Here we are at another Sunday and I just didn't feel like I had anything great to share today! It's been a low-key weekend filled with grading papers and cleaning house. See. Nothing spectacular at all. Thankfully, I worked in a huge chunk of time yesterday to read and was able to finish a couple more books. Those reviews are to come later, but this week I finished listening to Lauren Willig's The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, which is the 6th installment in the Pink Carnation series.
Review: In this sixth installment in the spy serie, The Pink Carnation, we find ourselves in the midst of a pretty unhappily married couple with Penelope and Frederick. This good deal of tension between them makes for a pretty interesting lead into a growing friendship and relationship between Penelope and Alex Reid. It seemed to me that Willig set Reid up to be the "good guy" foil to Frederick's bad behavior from the start. Frederick just didn't seem very interested in the happiness and safe-keeping of his wife at all, while Alex did. Frederick had a wandering eye, while Alex seemingly did not. All that Frederick lacked, Alex seemed to have in spades. How could a reader not fall for a strong, protective male like Alex, regardless of the strong personality exhibited by Penelope?
Set in India, this seemed to ease some of the stifling propriety that was held over the other couples in previous installments. Also, I thought there was more time spent on the story set in the past, than in the present day story between our modern-day researcher Eloise and her new beau Colin. For once, I was okay with that. Usually, I have been annoyed at the long switches away from the present-day researcher revealing all of this past history to us, but I liked Penelope's spunk and the way Alex played off of her behavior. We still had spy action going on in this story, but it didn't seem as involved as previous stories. In reality, it just added another layer to the complicated love triangle going on in the novel.
This particular installment was one of my more favorite ones in the series. Although I've read the other books, I didn't feel that I had to read them to really get this story. It would be nice, but not completely necessary. The storytelling is engaging and the tension nicely played out. Overall, a fun diversion to the England-set stories of previous installments, and one that I enjoyed reading.
*FTC Disclosure: Review is based on a library copy of the novel.