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The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation, #4)
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The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation #4)

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  5,898 ratings  ·  457 reviews
Now in paperback?a novel that ?handily fulfills its promise of intrigue and romance.?("Publishers Weekly")
Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he
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Published January 31st 2008 by New American Library (first published January 6th 2008)
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Lisa Kay
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★★★★½ I love this series! If anyone is looking for a good serial “buddy read,” this is the book for your group. That is, if everyone can commit to sticking to the reading schedule and not jump ahead. In that case, you’ll get a lot of this in answer to your Discussion Questions: “Sorry, I can’t answer; I read ahead.”

Like most of my other “buddy read” members, I liked, not loved the main characters. Nevertheless, I truly appreciated that the author presents us with unique individuals
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bijal
So, when I read the blurb for this book, I figured I'd end up liking it okay, but not as much as the two prior because it was about Vaughn and I couldn't really see him carrying a book or holding my interest. He's pretty much a mustache twirling foil in the first two books, and who can take that seriously, you know?

BUT! Turns out, I did not know I liked Vaughn as much I ended up liking Vaughn! He had a personality and he even cracked a joke or two. And, of course, he had SECRET PAIN. When it co
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Mjohnson
I bought this book because it was on sale. REALLY on sale. And because it was hardcover. And, well, it looked pretty. So...why not?

I'm actually torn between giving 3 or 4 stars. (Yes, this is when I'd like half stars.) Two otherwise unlikeable characters come together with such wit and intelligent dialogue that I found myself empathizing and ultimately cheering for them. These two actually GET each other's humor, and they're able ot bounce back-handed comments, sparring asides and private jokes
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Manda Collins
Dec 30, 2010 Manda Collins rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Manda by: Fans of anti-heroes, spy stories,
I have the utmost admiration of Willig's skill as an author. And for her sheer bravery for letting her characters remain true to their natures--flaws and all. It would have been easy to explain away their rather unpleasant characteristics with stories of a troubled childhood or various heartbreaks. But she didn't take the easy way, instead walking a tightrope between unlikable and admirable. I'm not sure anyone else would have been able to tell Vaughn and Mary's story and make me like them. They ...more
Susan (susayq ~)
For some reason I didn't like this one as much as I've liked the previous books in this series. Now, that's not to say that it isn't good, cause as you can see, I gave it 4 stars. I just don't feel the same excitement now that it's over. Without giving away to much of the plot, there were some things that were resolved in this book, that can't have gone the way it appears, since there are more books in the series. (view spoiler) ...more
Kelly
I reviewed this book at my blog. Twice, since it's one I've re-read quite a number of times now. Here's the combined craziness:

In The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, Lauren Willig has pulled off an extraordinary feat: She has taken a woman who was established to be a spoiled, somewhat conniving social-climber as her Regency heroine, and paired her with a man who, in two prior books, has shown himself to be a somewhat predatory and amoral rake at best, and a dangerous double-agent at worst - he's
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Pamela(AllHoney)
The 4th book in the Pink Carnation series and a great addition. I didn't particularly like either Mary or Vaughn (I didn't hate them, though) in the previous book but I warmed up to them quickly in this one. It would be hard to say which book is my favorite so far but this one is probably in the running. Vaughn recruits Mary at the request of the Pink Carnation to help expose the Black Tulip. Never a dull moment as we go back and forth from Eloise and Colin in the present day to Vaughn and Mary ...more
Mackenzie
Lauren Willig's fourth Pink book tells the story of two very SLYTHERIN characters (and do pardon me for the use of Harry Potter parallels).

The girl is Mary Alsworthy (sister of Letty Alsworthy, the leading lady in the Book 3, who is portrayed as a haughty and opportunistic debutante. In Book 3, we learned that Mary schemed to get a viscount to marry him, only to have her plans foiled when the viscount decided to marry her sister instead. So her suitor became her brother-in-law and she isn't happ
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Highland-dreamer
I was disappointed with this book. I loved #2 and #3 in the series, so I looked forward to reading about Lord Vaughn and Mary, but their love story never quite convinced me. Lord Vaughn's character was so intriguing in the other books! I thought his own story rather uninteresting, and fell flat at times. And for Lord Vaughn, so valued for his role as the "notorious rake", his book proved to be the most chaste- at least up to this point. I also didn't like how Letty was portrayed in this installm ...more
maline
This book is my favorite of the series having read all of them. Mary and Vaughn are my favorite couple. I think it's because they both don't claim to be heros. They acknowledge that they are self-motivated and everyone believes that of them (including readers).

But as the story unravels, they are not as conceited as everyone thinks, even to themselves. Willig really put them through the ringer in this book (like no other couple before or after). To date, they are the only characters who have been
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Nicole
Oct 02, 2011 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Parasol Protectorate or Sorcery & Cecilia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alana
The fourth in the series and I admit, I actually went to the bookstore on the 29th (the paperback publication date) specifically to pick this up. I was in a bit of a reading slump and knew that no matter how silly this book might be, it would be silly enough to get me out of that slump. And I was right.
This certainly isn't my favorite of Willig's books, but it does just what you expect it to do... a couple is paired, despite their best efforts, and love is triumphant by the end of the story. Alo
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Nadine Jones
The books in this series just get better and better. Sure, at heart it's a simple romance, but so much better than your run-of-the-mill romance. The characters are real, complex, they have believable motivations, and they aren't all classically handsome/beautiful.

One of the things that really annoys me in romance writing is the author's unfortunate tendency to pick a few pet phrases or issues, and repeat them AD NAUSEAM throughout the book - you'll be reminded a dozen or more times that, say, t
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Zojar
Ahh, Lord Sebastian Vaughn and Mary Alsworthy!! What a coupling in this, the fourth book from Lauren Willig in the Pink Carnation series. Having learnt about them in previous books, the unlikely couple make a great match for one another. Not that it is an easy match, by any means. With the espionage and the Black Tulips petals being picked off one by one. The story intrigued me and seeing these characters I'd, somewhat, dispised, in previous books, I was drawn around to having quite a lot of res ...more
KarenF
I love this series and its frothy blend of chick-lit, mystery, historical romance and spies. If you're looking for angst and tortured characters this isn't for you but they're fun, witty and highly entertaining. It took me a little longer to warm up to Mary and Vaughn as they both are kind of selfish and shallow people. I loved that they didn't change and fell in love anyway. They're perfectly matched in their pride and wit and cynicism. I'm still never as invested in the present day Eloise and ...more
Faith
In this fourth adventure in the Pink Carnation series, Willig tells the story of almost spinster Mary Alsworthy and cryptic Lord Vaughn. If you've read any of her other novels, you know from the get-go that they are going to get together. It's in the "how" that Willig really shines this time. Using complex dialog and mostly believable situations, Willig tells the story of their romance and how they uncover the deadly spy, the Black Tulip.
This is a highly enjoyable historical fiction novel that i
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Camille
Mar 02, 2008 Camille rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of romance, espionage and chick lit
Hurray for Colin and Eloise!

I can see how Mary's story jumped out of the wood work as ms Willig tried to move on with the next book. who would have thought that we would be cheering for Mary Alsworthy and Lord Vauhn! Or that two such self centered people could fall for each other so compleatly. My favorite since the original Pink Carnation!

As for Colin and Eloise I can already see strawberry blond children tiptoing amongst the archives at Selwick hall. Don't screw it up Eloise!
Miriam
I feel like Willig's starting to force this series a tad; the plot (that is, the Dastardly Plot of the villains) was pretty implausible. Still they are fun reads. I was a little iffy about having Mary and Vaughn as the main characters and felt that she altered their previous established characters to make them fit the romantic mold. On the other hand, it was a nice change to for once have protagonists who weren't so good-goody.
Malin
This is the fourth book in the series, and as such, not the best place to start reading. This review will also contain some spoilers for book 3, The Deception of the Emerald Ring, so skip this review if you're not up to date.

Despite being one of the acclaimed beauties of the ton, Miss Mary Alsworthy is facing her third season. The only actual marriage proposals she's received were from unsuitable candidates, and her attempt to secure a rich husband failed spectacularly when her intended acciden
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Carol
Not quite as good as the other books in the series, but still a very enjoyable read. I think it is because Mary Alsworthy is now our main female character and in the previous book she was a bit of a brat. Good romance in the modern day between Eloise and Collin. Their scenes made me smile. Kate Reading is a great narrator for the audiobook. She manages to do male and female voices and different accents wonderfully.
Katie
I ended up liking this a bit more than I expected. With the minimal exposure to the Mary from the previous books and the unflattering exposure to Lord Vaughn in book #3, I was not expecting to care about the relationship — either good or bad — between them. Thankfully, the author managed to produce a story that did not rely on a graphic coupling between the main characters. (To be fair, she flirted with it, but refrained from letting the temptation carry through.) Mary's character become a bit m ...more
LiteraryLover
I definitely liked this one more than the previous book, even though both were enjoyable. My only complaint is I wanted a little more of the heroine and lord vaughn together. I wanted a little more of his signature sparring of words. But otherwise this series has continued to be good and I hope the rest of the series continues to be so.
Wanda
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is the 4th in a series about a spy ring operating throughout Europe during the Napoleonic era. Mary Alsworthy is facing her 4th Season in London without any prospects of marriage, especially since her fiance accidentally eloped with her sister. Mary is brought into the employ of the Pink Carnation(number one spy) to help find the identity of a French spy known as The Black Tulip. Danger and adventure as well as an unlikely matrimonial prospect are the plot of th ...more
Kate
I quite enjoyed The Seduction of the Crimson Rose. Very predictable, of course, but still a fun romance (and, unlike much of the series, between two characters who don't have very many scruples). I was a bit disappointed, though, that there was no steamy love scene. I was looking forward to it. It makes sense, though, as one of the characters is (view spoiler) ...more
Dawnn somerset
i flew through this one, a great start and i like the other side story in this one, it was a nice read
Lianne
3.5/5 stars

OK, these are the fluffiest and funniest series of books, but I love them as a palate cleanser from some of the longer/heavier things I read. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Lauren Willig. She can write humor into a genre that normally is devoid of anything less than stuffiness.

This is the 4th in the Pink Carnation series, and I didn't love this one as much... at first. Mary and Vaughn are just a bit rough around the edges, but it is in that roughness that the sweetness shines through. Al
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Flora
Self-interested, cranky debutante grows fond of grumpy old-school widower on the cusp of middle age. Or vice versa. Good thing I love cranky characters. Charming for its honest character rehab and general irritability. Bonus: most palatable Eloise chapters I've come across so far.

Less charming for overuse of the word "sardonic" -- there are some very McNaught touches to the writing -- and the series's blink-and-lose-the-suspension-of-disbelief plot speed. (This book points out that book 3 took b
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Ruth
Good. Fresh, crisp and entertaining.
Georgiana
There is something tremendously attractive about the sardonic resilience of both hero (Vaughn) and heroine (Mary) in this anti-love story. Leaving aside the minor problems that Vaughn is married, and Mary is a (reluctantish) fortune-hunter, neither has any time for the sentimentalities of their circle (Mary is particularly scathing of her sister's sweetness and light). So when they do finally acknowledge their feelings for each other in a brilliantly sustained three-chapter tour-de-force, it is ...more
Becky R.
While I appreciated the witty banter and thrilling action of book four, I had a real difficult time getting into this particular story. It seemed to me that the previous installments had helped to create this character in Lord Vaughn who was quite unpopular to the reader. Throughout the stories, he seemed like this swine who flirted with the women, and who could or could not be spying for the French and playing both sides. In all honesty, I viewed Lord Vaughn as a great villain, and I just coul ...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 Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5) The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation, #6)

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“It was lovely to see cynicism in one so young. It positively restored his faith in human nature.” 13 likes
“For a long moment, he held her gaze without speaking, simply letting the impact of words sink in, before adding rapidly, as though he wished to get it over with as quickly as possible, "I won't deny that you're beautiful. No mirror could tell you otherwise. But there are beautiful women for the buying in any brothel in London. Oh yes, and the ballrooms, too, if one has the proper price. It wasn't your appearance that caught me. It was the way you put me down in the gallery at Sibley Court." Vaughn's lips curved in a reminiscent smile. "And the way you tried to bargain with me after."

"Successfully bargained," Mary corrected.

"That," replied Lord Vaughn, "is exactly what I mean. Has anyone ever told you that you haggle divinely? That the simple beauty of your self-interest is enough to bring a man to his knees?"

Mary couldn't in honesty say that anyone had.

Vaughn's eyes were as hard and bright as silver coins. "Those are the reasons I want you. I want you for your cunning mind and your hard heart, for your indomitable spirit and your scheming soul, for they're more honest by far than any of the so-called virtues."

"The truest poetry is the most feigning?" Mary quoted back his own words to him.

"And the most feigning is the most true.”
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