Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review - Lauren Willig's Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas

Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas by Lauren Willig
Publication Date: December 29th, 2008 - January 21st, 2009
Format: ebook
Challenge: Historical Fiction, E Book
Rating: ★★★
To Read

It's been nine months since Richard Selwick was unmasked as the Purple Gentian and he fled France in the arms of his lady love Amy Balcourt. Nine months away from the action and rusticating with the new missus. Nine months in which the newlywed sheen has dulled just a little under the stress of family and the holidays. Amy and Richard are celebrating their first Christmas together at Uppington Hall with both their families and surprisingly Richard's ex Dierdre. The Dierdre who had sonnets written to her and who was Richard's first love. The Dierdre that resulted in Tony's death due to her unscrupulous lady's maid. Of course her presence is more for Lady Uppington's benefit, to knock Dierdre's nose out of joint and show of her new daughter-in-law Amy, but still, she is one more stress. Dierdre is the embodiment of all that Richard left behind, all that he was forced to give up because of Amy. If it wasn't for her Richard would still be a hero. While standing nearby Richard's thoughts are veering along the same lines, that it was he who cut short Amy's potential as a super spy, the potential that Jane took and made a reputation of. Can these two sort through their holiday misunderstanding and do what they do best, work as a couple? Or will French spies once more try to thwart them?

In this cute little Christmas novella full of Yuletide charm we get to catch up with those Selwicks we know and love. My problem though is the same as Amy's, Dierdre. It's not so much her existence, but that she's not over in France. Correct me if I'm wrong, or back me up if you felt the same way, but when reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation I had the distinct feeling that Dierdre was Richard's kept woman in France, not the girl next door with an amoral maid. This just kept on nagging and nagging at me the entire time I was reading it trying to replay her previous role. I had the feeling that Tony's death occurred quite quickly after Richard told Dierdre and that couldn't be the case if there was all this cross channel communications that had to take place. Other than this rather annoying fly in the ointment, I loved that Richard and Miles are slowly bridging the gap back to how they were before Miles and Hen's precipitous marriage. Also seeing Uppington Hall, first through the eyes of Eloise, and then through her Regency heroes made for a lovely Christmas treat, not to mention, Richard swinging from the chandelier in his best Errol Flynn, oh yeah!


Ack! My library system doesn't own this! I feel cheated! Thanks for the great reviews.

Damn e-books :P

Hi! Author popping in for just a moment.... Melissa, you can find the entire novella for free on my website:

I wrote it as a gift for my readers, hence the whole being free on my website thing-- and not being able to find it as an official e-book!

p.s. I second the thanks for the great reviews! : )

Though with the lovely Kindle import, you can make it an "official" ebook. It was exciting. Also Melissa, you want to come to Chicago now don't you :P

Yes, yes I do want to go to Chicago! I'll get back to you on that. Thanks for the tip on the ebook--I didn't even notice that at first!

Have you made the Kindle jump? I hate reading off computer screens, so I tend to print stuff out from websites :)

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