Colin has invited Eloise to his country estate for a week away together, and for a chance to look at the Selwick papers. She finds the letters of Lady Charlotte Lansdowne, an extremely romantic girl who has spent most of her life at her country estate, Girdings, reading books. Charlotte has been infatuated with the duke of Dovedale, Robert, ever since her father grew ill and his father arrived to take up the dukedom. She is thrilled at his return. Robert, on the other hand, views himself as a “rotten apple” and is only in England to catch the man who killed his commanding officer and father figure under the guise of war. His mission is too important for him to fall in love with his distant cousin, but Charlotte has no such resolutions.
At first, I couldn’t figure out how on earth this book was connected to the other Pink Carnation books, except for that Charlotte is Henrietta’s best friend. It appears, however, that the man Robert is after is yet another in the series of flower spies, although we learn very little about the actual Pink Carnation in this book. After The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, this story begins as almost unbearably sweet and I was actually pleased when reality hit and the romantic delusions ended. It feels inevitable anyway, and the book got much better afterwards. Both Charlotte and Robert had to figure out who the other person was outside of their own romantic misconceptions. They both fell off the pedestal, so to speak, and I think that’s a problem rarely dealt with in romance; too often both characters are flawless. Also, I really enjoyed the way both characters had their own “bad guy” to deal with and the way the stories neatly combined. And once again, I can tell this will be a frustration for those who treat this as an ordinary romance, but there is no love scene here either! I find it refreshing and I think trying to fit one in would have ruined the plot, so good judgment on Willig’s part. Furthermore, some interesting revelations about Colin in this one, and it’s nice to see Eloise without her obsession about being boyfriendless.
I’m looking forward to the next one! As I said in my last review of this series, it’s not ending any time soon and I’m still enjoying it. I just hope we learn more about the Pink Carnation soon. I’m anxiously awaiting Jane’s story!
Buy The Temptation of the Night Jasmine on Amazon.