Pink Carnation Read Along: Month 4

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in to discuss The Deception of the Emerald Ring last week!

It’s the merry, merry month of May, which means… it’s time for Book IV: The Seduction of the Crimson Rose!

This book was something of a landmark for me.  It was the first ever book (although it wouldn’t be the last!) that was hijacked by characters other than the characters I had originally intended to write about.  Book IV was supposed to be about Charlotte.  But then Lord Vaughn showed up in Ireland in Emerald Ring, and Mary Alsworthy started lobbying for a book of her own (because if Letty got one, then, clearly, she needed one, too), and next thing I knew I was calling my editor and saying, “So, about that synopsis I sent you….”

It was also my first attempt writing an anti-heroine and an anti-hero and seeing if I could turn them into the heroes of their own story.  You can tell me if you think I succeeded!

(This book also has my absolute worst– and absolute favorite– copy editor induced typo.)

Join me and super special guest co-host Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches Trashy Books at 8pm on Thursday, May 27th, as we discuss anti-heroes, Vauxhall Gardens, Jacobite rebellions, and all things Crimson Rose!  In addition to creating a vibrant community for readers and reviewing more books than I’ve baked banana muffins (and I’ve been baking a LOT of banana muffins), Sarah literally wrote the book on the modern romance novel, and I am so excited to explore the wild and wacky world of the Regency romance with her.

You can register here.  The event is free and open to anyone anywhere.

And now on to the important stuff: snacks!

Crimson Rose snack: strawberry tarts.

Here’s the link to the wonderful strawberry cake recipe Christine shared for her Pink Carnation cookery series lo these many years ago.

Crimson Rose drink: a pomegranate martini.

This was my tipple of choice around the time I was writing Crimson Rose— and it’s just about the right color for it.  (And, as a friend kept telling me at the time, pomegranates are anti-oxidant, so it must be good for you!)

Also, you just know that Vaughn would looooove the mythological implications.

Crimson non-alcoholic drink: cranberry juice.  Acidic, just like Mary and Vaughn.

Now that we’ve gotten the food and drink out of the way, here are some background materials for your amusement:

  • Get the scoop on your romantic leads with this Pink Carnation Who’s Who. (Just click on Mary and Vaughn in the sidebar.)
  • Some fun facts about The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.
  • Locate your favorite characters on these Selwick, Balcourt, and Wooliston family trees.
  • Want to learn more about early nineteenth century England and the Jacobite cause?  Here’s some suggested background reading.
  • Curious about the scenes that didn’t make it into The Seduction of the Crimson Rose?  You can find outtakes here.
  • Need something to listen along to while you read?  Try the Crimson Rose playlist!

Check back here later this month for discussions of the London Season, books that inspired Crimson Rose, my favorite quotes (and yours!) as we re-read, and photos of Crimson Rose in the wild.  Please do share lots of photos on Instagram and Facebook!  Just tag me and add #pinkcarnationreadalong.

Is there anything else you’d like to see that I’ve forgotten?

Brush off your copies of The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, grab that pomegranate martini, and let’s get reading!


  1. Weekly Reading Round-Up - Lauren Willig on May 14, 2021 at 11:26 am

    […] Oh, and it’s month four of the Pink Carnation Read Along!  This month is The Seduction of the Crimson Rose and our special guest co-host is Sarah […]

  2. […] your way. For extras, outtakes, further reading, booze and snacks, and other fun stuff, click here. See you tonight! Posted in Crimson Rose, Pink Carnation Read […]

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