Review: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

Title: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria
(Pink Carnation #10) Image

Author: Lauren Willig

Rating: ★★★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: Colonel William Reid has returned home from India to retire near his children, who are safely stowed in an academy in Bath. Upon his return to the Isles, however, he finds that one of his daughters has vanished, along with one of her classmates.

Having served as second-in-command to the Pink Carnation, one of England’s most intrepid spies, it would be impossible for Gwendolyn Meadows to give up the intrigue of Paris for a quiet life in the English countryside—especially when she’s just overheard news of an alliance forming between Napoleon and an Ottoman Sultan. But, when the Pink Carnation’s little sister goes missing from her English boarding school, Gwen reluctantly returns home to investigate the girl’s disappearance.

Thrown together by circumstance, Gwen and William must cooperate to track down the young ladies before others with nefarious intent get their hands on them. But Gwen’s partnership with quick-tongued, roguish William may prove to be even more of an adventure for her than finding the lost girls…

Review: After two (of what I consider to be) lackluster installments of the Pink Carnation series, Lauren Willig is back on her game withThe Passion of the Purple Plumeria! The humor and wit that Willig writes with is rejuvenated, especially in the relationship between Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid.

As all followers of the series will know, Miss Gwen has been a staple character since the very beginning. The reader and other characters of the series have known her to be a cantankerous personality that you would always want on your side of the fight. So, by making Gwen the main character of her own story, we are finally able to learn more about this “fearsome” character along with what makes her tick. It was wonderful to be able to finally have more of a back-story to Miss Gwen. Once you learn her thought process, the betrayals and disappointments of her past, and her opinions of herself and the place she must make in the world, the pieces of her character fit so perfectly together. The vulnerability that we are finally exposed to blossomed her into something that I would have never expected. I loved going on this journey with her, and I truly believe that Willig provided her with a storyline and love interest befitting of her.

Another wonderful aspect of this book is that it is such a game changer to the series. The relationships we thought we knew and understood are tested and changed. The League of the Pink Carnation is in the midst of some very serious changes that will no doubt bring much more intrigue to come. Just when you worry that this series might become complacent on all that it has already achieved there is a wrench thrown into the pot. Well done, Lauren Willig! I knew this was one of my favorite historical-romance series for a reason!

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