In the ninth installment of Lauren Willigs bestselling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleons invasion of England.
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers cant bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.
New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustuss side. An old school friend of Napoleons stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustuss poetry.
As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekends entertainment.
Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? Shell do anything to postpone the decision-even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonapartes house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted- especially Augustuss feelings for Emma.