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The Orchid Affair

(Pink Carnation #8)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  5,635 ratings  ·  445 reviews
Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte's minister of police. Jaouen and his arch rival, Gaston Delaroche, are i ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published January 20th 2011 by Dutton Penguin
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,635 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
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.
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
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, chick-lit
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
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lynn Spencer
Oh, I loved this installment of Pink Carnation ! The historical action shifts to France, and I loved the intrigue. The Selwick spy school sends one of its pupils off on a mission, and it kept me buried deep in reading.

Laura Grey has spent 16 long years as a governess, and her life feels as drab and grey as her wardrobe. Given the chance, she goes undercover in France as...what else?...a governess in the household of the Minister of Police's right-hand man. However, the widower Jaouen is not all
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
The Lit Bitch
3.5 stars

After diving back into the Pink Carnation series with the sixth book, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, I was eagerly ready to continue reading.

I have already read the seventh book so I moved on to The Orchid Affair instead. As with the previous books we meet a likable heroine in a decidedly awkward situation and a headstrong bachelor with the last thing on his mind being love.

While many of Willig’s books have a decidedly obvious formula, that has never turned me off to the series. I thi
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
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Laura Grey has joined the Selwick Spy School her first mission is to go undercover as a governess which she's had lots of experience as. She's on a mission to report anything suspicious about the plan to unseat Bonaparte. It's clear after arriving that she needs to purchase some books to teach the children as they are lacking. Bundling up the kids they set out on an adventure in Paris encountering several characters.

It isn't long that Laura starts to piece together the things going on with Jaou
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Betty Strohecker
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♥ ♥ ♥ 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
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: z-2012-in-2012
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
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Willig is back! More meaningful and heartfelt than 'The a temptation of the Night Jasmine'. On par with 'The Deception of the Emerald Ring' and 'The Betrayal of the Blood Lily'. Characters are interesting, yet human and slightly flawed. The intrigue and the romance are there. A good read for lovers of the series.
When I have a grin on my face by page 2, it's a good sign. :-) I almost always end up enjoying these books even more than I expect.

Finished: Excellent one. And Kate Reading does a superb job as narrator. I really like Willig's historical notes.
Reread February/March 2014

2016--yup, good one.

2017--still one of my favorites in the series!
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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 leavin ...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 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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