Day Review: The Lure of the Moonflower

The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12)Author: Lauren Willig
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: NAL
Series: Pink Carnation # 12

In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.
It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.

Napoleon Bonaparte was said to break crockery at the mere mention of the name of the Pink Carnation.

But while a man might quibble at the orders to a fellow agent, especially if said fellow agent were both female and young, no one said no to the Pink Carnation.

It might sound like arrogance, but if they were to work together, she needed him to acknowledge her authority. She was a woman and a young one. In the early days that hadn’t seemed to matter; she had built her league herself, by trial and error, half by accident. It was a game, and she was the one who determined the rules.

I am so unbelievably sad to see this series end. Each of these books have been fun, fast, and highly enjoyable for me. The stories go back and forth between past and modern times and we were introduced to some phenomenal characters along the way. Since this is the twelfth book in the series, I do not want to give too much away in the review, so I will just highlight on things that I believe others will enjoy about this series just like I did.  I do not suggest starting in the middle of the series; however, I am sure it can be done. This book is the story of the Pink Carnation, Jane, herself. Hence, where the series got its name. In this story Jane teams up with another spy to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal. There is just so much you will miss if you do not start from book number one. I know that twelve books seems like a lot to catch up on, but when they are this good it is all worth it!

As I mentioned before, we get to go back and forth between time periods, shifting from the past to the present. This is not confusing and I do not want this to throw readers off; it should not at all. Eloise and Colin are the characters that we meet and get to know in present times. They stay the same throughout the series, even when other couples come and go. I think I will miss Eloise and Colin just as much as all the lovely ladies and dashing spies. The romance is very well done in this series. I am going to miss all the different couples, their relationships, quirky dialogue, crazy flirting, and heated sexual tension! Between the romance or the mystery, I could not say which I preferred more. Be sure to look into this series if anything I have said so far has interested you. Also, Lauren Willig has many other books outside of this series as well – she is just an all-around wonderful writer!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at NAL in exchange for my honest review***

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