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The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation #8)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,756 ratings  ·  369 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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Community Reviews

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Alana
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...more
Laurel
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...more
Miriam
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.
TJ
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...more
Jennifer
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...more
Melissa
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.
Bookworm1858
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...more
Angelc
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...more
Karalee
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
Eva
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...more
Anittah
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.
xenu01
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
Nicole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rusty
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
Jodi
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
Jennifer
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...more
Mandolin
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
Jennie
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
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.
Jody
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
Sbuchler
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...more
Megan
In this book, Willig takes the Regency Romance trope of the Lovely Governess and Handsome Widower and gives it a dash of adventure and mayhem. I think it works quite well, entertaining without descending into mawkishness. I will, of course, admit to a bias towards the heroine, who is in her early thirties rather than twenties. *ahem*

The brief story of Eloise and Colin deepens, and Colin's sister Serena continues to be a problem. I rather wish she weren't so spineless, but as this secondary story...more
Lara
Pink Carnation meets The Sound of Music and Les Miserables. One of my favorites in the series.
Kristen
I really enjoy this series from Lauren Willig. The combination of spunky heroines, history, and a parallel current day storyline continue to entertain me.

The newest installment takes place in France following the terror, and sets Laura in the home of Andre - agent of the Prefecture of Police - posing as a governess but really acting as an agent of the Pink Carnation.

Needless to say if you've read any of the books in this series, it is a little formulaic, and you know that certain things will lik...more
Chelsea Gouin
Wow, just wow. Book 8 of the Pink Carnation series and still going strong! Laura Grey isn't like any of the other narrators that Ms. Willig has used before. She's not the dreamer like Charlotte or the comic relief like Henrietta, nor the flirt like Penelope. She is a bitter 32 year old governess. I loved her.

I really had serious doubts about this one...because let's face it. A governess? How exciting does that sound? But it was fantastically written. The romance was a slow build up that left y...more
Shruti
I just won a copy of The Orchid Affair from First Reads on Goodreads. I've already read the rest of the series, so I'm looking forward to reading the next one! (Even though they changed the cover art style, and, more tragically, the awesome book title format.)

---

As the Pink Carnation series goes, this particular book in the series seems to have veered off a bit from the standard course. The first book in the series aside, we are generally already acquainted with at least one of the two main char...more
Becky R.
All of Willig's female spies have a strength about them that is fun to read. We expect spies to be gutsy and brave, and these characters definitely have a variety of skills and strengths that allow them to spy for the British against the French. Interestingly, Laura is the first character that felt the most cunning. Throughout this installment, we find that Laura can blend into her life as a governess with ease, and can stoically put her own interests aside in this role. As readers it almost fee...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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