Title: The Garden Intrigue
Author: Lauren Willig
Length: 388 pages
Published in: 2012
Genre: historical fiction/romance
Source: personal collection
Reason for Reading: Copyright 2012 Resolution
Summary (from book jacket):
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can’t bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.
New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus’s side. An old school friend of Napoleon’s stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus’s poetry.
As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend’s entertainment.
Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She’ll do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte’s house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustus’s feelings for Emma.
My Thoughts: Seeing as neither Emma or Augustus really feature–or are even mentioned–in the previous books, I was mostly uninterested. In the first book there were Amy and Richard. Then next came Henrietta, Richard’s sister, and Miles, Richard’s best friend. Then came Letty and Geoffrey, who works with Richard. But the further along the series goes, the less association there is between characters. Now there is hardly a series, but rather a collection of standalone novels that always have the same plot. That plot being fairy simple–girl and guy who have no interest in each other in the beginning of the story are, by the end, madly in love. I’m all for happy endings, but I feel like after the 9th book in a series, you can’t just change names, dates, and places and have a very interesting story.
But recently Willig has published a book that has nothing to do with the Pink series, Two L, and is currently writing another, The Ashford Affair. So I think I may have to branch out from the Pink books so I don’t begin to dislike the author because of the repetitive plot.