Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation books are some of my favorite guilty pleasure reads. They’re the perfect mix of chick lit, historical fiction, and romance. I’m always amused by the modern day Eloise in her struggle to win Colin, the man of her dreams, and I think that her historical discoveries are well-timed. The historical stories are endearing and entertaining, if a bit unrealistic at times. Mostly, I love the way the books never take themselves seriously and always provide a quick, light, cheery read.
Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe is thrilled when the woman he has been chasing for months, Mary Alsworthy, agrees to elope with him. He is not as thrilled when her younger sister Letty turns up instead and is thus compromised, forcing his hand. Angry over the misunderstanding, he flees to Ireland, only for his young bride to follow him as they learn that nothing is quite what it seems, including the nature of the mysterious Black Tulip, while trying to avert a national tragedy.
I read this book in one night, mostly with a smile on my face. I liked both new main characters and Henrietta and Miles from Black Tulip make a comeback appearance. I was particularly fond of Letty here; I liked the way she developed, as well as her blunt personality. The romance was cute, if not entirely believable, and it certainly was enough to leave the reader charmed and happy.
As for the modern day storyline, Eloise is as usual self-deprecating, hilarious, and desperate. I never mind her interruptions in the story, although each time I find myself torn between wanting to hear more about her or about the historical tale. I think that’s a sign that both are written well. Overall, I think this series is a terrific combination of genres. It’s fluff, but it’s well-written, entertaining, worthy fluff, and I’m greatly looking forward to the next Pink Carnation novel, and thrilled to discover that a fifth will be released next year. Buy this book on Amazon.