August 20, 2015

Book Review: Lauren Willig's The Lure of the Moonflower

Lauren Willig (That Summer, The Other Daughter) has wrapped up her excellent Pink Carnation series with another excellent entry. You guys know I love these books, they're just perfect fun reading... and I generally learn some historical tidbit while reading them, which makes it feel a little bit less like book candy.

In The Lure of the Moonflower, which finishes the story begun 12 books earlier in The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, the intrepid British agent, aka the super-spy known as the Pink Carnation, aka Miss Jane Wooliston, finally gets a love story of her own. 

Jane is in Portugal, desperately attempting to find the queen, who was spirited away when the rest of the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil as Napoleon's troops invaded. In spite of all her other espionage-related talents, the Pink Carnation doesn't speak Portuguese. She turns for assistance to the notorious Moonflower, aka Jack Reid. Jack is an Anglo-Indian turned French agent, then turned back into British spy, and Jane can only hope that his assistance is reliable.

With a dour and wintry Portuguese setting, The Lure of the Moonflower isn't quite as frothy as some of the other books in the series. But it includes Willig's characteristic tongue-in-cheek humor, and the framing modern story, which continues the shenanigans of Eloise, academic researcher of early 19th-century espionage, is sure to make readers laugh out loud. Something like Bridget Jones meets The Scarlet PimpernelThe Lure of the Moonflower is a must-read for lovers of chick lit and historical fiction. With tidy conclusions to Eloise's modern-day romance and to Jane's escapades nearly two centuries earlier, The Lure of the Moonflower is a fitting finale for a fun series.

It wasn't my favorite of the series, but it did wrap things up nicely. And it didn't have the sexy interludes that The Passion of the Purple Plumeria had (listened to that one on audio...aaawwwkward...)

Are YOU a fan of the Pink Carnation series?

I originally wrote most of this review for Shelf Awareness. And this post contains some of my affiliate links.