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Publisher's Summary

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation�the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?
©2005 Lauren Willig (P)2005 Penguin Audiobooks and Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Willig's story is a decidedly delightful romp." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jeny on 04-03-10

Thoroughly entertaining

I really enjoyed this book. I'm not specifically a history buff, so I didn't notice the liberties the author took with her details. I work the graveyard shift and rely on audiobooks to keep me awake when I'm lacking sleep. I had no problem staying awake while being entertained by this book. In fact, I skipped most of my breaks because I didn't want to stop listening. As soon as I got home I bought the second in the series. Kate Reading is one of the BEST narrators I've heard and in all honesty, I chose this book originally because she narrates it. I was not disappointed. If you don't mind a little 'fluff' and an engaging love story (sure, not realistic at times, but I already have a real life, I don't need to listen to it too) then this book is for you.

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28 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Queen Squared on 08-28-12

Loved It!

I initially listened to one of the other books in this series. And, now that I'm starting with book 1 & listening my way to the rest of the series I have to say I'm so glad that I'm giving the whole series a chance!

I think you'll find The Secret History of the Pink Carnation surprisingly funny. The author has a great sense of humor. In each book you'll find two heroines--one contemporary, and one historical. Willig has written this (& the other books in the series) in a really smart way. It is easy to differentiate between the contemporary and historical fiction because the contemporary fiction is written in the first person, while the historical fiction isn't.

The other thing I liked about this book is that Willig's heroines are never stupid. You wil cheer, and sometimes cringe for them. But you never think, "Gosh, that woman is stupid." Willig has managed to make a sometimes stale and/or silly genre (historical romance) smart, funny, interesting, and incredibly enjoyable. Bravo to her!

P.S. No one could have narrated this book better than Kate Reading. She did a wonderful job.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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