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Publisher's Summary

The heroines of Lauren Willig's best-selling Pink Carnation series have engaged in espionage all over 19th-century Europe. In the sixth stand-alone volume, our fair English heroine travels to India, where she finds freedom - and risk - more exciting than she ever imagined.
Everyone warned Miss Penelope Deveraux that her unruly behavior would land her in disgrace someday. She never imagined she's be whisked off to India to give the scandal of her hasty marriage time to die down. As Lady Frederick Staines, Penelope plunges into the treacherous waters of the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, where no one is quite what they seem - even her husband.
In a strange country, where elaborate court dress masks even more elaborate intrigues and a dangerous spy called the Marigold leaves venomous cobras as his calling card, there is only one person Penelope can trust.
Captain Alex Reid has better things to do than play nursemaid to a pair of aristocrats. Or so he thinks - until Lady Frederick Staines out-shoots, out-rides, and out-swims every man in the camp. She also has an uncanny ability to draw out the deadly plans of the Marigold and put herself in harm's way. With danger looming from local warlords, treacherous court officials, and French spies, Alex realizes that an alliance with Lady Staines just might be the only thing standing in the way of a plot designed to rock the very foundations of the British Empire.
©2010 Lauren Willig (P)2010 Penguin
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 03-24-10

Unsympathetic Main Character

Like other reviewers, I loved Willig's first three books. It's a bit of a mystery why in this book she lavishes so much energy on a main character who is so lacking in redeeming qualities. Willig has been producing books at a suspiciously rapid rate over the past several years, but the problem with this book doesn't seem to be haste or laziness on her part. It's more like she's forgotten what attracts readers to books: great characters who we care care about having larger-than-life adventures.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jane Levine on 01-15-10

Nothing But a Mean Girl

I finished this audiobook reluctantly. The mystery/espionage plot is pretty much non-existent. For 3/4 of the book we just get the tale of the "heroine", Penelope. Rarely have I encountered such a totally unattractive character. Penelope's back-story doesn't justify her lack of development and growth or make her at all sympathetic. She is petulant, childish, selfish, egocentric, mean spirited and altogether a nasty girl. Frankly, I don't know why the hero bothers. It appears the author thinks we should admire this woman because of her bravado and impetuousness or feel sorry for her because she had a difficult childhood and dislikes herself. Frankly, I just wanted to kick Penelope and tell her to go grow up. That really doesn't happen, even during the predictable self-excoriation that Penelope inflicts on herself after her husband's death -- which is still all about her. I suppose one would say that the book is well written, since the lead character is certainly vividly drawn. But why should we care? Most of the book is spent regaling us with way this woman ignores the feelings and concerns of everyone around her. This is frankly boring and irritating. The mystery that Penelope and Alex are supposedly trying to unravel is secondary. The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is a real disappointment in light of Lauren Willig's previous work.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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