Series: Pink Carnation #5
Published by Berkley on January 5, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery
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After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.
Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.
After the last book with a hunt for the Black Tulip and two darker characters as protagonists, what comes next? I was curious about the next pair and what particular espionage challenge they would face. I tried to keep my expectations open since the author delightfully changes things up with each new book.
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine is the fifth installment in a series, that works best read in order, though I supposed one might get away with reading this one as a standalone.
Robert Lansdowne, his grace the Duke of Dovedale, returns home from India after a decade away set on tracking down the man responsible for his respected mentor’s death. He finds his cousin Charlotte, blossomed into womanhood and quite enamored with him as a romantic figure of her dreams, though he has changed in the years gone and she starts to fall for this version, too. The feeling is reciprocal, but he catches the scent of his quarry and he heads off to London and the salacious Hellfire Club. Charlotte Lansdowne had romantic novel ideas about Robert, but finds herself suddenly left behind. Then she and Henrietta, a spy and her friend, find themselves in the middle of an important mission to protect the king while acting their turn as ladies in waiting for the queen.
Meanwhile, in the modern story, Eloise and Collin are in the early days of dating. She goes down to the manor with him to combine some research for her dissertation on Napoleonic era spies with a bit of alone time after the holidays apart. She’s got the new notion that Collin hasn’t been as forthcoming about what he does for a living so gets overly curious and now wonders if she’s dating a spy.
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine was overall another light and fun romantic romp in the time of the Napoleonic War when secret plans and sinister spies were about. It didn’t dig as deeply as the last one and the conflict on both the romantic and suspense fronts wound out slowly with neither strongly compelling. Charlotte had to come down from the clouds about romance and Robert had to see her as capable and his match. I liked them together, but the real force of personality was the Dowager Duchess, their grandmother. I was not surprised, though, because as I’ve mentioned earlier, the last book had a strong pair of protagonists and a worthy antagonist that would be tough to beat. I can appreciate the author for not writing cookie cutter characters and situations. I was fascinated by the glimpse into the Hanover Royal family and King George III’s struggles.
Eloise is still stumbling and bumbling along trying to make a go of a relationship and get her work done. I find the modern element an okay addition and impatiently rush to get back to the historical time line.
So, another Pink Carnation entry finishes and I wonder what espionage adventure will come next. I do hope the Pink Carnation herself makes a stronger showing in the next one. The series is loaded with humor, has a modern flavor to the historical figures particularly the ladies, and can dance lightly over darker ground so would be for those who enjoy historical romance and lighter suspense.
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