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The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

(Pink Carnation #10)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,327 ratings  ·  408 reviews
Colonel William Reid has returned home from India to retire near his children, who are safely stowed in an academy in Bath. Upon his return to the Isles, however, he finds that one of his daughters has vanished, along with one of her classmates.

Having served as second-in-command to the Pink Carnation, one of England’s most intrepid spies, it would be impossible for
Paperback, 468 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by NAL Trade
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  3,327 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Purple. The color of royalty. The hot color of red mingled with the cold color of blue. So appropriately the favored color of Miss Gwendolyn Meadows, middle-aged spinster, chaperone and assistant spy to Miss Jane Wooliston, AKA the Pink Carnation. She’ll never be mistaken for a queen but she is just that to a loveable rogue of a career officer, Colonel William Reid. Finally, in “Pink X,” we are introduced to a heroine and hero who prove you don’t always have to be young to experience the thrill ...more
Book Riot Community
A romp! A romp, I tells ye! This is the first Pink Carnation book I’ve read, and I was shocked by how easy it was to slip into this well-established series. It’s filled with action, romance, and plenty of swashbuckling, as a modern-day scholar and two 18th-century spies try to find a cache of priceless jewels. Although there was a lot going on (modern-day storyline, Gwen’s novel, the historical storyline), and I’m not sure 2/3rds of it was really necessary, it didn’t detract from the central ...more
I absolutely loved this book . I’m woefully behind on the Pink Carnation series, but I jumped at the chance to review this one, not least because it has rather a USP (Unique Selling Point) in the genre – namely that the hero and heroine are of more mature years (he’s fifty-four, she’s forty-five). That certainly wasn’t the only reason, however. Ms. Willig’s writing is intelligent and frequently humorous, her characters leap off the page and she spins a superb yarn.

For anyone not familiar with
Laura (Kyahgirl)
2/5; 2 stars; DNF

Usually I'll give a 'DNF' a 1 star but I think this author really deserves credit for having an older couple as the main love interest. You don't see that very often and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Ms. Willig is clearly an accomplished writer and it shows in the dialogue and descriptions.
I also loved Kate Reading as the narrator of the story,she is fabulous.

Unfortunately, those positives were not enough to make up for a loose and meandering plot, tedious scenes
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

You are either going to love it or hate it. I always had a soft spot for Miss Gwen!
The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is the penultimate book in the Pink Carnation mystery series. While I enjoyed the previous two books in the series, I felt there was an odd disconnect between them and the earlier books. I think this is partly because 1) the historical mystery stories were set in France and 2) the main couples in the historical stories were brand new characters (except for Augustus Whittlesby, who was previously a very minor character). The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (I'm ...more
MB (What she read)
Found both of these characters to be too heavy handed on the buffoonery side. Author seemed to intend them too much as figures of fun, and personally that grated on me the reader. Felt like Willig was treating them as clowns-- due to their 'advanced age' perhaps? Just a feeling--I felt they were disrespected.

Miss Jane's sad backstory meant to make readers feel for her but then author goes back to using her as the comic element. Would much rather have seen this story handled touchingly with real
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Colonel William Reid is retiring to England to live out his life in leisure with his two daughters, Kat and Lizzy, leaving behind three very different, one very difficult, sons in India. Little does he know that the school in Bath that Lizzy has been attending, Miss Climpson's Academy, seems to be the epicenter of spies in the battle between the French and the English. For two years Miss Gwendolyn Meadows has been at the center of that fight, or slightly next to the center wielding a dangerous ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Yay, Miss Gwen gets a book! One thing I have enjoyed about this series is seeing minor characters develop into major ones. This installation is a great example as Miss Gwen, fearsome chaperone and wielder of a vicious parasol, steps onto the main stage.

I liked the way Willig approached this story. Miss Gwen is past 40, not the early 20s of Jane and her friends. So there was some backstory that needed to be explained, as well as an opportunity to comment on social options for spinsters in
The Lit Bitch
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don’t know why but I always seem to go into the later Pink Carnation books with a preconceived notion of the romance.

With the last book, I was so not looking forward to it but found it was one of the more enjoyable ones! So one would think that I would keep an open mind. But I didn’t.

I was not really looking forward to an ‘old person romance’ in this book…not that I’m a spring chicken mind you but still…something about Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid just didn’t scream sexy to me.

In my mind, Miss
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This was sweet! I really liked how we got to know a lot about Gwen and how her attitude is largely due to her circumstances and it's become an armor for her - as well as her connection with Jane as the head of the Pink Carnation league that was actually quite a sucker punch in making me really root for Gwen. I did like how William and Gwen complimented each other in their whole time trying to find Agnes and Lizzy, and I love how Lizzy approved Gwen because she'd get her a sword parasol and teach ...more
Lori McD
3.5-4 stars

Miss Gwen has always been the starched, staunch, sharp-tongued and sharp-witted chaperone to Jane. She's been in the shadows of Jane and the "younger" set so far in the Pink Carnation series.

Well, in this book, Miss Gwen has her day and meets her match! And I have to say that I ADORE that Miss Gwen's match is a Scot! Jane's younger sister is missing from her young ladies' finishing school, and with the Gardiner (the latest French spymaster) breathing down Jane's neck, it's time to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have long been a Pink Carnation series fan...and hearing the next in the series was going to be about Miss Gwen, I'll admit I had reservations. I just didn't know how she'd work her magic. Boy was I WROnG!! This is now one of my favorites in the series!

This tale involving primarily Miss Gwen, Jane, & Colonel Reid is enchanting. I loved hearing Miss Gwen's story and seeing her bloom. There are many revelations involving multiple characters you won't want to miss!! I'm already looking
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
No surprise...I knew I would love Miss Gwen's story:)
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a fun read with plenty of suspense and humor and a delightful love story intertwined.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
As we head toward to end of this series, there are still several people who are unmatched and one of those is Miss Gwen Meadows. The chaperone for the Pink Carnation in her ordinary guise, Gwen considers herself long on the shelf. She has perfected the governess demeanor. She wasn't prepared for Col. William Reid. Col. Reid is newly retired. He sent his children to England after their mother had died because he knew India wasn't safe for them. But now he wants them back. Only his youngest isn't ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great intertwined stories of past and present intrigue.
Antonia Mauro
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now that I've been invited into the Reid family, and their adventures around the world in espionage during the time of Bonaparte, I am overwhelmed by the twists in this book. Who knew, Miss Gwen! So uplifting! Thank you, Lauren Willig for writing about love over age 45! More!!!
JG (The Introverted Reader)
In the tenth installment of the Pink Carnation series, Jane and Miss Gwen find themselves back in England, searching for Jane's younger sister, Agnes, and her friend, Lizzy. They were in school at Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, a locale that featured prominently in another Pink Carnation book, The Mischief of the Mistletoe. Jane is afraid that someone has discovered her secret and is using poor, dull Agnes as a means to get to her. Shortly after arriving on the scene to begin ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Wow, I knew this one was going to be a great historical read, but I had no idea there would be mystery and secret spies involved. Instead of the same old historical romance, this book had much more intrigue, secrets, and, of course, a steamy romance.

Colonel William Reid has returned from India in hopes of settling down with his children, but he doesn't expect to find his youngest daughter missing with one of her classmates. Lucky for William, the classmate just so happens to be the sister of
My Book Addiction and More MBA
If you’re into the spy-romance type novel, then this one’s for you! With action packed adventures, treasure hunting, and spy intrigue, this novel is sure to entertain. William Reid returns home ready to greet his children after many years apart, only to find that his youngest has gone missing, along with her roommate. Thrown into a search for his daughter with Gwendolyn Meadows, a spinster chaperone, he finds that he is incredibly drawn to her. When they are followed and attacked not once, but ...more
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have been following the Pink Carnation series since its very beginning and I have to say that this was among my favourites! I enjoyed getting to learn more about Miss Gwen from her own perspective (and from Col. Reid who found her trademark prickliness to be endearing.) I'll be honest and say that while I adore Ms. Willig and her series, I struggled to get into "The Garden Intrigue" and so I'm thrilled to once again find that spark in her books.

Plumeria was the type that before I was aware of
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Lauren Willig's books are always great, so even though this one wasn't my favorite of hers, it was still a good, entertaining read. I think my biggest hurdle with the book was William. Usually, Willig makes me fall head over heels for her love interests, even though her books aren't truly "romances." However, this time, the romantic lead just didn't work for me. I didn't see many redeeming characteristics in him. He was kind of an oaf, for lack of a better word. I'm all for strong
Hannah Spaar
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I would encourage anyone considering this series to read the first three novels and stop.

I have a weakness for this series, it's true. But in the past few books, I've started to feel that weakness be abused. I find myself clutching on for any sign of Amy Balcourt, Richard Selwick, Miles Dorrington or Henrietta Dorrington (and having absolutely no sign of poor Letty and Geoff) despite being showered instead with countless new women who all think and speak the way Gilmore Girls sounds and go
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Gwendolyn Meadows has been the second-in-command to the Pink Carnation since the day Amy and Jane hatched the idea over two years before. Since then by day she has been Miss Gwen, the chaperon possessed of a keen aim with her parasol. By night, she has been a spy. But now, Jane's sister has disappeared from her boarding school, along with a friend. Gwen has no choice but to return to England with Jane in order to help with the search. This throws her into the path of Colonel William Reid, who ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
One of the first things that struck me about this novel is that you are in present day in some chapters and then in 1805 for most of the book. This really is a book within a book as the present day ancestors are looking for a treasure that is referred to in the past writings. While reading the chapters that deal with the Passion of the Purple Plumeria in 1805, there are also outtakes of a book that the main character, Gwen, has been writing. These hold clues that will help present day ancestors ...more
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, hard-copy
After being less than impressed with THE GARDEN INTRIGUE, I wondered if, after so many books in this series, Willig wasn't losing some steam. THE PASSION OF THE PURPLE PLUMERIA laid to rest all of my fears. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and what I enjoyed most was how different it was from the previous books in the series. In PASSION, we get to see an older couple fall in love, and we also get to see how Jane and Miss Gwen make the Pink Carnation work.

I didn't really understand some of the plot
Carolyn Thomas
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Another light, bright, breezy and fun read from Ms. Willig. No spoiler alert here - the girl always gets her guy, so in this case Miss Gwen gets Colonel Reid. Unfortunately Miss Gwen does not seem like the same character we have encountered in the other books of the series. She acts more like her much younger counterparts, no doubt as an excuse for the return of the somewhat torrid scenes that were present in the first couple of books and which might serve to add to the number of pages but do ...more
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Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen 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 History at Harvard before ...more

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 Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation, #8)
  • The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation, #9)
  • The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)
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