Pink Carnation Recap: ORCHID AFFAIR

Only two more recaps… and two weeks… to go until Pink X, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria!

Today, it’s Pink VIII, The Orchid Affair.

Who: Laura Grey and Andre Jaouen
Where: France
When: Winter and Spring, 1804
What: When Laura Grey goes undercover in the home of Napoleonic operative Andre Jaouen as a governess, she soon discovers there’s more to her elusive employer than meets the eye….
Historical Cameos: Joseph Fouche, the Duc de Berry, Joachim Murat

The Orchid Affair marked a number of departures for the series. After a few books that had meandered away from main action, this book returned to Paris, to the heart of the operations of the League of the Pink Carnation. My hero and heroine were both older, in their mid-thirties. And, on top of that, neither is either English or aristocratic. My heroine has spent the past sixteen years in England, but she’s really half-French, half-Italian, and has been earning her own living as a governess for some time. My hero is French, a lawyer, a disciple of the Enlightenment, and a true supporter of the original ideals of the French Revolution.

This was also the book where the cover style changed. There was a bit of a kerfuffle over that. The final cover– the one you see above– was the result of three photo shoots and multiple cover changes. (You can read the inside scoop on all that and see all the discarded covers here.)

Other fun facts: I called this my “Sound of Music meets James Bond” book, since it adhered to the two crucial rules of The Sound of Music/all governess novels everywhere, which dictate that there must be: a) a scene where the heroine takes the hero to task for his housekeeping arrangements, and (b) a scene where the governess attends a party wearing a dowdy dress and feeling awkward.

My favorite scene? Naturally, the scene where the governess takes her employer to task for his housekeeping arrangements. (Although there’s also a battle scene later on with which I had a little too much fun ….)

What was your favorite bit from The Orchid Affair?


  1. Céline on July 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I really have two favorite scenes in this book (although really, I loved all of it): the scene in which Laura undresses and act as a seductress, a woman sure of herself and her power… and saves the situation!
    And that funny battle scene at the end of the book, about which I’ll say nothing, not to spoil anyone… 😀

  2. Pat D on July 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I definitely enjoyed the battle scene in the ship’s cabin. She used all her new acting skills, didn’t she?

  3. Betty S. on July 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I loved the scenes where they were traveling with the acting troupe – very suspenseful, but with some humor to lift the seriousness at times.

  4. Dara on July 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    The seductress scene. Hands down favorite, mostly because of Andre’s reaction to it.

  5. The Orchid Affair | The Bubble Bath Reader on April 1, 2015 at 8:06 am

    […] what the author has to say, Lauren’s recap of Pink VIII! Though Hortense Bonaparte is sitting in a corner and sending evil daggers at Lauren for forgetting […]

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