Author: Lauren Willig
Series: Pink Carnation (Book 5)
Publication: NAL; Reprint edition (January 5, 2010)
Description: After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.
Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.
Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true love.
My Thoughts: This fifth book in the Pink Carnation series stars Lady Charlotte Landsdowne who is the granddaughter of the Dowager Duchess of Dovedale and Robert, Duke of Dovesdale, who has just returned from a long sojourn in the army in India.
Robert arrives home just at Christmas time and reconnects with the dreamy little girl he met when she was nine. Charlotte has always been dreamy and imaginative and she has cast Robert as her own knight in shining armor. Unfortunately Robert's main purpose for coming home is to track down the man who killed his mentor in a friendly fire shooting. To do that, he has to become a member of the fast and dissolute Hellsfire Club. He thinks the best way to protect Charlotte is to break her heart by saying that their romance was just a product of the season and proximity.
Charlotte is changed by Robert's dismissal of their love. She becomes more cynical and less trusting. When she stumbles onto a plot to harm George III, she calls on her own skills and talents to solve the problem and becomes her own knight in shining armor. Robert will have his work cut out for him getting back into Charlotte's good graces.
Meanwhile, Eloise and Colin are currently living together at his home in Sussex where all the historical papers that she needs for her dissertation have been stored. Eloise's most recent dilemma has to do with the fact that she doesn't know what Colin does for a living. For some reason, she is determined not to ask and he is reluctant to tell her anyway. I liked the conclusion that she jumped to but had already guessed what his actual job was.
This is a fun series that keeps getting better and better as it continues. I can't wait to go to India for the next installment.
Not only had Lord Richard Selwick, aka the Purple Gentian, bequeathed a hearty pile of documents to his descendants, their owner, an elegant lady of a certain age, kindly extended to me the right to read them. However, as all readers of fairy tales know, any good treasure trove comes with a dragon. In place of scales, my dragon wore a green Barbour jacket. Instead of a hoard of gold, he considered it his personal duty to guard the cache of family manuscripts. From me.I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
Have I mentioned that he was a decidedly attractive dragon? When he wasn't breathing fire at me, that was.