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The Deception of the Emerald Ring (edition 2006)

by Lauren Willig

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8723510,181 (3.74)57
Member:srearley
Title:The Deception of the Emerald Ring
Authors:Lauren Willig
Info:Dutton Adult (2006), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
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The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

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The third book in the Pink Carnation series

Eloise has had her way with the Selwick archive, but that doesn’t mean her research is over. Searching for evidence to support her thesis on the Pink Carnation’s identity, she manages to find the papers of a contemporary and friend of the famous spy: Letty Alsworthy, who finds herself in a compromising situation with her sister’s suitor Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe after attempting to foil an elopement. Geoffrey obligingly marries Letty, but before the wedding feast is over he’s hightailed off to Ireland without so much as informing his new wife. Letty, desperate to explain that she never intended to trick Geoffrey into marriage, follows after him, and quickly becomes swept up in the Pink Carnation’s espionage ring. Meanwhile, back in the present Eloise has her own relationship troubles to sort as a date with another American (set up by her grandmother back home) gives Colin the wrong idea and dashes her hopes of attracting the current Lord Selwick.

This entry in the series was a flipping point for me: before, I wasn’t much interested in Eloise’s romantic life, but I found it increasingly attractive throughout the course of this book. She and Colin obviously get on very well, and they probably would have hooked up by now had multiple family emergencies and comic misunderstandings not distracted them. But the slow progression of their relationship feels very real and natural, in stark contrast to the over-the-top highs and lows of the Alsworthy-Pinchingdale-Snipe alliance. Geoffrey is initially attracted to his wife when he believes her to be her sister, than repulsed by her deception. He loathes her for trapping him in a marriage, but gets over it rather quickly, all things considered. Despite singing the praises of her sister for years he hastily succumbs to the quirks and charms of Letty’s personality so that blissful married life can begin. Letty, meanwhile, realizes she’s loved Geoffrey from afar for a long, long time and was jealous of her sister’s place in his heart. All is well, all is forgiven and mended by the end of the book.

I was a little disappointed by how neatly it all tied up. Given that the early 18th century wasn’t known for love matches, I was rather looking forward to a partnership that was perhaps a bit more realistic to the times. It’s a romance series, though, so of course everyone has to fall in love in the end.

This book once again brings the focus back in on the Pink Carnation as she works to prevent a rebellion in Ireland, and it’s fantastic to see Jane return. The story also sees the return of the enigmatic Lord Vaughn, a man known for his cutting remarks and flamboyant clothes. Whether he’s an ally of the Pink Carnation or a double agent is never clear, but whenever he enters a scene you know it’s going to be a fun time, for his every utterance seems to have two or three meanings.

When I first read this series back in 2007, this book was as far as I got. I don’t remember if it was the last book available at the time, or if I had tired of the series. It was probably the former. While I didn’t find The Deception of the Emerald Ring to be as strong as its predecessors, it’s still an entertaining story. I just can’t resist stories of these women and their adventures! It’s definitely a guilty pleasure, a not-so-secret one that I enjoy. ( )
  makaiju | Jul 5, 2015 |
As always, Lauren Willig's books are sheer pleasure to read. Geoff and Letty might be my favorite couple so far. The relationship combines some of the adventurous obliviousness of the other books with something more serious, introverted, and a bit insecure. It makes them seem very real. I loved seeing their relationship slowly develop over time, from justified dislike to a deep appreciation and love for each other.

Plus, some of my favorite characters had bigger roles in this book than before! Jane and Miss Gwen are awesome, and significant here for the entire book, not just a bit. Lord Vaughn is always fascinating, too. The only one missing is Turnip.

If there is a negative, it's that I still have no interest at all in Eloise and the modern-day framing story. It contains some funny moments and I think I'd enjoy it in its own book, but as it is, I'm always just annoyed when the historical story is interrupted. ( )
  FFortuna | Feb 27, 2015 |
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 |
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To all my grandparents, with love.
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A watched phone never rings.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:43 -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)

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