The Garden Intrigue
By: Lauren Willig
First off, this is the ninth book in the Pink Carnation series, so there may be some spoilers to previous books.
Eloise and Colin are hosting a film crew at the house, where they are filming an awful regency movie. Colin can't stand having the film crew trod through his grounds but he was outvoted by both his sister, Serena, and enemy, Jeremy. Eloise is on edge because she is offered a teaching position for the fall... back in the U.S.
In France, however, Augustus Whittlesby continues to surreptitiously woo Jane Wooliston, who is having none of it. His mission throws him into the constant presence of Emma Delagardie, an American connected to the Royal family, in order to discover the machine Napoleon plans to use to invade England. There is lots of misunderstandings between the Augustus and Emma, leading to anger and hurt and Augustus must face the choice between his mission and the woman he loves.
If you haven't read the Pink Carnation series and you enjoy historical fiction, you really should stop what you are doing and go get the first book, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. It's a delightful series that chronicles English spies during the time of Napoleon and a modern day History student doing dissertation research in England.
Once again Lauren Willig has set up her characters wonderfully, we see another match made amongst the spies and Eloise's relationship with Colin starts to become rocky as her time in England starts to wind down.
I love the juxtaposition of the historical (well, not technically historical) stories against Eloise's story. Although the spies move much quicker, whole relationships form and end within one book, whereas Eloise moves much slow, I like that her story connects the series together.
In The Garden Intrigue, I liked learning more about Jane and her role in the network, even though she is still not the main character. While I enjoyed seeing her again, I do wish she could be a little more human and less ethereal. Augustus' character contrasts her nicely since even though he lauds himself as a seasoned spy, he still falls prey to his heart- much like the poet he "pretends" to be ;-) I hope we see Augustus and Emma again back in England. I'm also anxious to keep reading just to see how Eloise's relationship progresses- I love Colin and want to see them happy together!