On the second day of Bookmas, I read:
The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig
***WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW***
The Masque of the Black Tulip is book two in the Pink Carnation series. This book follows Eloise and Colin through a visit to Colin’s family home in the country (and yes, it’s a very lovely estate) as well as Home Office employee and my personal favorite Miles Dorrington and Henrietta Selwick, sister of the Purple Gentian. Eloise, having finished the papers that reside with Mrs. Selwick-Alderly, takes a weekend trip with Colin, the at-times jerk face nephew of Mrs. Selwick-Alderly and current resident of Selwick Hall. Having discovered the identity of the Pink Carnation, Eloise is eager to continue her reading and discover ALL the workings of the Pink Carnation and travels to Selwick Hall to read more papers and uncover more stories. Just enough happens on the Colin-Eloise front to keep you interested and eager for the next book.
For the historical side of things, we get the story of Henrietta and Miles. I won’t give much away about them because they are, hands down, my most favorite of all the couples. I will say, there is adventure and intrigue (obviously) and lots of romance. Henrietta has a point to make, that she’s not still the child her parents and Richard continue to treat her as. As secret liason between the Pink Carnation and the Home Office, Henrietta is taking her life into her own hands and doing something worthy and worthwhile. Of course, she does end up in trouble and in need of rescuing. Enter Miles. Poor Miles just wants to be taken more seriously by the Home Office. Instead, he’s seen as contact of the Purple Gentian. In that respect, he and Hen have a lot in common. They’re both trying to prove themselves.
I really loved this book, so so much. Miles really is one of my top two favorites (the other being Richard). He reminds me a lot of Hubby, funny when he can be but serious when the situation calls for it and always interested in an adventure. I love how the romance between him and Henrietta is so surprising to both of them. I just adore them both, separately and together. And I would bet that they’re Lauren Willig’s favorite couple too, because they make more appearances in the later books than any of the other couples. Happiness and yays for me! One thing that does drive me crazy, more so because I am on book six, is how slooooooowly things move between Eloise and Colin. It’s pretty obvious from the get-go that they’re going to become a couple but it takes them forever to get there and each book is approximately 65% historical story, 35% Eloise and Colin. It makes me crazy!
If you enjoyed Secret History of the Pink Carnation and want more of the story, definitely read Masque of the Black Tulip. Even if you stop with this one (although I know you wont) it’s worth the read just to see Miles and Henrietta. They are so cute!