Author: Lauren Willig
Series: Pink Carnation (Book 6)
Publication: NAL; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
Description: Whisked away to nineteenth-century India, Penelope Deveraux plunges into the court intrigues of the Nizam of Hyderabad, where no one is quite what they seem. New to this strange and exotic country- where a dangerous spy called the Marigold leaves venomous cobras as his calling card-she can trust only one man: Captain Alex Reid.
With danger looming from local warlords, treacherous court officials, and French spies, Alex and Penelope may be all that stand in the way of a plot designed to rock the very foundations of the British Empire...
My Thoughts: A marriage of convenience that is remarkably inconvenient for for all parties concerned sees Penelope Deveraux married to Lord Frederick Staines and on her way to India. Freddy has been appointed a special envoy. Freddy isn't at all qualified unless there is a secret need for someone to drink, play cards, and cavort with women not his wife. Penelope is as outrageous as possible to cover her regrets.
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.
"Penelope?" Straightening, Mrs. Selwick-Alderly glanced over her shoulder at me. "Do you think so? I've always thought her much more a troubled soul, acting out not so much because she wants to, but because others expect it of her. Very sad, I've always thought."I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.