Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review - Lauren Willig's The Deception of the Emerald Ring

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
Published by: New American Library
Publication Date: November 16th, 2006
Format: Paperback, 464 Pages
Challenge: Historical Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Letty and Mary Alsworty are as different as two sisters can be. At a frizzy haired five foot, Letty will never be like her statuesque sister. And she would NEVER run off in the middle of the night for a midnight elopement with Geoffry Pinchingdale-Snipe. She might try to stop the elopement with all good intentions, but never elope herself. Until fate intervenes and she's the one being spirited away in the night to a rendezvous with a certain member of the peerage. Geoff, being Geoff, marries the sister whose reputation he inadvertently ruined. He might see her as a conniving and manipulative upstart who took her chance when the opportunity afforded itself, but at least his obligations to the Pink Carnation mean that he can hare off to Ireland and put some space between his broken heart and his unwanted bride. Practical Letty for once doesn't know what to do. She's been the one who has always taken care of her family and has never had a spot of bother. Now she's married to a man who has vanished and he hasn't let her explain what really happened. A little drunk, she gets the first packet out of London to follow Geoff to Ireland. But an unwanted wife in England is a completely different situation to an unwanted wife in Ireland interfering with his mission and the threat of a French and Irish alliance. Begrudgingly taking Letty into his confidences with one Pink Carnation named Jane Wolliston and one parasol wielding pyromaniac in the making, Miss Gwen, they all try to muddle through for the good of England. But add a dangerous cousin on the prowl for Geoff's title, Lord Vaughn, who's every word has double and triple entendres, and evidence that the Black Tulip is at it again, things might be trickier than anyone thought. Can this all be untangled and England saved? Because maybe fate intervened for a reason and Letty is the sister Geoff should have been wooing all along. But back in the present Eloise has an even more pressing problem. Can she get a certain Colin Selwick to call her and set up a date?

Whenever I think of this series of books as a whole I've always thought that The Deception of the Emerald Ring was the weak point. Maybe it was that here we have another idealistic, King and Country couple who are good and sweet and pure, who have just some misunderstandings to overcome and then everything will be as right as rain. On re-reading the book I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved it. This time, not reading it just for Colin and Eloise, I realized that this book had so much more. Not only do we get the fun of having Lord Vaughn around with his ambiguous alliances, but we get Miss Gwen and her formidable parasol. We also get to see the inner workings of one Jane Wooliston, alias, the Pink Carnation's organization. We see how she's able to morph into other people, other lives, so that she is a force to be reckoned with. Those Frenchies better watch out! But what I love most about this book is how it takes the unsatisfactory resolution as to who the Black Tulip is and gives a far more plausible explanation with more depth and more terror. To not have just one sadistic spy, but sadists working for a criminal mastermind makes more sense that the Marquise ever did. She mistook Turnip for the Pink Carnation! I'm sorry, but anyone who could think that doesn't deserve to be a criminal mastermind. A pawn though... totally suited for a pawn.


yay, glad you appreciated it more! Letty is one of my favorites of the heroine MCs :)

Letty really is wonderful isn't she!?!

So glad you enjoyed this the second time around! I enjoyed this one from the first and I think it happens to be one of my favorites :)

It's not that I hated it or anything the first time, it was just meh, but I have friends who rank it as their favorite and I really did love it the second time around (not Turnop or Vaughn love).

Turnip would cry and weep for my spelling.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home