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The Deception of the Emerald Ring (edition 2006)

by Lauren Willig

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8473410,623 (3.73)52
Member:srearley
Title:The Deception of the Emerald Ring
Authors:Lauren Willig
Info:Dutton Adult (2006), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

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The Deception of the Emerald Ring is the third book in Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series and I have to confess I haven't read the first two. But it seems to stand well on its own. It's a light read, which means that although the characters get into some dangerous situations, they never stop tossing quips at each other. That's fun, but I suppose it could be disappointing to someone expecting a serious spy novel, especially since this is based on a real situation when France, England's enemy at the time, was conspiring with Irish rebels against the crown.

The plot is about a nineteenth century, English marriage between Letty Alsworthy and Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale that comes about through a series of events including a mistaken identity, a botched elopement, and an over the top sense of honor that doesn't seem well advised. The romance in this book starts with a marriage rather than ending with one.

The 1800s story is bracketed by a modern tale about a woman researching the nineteenth century events as part of her work on her doctorate. I couldn't see any reason for the modern story, although it might have made more sense to me if I'd read the preceding books in the series.

One of the aspects of the book I found most interesting was Letty's relationship with her older sister, Mary. Lord Pinchingdale was supposed to marry Mary, not Letty. Letty was the less attractive, less sophisticated, sister. Mary had been trying to catch a suitable man for awhile and Lord Pinchingdale seemed her best hope.

Letty had a fair inkling of what Mary had been thinking. Letty's older sister had passed three Seasons as society's reigning incomparable. Three Seasons of amassing accolades, bouquets, even the odd sonnet, but shockingly few marriage proposals. Of the offers that had come in, three had been from younger sons, four from titles without wealth, and an even larger number from wealth without title. One by one, she had watched her more eligible suitors, the first sons, with coronets on their coaches and country estates to spare, contract matches with the chinless daughters of dukes, or bustling city heiresses.

Mary hadn't wanted to take any more chances so she planned an elopement. That's when things started going awry. Letty compares herself to her sister throughout the book in an intriguing manner that says more about her own self confidence than it does about her sister.

The Deception of the Emerald Ring is a fun read based on a real event. I enjoyed it.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
  SteveLindahl | Apr 19, 2014 |
This was my least favorite book pf the series so far, largely because there was little about it that felt remotely believable.

1) Not the fact that the heroine *finally* admits to herself (realizes?) in the latter part of the book that she has loved her now-husband Geoffrey from a distance (in a sense of complete hopelessness, of course) for a long time. That little detail came much too late and with too little substance to feel valid.

2) Not the fact that Geoff had pursued Letty's older sister, Mary, for so long, but due to a case of wrong-place-wrong-time-mistaken-identity is forced to marry Letty instead of eloping with Mary as planned.

3) Not the fact that Letty is the polar opposite of her sly, insincere, older, thinner, arrestingly beautiful, more sophisticated sister, Mary (for whom Geoff has evinced an unrequited passion for more than one London season), in almost every conceivable way....but throw in Geoff's sudden and unannounced departure for Ireland (during his own wedding feast, no less), Letty's following him later that day (much to his displeasure), a little deception, a little spying and of course, a dead body (with more mistaken identity), and voila! Geoff realizes he has never really "seen" Letty before, and now he can't keep his eyes (or other body parts off of her). [Insert graphic belated wedding night sex scene -- which is, of course, completely "perfect" with absolutely no awkwardness. But no one has even mentioned the word "love."] So far each of the three books has contained at least one graphic scene (the first book contained two), and somehow the fact that the woman (girl) is giving herself up to a man that she isn't even remotely sure loves or wants her is irrelevant because it is such an earth-moving experience that leaves her wide-eyed in amazement. Ummm....no.

4) Nothing about the final resolution of the action in Ireland is believable. (Miss Gwen holds off several grown men with her pointy parasol? Really? Even though it does conceal a thin sword somewhere in the handle....again, no.)

At this point, I don't even remember (or much care) where we left modern-day couple Eloise and Colin in the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not waltz. (Not with an kind of resolution, that's for certain.) ( )
  tarheel96 | Apr 11, 2014 |
The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig - Another enjoyable entry into the Pink Carnation series... though it just ends... abruptly... almost mid-thought... very disconcerting - don't they know they need to give more warning than that? shees! ( )
  dreamingbear | Feb 6, 2014 |
This low rating is a case of me not the author. I can't stand this particular trope and knew I wouldn't like it. But I want to keep on reading the series so I read it any way.

I find the HEA hard to buy into, but I guess Letty is a better woman than I. I really could not believe she was quoting love poems written to her sister when they are about to finally consummate their marriage. Not my thing at all. ( )
  CupcakeMom | Dec 11, 2013 |
Another fun entry in the Pink Carnation series. ( )
  CCleveland | Nov 27, 2013 |
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To all my grandparents, with love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451222210, Paperback)

Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she started spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tulip-two of the deadliest spies to saunter the streets of nineteenth-century England and France.

Not only has she unearthed secrets that will rearrange history, she's dallied with Colin Selwick and sought out a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another fierce heroine running headlong into history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she's been spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tuplip--two of the deadliest agents to saunter the streets of ninetheenth-century England and France. Not only has she been unearthing secrets that will rearrange history, but she's been dallying with Colin Selwick and looking for a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another fierce heroine running headlong into history. In June 1803, Letty Alsworthy attempts to prevent her sister's mindnight elopement--only to be accidentally whisked away herself. The scandal forces her into a hasty marriage with Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, who then decamps immediately to help the Pink Carnation quash a ring of Irish rebels let by the Balck Tulip. Not to be outdone, Letty steals away to the Emerald Isle herself, ready to learn a thing or two about espionage--and never imagining she might learn a few things about love along the way.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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