The Secret History of the Pink Carnation - Lauren Willig Overall an entertaining, very light read. I loved the characters of, and dynamics between, Richard's family. I found myself laughing out loud at some of their banter.

There were a few things though that I didn't love. Specifically the boat scene on the Seine. What virginal young woman, raised in the English countryside in the late-18th/early 19th century, would practically have sex on the bottom of a small open boat, out in the open, with another man sitting a few feet away? I mean, what? This scene took me completely out of the story. I mean, I know this is considered a romance, and I know I have to suspend certain realities when reading a book about a 20 year old woman in this period becoming a spy against Napoleon, but while I expected the espionage side of it (that is the basis of the entire story so obviously I knew that going in) I still expect the rest of the historical accuracies to be observed. And a modern day woman wouldn't go at it with someone else sitting nearby, never mind a woman raised in Georgian England.

I was not expecting this to be a smut novel, but (in case you hadn't figure out from the above paragraph), it basically was. Given everything else this book had going on (mystery, espionage, plots lines in the past and present), it was unnecessary. I felt like those scenes cheapened the book a little (especially when they were so unrealistic) and it would have been much stronger without them. I also dislike books where the heroine will forget she is supposed to be angry at the hero or something, but then can't stop thinking about how his legs look in his breeches and then everything else just goes out the window except for the physical.


I also didn't love the the modern day plot line. I thought it could have been done without. And I liked even less that it was never resolved and just set the scene for the next book. Grrrr. I really hate when authors do that. Its a cheap ploy to get people to buy more of their books.