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The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 468
 
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Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


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We liked?


An action packed story full of genuinely likable characters.

Not so much?


Sometimes disorienting how abruptly it switches between time periods.


Final Fiendish Findings?

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is just a really fun and exciting story. The action packed chase scenes, combined with burgeoning romance, make for a great read for those lazy summer days.

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Posted July 20, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Lauren Willig brings the next installment in the Pink Carnation spy series.

Gwendolyn Meadows doesn’t take any crap from anybody. She’s the irascible and feisty chaperone of Jane Wooliston – a young, well-bred lady who just happens to be the mysterious British spy known as the Pink Carnation. As a lady of a certain age, Gwen thought she was long past any thoughts of excitement beyond the thrills she gets from her duties as one of Jane’s agents. But when Jane’s young sister Agnes and her roommate Lizzy turn up missing from their posh boarding school, Gwen and Colonel William Reid (Lizzy’s father) find themselves  teaming up in a mission to recover the girls that seems to throw them together at every turn.

At its heart, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is a sweeping historical romance that blends together an unpredictable plot, great historical details, and some really likable characters. Willig also adds in a modern element with the side story of an American graduate student searching for the identity of the elusive Pink Carnation as part of her thesis. Her research has led her to the descendants of the Pink Carnation – and a romance of her own. The two stories run parallel to each other as characters in both time periods search for the missing lost jewels of Berar, a sultan’s treasure that was stolen in the last, and remains hidden in the present.

Both sets of characters are very well done, although the ones in the past get much more page time. Gwen is the perfect image of a feisty spinster with a heart of gold, while Colonel Reid is an instantly likable good hearted rogue, and you are pulling for them both almost from the moment they are introduced. What keeps the story from quickly falling into a rather predictable romance novel like so many others, are the elements of danger and mystery that comes from the spy elements. The missing jewels, the unlikely secret agents, and the enigmatic Gardener who hunts them, all make for an interesting story in their own rite, and make the story of Gwen and William finding each other amidst the madness all that more engaging.

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is just a really fun and exciting story. The action packed chase scenes, combined with burgeoning romance, make for a great read for those lazy summer days.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)