Download The Secret History of the Pink Carnation Audiobook

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation Audiobook, by Lauren Willig Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lauren Willig Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Pink Carnation Series Release Date: October 2004 ISBN: 9780786553280
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,279 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Nothing goes right for Eloise. The one day she wears her new suede boots, it rains cats and dogs. When the subway stops short, she’s always the one thrown into some stranger’s lap. Plus, she’s had more than her share of misfortune in the way of love. In fact, ever since she realized romantic heroes are a thing of the past, she’s decided it’s time for a fresh start.

Setting off for England, Eloise is determined to finish her dissertation on that dashing pair of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. But what she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: the secret history of the Pink Carnation—the most elusive spy of all time. As she works to unmask this obscure spy, Eloise stumbles across answers to all kinds of questions. Like how did the Pink Carnation save England from Napoleon? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly escape her bad luck and find a living, breathing hero all her own?

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Quotes & Awards

  • Lauren Willig balances her knowledge of English history with a veritable passion for English spies, turning out a deftly hilarious, sexy novel. Eloisa James, author of Kiss Me, Annabel

    "In her swashbuckling debut...Willig reimagines France under Napoleon besieged by a whole bouquet of spying floral foes...Bad news for the Bonapartes but barrels of good-natured fun for the rest of us.

  • A juicy mystery...Chick-lit never had it so good! Complete Woman
  • [A] breezy historical romance... The sparks fly. Publishers Weekly
  • [A] playful romp…effervescent prose... A sexy [and] determined-to-charm historical-romance debut. Kirkus Reviews

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 2/15/2014

    " Great story about spies and love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/9/2014

    " I enjoy this series. As with a lot of series, as the number of books increases, so does the amount of times you say "been there read that." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aimee | 2/2/2014

    " If you like any of the following things: The Scarlet Pimpernel, semi-historical accounting of Napoleonic France, humorous historical romance (with an emphasis on the history part!), then you would love this book as I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lani | 1/31/2014

    " A very fun read. Perfect for relaxing on the beach enjoying the historical twists,intrigue, literary references, and of course the romance. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gaelynn | 1/28/2014

    " The premise was good, I enjoyed the book until the sex was introduced. Didn't finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 1/27/2014

    " LIGHT reading, kinda fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 1/20/2014

    " Chick lit turns swashbuckling: this made a good vacation read. Suitably fluffy and tongue-in-cheek, it is almost a parody on itself. Our spy hero and heroine are placed in 1803, yet think and speak entirely as modern young people; that was a disconnect that took a while to overlook. (Guess I've read too much Jane Austen and her ilk to know that people of the early 19th century, especially well-bred young men and women, were not so bold and open with each other, nor did they engage in passionate physical affection. If a single woman of that time period wanted to remain marriageable, a man's kiss on her hand was all she'd better permit.) But as pure entertainment the book succeeds, delivering a rollicking, romantic, roll-your-eyes, just-in-the-nick-of-time adventure story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Senator | 1/14/2014

    " Just as amazing as ever -- review soon! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 12/14/2013

    " Pure fun. With romance mixed with history I didn't feel too guilty about indulging in this story. There were others in this series that I have enjoyed more, but this was good enough to get my attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 B. | 11/26/2013

    " A bit silly... OK, a lot silly. I hadn't been expecting so much "chick lit" -- or wanting it-- so that definitely had impact on my star rating. I wish I could give it a 2.5; I don't think it deserves a 3, but I think it was too much fun to be a 2. A cute and easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/26/2013

    " Fun, light summer read. Didn't get too invested in it, which made it readable over vacation, but still cared at the end how everything would turn out. I may return to this series when I need something silly and lighthearted with secret plots and spies, and, of course, romance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlynn | 11/22/2013

    " The espionage was interesting, but the sexual descriptions were excessive. I also felt like she left a lot of loose ends which I am going to assume are wrapped up in the rest of the series (which I will not be reading.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/8/2013

    " Nice blend of historical fiction and chick-lit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 8/29/2013

    " i love these books! mix between chick lit and history and funny and fast-paced. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kat | 7/30/2013

    " I'm still only halfway through. One day, I'll finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marisa | 9/6/2012

    " Not the best stuff ever written, but definitely good. I liked the Scarlet Pimpernel way back in grade school and this is totally based on that idea. Very fun historical espionage/love story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meno-gal | 5/26/2012

    " Loved it!! Can't wait to get the next one!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/9/2012

    " Re-read but it's awesome "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 10/5/2011

    " I really really liked it until I got to the smut half-way through-Darn it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicola | 9/26/2011

    " Highly entertaining if you like reading books in this era. A couple swear words and a little "romance" so if you are sensitive to either be aware that there is some of that in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 9/25/2011

    " Couldn't wait for the next book. Love the back and forth between modern day and historical periods. Love Willig's humor...I laugh out loud at times and giggle, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 5/10/2011

    " Taking the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel a step further, Willig creates a league of heroes named after flowers. It's a story within a story, as a grad student digs into their histories for her thesis. It's a playful little mystery filled with romance and some action. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Valerie | 5/10/2011

    " I had to add a new shelf for this book... "abandoned". I did not see the point of going forward, it seemed predictable and the writing was too cutesy. Sorry but that is how I feel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle | 5/4/2011

    " I thought it was a little predictable,but enjoyed it all the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 4/28/2011

    " Fun mystery book written for women! Based around English spies in the wars against the French - includes both modern and historical elements and romance. The whole series is great. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 4/24/2011

    " somewhat immature writing- who ever calls someone a fiend? Keeping language clean? Does have a copule of steamy sex scenes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 4/23/2011

    " Too sexy for the section of the library in which I found it, but mostly heart-galloping romance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 4/17/2011

    " interesting set up, with the two time lines, but just hated the espionage premise. couldn't get into. skimmed the entire book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shelle | 4/10/2011

    " A pick up from the Scarlet Pimpernel. Didn't read the whole book as it got into a little more than kissing. Which I was not expecting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauren | 4/6/2011

    " I really wanted to like this book but it was so cliched it was almost satirical. I accept/expect some heroine silliness/hero lust/miscommunication in my romances, but it was just too, too much. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 4/6/2011

    " Sort of like the literary equivalent of a twinkie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 4/5/2011

    " I loved this book! I will definitely be reading the rest! Quickly! "

About the Author

Lauren Willig received a graduate degree in English history from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City, writing full time.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received dozens of Earphones Awards. She has been named by AudioFile magazine as a “Voice of the Century,” as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others.