Jennifer's Reviews > The Betrayal of the Blood Lily

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig
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's review
Feb 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, pink-carnation-series, historical
Read from February 08 to 15, 2010 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

Oh, Lauren Willig, how I have missed the world you created!

I was so excited to finally get my hands on this book, and I so hoped that it'd live up the expectations I had for it.

Boy did it!

I think Penelope and Alex may very well now be right at the top of my favorite couples list. I loved, loved, loved their story so much!

Penelope was last seen being hastily married to Lord Frederick Staines and shipped off to India after finding herself compromised. I'd often wondered about her since that time, what happened to her? Was she able to make some sort of a life with Freddy? I was so glad when I found out that Betrayal of the Blood Lily was to be Penelope's story. I'd finally have my questions answered.

As Blood Lily begins, we find Penelope and Freddy in India on their way to Hyderabad where Freddy is to become the Special Envoy to the Court. It's painfully obvious the two do not love each other, much less like each other, in fact they only time they seem to be compatible in the bedroom.

Enter one Captain Alex Reid. He's been assigned to escort Lord and Lady Frederick on the he's not at all happy about it. But along the journey he finds out that Penelope is much more that then proper English lady he first thought she was. She rides horses, she can shoot, she'll jump into a river to save a groom. An attraction, inevitably, develops between the two. But how can these two get their happy ending?

Oh, and there's also a spy, The Marigold, to deal with.

Penelope is a great character, and I was so thrilled that we finally got to find out more about what makes her tick. She acted out, the outrageous flirting and such--as I suspected from earlier books--because she has a low self esteem. She could never measure up to the impossible standards her mother set for her, not to mention that she acquired a reputation for being loose with her favors. But yet...she wasn't sad and mopey. She was the spark in the tinder box, fiery, and yet a little bitter (understandably so) at times.

On the flip side of the coin, Alex was staid, steady and very set in his own code of morals. It was interesting, the sort of role reversal that took place in this book. It's usually not the hero of the book who's the prim, proper one. I thought it worked magnificently. Penelope helped Alex to loosen up a bit, and he helped her to realize that she wasn't worthless.

I must say, that I kind of knew what Freddy's fate would be going in--the jerkwad husband usually doesn't have a long shelf life in these kinds of books. But Ms. Willig handled it very well, tying it into the Marigold storyline.

The setting? I love India as a setting. It was exotic, and a nice change of pace from the settings of the earlier books.

Oh! And I was very intrigued by Alex's brother Jack, and I wonder if he may be getting his own book sometime in the future?

I should also mention the contemporary chapters, shouldn't I? While I still enjoyed reading about Eloise and Colin's developing relationship and his rather unusual family, I wished those chapters had been placed a little differently in the book. Having one come right after a major revelation in the historical story frustrated me greatly. I found myself wanting to rush through the contemporary chapters instead of giving them the time they deserved.

Now, bring on The Mischief of the Mistletoe. I am dying to read Turnip Fitzhugh's story!

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Reading Progress

02/08/2010 page 1
02/09/2010 page 1
0.25% "Going to put this one on hold for a couple of days."
02/14/2010 page 199
49.63% "I normally like the modern day chapters, but this time I'm finding they're popping up at entirely the wrong time!"
02/14/2010 page 280
69.83% "Holy Cow! This is getting really good! I can see now that I will be finishing this before I sleep tonight."
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Christy B I, too, was intrigued by Alex's brother. I have a feeling his story is far from over.

And I can't wait for the new book. With Turnip as the lead, I have a feeling I will be rolling in laughter at every page.

Jennifer Christy wrote: "I, too, was intrigued by Alex's brother. I have a feeling his story is far from over.

And I can't wait for the new book. With Turnip as the lead, I have a feeling I will be rolling in laughter at ..."

His parting line to Penelope give me great hope that we'll hear from him again in the future.

And I agree, I think Turnip's book will be great fun. I cannot wait!

I also see I neglected to mention Eloise and Colin in my review...I'll have to fix that in a little while.

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