Giveaway and Review: "The Orchid Affair"

To celebrate the release of Lauren Willig's newest book, "The Orchid Affair", I have my review and a giveaway of the book, sponsored by Dutton!

"The Orchid Affair"
 by Lauren Willig

Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release Date: Jan 20, 2011

Source: sent by publisher


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 
Summary from Goodreads.com:
"Pride and Prejudice lives on" (USA Today) in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series, which has been hailed for its addictive blend of history, romance, and adventure. In The Orchid Affair, Willig introduces her strongest heroine yet. Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte's minister of police. Jaouen and his arch rival, Gaston Delaroche, are investigating a suspected Royalist plot to unseat Bonaparte, and Laura's mission is to report any suspicious findings.
At first the job is as lively as Latin textbooks and knitting, but Laura begins to notice strange behavior from Jaouen-secret meetings and odd comings and goings. As Laura edges herself closer to her employer, she makes a shocking discovery and is surprised to learn that she has far more in common with Jaouen than she originally thought...
As their plots begin to unravel, Laura and Jaouen are forced on the run with the children, and with the help of the Pink Carnation they escape to the countryside, traveling as husband and wife. But Delaroche will stop at nothing to take down his nemesis. With his men hot on their trail, can Laura and Jaouen seal the fate of Europe before it's too late?

My Review: 

There's a reason why Lauren Willig's books are so popular, and "The Orchid Affair" reminded me of why. I didn't want this book to end. The story is an excellent, well-rounded historical. There's lots of adventure and mystery, great characters, and a lot of sweet romance.

The book started a little slow for me, there wasn't a lot of action at the start. But I felt the story picked up as soon as Andre and Laura ran into the boisterous painter, Daubier. I feel like that's when the secrets really started to come out in the open.

At first, I couldn't tell if Emma's relationship with Andre was going to lead to romance or not, but once it did, I was on the edge of my set for the rest of the book. Their love had it all, secrets, jealousies, insecurities, and always and foremost, respect and friendship. I loved that they were a little older and wiser than romance heroes and heroines normally are. That made their love so much deeper and more real. 

Andre was so strong and such an honorable character. I loved that his quiet strengths were so much different than a typical hero. I also loved that Andre had eye glasses and that he was always actually wearing them. It wasn't a detail that got lost in the story, it was very much a part of his character.

I really liked the secondary characters, they made the story come alive. The two children were so cute and seem so real, they weren't used just for laughs. Daubier was a lovable bachelor Uncle type of character, and I'm not going to lie, de Barry was hot!

The mystery was very well plotted and had me guessing the whole time. I was often shocked at the twists and turns in the story. I loved trying to decipher the messages form the Pink Carnation.

I wasn't totally a fan of the present day part of the story. I see it as a way to tie the series together, but I felt it took me out of the real story sometimes. At one particularly exciting point, I was so upset to turn the page and see the modern characters. It was like the dreaded "to be continued" at the end of your favorite tv show.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: This book perfectly balances a sweet and tender romance with an adventurous historical mystery. I can't wait to read the books that I've missed in this wonderful series.



GIVEAWAY RULES:

Dutton has generously provided a copy of this historical romance for readers of my blog!
(This contest is closed)

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this review with your email address!
Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy.
 
Extra Entries:
  • +1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
  • +1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)

Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Ends Friday March 4
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

36 comments

  1. Thank you for a great review. I love a great romance. If you didn't want this story to end then I know this one must be a good one I will definately have to check out.

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  2. I've never gotten int o this series, I don't know why, but you made me wish I had!

    Sounds like a terrific book :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice review! I am now going to have to borrow the rest of the series from my sister and read the previous books. ^_^

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    GFC follower
    Tweeted

    Orchid
    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  4. It has been a while since I read a historical...this sounds like a great one to pick them back up for!

    Thank you! I am a follower! mmafsmith@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, 5 everything! I am very impressed. Ok I hear you, I shall remember WIllig

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved this book too! I'm a HUGE Eloise/Colin fan, but this was definitely the weakest addition to the present-day story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My mom is starting a collection of her books in this series. Barnes & Noble had some on clearance this week.

    I'd like to be entered!
    Isalys
    booksoulmates (at) gmail.com

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. 5? Sweet! I look forward to trying this series some day.
    (not an entry)
    GREAT review!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excitement!! I'd very much like to be entered :D

    dreamblueye@hotmal.com

    +1 Tweet
    http://twitter.com/#!/sugarblossom69/status/38374495236534272

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoyed your review and I'm looking forward to reading The Orchid Affair as well as the rest of the Pink Carnation series.

    Barbed1951 at aol.com
    GFC follower

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pretty please enter me. I'm a follower.
    brnterri at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just read this one over the weekend and reviewed it for Royal Reviews. I feel the same way about the contemporary parts. With the first book I liked reading about Eloise but now it is just annoying. I felt like I should have just skipped the modern parts and then gone back to read them at the end. I do love this series anyway. Laura was a great protagonist (a tie for favorite with Henrietta from Masque of the Black Tulip) and I really liked Andre. Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This one didn't do it for me. I adore this series, but I think this one has been my least favorite of the series. I really loved the Christmas book and was hoping that the new books would be more like that one. However, the next one sounds HILARIOUS!! Looking forward to it :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. GFC follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the Pink series! Can't wait to read this book.

    I'm a GFC follower

    Margay1122ATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi I would like to enter the giveaway. I'm a new follower.

    reflectionsofabookaholic@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a new GFC follower. I really enjoy historical novels and this author is new to me. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway


    dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd love to win this! THanks for the giveaway..
    I'm a follower
    kristy [at] dreamingbyday [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is a new series for me.
    I am a blog and twitter follower and I tweeted the giveaway here:
    http://twitter.com/lulilut/status/38692165102211072
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    d.septer at insightbb.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Publicly following In the Hammock with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}] -- I would love to read The Orchid Affair :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

    +1 Tweeted the giveaway

    +1 Linked the giveaway in sidebar, More Giveaways

    theluckyladybug[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  21. sounds fantastic! I'd love a historical mystery :)
    bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow you publicly on GFC. Loved the first book of the series, and would really like to read this one after your glowing review
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. vampireprincess2468@yahoo.com

    THis looks so good

    Follower

    ReplyDelete
  24. This sounds like a good one! Makes me wonder what other books are about.

    Public follower, just so you know.
    postedcontests (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great review I have this on my TBR.
    I am now a follower also I tweeted this http://twitter.com/#!/bookflamereview and posted a link on my sidebar at www.bookflame.blogspot.com

    bookflamereviews@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great review. I'm glad the children in the story weren't just comic relief, but I do love when they add humor to a story!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com
    GFC follower

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the giveaway and the review! I really want to read this already :)

    GFC follower - YWLiang

    +1 I posted a link on my sidebar (ywliang.blogspot.com)

    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/YWenLiang/status/40286151789117440


    Email: yiliang0124[at]hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tis sounds like a really good book and I would love to read it.

    manning_j2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  29. forgot to mention that I am a follower

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm a gfc follower

    felecia@twinoaksfl.org

    ReplyDelete
  31. gfc follower

    americangirlie1991@yahoo.com thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have not read any of this series but, when you read a review like yours and to give all 5's, it must be a good read! thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

    I publically follow on GFC

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the giveaway!!! Looks good!!!

    GFC and Twitter follower

    hnwhitlock2000atgmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would love to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Follow via GFC.

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/BookLoverSarah/status/43521888554713088

    bookloversarah at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

    ReplyDelete
  35. Andre sounds swoon worthy. Must get to know him.

    I'm a follower. :D

    missie at theunreadreader.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. New follower via GFC - KC Rovensky

    katherinerovensky@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your lovely comments!