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The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation #6)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,632 Ratings  ·  485 Reviews
The heroines of Lauren Willig's bestselling Pink Carnation series have engaged in espionage all over nineteenth-century Europe. In the sixth stand-alone volume, our fair English heroine travels to India, where she finds freedom--and risk--more exciting than she ever imagined.
Everyone warned Miss Penelope Deveraux that her unruly behavior would land her in disgrace someda
Hardcover, 401 pages
Published January 12th 2010 by Dutton Books (first published November 23rd 2009)
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Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is the sixth installment in Lauren Willig's delightful Pink Carnation series, which chronicles the romantic adventures of Napoleonic (aka Regency) era British spies and the romantic misadventures of modern-day Harvard doctoral student Eloise Kelly, who is researching said spies for her dissertation.

At the very beginning of the series, Eloise is struggling to find sources--any sources--for her dissertation on super-spies the Scarlet Pimpernel (in the series, a real
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: junk-food
SPOILER ALERT - I've really liked Willig's previous books (however guiltily) and wanted to like this one too, but I dislike being put in the position of rooting for a character to commit adultery, however unhappy the circumstances of her marriage. Others might not struggle with that, but it ultimately left me with a sadder feeling about the book than her other novels. I also felt like this was one of her weaker stories, narratively. The "spy" aspect of the plot seems far more contrived with this ...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
I'm so happy I scored the ARC and got to read this before seeing a bunch of other reviews for it! Although its also a mixed blessing, because I'm (of course) already dying for the next one and now I just have to wait that much longer for it.

Anyway...on to my review.

Henrietta and Miles have been dethroned from the status of my favorites of the series. Alex and Penelope really got to me! I LOVE how they have all sorts of issues; I hate disgustingly perfect characters. Alex's issues rest mostly on
The Lit Bitch
After the fifth Pink Carnation book, I kind of felt like I needed a little break from the Pink Carnation series. And by little break I mean like five years….thats how long it’s been since I read one of the Pink Carnation books.

I love the series as a whole but the last book in the series that I read, just left me a little wanting in the uniqueness category.

So I abandoned it in favor of other books, though I always knew that someday I would come back to it because lets face it, I am in love with t
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
But really more like 4.5 stars...we really need half stars on here. Anyway, the sixth installment of the Pink Carnation series does not disappoint and I think it might even get more new readers, seeing as it is set in India and does not rely overly heavily on past events. I also really enjoy Penelope as a heroine and with her starting out the book already married to a man she doesn't love we are in a far different position that previous novels. Instead of an innocent happy virginal character, we ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Penelope is forced to marry Freddy through her own flirtation gone awry. As Serena Selwick-Adderly says of Penelope; she's a bit of a "lost soul". There are none that think of her that way accept for Captain Alex Reid - the guard that takes charge of Freddy and Pen's travels to Hyderabad, the place where Freddy has a cushy job with a title he hasn't deserved.

Freddy doesn't love his wife and Pen most certaintly doesn't love her husband, hell, she doesn't even like him but there are ways that a ma
This was my last audiobook for the year--I finished it Wednesday and school finished Saturday. I get a huge kick out of Willig's books, as they seem like novels my sister and I would've written in our early teens, when we devoured huge stacks of Georgette Heyer and Elswyth Thane and the like. This one, however, goes a bit too far in suspending our disbelief.

The main character, Penelope, is pretty unlikable. We only know her as being bitter and self-pitying, and we never get to see a more endear
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I filed this under "frothy romance," but there's really nothing frothy about this. Willig goes very dark for this story of Penelope and how she finally finds love. This may be the best Pink Carnation book to date.

The thing I most like about Willig's series as it continues is that each story has a very different tone depending on the main characters. While some are romps (The Mischief of the Mistletoe is the prime example in this category), others are much more serious, such as this one and Crims
May 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
While I’m rating this one 2 stars, it’s more like a “meh” than an ‘it’s okay’. To clarify, that amounts to about a 1.5 star. Anyway, I just think Willig should have stopped the series at The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (#4). I felt like The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (#5) was rather pointless. It only served to bring the Hell Fire Club into existence so that Willig could continue the mystery plotline in the rest of the series. However, this story line has fallen by the wayside. I feel li ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This historical fiction, set in 19th century India, has all the ingredients of an intrigue-filled adventure-romance. The author provides authentic insights into the politics of the times and sweeps us right into the durbar of the Nizam of Hyderabad and gives us a feel of Begum Johnson's lavish parties in Calcutta.

There is a contemporary angle to the story as well. The protagonist of the modern times is an American researcher, Eloise, whose history project takes her to England where she meets Co
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Another fluffy installment in Willig's formulaic series of semi-sympathetic lovers battling French spies during the Napoleonic wars. The basic concept is that following the successes of the The Scarlet Pimpernel a bunch of other English aristocrats also took floral code names and skulked around defeating the Froggies. In this instance the story is set in India and the espionage plot is rather minimal. Penelope is newly and unhappily married to jackass Freddy and, bored with her neglectful husban ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Les débuts furent laborieux et ont nécessité toute une pause déjeuner sur wikipédia pour me familiariser avec l'histoire de l'Inde du début du 19éme! Mais alors, les efforts en valaient la peine!
Après un roman très conte de fée avec l'histoire de Charlotte et Robert, Lauren Willig nous dépeint ici une romance bien plus adulte!
Alex et Penelope sont loin d'être naïfs mais conscients de ce qu'ils sont, de leurs qualités et de leur défauts. Alex est parfait! Penelope est un peu comme Mary (dans le
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
A fantastic mix of historical romance and spy thriller with a bit of contemporary chick-lit mixed in.
The story is lightly about a modern American woman studying in London as she looks for resources for her dissertation on female spies in the Napoleonic wars; she ends up finding a note about a woman whose adventure takes place in India and thus is the historial romance/thriller interwoven into a contemporary story.
The parts that take place in modern times felt a bit forced at times (particularly
Lady Knight
I was very excited to finally receive the latest installment in the Pink Carnation series, and started reading with great relish. I was, however, greatly disappointed with "Betrayal of the Blood Lily".

I loved the change in setting! I thought India was a wonderfully exotic, and yet familiar thanks to the British presence at the time. It also seemed to suit Penelope better than the stiff and formal balls and drawing rooms of England. I loved the characters of Penelope (who, even in the past books
Susan (susayq ~)

It's a true testament to the writing talent of Lauren Willig that I even finished this book. I am a HUGE anti-cheating reader. And what happened in this book? Freddy cheated on Penelope and Penelope cheated on Freddy with Alex, who she fell in love with. Normally, when I got to the scene where Penelope walked in on Freddy and his bibi as he called her (and Penelope pointed out that it didn't matter what language he used, it was still his mistress), I wanted
Christy B
I really love this series! The only thing I hate is the long wait in between books!

An action-packed, romance, espionaged filled story set in early 19th century India. Yes, please!

When we last saw Penelope, she was forced into a hasty marriage after being caught in a most scandalous act. She finds herself in India as Lady Frederick Staines, where she finds a spy name Marigold lurking about. I loved Penelope. She was a spitfire redhead who made the best of her situation. She found herself in a fo
Kathy Martin
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A marriage of convenience that is remarkably inconvenient for for all parties concerned sees Penelope Deveraux married to Lord Frederick Staines and on her way to India. Freddy has been appointed a special envoy. Freddy isn't at all qualified unless there is a secret need for someone to drink, play cards, and cavort with women not his wife. Penelope is as outrageous as possible to cover her regrets.

The journey to Hyderabad gives her a chance to meet Captain Alex Reid who is a representative of t
Annemarie Donahue
Thank god it's over! I honestly did think I'd make it through this one. What possesses me to pick these books up and read them? Oh, yeah. I'm not actually reading them. I'm listening to them as I'm trapped in my car for 3 hours as a commute to work. Really love teaching at my school but if it could just magically be closer... Well, back to the book, with the turn of each page... er.. CD, the story got worse. It begins with the protagonist Penelope pushed into a hasty marriage to the completely u ...more
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Willig never fails to deliver. Clever, fast-paced, and funny, her plots and characters always entertain. Lady Penelope Staines nee Devereaux has to be one of my favorites from her in a while though. One has to love a strong and opinionated heroine who also happens to be a good shot. Charlotte is nice and all and Mary prickly but Penelope is the sort of character you root for in a book because not only do we get to see the front she presents to the world but also her personal thoughts where she k ...more
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
With the last book lacking a bit I was unsure how I would like this book. But I was pleasantly surprised! Once again I found myself taking breaks through out the day to read "just one more chapter". This book brought back the tension and romance. Willig got the play between Penelope and Alex just right. And her references to other Bristish literature were subtle which I liked.

But I have finally realized why I don't give this 5 stars...not because it is formulaic but because whenever the tensity
As a story, this book probably would earn 3 stars - it's certainly not Willig's best, but nor is it her worst. However, since the book is in the Pink Carnation series and spies aren't even mentioned until page 87, this one fails miserably. When Willig finally does get around to talking about spies, it's in the last fourth of the book and seems like it was added as an afterthought. Everything was just so rushed and forced, especially Penelope and Alex's relationship. Plus, I'm not a big fan of th ...more
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this 6th installment of the "pink carnation" series. This story had a different feel than the previous as in the main character is married as the story starts. It is also set in India and not England which is different. I had a harder time getting into this one, but when I did I didn't want to put it down! I agree with an earlier reviewer about not liking to root for a character to commit adultery. It is an uneasy place to be, but it worked out OK. I actually didn't expect things to go ...more
Liked the character of Penelope, and loved the setting of India, but the 'mystery' of this one was not fleshed out as much as earlier books - too quickly solved. Some other flaws in the book, but can be overlooked, but don't care for the adultery aspect of the 'romance'. An enjoyable read, nonetheless and a good continuation of the series. Looking forward to the next one.
This is, by far, my favorite Pink book. Penelope is such a fascinating character, and I really do *feel* for her. Frederick is completely useless and ridiculous, but Alex is perfectly imperfect, with such a rich characterization and backstory that you can't help but fall in love with him a bit.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
The idea of this series is so good, but I just don't like the execution. Its too much heaving bosoms and historical figures that don't talk like they are from the past but from present day. I didn't even finish it. I think its the last one of this series I will even try to read.
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it
A perfectly fine read, but somewhat lacking in mystery and intrigue. These books work best when the romance is incidental to the derring-do.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very cool. Very interesting. Sometimes made me want to punch things. All in all very good book.
Kate Forsyth
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've really enjoyed this series from Lauren Willig – light, clever, amusing and romantic. On the lookout for the next in the series.
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Huzzah! I'm pleased to say that I think The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is Lauren Willig's finest yet! Perhaps my enthusiasm overtakes me, as The Secret History of the Pink Carnation might still claim the number one spot as the origin of all, but I was so delighted with Willig's latest novel that I devoured it in a single sitting, knowing with every turn of the page that Willig was in top form.

This is the sixth in the Pink Carnation series and to describe it, I steal a description from the modern
Nancy Brooks
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the Pink Carnation series. Two parallel stories are the signature of the series. Our modern day heroine is in England researching her dissertation. She finds her information and her love interest in the form of Colin and his aunt. That story is ongoing, not resolved in this volume.
Our heroine Penelope was introduced in an earlier book, a friend of Henrietta. She is not a typical English lady of her time...very boisterous and an expert rider and marksman. This comes in handy after she is b
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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 Mischief of the Mistletoe (Pink Carnation, #7)
  • The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation, #8)
  • The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation, #9)
  • The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10)
  • The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)

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“Such kindness wasn't a gift but a goad, scraping against one's skin like a yoke of thorns. She would have preferred him stiff, defensive, even offensive.” 2 likes
“There's nothing like competing for your boyfriend's attention with an emotionally needy sibling to make you feel like the worst sort of evil psycho-bitch.” 2 likes
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