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The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation #8)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  4,189 ratings  ·  390 reviews
"Pride and Prejudice lives on" (USA Today) in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, which has been hailed for its addictive blend of history, romance, and adventure. In The Orchid Affair, Willig introduces her strongest heroine yet. Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by Dutton Adult
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Here's the thing. If you're at the point where you're reading the SEVENTH of a series in HARDCOVER, you don't really need my review. You're like me; you're going to read it regardless of what the main storyline might be. We've come this far and we've been amused enough with the ride, so we'll continue on.

The Orchid Affair is, indeed, the seventh book in the Pink Carnation series (a count which doesn't include the Christmas intrigue published a few months ago or that little online novella) publi
The "Silver Orchid" shines in post-revolutionary Paris

The Orchid Affair is Willig’s eighth novel in the popular Pink Carnation series set during the Napoleonic Wars between England and France. They involve historical espionage, romance, swash, buckle and a fair dose of comedy and sardonic wit – neatly ticking off all the check boxes on my ideal historical/romance/comedy reading hit list.

The opening chapters of Orchid were an abrupt change after the high comedy of Willig’s last offering, The Misc
I'm glad to see Willig getting back to a more espionage-heavy plot. I thought the political intrigue here was one of her best -- she notes at the end that it is based on real events and characters, and I think that approach worked well for her.
Ahh, Willig is such a delightful author to read!

But...a funny thing happened on the way through this book, a subtle role-reversal took place. The contemporary storyline, which through the previous books was merely a conduit to further the historical plot line, became much more intriguing than the main story! The historical adventures of the "Silver Orchid" were interesting, if a little slow moving, while the intrigue among the modern day Selwick clan was palpable. I found myself wanting to just
This was much, MUCH, better than the last couple of Carnation books (I don't even think I really remember those - I must have blocked them out). Jane actually shows up, and the focus is back on France/England, which makes much more sense, since I doubt the Secret Carnation controlled espionage on every continent.

Anyway, this one was a bit more mature in terms of character - both Laura and Andre are in their 30s - and I felt that it was also less frivolous than previous installments. The romance
Oh dear. Laura and Letty are now having a face-off over who is the best Willig heroine. Arabella is looking on to see if she can capitalize on the disagreement (if Pen doesn't beat her to the punchline). Mary thinks she is better than all this, Charlotte is reading a book, and Hen and Amy are far too busy training new spies to notice.
The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig
Dutton, 2011
403 pages
Historical Espionage Romance
4.5/5 stars

Source: Library

I've been reading the Willig books from the beginning, meaning pre-blog, so of course I wanted to read this one. It seems so weird to me that the books started in 2004 and because the modern section moves so slowly it is still 2004. I'm not sure how much has changed since that time but I know a lot has. What hasn't changed is Willig's ability to craft a satisfying historical espionage wit
There's a reason why Lauren Willig's books are so popular, and "The Orchid Affair" reminded me of why. I didn't want this book to end. The story is an excellent, well-rounded historical. There's lots of adventure and mystery, great characters, and a lot of sweet romance.

The book started a little slow for me, there wasn't a lot of action at the start. But I felt the story picked up as soon as Andre and Laura ran into the boisterous painter, Daubier. I feel like that's when the secrets really star
In the seventh installment in the Pink Carnation series, Laura Grey has been recruited as a spy by the Pink Carnation and completed a "spy course" at Selwick Hall. In her first assignment as the Silver Orchid, she is placed in the household of the right-hand to the French Minister of Police, Andre Jaouen, as governess to his two children. Miss Grey (or Mlle Giscogne in French) had been a governess for 16 years prior to her spy career, so the cover was perfect. Miss Grey becomes embroiled in unco ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Laura Grey has had it being a governess. She has just graduated from the Selwick Spying Academy and is off to France to do her bit to fight the revolution. Of course she just happens to be going to France in the very role she was trying to escape, that of "governess." Laura, or more precisely, Laure Griscogne, has been away from her homeland since her parents died and left her orphaned and having to take care of herself in the only way possible, by rearing others children, though when she starte ...more
What a fun book to read! There are two loosely connected stories, each one echoing how our upbringing affects our adult relationships, coloring how we react to stress and with whom we fall in love.

In 2004, Harvard graduate student, Eloise, is traveling to Paris with her boyfriend. Hmmm, a whiff of romance early on in the story. However, she is there to continue her research on the English spy ring active during and just after the French Revolution, while the boyfriend, Colin, is there by command
Historically-not-innacurate PG romance fun for smart chicks. Legit enjoyable even if this genre is not generally your go-to. Turns out the engaging storyline was actually inspired by historical events, too, so now my grasp of goings-on in Paris with Napoleon at the helm is less nonexistent. Will totally read more books in this series, especially if I end up having another kid.
Betty Strohecker
This was one of my favorite books in the Pink Carnation series (some spoilers in this review). The action returned to Paris, focusing on a new spy, Laura Griscogne, known as the Silver Orchid, as she infiltrated the home of Andre Jaouen, posing as a governess for his two children. Thinking his post with the Paris Prefecture would provide valuable information, Laura found the tables turned on her as Jaouen apparently had a change of heart from his revolutionary days, and was now working to restor ...more
Laura is an operative trained by the Pink Carnation's associates. She goes to Paris to be governess for two children of Andre, a man working for the ministry of police in Paris after the French Revolution and the beginning of Napoleon's reign as first consul. Laura helps Andre and his children to escape Paris when it becomes clear he is involved in a royalist plot, something that was totally unexpected. It is a love story with twists and turns.
It bounces forward to the future where Eloise is sti
I liked Laura as a heroine for a number of reasons. She's 32, so has a little bit of life experience. She is not an expressive individual and lacks an emotive spirit(I especially like how terrible she is at acting), something which was refreshing in a genre where the heroines are often good at everything. I enjoyed her description as someone who plays piano and speaks languages with technical proficiency but who lacks that certain something. I also like that her relationship with the troubled Ga ...more
Erin Maynard
One of my more favorite of the Pink collection. It's nice to see Ms. Willig return to the collection's original roots with traditional "spying" and even a cameo by the Purple Gentian. I also appreciate the "bringing back to the fold" of some of her characters that had seemed to have gone astray in the last few novels. The romantic element is believable and in an ironic twist which can only be appreciated by her fans who voiced their displeasure at the bodice-bearing heroine that originally grace ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yes, I have enjoyed this series, but I am a bit tired of the format with the graduate student and her romance. I think that this portion is becoming tired and worn. However, the spy tale is intriguing although Willig had to throw a romance in that portion, too. It puts Laura Grey, a neophyte at spying, as a governess in the home of Andre Joauen. This is a role she is well qualified to occupy. Intrigue comes with the addition of a sinister colleague, Gaston DeLaroche, whose veiled threats are dis ...more
Kate Reading reads this novel and right away that elevates this novel into something special. Her ability to take you from past to present was like having a completely different narrator. Her voice was entirely different when Eloise and Colin came on the scene. Thankfully, that wasn't often, even though she was spot on for those characters. The more I read of Eloise and Colin, particularly Eloise, the less I like them. Whereas the Silver Orchid was a hoot. Laura Grey, governess, was sent to Fran ...more
♥ ♥ ♥ Martina ♥ ♥ ♥
As a HUGE Lauren Willig fan I have purchased and loved everything by her but found it hard to finish this one. Not sure why. The hero Andre perhaps was just a little bit too staid or not as much as a rogue as previous Pink heroes and maybe that's why this one just didn't do it for me. The hero is a father to two young children and the heroine is their governess. I didn't fall in love with them. On the (many) plus sides: the scenes with Colin and Eloise are just as good as always (if not better); ...more
This 8th book in a series about intrigues following the French Revolution had some great aspects. I liked each of the story lines, although the historical one was more engaging. I did not care for the bounce back and forth between them, and found it jarring. However, I liked the couples in each, and enjoyed the family and political intrigue that occurred with each. It was nice to have political intrigue with people who were not nobility, and who would not become such. I feel as though the presen ...more
Are tacky entendre and aggressive banality still tacky and banal when written in classy historical dialect..? Yes. Will it help to add a secondary storyline and narrator so vapid and charmless you wish you could punch a book in the face..? No.
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Another solid entry in the Pink Carnation series!

I'm not sure how long Ms. Willig is planning on keeping this series going, but personally I hope the end is a long time off. With the exception of one, I have adored each and every book in this series. They are such a treat to read.

From the historical aspect, I found Laura and André to be a delightful heroine/hero. The story as always is well written and contains all those things that Pink Carnation fans have come to rely
What a refreshing return to the Pink Carnation series. Although I enjoyed the light-hearted comedy of the previous book (Mischief of the Mistletoe), it was a bit of a let-down in terms of plot quality and character. This book brings back both of those aspects of Willig's writing very well and was an enjoyable read. Once again, I was very glad that the modern aspect of the book (the relationship between Colin and Eloise) was kept to a bare minimum. As the series has progressed, I've lost more and ...more
I'm a sucker for a good governess story, what can I say. This book focuses on Laura Grey, governess of sixteen years who, fresh from the Selwick spy academy, accepts a mission in France from the Pink Carnation. Her mission, should she choose to accept it, be a governess. The Pink Carnation places Laura in the home of a man who works for the French Ministry of Police to spy out what she can from her employer's reports, conversations, etc. Her employer is a handsome widower who is not what ...more
This one started out closer to a 3 star book, but the plot line came together and the suspense really picked up. Another entertaining and sort of silly book that keeps it light and fun. I just can't seem to remember if we were introduced to Laura Grey in one of the previous books and thats bothering me. Also, while I enjoyed having Jane (the Pink Carnation) back, it was a little sad that none of the other heroines from prior books made any cameos, given the setting.
MB (What she read)
Enjoyable! I thought the writing and storyline for this seventh installment seemed more polished and adult. It wasn't quite as slapstick as some of the earlier ones, but I liked it.

And, it will be interesting to see what happens to Colin and Penny next. I usually find their storyline to be intrusive, but this one ended up in the air and I'm curious to what happens next to them.

3.5 stars from me.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I thought the modern romance was more interesting than the period romance. But there were some interesting parallels between (view spoiler). Unfortunately, the modern romance/framing story is starting to feel a little too dragged out for my tastes.
This is #8 in the Pink Carnation series. I had heard of the series and was able to pick up a used copy and was glad I did. Historical fiction and romance are my favorite genres and this story encompasses both. Laura Grey poses as a governess in France after attending the Selwick spy school. She enters the Andre Jaouen family's household, but finds things are not as they seem. The story flows very easily and grabs you right from the start. There is another modern day story entwined of a researche ...more
Genre: Regency Romance

Laura Grey has been a governess since her flaky and famously artistic parents were killed more then a decade ago. Seeking more meaning in her life, she enrolls in the Pink Carnation School for Spys. Little realizing the reason she's chosen for her very important mission of keeping tabs on Andre Jaouen (brother-in-law and heir apparent to the French minister of police), is that his wife is dead and he is seeking a governess for his children. At least she knows the job! Howev
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Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen 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 before ...more
More about Lauren Willig...

Other Books in the Series

Pink Carnation (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • 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)
  • The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation, #6)
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Pink Carnation, #7)
  • The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation, #9)
  • The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10)
  • The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)
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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