The Lure of the Moonflower: A Pink Carnation Novel
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In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.
It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.
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by a criminal cartel, but was really the electronic search engine for manuscript sources in the UK. Plug in a name and—voilà!—it would locate that person’s papers. Letters, diaries, random ramblings, you name it. There was one slight problem: To find the papers, you needed a name. Spies tend not to use their real names. Unless they’re Bond, James Bond. I’d always wondered why, with such a public profile, no one had succeeded in bumping him off between missions. The Pink Carnation hadn’t made
Gardener come together? You can rent a room or sit at a table at a tavern without everyone assuming that you must be a whore. The comment he had been about to make died on Jack’s tongue. Instead he said gruffly, “I take it you are no longer . . . mutually interested?” He could see her weighing her answers, choosing her words. “In Venice,” said the Carnation carefully, “one of the Gardener’s colleagues, a man with whom he was closely connected, was found facedown in a canal, a knife in his
a statue, it’s not far out of our way. And,” he added, “you’ll have a wash and a proper bed.” Jane plucked a piece of straw from her bodice and regarded it with an arched brow. “I’m not sure I’d know what to do with one, it’s been so long.” I can tell you what to do with one. What in the devil was wrong with him? Clumsily, Jack lurched to his feet. “We’d best go. Time’s wasting.” Without waiting to see if Jane followed, Jack hoisted his haversack on his shoulder and strode across the hut to
For the first time, Jack thought he understood some of what his father had meant. There were some so locked in their own minds that they couldn’t get out. And that hadn’t been his fault, or his father’s, or anybody else’s. It just was. Jane had stirred in her sleep, burying her head deeper into his chest, and Jack had felt an almost painful feeling of tenderness. In sleep, it seemed rather incredible that a collection of bones and flesh could contain all the things that made her Jane, the sharp
was absurd.” “So,” I said slowly, “what you’re saying is that Mrs. Selwick-Alderly was doing her job and your father got caught red-handed.” “Oh, no,” said Dempster, a thin smile pursing his lips. “Quite the contrary. An excitable woman overstepped herself and accused a man of sterling reputation. A man who was then hounded to death by the media. And naturally her superiors covered it all up. MI5 doesn’t like to admit when they get it wrong.” There was something that didn’t quite add up. “But