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CIO: Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Today, I’m recommending a work that is part romance and part adventure called The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. Since its publication back in 2005, Willig has expanded her Pink Carnation series to include eleven more novels and a few short stories and novellas, culminating with the final novel, The Lure of the Moonflower, released August of 2015.

Seamlessly weaving history and fiction together, Lauren Willig has created a romance series that has captivated readers and critics alike from the very beginning. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is where we first meet doctoral student Eloise Kelly, who is researching famous Napoleonic-era spy Lord Richard Selwick (aka the Purple Gentian), in the hopes of discovering the true identity of the Pink Carnation, the most elusive British spy of them all.

Determined to finish her dissertation, Eloise must travel to England and straight into the family archives of Arabella Selwick-Alderly. As she settles in to conduct her research, Eloise makes a startling discovery. What she finds is something the finest historians have missed: a secret that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has unlocked the history of the Pink Carnation, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.

Diving into the letters, hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation’s identity, Eloise uncovers a passionate romance that almost changed the course of world events, the love story between Amy Balcourt and Lord Richard Selwick, otherwise known as the Purple Gentian.

How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own? Check out this historical romance story and many more like it at the Sioux City Public Library.

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