The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig @laurenwillig @BerkleyPub @sophiarose1816

Posted March 23, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 21 Comments

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig @laurenwillig @BerkleyPub @sophiarose1816The Desolation of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
Series: Pink Carnation #3
Published by Berkley on November 16, 2006
Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery
Pages: 464
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she started spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tulip-two of the deadliest spies to saunter the streets of nineteenth-century England and France.

Not only has she unearthed secrets that will rearrange history, she's dallied with Colin Selwick and sought out a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another fierce heroine running headlong into history.

At the end of the previous book, the Black Tulip escaped and the secret order of spies are organized for what comes next away from volatile Napoleonic France and England, but the powder keg that is Ireland.  The French are rousing the Irish to rebellion and have sent in their best spy, the Black Tulip to lead this meanwhile, the calm and capable Pink Carnation is already there working to thwart this ploy.  I had a great time with the last book so I was more than eager to press forward with the tale of a new spy and a new romance.

The Deception of the Emerald Ring is the third of the connected series of Pink Carnation books and doesn’t make for a good standalone read as a result.

Lord Pinchingdale-Snipe, spy for England is besotted with the cunning, though cherubic appearing, Mary Alsworthy so he is ready to take drastic steps to make her his, even an elopement.  Only, in the haste and shuffle, he ends up with the wrong woman.  Instead of Mary, he is confronted by Letty and it is too late when he is sensible enough to realize this.  His orders send him to Ireland and he is vastly relieved to go, but not to welcome the woman as a partner in his work.  But, he is surprised to discover that Letty is unlike her sister in some ways that make her superior.

Letty had intended to prevent her wayward sister from tarnishing the family reputation, but instead ends up forced to marry the man herself when a mistake occurs.  A forced marriage is no one’s idea of fun, but the man didn’t have to hare off on their wedding day, did he?  After getting good and drunk, she rushes off to Ireland to give her fleet-footed groom a piece of her mind and lands in his clandestine activities for quite the adventure and possible romance.

Meanwhile, Eloise continues her research and makes a good discovery at the British Library and bombs at blind dates set up by her grandmother and pretending she doesn’t care that Colin Sedgwick hasn’t called her back.

So, the last book was a fun one and I enjoyed the tone and the plot.  This one was more of a mixed feeling installment for me.  I thought it was fun and light especially with Jane and the others working together on a mission, but aspects of the romance drove me nuts.  Even though I’ve gotten used to the light tone and some of the over the top stuff, I still struggle accepting professional spies behaving like amateurs and amateurs operating in deep missions let alone making sense of their romance.  Geof is supposed to be a superb spy and yet he does his work distracted by women and is so unobservant as to get hitched to the wrong woman.  Then there is Letty who can’t seem to open her mouth and explain her side of the situation.  Their brangling wasn’t entertaining to me.  In the modern thread, Eloise was awkward and silly as usual.  I was glad there were less flips to that thread.  However, as the suspense element grew more prominent and everyone had to work together as a team, I started to settle in and enjoy it better.  The last third was sensational and there were no mixed feelings.

Geoffrey and Letty might have caused irritation at times, but I thought they were a fun pair.  They didn’t like each other at first and sparks flew, but it was obvious they were good for each other, too.  They had to sort out their own issues and issues as a couple while working against a French spy ring and Irish Rebels.  Again, danger and the promise of death is the final factor to helping the pair realize and admit what they have felt for each other for some time.

I split my reading with also listening to the audiobook once I got my turn through the library.  Kate Reading was a new to me narrator.  Her voice and her voicing of characters and story was good, but I had already read from the series and had my own idea of the voices so it was an adjustment I never fully made.  I think I’ll finish the series in print and maybe come back to audio as a series re-read.

In the end, though I had moments of setting the book aside and wondering if I wanted to press forward, I found the last several chapters pulled me back in and made me eager to see what comes next in the series.  I think those who like light, bantering historical romances blended with suspense will find these entertaining.


About Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her “Pink Carnation” series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

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Posted March 23, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 21 Comments

21 responses to “The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

  1. Jen

    Oh! this is the series you mentioned on my blog! I do recall reading your review of the previous title. Excellent! Thanks.

  2. vvb

    Nice to see this series. The covers always catch my eye. I need to re-read the first to catchup with the rest at some point.