Nicole's Reviews > The Orchid Affair

The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig
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's review
Nov 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: frothy-romance, history
Read in November, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Hooray! The Pink Carnation is back!

I'm glad to see Willig branching out so far as her heroines and heroes are concerned. And both the hero and the heroine in this book are very much of a different stripe. Many people have complained about how Willig often sets up her books so that the hero and heroine are needlessly suspicious of each other. In this case, she very skillfully also makes the reader initially suspicious of the man who later turns out to be the hero.

This book dispenses with certain aspects of the formula that Willig had set up in the previous books. Instead, we see Laura Griscogne/Gray on her first assignment, and in many ways very much alone. We don't realize who the hero is until nearly midway through the book - and instead of being a wealthy noble, he's a widower with two kids who is ostensibly on the other side. It reads much more as a historic espionage novel with romantic elements than a romance novel with espionage elements, and the shakeup in the formula is refreshing.

I had been disappointed in the Eloise and Colin bits in the previous novel, but in this book the issues that were established there finally paid off. Film crews often do an enormous amount of damage when they're on location; it will be fascinating to see what happens here.
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