The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12) by Lauren Willig

the lure of the moonflower

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In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.

Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.

All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.

It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.

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Publisher and Release Date: NAL, August 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Portugal, 1807/8
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars

Review by Natalie

Let me begin by saying I have been reading the Pink Carnation series from (almost) the beginning. I have always loved the strong, funny, and exciting characters the author has scattered through her books. So, for the sake of transparency dear reader, this may not be the most un-biased review. When I first received The Lure of the Moonflower, I didn’t realize it was the last book in the series and was both sad to see a favorite series ending and skeptical. So many other series become strained as the author produces more and more books, stretching plots and characters thin but Lauren Willig had managed to keep her books fresh and quick witted. How could the final story in this series, the one that gives an inside look at the legendary Pink Carnation herself and an ending to her daring story, live up to the expectations I had from the first eleven books and assorted novellas?

Turns out I had nothing to worry about. As always Lauren Willig produces an intelligent, well researched, historically accurate plot with witty and interesting characters as well as the perfect dose of sexual tension. It is 1807 and Jane Wooliston is in Lisbon working as a British spy in the fight against Napoleon and his troops. Her mission is to find Mad Queen Maria, who has been hidden away. Jane’s effectiveness is restricted by the fact that she isn’t familiar with the country, nor can she speak the language. To complicate matters her contact is none other than Jack Reid, the French/British double agent who has proved to be loyal to no one but himself. Of course Jack is skeptical that Jane is a spy – let alone the legendary Pink Carnation – but after convincing him, the pair begin to admire and respect the other’s skills and commitment; and as they work together that admiration grows to mutual attraction.

As Jane and Jack roam the countryside, they realize how much alike they are and the sparks begin to fly. I not only loved the relationship between the couple, but I also adored that Ms Willig had several other favorite characters make small appearances throughout the book giving readers the chance to catch up with old friends along the way. It was both gratifying and sad to say goodbye to this wonderful, engaging series but I am so pleased with The Lure of the Moonflower. It went above and beyond my expectations and was the perfect finish to a great series!

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