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The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation) Hardcover – January 12, 2010
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- Publisher : Dutton Adult; First Edition (January 12, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525951504
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525951506
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.35 x 9.28 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,938,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The journey to Hyderabad gives her a chance to meet Captain Alex Reid who is a representative of the British leader of Hyderabad. She immediately takes him in dislike and suspects him of all sort of things, not the least of which is treason.
Freddy neglects Penelope badly once they get to Hyderabad and she comes to depend on Alex for companionship. A letter from home also puts her on the alert for the Marigold, a French spy. All sorts of adventures happen including venomous snakes, long journeys through the countryside, and more spies than seem possible.
This was an engaging story set in a country and time that is new to me as a reader. I loved the descriptions. I also loved getting to know Penelope better and coming to understand why she was the way she was in the earlier books.
I am also enjoying the story of Colin and Eloise as they get to know one another better. Colin certainly has an interesting family with all sorts of conflicts.
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 Colin even as she delves into the life and times of Lady Penelope Staines and her troubled relationship with her husband Lord Frederick Staines. The story flits between Penelope and Eloise's lives.
Penelope is by far the most interesting character who clearly has a mind of her own and an acerbic tongue to match. Her impulsive nature, which causes her much grief in upper crust English society, also lands her in trouble when she accompanies her husband to India. Soon she finds herself matching wits with the Nizam's wily prime minister, chasing a French spy who goes by the name of Marigold, besides falling in love with the straight as an arrow Captain Reid.
The only drawback in this well-researched and beautifully written story of adventure and romance is the contemporary thread which doesn't quite add much to the narrative and could have been easily done away with. I do hope the author will write a book about Captain Reid's half-brother, Jack, who is modelled on the real-life persona of Anglo-Indian mercenary Colonel James Skinner. Looking forward to reading more of Lauren Willig's work.