The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

Lauren Willig, Author . Dutton $25.95 (388p) ISBN 978-0-525-95096-7

Willig spins another sultry spy tale in her fifth installment of the Pink Carnation series. When Robert, duke of Dovedale, returns after more than a decade abroad, Lady Charlotte Lansdowne hopes the romantic world of her novels will soon come to life in the form of a love story between her and Robert. But the duke has come back from India to track Arthur Wrothan, a spy who killed Robert’s mentor, and though his and Charlotte’s reunion culminates in a blaze of kisses, he abandons her to track down his nemesis. On the trail, Robert cavorts with the Hellfire Club, which holds opium-fueled orgies that provide cover for Wrothan. In the meantime, Charlotte’s efforts to help the king throw her again into Robert’s path. The story unfolds within the frame of a contemporary love affair between Eloise, a Harvard graduate student researching spies of the late 18th and early 19th century, and Colin Selwick, descendant of one of the spies who so pique Eloise’s interest. The author’s conflation of historical fact, quirky observations and nicely rendered romances results in an elegant and grandly entertaining book. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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