C2008 381pgs 4 stars
Rose was my Valentine's Day read and I absolutely loved it. It's for my Favorite Authors category.
This is the fourth book in the Pink Carnation series and so far it's my favorite. I don't read a lot of 'romance' books per se, but I will continue to read anything Ms. Willig puts to paper. I picked up her first novel while browsing in our branch library because the cover art and the title intrigued me. What a fortuitous meeting that turned out to be. If I had not read Carnation I would have never read this gem.
I have to say that I love the way Willig writes her male characters. All of them.
The other novels were good, but I never truly melded with the female protagonist. I usually felt a bond with Eloise, but I think that's only natural because she's a modern American female. There were so many places in this book that I wanted to be Mary. Definitely when she was with Lord Vaughn in his Chinese Room... but also when she was in Hyde Park and then again when she made her discovery backstage at the play.
My only disappointment with the novel is that I figured out the identity of The Black Tulip very early on. And I usually don't do that at all. I'm the type that needs an unveiling.
"There was nothing like a bit of the Bard to add depth and grandeur to one's petty peccadilloes."
"Plots and counterplots, alliances and betrayals had all left their mark on his form. They were written on the thin, flexible line of his lips, designed to laugh or sneer as the occasion required; the hooded lids that shielded his eyes from scrutiny more effectively than any number of hats; the lean swordsman's body disguised beneath an incongruous armor of lace and jewels. Vaughn, Mary thought, would have made an excellent Caeser, raw power clothed in deadly pomp."flag abuse