‘I cannot imagine any recompense you might offer that would be of any interest to me.’ Basking in self-satisfaction, Mary swished regally down the long corridor, giving Vaughn an excellent view of her elegant back and graceful carriage. Vaughn’s amused voice snaked after her.
‘Can’t you? I can….’
England 1803. Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn: to infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master Napoleon Bonaparte can stage their planned invasion of England
Every spy has a weakness, and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women. Mary easily catches his attention, but Lord Vaughn never anticipates that his own heart will be caught as well, and it won’t be long before Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in the shadows of a treacherous garden of lies.
In the fourth installment of the Pink Carnation series, Mary Alsworthy suddenly finds herself on the outside of polite society after her younger sister, Letty, marries Mary s intended. Partly from boredom, partly from fascination, Mary accepts the advances of spy master Lord Vaughn when he asks her to help uproot a French spy called the Black Tulip who has a weakness for dark-haired women. As it turns out, the Black Tulip is no longer interested just in beautiful companions; he demands a sacrifice of Mary that she is reluctant to make. Navigating both the world of high society, where, if Mary doesn t find a husband soon she ll be doomed to live off her sister s charity, and the underworld, Mary may only realize too late that the Black Tulip is more connected to her than she ever imagined. This historical romance is filled with witty repartee and arch conversations between Mary and Vaughn, leaving no doubt as to the story s conclusion. Though the occasional jumps to the modern-day travails of Eloise Kelly, a grad student researching the Vaughn family for her dissertation, are as jarring as ad breaks in the middle of a film, the novel handily fulfills its promise of intrigue and romance.