The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

I was really looking forward to The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, the fifth installment of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig. I was eagerly set to preorder it from Chapters when I discovered that Chapters has changed their preorder policy. It's now a huge ripoff and Chapters quite simply blows goats. So I ordered it from my local independent and had to wait a few extra days but they didn't fleece me and are going to be getting a lot more of my business.

Excuse me for that rant. But Chapters? Can #suckit.

When I heard that The Temptation of the Night Jasmine was going to be about Charlotte my first thought was who the heck is Charlotte? After I figured that out it made sense.

It's Christmas and Dowager Duchess of Dovedale has invited all kinds of eligibles to Dovedale to try to hoist her granddaughter Charlotte off on one of them. Charlotte never made much of a fuss during the Season. That's her friend Penelope's job - to make a fuss that is, not to land a guy necessarily. Charlotte's cousin Robert, the Duke of Dovedale shows up unexpectedly on Christmas Eve. He's Charlotte's shining white knight and clearly, who the romance will center around for this novel. Robert has come back with other motives than marriage - namely revenge. His quest for revenge, and Charlotte's stint as a lady in waiting, converge and show us the dark side of upper class life in the form of the Hellfire Club. Meanwhile, Penelope snags herself a husband in a not so rigour manner.

I think my main complaint about this installment is that, to me, it felt very detached from the rest of the series. Only Henrietta and Miles were there to tie us to the rest of the flowery crowd. I missed the old gang. There was no Jane! I missed Jane. That's not to say that I didn't like the characters in this one, because I did...but wouldn't it have been better if there were a few more folks that we knew?

There was at least one good chuckle from Turnip. I am really quite fond of Turnip. I still think there's more to that guy than meets the eye and I'm going to be horribly disappointed if it turns out otherwise. (Hmm Jane and Turnip?)

And can anyone tell me why it is that Penelope is not speaking to Henrietta? I really couldn't figure it out except that it maybe has something to do with Miles?

I do believe, for reasons I can't put without spoiling things, that the next book will focus on Penelope. And even though this was originally supposed to be a six book series I think it's going to have to be at least seven because I really don't think the next book is going to be about Jane and it needs to end with the Jane book.