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The Garden Intrigue: A Pink Carnation Novel (Pink Carnation #9)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,764 ratings  ·  340 reviews
Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation novels have been called "fun [and] fresh" ("Kirkus Reviews") and "clever and playful " ("Detroit Free Press"). Now she introduces readers to a mismatched pair who find passion in the most astonishing of places...
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillanc
ebook, 400 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by New American Library
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It is all about bad poetry isn’t it? Thus, shamelessly pressing on……

Augustus Whittlesby
has nothing on me.
When it comes to verse
I’m considerably worse.

Dear readers and fans I bring good news
Lauren Willig has shown her muse
in Pink Carnation number nine:
The Garden Intrigue, most divine.

A poet-spy takes a risky chance
deep inside of Bonaparte’s France
to love a girl from a distant shore
not knowing who she’s working for.

They do a Masque with a nautical theme
but a secret weapon is part of the scheme.
This series is my favorite guilty pleasure read.

Willig's writing is getting considerably better as the series goes on, in my opinion. Or, perhaps, it is just that her goofy characters turn out better than the classic dashing heroes. Turnip's story in The Mischief of the Mistletoe and Augustus' story in this book were entertaining - much more so for Turnip's bumbling and Augustus' intentionally awful poetry. Emma has a much better backstory than any previous characters except perhaps Lord Vaughn

4.5 Stars

As soon as I saw that this book had a poet as the lead male character, I knew I had to read it. And Augustus Whittlesby doesn't disappoint. I love that he battles with his 'real' self and his invented persona of poet. It's even more interesting that the two have actually become one more than he even wants to admit.

Emma also battles with an invented persona of her own. She wears a mask in public of glittering jewels and socially acceptable flirting, when really she isn't that social butt
Well. I can say with absolute certainty that I didn't enjoy this book as much as others in the Carnation series. I was looking forward to Augustus Whittleby's moment of Epic Glory, and instead I feel like I got handed half a book and some plot devices.

My first major issue (documented in my status updates) was the prose: it was sloppy, repetitious and (sometimes) flat. I found several instances of almost word for word reiterations of explanations throughout the book, which seemed lazy.

In additi
I can't wait for this to come out. This is one of the rare series that seems to get better the further along it gets. :)
Nov 28, 2014 MB rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Do you like flirting by bad verse? Puns? Wordplay similar to Eloisa James??
The interactions between the non-standard hero and heroine made this a 3.5 star read for me, as well as the interesting setting and era, and the fact that I read it in one setting.

A few drawbacks:
Very modern phrasing between historical couple threw me out of the story several times.
Quick settling of issues between the historical couple was very abrupt.
TSTL issues with stopping to make love while fleeing for their lives!?! =Stupid.
Ugly modern photo-shopped cover (not author's fault).

But last
Sandra Olshaski
The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig
ISBN: 978-0-525-95254-1
Published: February 16, 2012
Hardcover, 388 pages

This is not typically the kind of historical fiction that I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Garden Intrigue and learned some historical facts along the way!

The years surrounding 1804 were critical ones for Napoleon Bonaparte, who, after having invaded countries in Europe sets his sights on England. He commissions the building of a top-secret prototype of a submarine to blow up the
Katie Stout
Similar Books: India Black by Carol K. Carr, And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

I don't think I've ever hung on to a series this long, but Lauren Willig's books never fail to impress. This woman is an amazing storyteller, and she's probably the only author of adult books whose releases I always anxiously await.

As per usual, the latest Pink Carnation book is chalked full of historical realism that I nearly feel like I've fallen into the 1700s. Unlike some of the other books, this one takes pla
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
First: What is up with the cover? I loathe it. Other books in the series featured art but these newer ones have the awkward, headless model thing going and this weird grocery store romance cover vibe.

It's been impossible not to hear all the raves for Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, but I've somehow never gotten around to starting it, despite all the promise. Featuring a Harvard-educated heroine who researches Regency-era spies, the series seems a bit like chick-lit-meets-hist-fic in the
I really enjoy the Pink Carnation series. Some I like more than others but I'm never really disappointed in them. This one was good, even though a lot of the poetry got a little annoying. Once Whittlesby started talking to Emma w/o all the flowery words, it was really quite sweet. I also didn't like Eloise and Colin's story so much in this book. I usually do but it seemed kind of bland this time. What I like though, is that after reading I have this thirst for further knowledge about what I read ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Molly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Recommended to Molly by: TLC Book Tours
I'm strongly addicted to Lauren Willig's work. She's super talented and each of her Pink Carnation books holds something new and excited that will keep the reader hooked from start to finish. Having read all her other Pink Carnation books, I totally could not wait for this book to release. So, when the chance came up to read it, WOW! I was definitely NOT disappointed and swept away once again to the land of Lauren Willig's fantabulous characters and plot lines. This is most definitely one of the ...more
Sharon Redfern
Emma Delagardie is an American living in France during the Napoleonic era. She is a longtime friend of the emperor’s stepdaughter, Hortense and has entrée to the court. Augustus Whittlesby is an excruciatingly bad poet who is also an agent in the Pink Carnation’s network. He and the Pink Carnation have a mission to discover what the newest plot of Napoleon’s is to attack Britain. It apparently involves some sort of new mechanical weaponry and it is essential that they find out. Whittlesby must i ...more
The Garden Intrigue is the ninth installment in Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation Series. In this story we meet an American, Emma Delagardie, and follow her as she gets to know Jane Wooliston and Augustus Whittlesby. Emma’s childhood friendship with Hortense Bonaparte, Napolean’s stepdaughter, has put her in place to be present for the testing of a new French weapon. Whittlesby must maneuver his way into Emma’s life, so that he can be invited to the demonstration, and in turn warn the British.

I cou
Lauren Willig has done it again! Her latest novel, “The Garden Intrigue” is a continuation of the popular Pink Carnation series. And, it's one of her best!

This adventurous spy tale is set in 1804. Our heroine is New York born Emma Delgardie and she is living in Paris, France. As a young widow, Emma enjoys the Paris salons and an intimacy with Napoleon Bonaparte’s inner circle. Her two best friends include Hortense,(Napoleon’s step daughter) and Jane (who is the Pink Carnation). Emma is commissio
As a big fan of this series, I'm afraid this installment was sorely lacking on audio. Emma's voice and tone was flat and much too modern sounding to my ears for a proper young lady during Regency times. I could barely stand it every time she opened her mouth and that's a deal breaker for me. If the heroine doesn't win me over, the book is lost. Augustus' switch from Jane to Emma screamed "rebound" and I just could not take him seriously. Pity, since I've really enjoyed Kate Reading's narration i ...more
My overall reaction to this one is "meh" and only partly because it took me forever to actually get through it, since I was bored with most of it. Although I was happy to see Jane (but for hell's sake, give her something to do!), I really didn't care for any of the characters. The whole Augustus Whittlesby character was too on-the-"Scarlet Pimpernel" nose for me; an annoying effeminate, superficial character who is actually manly and brave is too trite for words. And, don't get me started on Emm ...more
I have been reading Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series for quite awhile. I feel like the last few books have all been rather disappointing, but I found this one to be especially awful. Usually I can dive right into Lauren Willig's novels, but with this, I found myself really having to work to stay interested. Neither the frame story nor the one inside could capture my attention.

Like the 8 preceding books in the series, The Garden Intrigue consisted of the Eloise/Colin frame story (a Cambridge
Having read all* of the other Pink Carnation books, I was super-excited when I saw this one at the library. However, I think Willig may be losing her mojo. I always preferred the historical plotlines to the contemporary ones, but I thought this latest installment got off to a particularly clunky start. There was an overabundance of backstory for the sake of newcomers to the series, which mostly served to remind me how little of the books are devoted to the contemporary plotlines, as not very muc ...more
Willig has done it again. Her newest Pink Carnation book, The Garden Intrigue is just as captivating and charming as the rest.

This time we are introduced to Emma, a small and overly ostentatious American living in Paris. Though small, she is no wall flower. She knows everyone, including First Consul and soon to be Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. She’s also friends with the Pink Carnation, Jane and secret agent disguised as a poet, Augustus. These relationships, and her deceased husband’s desire for
Lately, I've been reading lots of historical fiction and romances and as I've sampled a bit more of the field, I find that Ms. Willig's stories have improved in my opinion. And while that may be a bit of a backhanded compliment, it does mean that I liked the latest installment of Pink better than many of the previous books.

The dual story used throughout the series keeps things moving at a nice clip. While the Regency spies Emma and Augustus are risking their lives to foil Bonaparte's latest pla
Out of all the leading men in this series, I think Augustus Whittlesby had the most potential. He seemed likeable, witty, attractive and smart. I was rooting for him. Emma was ok. I thought her "issues" and backstory were weak, at best. The most interesting character in The Garden Intrigue was the Pink Carnation herself. That girl's gonna break soon. Or get married. It's a toss up. I thought Emma was pretty naive for someone who's had so much life experience. I liked Emma and Augustus's interact ...more
Fan favourite and very bad poet, Augustus Whittlesby gets his own chance at romance in this ninth installment of the alternate history series. He is matched with the American widow Emma Morris Delagardie. Friends with Napoleon's stepdaughter, Emma has access to the highest echelons of French society, making her a tempting target for Augustus's attention. But he finds himself drawn to this woman for more than political reasons. But can their budding romance survive the revelation that Augustus is ...more
Lauren Willig is one of my absolute favorite authors. She never fails to make me laugh out loud. I'd say garden is maybe my second favorite book in the series. I just loved it. I like the fact that it focuses back on the events in Paris, although I did find India fascinating as well in Blood Lilly. I'll admit I had originally wanted Jane and Augustus to pair off. But Emma ends up being just perfect for him and Jane and Miss Gwen are free to spy another day. I cannot say how much I loved it.
Genre: Regency Romance

This was a surprisingly delightful read, combining Willig's amusing charm with poignant character insight. Both protagonists, Augustus Whittlesby and Emma Morris are adults with past mistakes and lessons learned, who are struggling with the question "what next" as well as trying to understand each other. This question of what next is made more fraught with the precarious state of Napoleon's Paris -- seeing Napoleon's actions though the eye's of the american Emma is a fascin
Not even worth writing my own words. I copied and pasted fro two others I thought fitting:

The characters were very dull and uncaptivating. There is nothing in Emma to arouse any interest; she's just a society girl who is completely content with her frivolous life. Augustus, meanwhile, has the most tiresome dialogue, continually speaking in enough rhymes and alliterations to drive a reader mad. This book also featured a close-up look at the Bonapartes, and even they seemed to be lacking.

The fact
Thoroughly enjoyable read. (Or in my case, thoroughly enjoyable listen!) The entire series is story within story, and throughout the series the historical story is the strongest. This installment is no different. However, the modern story is progressing nicely and ties in with the historical pieces in a believable manner. I really do not like time travel stories, so this arrangement is perfect for me.

As the series progresses, we readers are not only introduced to an entertaining cast of spies,
Another enjoyable romp in the world of the Pink Carnation. We've been working through pairing off all of her associates, looking forward to seeing what is in store for Miss Wooliston. :)
Not as good as others in the series, and I hate the new cover art.
Chelsea Gouin
Lauren Willig has come through again! The heroine, Emma Delagardie, has been a background character in the last few books and other than being Jane's friend, that's all the readers know about her. She was a blank slate to be developed in this story, and she really did...blossom. She wasn't as annoying or crass as she had been painted in the previous books. She wasn't as flighty as the early heroines either as she is a widow and has done the love thing before. A woman scorned, but too young to sw ...more
The Garden Intrigue is the ninth book in Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series. This book takes a look at the ascension of Napoleon from an Amercian’s point of view, Emma Delaguardie, who is best friends with Napoleon’s step-daughter. A young widow, Emma has been “adopted” into Napoleon’s inner circle by virtue of her friendship with Hortense. Augustus Whittlesby is a secret agent working under cover in Paris posing as a poet who is in love with Jane, the Pink Carnation. Through a series of even ...more
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Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in English History at Harvard befor ...more
More about Lauren Willig...
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1) The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation, #2) The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, #3) The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation, #4) The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5)

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