Review: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

pink carnation

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

by Lauren Willig

New American Library, 2006

Adult Historical Romantic Adventure

8 cups of tea out of 11

Summary: Eloise goes to England to research the Pink Carnation, contemporary of the Purple Gentian and the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Likes: I really liked the past narrative for the most part. It was really funny and thrilling, particularly at the end. I love the hate to love trope. Richard’s family and friends are hilarious together. When he was bantering with his family or his friends or both, those were my favorite scenes. I also enjoyed all the homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, British Literature, ancient history, and other fun subjects. I like how well-read Amy and Richard are.

Dislikes: The present narrative with Eloise felt superfluous. The characters in the present weren’t differentiated enough from the past narrative and in general were not compelling in comparison. The romance did seem a little quick. I felt like it needed a little more time to realistically transition from hate to love.

Overall I really liked this book and want to continue on to the next one which will be following a different couple introduced in this volume.


Language – Mild, some swearing sprinkled here and there

Sexual – Medium-high, two sex scenes

7 thoughts on “Review: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

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