Review: The Orchid Affair (Book #7 Pink Carnation Series) by Lauren Willig

by Lauren Willig

Release Date:  January 20, 2011
Dutton Adult | 416p


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?


Having heard the ravings about the Pink Carnation series for years, I finally picked up my first and now can see what all the fuss has been about! The Orchid Affair, the seventh installment of the Pink Carnation series, was such a fantastically entertaining read that I am officially hooked and now on a mission to read the entire series.

I don’t feel it necessary to summarize the story as the synopsis above has done it perfectly, but what I did want to talk about was how wonderful the characters were. Laura Grey has been itching to shake things up a bit in her life and ditch the life of a governess. Entering the Selwick Spy School, she joins the League of the Pink Carnation and becomes known as The Silver Orchid. The focus of her first assignment, Andre Jaouen is working for the Republic though quickly becoming disillusioned with the new government. There’s an instant spark when they meet and in Laura, Andre seems to have found his match. Their banter was really quite entertaining! Of course, we also meet up with the woman known as the Pink Carnation, whom Laura described perfectly in this quote:

“It would have been easier to tolerate her if she had been beautiful but dim; clever and plain. One could respect clever and plain. But to be beautiful and clever seemed like an oversight on the part of the gods.”

And then there was this crazy poet guy who was hysterical and stole every scene he was in!

I very much enjoyed my first Pink Carnation read and think it’s a series everyone should get into if you like a fun, light read with adventure, romance and witty writing!

If I've piqued your interest enough, I have one hardcover copy of The Orchid Affair up for grabs!  Click HERE to enter!  Giveaway ends on January 20th.

In more Lauren Willig news, she will be here on Passages to the Past for a Live Chat Night on January 27th!  Hope to see you there!


For more information, please visit Lauren Willig's WEBSITE.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for review, in return for a fair and honest review.



  1. Sounds like fun. I have the Pink Carnation on my bookshelf - now, please send me some time so I can read it.
    Thank you

  2. I'm glad to hear this one was good. I love love loved the first two, and I have the rest of the series sitting on my shelf and was just thinking the other day about reading the whole series through now that The Orchid Affair is coming out, to get all caught up. I think I might have to actually do it now!

  3. So glad you enjoyed this, although I do find it kind of unfathomable to contemplate starting a series at book 7! You will enjoy going back to the beginning and seeing where it all started.

  4. Pricilla: they are a ton of fun! When I find the formula to add more hours in the day just for reading, I'll let you know :)

    Jessica: so glad you liked the first two books, I really need to start the series from book one!

    Marg: usually I am total OCD with reading a series in order, but this time I just couldn't get around it. And it actually worked out because I didn't feel like I missed anything from not reading the prior books, but I do want to start at the beginning now!

  5. I don't know if you've seen it Amy, but Lauren Willig posted a link to your review on her Facebook fan page. Just wanted to make sure you see it. :)!/pages/Lauren-Willig/10504674644

  6. Well I have never heard of this series before, but if a book makes you want to read the entire series, I think it would just awesome.

    Thank you for the great review.

  7. I'm with Veens -- if this made you want to read six other books, it must be awesome! :)

  8. I never seem to remember live chats until they are finished. Will try to make this one. I have three of this series and am slowly acquiring the rest. This sounds like a good one. Fleeing with children always adds to the suspense and complications.

    I really hope I manage to make the Live Chat.


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