March 2024
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Review: The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig

Eloise has finally scored a date with Colin, but more importantly, she’s found the Vaughn archives and is digging into Lord Sebastian Vaughn’s life.  Miss Mary Alsworthy, essentially jilted by Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale and her sister Letty, is at a loss.  She’s older now and has no reliable husband prospects on the horizon.  In a bid to gain more independence, she agrees to help Lord Vaughn by becoming one of the petals of the Black Tulip.  After all, she has just the right coloring and she definitely needs more excitement in her life.  Needless to say, she gets much more excitement than she bargained for.

This is my favorite Pink Carnation book so far.  I found both characters to be stiff at first, but watching them soften – if only to each other – was possibly the best moment of the series.  Mary went, believably, from self-serving to really caring about this man, and I could see how it happened.  Best of all, this book is very much a meeting of the minds.  Mary and Vaughn have the best snarky conversations of any characters and it seems as though their personalities just fit together perfectly.  They are the cynics among a flock of impressionable romantics and it’s hard not to love them for it.  As for the plot, I figured out who the Black Tulip was maybe halfway through the book, so the big reveal wasn’t all that much of a surprise, but that was okay with me; there were other exciting events going on.  I also, contrary to popular opinion it seems, enjoyed that Willig left out the customary love scene in this one.  It isn’t necessary and never really has been.  There’s a spark between these two, but no need to follow it through when we all know how that goes.  I think it works much better this way because it’s more about who they are as people.

Again, I think this is the best in the series.  I have begun to accept that the series isn’t actually going to end any time soon, though, so if that bothers you, it may be worth staying away.  Personally, I love these books, they’re perfect candy fare and I very much enjoy the history worked in and even the frame story of Colin and Eloise.  Buy The Seduction of the Crimson Rose on Amazon.


7 comments to Review: The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig

  • Awesome review! I have to say that these books have never appealed to me, but I may have to give them a try now.


  • Is that really contrary to popular opinion? I definitely agree that it was all just as well without the love scene. Honestly, I could have done without it in the other three books as well. I was surprised when Willig made Mary and Vaughn her main characters, but I did like their interactions.

  • Meghan

    Amy, thanks! I hope you enjoy them if you do check them out.

    Jen – well, from Amazon reviews. I noticed that it was left out and was curious. I think it’s mostly the romance crowd that’s complaining. I could have done without it in the first three and was happy that she left it out of the fifth as well.

  • sounds like a great series!!

  • I love this series, but this one didn’t really work for me, simply because two lumps of ice don’t provide any heat, and for me Mary was definitely ice!

    I am looking forward to the next one though

  • I am determined to start this series this year… I mean it!

  • I’ve read the first few books in this series, but haven’t gotten to this one yet. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to read this one, but you’ve convinced me!