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The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation) Hardcover – January 12, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Pink Carnation
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951506
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest sure-to-please installment to the popular Pink Carnation series transports the action to colonial India. Lady Frederick Staines, née Penelope Deveraux, averts a scandal in early 19th-century London with a hasty marriage and a posting for her louche husband as special envoy to the court of Hyderabad. In India, Penelope discovers dangerous intrigue having to do with the overthrow of British rule and a spy called the Marigold. After demonstrating considerable bravery uncharacteristic to ladies of her rank, she finds an ally in the honorable Capt. Alex Reid. Together they chase traitors, travel the countryside on horseback, dodge assassination attempts, challenge each other to duels, wrestle with long skirts and numerous buttonholes (crucial in the love scenes), battle cobras and unravel the mystery of Marigold. As in other books in the series, the story is presented by a contemporary narrator, another strong-willed woman involved with an English aristocrat. Willig hasn't lost her touch; this outing has all the charm of the previous books in the series. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Willig switches the setting of her Pink Carnation series from eighteenth-century England to colonial India in the sixth installment, which finds wild Penelope Deveraux married off to Lord Frederick Staines after the two are caught in a compromising position. Though they connect physically, the spirited, witty Penelope and the pompous, hedonistic Freddy have little in common. Freddy’s new position as special envoy to an English ambassador has brought them both to India, where rumors of intrigue involving a French spy known as the Marigold are afoot. Already floundering in her loveless marriage, Penelope sets out to unmask the spy, suspecting that their serious escort, Captain Alex Reid, might be the culprit. But as Penelope grows closer to Alex, her suspicions give way to a deep mutual attraction. Willig brings colonial India to vibrant life through Penelope’s eyes, and the sparks flying between Penelope and Alex generate plenty of heat. By taking the story to India, Willig injects a new energy in her already thriving, thrilling series, and presents the best entry to date. --Kristine Huntley

More About the Author

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen 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 leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her "Pink Carnation" series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

Customer Reviews

Willig does a wonderful job bringing that time period to life.
Third, the villain is such a minor character, and is absent for so much of the book, that I had no idea who he was by the time he became essential to the plot.
another reader
I loved this 6th edition in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Merrimon Crawford VINE VOICE on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When Penelope Deveraux's hasty marriage to Lord Frederick Staines becomes the talk of the town, she finds herself in new territory. Whisked away to Hyderabad, Penelope finds her husband's attention lies elsewhere. In this world, Penelope finds herself at odds and emotionally isolated until Captain Alex Reid appears on the scene, charming her. In the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, appearances mask true intent. Captain Reid seems to be the one person Penelope can trust, especially as rumors of a dangerous spy called the Marigold surface as members of Penelope's social circle become threatened. Captain Reid thinks he has better things to do with his time than watch the aristocracy until he meets Penelope, a woman who doesn't exactly follow social conventions and who can outdo him on several fronts. Captain Reid can't help but notice the inexplicable connection between the Marigold's deadly acts and their connection to Penelope. By allying himself to her, perhaps he can uncover the clues to unravel a plot that threatens the British Empire itself.

Sixth in the Pink Carnation series, Lauren Willig's THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY is a fantastic, exciting addition to the series. Lauren Willig takes all the elements fans have grown to love to a new setting in Hyderabad, India. As the French presence in India inspires a desire for consolidation of British control, the history of Maratha War forms a backdrop for the action of the story. Set within the context of a present day (2004) graduate student's search for clues about spies during the Napoleonic Wars, THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY brings together the beauty for readers of the magic of historical romance: the discovery of history and passion in the lives and hearts of men and women living in a distant age.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Ann VINE VOICE on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A nineteenth-century exotic locale, a handsome officer and a feisty heroine make for archetypical romantic fare, but Lauren Willig's new novel THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY is anything BUT a conventional bodice ripper embellished with historical detail. In her sixth novel in her "PINK CARNATION" series, Willig exhibits once again that she is an accomplished raconteur as she weaves an intricate and lively tale involving spies, espionage and romance during the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France. Whereas the previous novels have taken place in England and France involving a set of interrelated characters, Willig has taken a bold leap in introducing a new ensemble cast and intriguingly transported the narrative to exotic India.

Our heroine Penelope Deveraux, who we met briefly in the previous novel THE TEMPTATION OF THE NIGHT JASMINE, is as bold as brass. Her unpropitious behavior had always set more than a few fans fluttering and tongue's wagging in London society, but she never thought a little kanoodling would force her into a hasty marriage with the dissipated Lord Frederick Staines. To avert scandal, the couple is quickly packed off to India where Freddy has accepted the position as Governor General Wellesley's Special Envoy to the Court of Hyderabad. Married life is more than a bit disappointing as Freddy's diversions tend toward gambling away her dowry and dalliances with the local bibi, the Indian equivalent of a mistress. One would think that Lady Penelope would be at odds in this strange new world far and away from the tempered drawing rooms of England, but she can ride and shoot and talk politics with the best of the big boys. This is more than a bit disconcerting to Captain Alex Reid who is escorting Lord Staines and his adventurous young wife to Hyderabad.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T.D. on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed the whole pink carnation series and was eagerly awaiting this one, but I just couldn't read through the whole thing. I couldn't connect with Penelope because she was so willing to cheat on her husband. Yes, he's a jerk, but she's the one who tried to get him to marry her. I liked Captain Reid, but his part in the infidelity just tainted his character for me. I found myself disappointed in both of them. One of the reasons I liked the series is that most of the main characters have some sense of honor, especially with their intended. (Mary Alsworthy and Lord Vaughn even had their own strange sense of honor, despite their admitted conceit.)

Lauren Willig is a great, humorous writer and her history is well researched. I love the chemistry between Eloise and Colin throughout all the novels. I know it's difficult to come up with new characters and plots, but I hope this twist on relationships won't be a new pattern in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dcbooklover on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this 6th edition in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. What I like about Lauren Willig's brand of historical fiction is that it is light and fun without being fluffy or losing a firm grounding in actual historical fact. This installment takes us away from the traditional societies of London and Paris to join Lady Frederick Staines (Penelope) in exile in India. All of Lauren Willig's historical heroines are charmingly fabulous in their own ways but I think that Penelope successfully dethroned Henrietta as my favorite of all of them. No modern woman with any spirit could fail to like Penelope and feel for her "fish out of water" personality. She just wasn't made to be appreciated in her own time. This book maintained the common thread of characters sussing out undercover operatives -- this one by the facially unimpressive name of the Marigold -- but having the plot woven through and interwined with the intrigue of India during that time period had a welcome freshness. Willig also throws in a plot twist in that Penelope starts the book already married -- a forced marriage to nip a scandal in the bud -- and so she isn't in the ideal position to meet the man of her dreams and fall in love. All in all, this book (and its heroine) was refreshingly original and a wonderful opportunity for escapism.
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