The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Lauren Willig)

TheMischiefoftheMistletoe
The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
2011
384 pages
Paperback

Despite her dear friend Jane Austen’s warning against teaching, Arabella Dempsey accepts a position at a girls’ school in Bath, just before Christmas. She hardly imagines coming face-to-face with French aristocrats and international spies.

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh-often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation-has blundered into danger before. When Turnip and Arabella find their Christmas pudding yielding a cryptic message, they are launched on a Yuletide adventure. Will they find poinsettias-or peril?

I learned of this book from Chris, when she reviewed the book two years ago, and got me interested. I’ve forgotten all about it really, when it came up in a conversation with her last year. I borrowed the book, but was only able to read it recently.

And it was deuce a good recommendation indeed. I am a sucker for unconventional lead heroes, and Turnip is all that and more. He was not a knight but a court jester, as he is quoted in the book. He was not the sharpest weapon in the armory, not all swagger and dashing, nor gifted with the wittiest of tongues; but he was still kind, charming, and ready to give aid to anyone who needed it, and in the process climbed atop a trellis and into your heart.

The heroine Arabella is a good match as well. Being intelligent and able to banter with Turnip, which I especially love. I could also easily relate to her family concerns, and for her own path.

There’s still the mystery of course, and it was entertaining, and made me think for a bit. But it was Turnip, and Arabella, and their chemistry that held this story together, and made me love it. At its heart, this is a lighthearted romcom, and it had me smiling widely at the end of it.

I applaud Willig for creating a lead hero like Turnip and still make him swoon-worthy. And really, “thank you.” Now, I can’t wait to read the rest of the Pink Carnation books and meet all the other characters.

Rating: 10 of 10 stars [?]

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One Response to “The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Lauren Willig)”

  1. I love love love this book. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I find Turnip a very refreshing romantic lead and his presence makes the book less by-the-numbers for me. I may not like all of Lauren Willig’s stories, but I do appreciate how she tries to explore different romantic tropes and characters.

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