Pink III Week 1 in Review

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Today’s post was written by Beth, and the graphic above was designed by Sharlene.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first 8 chapters of The Deception of the Emerald Ring!  It’s been so much fun to get back into Geoff and Letty’s story.  Full confession first – every time I read this book, I call him ‘Gee-off’ for the first few chapters.  Whew, I feel better now that I’ve got that out in the open.

So, let’s do a quick re-cap of what we’ve learned so far in Pink III:

First, Eloise – Eloise is deep in the libraries, trying to dig up information on the elusive, king of the swashbuckling spies, the Pink Carnation… with dissertation chapters looming ahead in the distance.

Our hero, Geoff – the strong silent type, saddled with one of the longest last names in the history of last names, he’s been very content to let Richard take care of all of the daring escapades and Miles to handle all of the communication while he remains in the shadows of the Purple Gentian’s operations.  BUT, now that the Purple Gentian has been unmasked and Miles is busy with amorous exploits, Geoff is having to take more of an active role in this whole spying business.  This leads him to traipse, in the not-to-distant future, off to Ireland and meddle in the Bonapart-supported revolution that is brewing there.  This would be just fine, if it weren’t for the impending clandestine nuptials that he’s planned with his love, Mary Alsworthy, with whom he is madly, deeply, poetry-writing in love with at this very moment.  That is, until he finds her little sister in his carriage, accidentally compromises her (enjoys it, if he’s being honest), and has to marry her for it.  He’s not having such a good day, come to think of it, and maybe running off to Ireland won’t be such a bad thing after all.

Our heroine, Letty – bless her heart, she’s holding her family together as best she can with a completely annoying mother (totally Mrs. Bennett), a kind but slightly spacey father (totally Mr. Bennett) and a sister who is hell-bent on securing the best marriage proposal of the season, even if it means sneaking off with a viscount in the dead of night for a spontaneous elopment.  In trying to prevent this terrible scandal, she accidentally gets compromised (also enjoys it, if she’s being honest) and has to marry her sister’s now-scorned lover, Geoff.  So, her sister is mad at her, her parents are overjoyed, the gossip papers are full of the tale, Ms. Posonby’s the rudest lady ever to her, and she’s saddled to a man that couldn’t even be bothered to look her in the eye while swooning over his long lost love.  It’s not exactly a fairy tale situation!  Finding out that her husband as fled to Ireland on some mission during the wedding celebration – which really, she knows, is to avoid the fact that he’s married to the wrong sister – she decides to go after him.

Our soon to be heroine, Mary – hard to say at this point if Mary is a highly accomplished actress who is, in fact, a terrible human being winning the worst sister in the world award, or actually incredibly smart, manipulative, and cunning.  Your guess is as good as mine….but I don’t like her.  At all.  We know, at least, that she’s beautiful…and powerful.   How she’s going to decide to use that power, well, stay tuned.

Good grief, it was a busy first ¼ of the book!  Lauren has got this story off to a rip-roaring adventure from the very first page.  As I was reading, I thought of two questions for us to discuss:

1. What if (suspend reality…) Mary had actually married Geoff?  We have the foresight to know that this really might turn out okay for Geoff in the end, but what would their life have been like together if he had actually gotten what he wanted in the beginning?  Would they have worked well together?  Would Mary have worn the ‘pants’ and ruled the show?  Would Geoff have been happy?

2. Speaking of Mary…what was your first impression of these two sisters?  How did you first feel for each of them, when meeting Letty and Mary?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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20 thoughts on “Pink III Week 1 in Review

  1. In the words of the original Mr. Spock “After a time, you may find that having is not such a pleasing thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” I think part of Geoff would have appreciated the cleverness of Mary’s manipulative nature, but he would have been constantly on his guard around her and never fully trust her, and eventually become disillusioned as her wouldn’t have the rich relationships his friends found,

    • That’s a really interesting thought – I hadn’t considered how Mary would fit in with his friends, and I don’t know how Miles and Hen would appreciate Mary in the circle either. Being constantly on your guard is exhausting!

  2. There’s a country song that goes “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers” and when I started reading this book again, that song popped into my head.

  3. Mary would have been the only happy one in that marriage-and that’s only because of the money and the title.

    I do love the scene with Letty and the Ponsoby women. You realize she’s get some spunk so you have to root for her from there on!

    • That is a FANTASTIC scene. You’re totally right – before that moment, I felt sorry for Letty, the unloved and overlooked little sister, but then wham! You realize she can hold her own with the likes of the Posonby women. Winning!

  4. There’s a part in chapter 5 when he’s contemplating life with Mary vs life with Letty and he says with Letty it will be a “half-life of gaming halls and kept women” which is exactly what it would have been with Mary.
    The sisters are total opposites. When we first meet them Mary is planning to elope. She probably could have had a nice normal wedding, I don’t think her parents would have disapproved of Geoff, but doesn’t care for her family at all so she created this manipulation (she really didn’t give Geoff a plausible reason for the elopement) to get away from them as soon as possible. Then Letty goes to the opposite extreme. Family is everything for her so she takes it upon herself to stop Mary, which really shouldn’t have been her role in the first place. She could have just left them alone and it probably wouldn’t have caused as much scandal as she thought but she cares too much.

    • I hadn’t thought about Letty and Mary’s differences in how they treat their family, but you’re right – what a juxtaposition. Selfless, versus selfish! I think Mary wanted the excitement of an elopment…and, I’m not even really sure she would have gone through with it!

  5. To say Geoff was having a bad day is an understatement: his planned elopement with ‘love of his life’ Mary is interrupted, he compromises the wrong sister, insists on doing the honorable thing, sees his reputation dragged through the gossip rags for all to see, and is called into the War Office where he finds he must be off to Ireland to stop a rebellion, and by the way, the Black Tulip has escaped. Practical Geoff plans the wedding in a day’s time, even including his nasty cousin Jasper, and then is off to Ireland. Although Geoff is one of my favorites, I must say I was disappointed in the way he treated Letty at the wedding reception. After all, he’s the one who insisted on the marriage when Letty was begging off – and then to leave her stranded. However, at this point he still thinks Letty was planning to snare him.

    What if Geoff had married Mary? His life would have been impossible. Mary would have been spending his fortune and running to all the best parties, while Geoff spent his time worshipping her on the pedastal he had placed her, with no return of love.

    Letty really shows her spunk and is the best one in the family. Ironically, in trying to prevent scandal, she causes a bigger one – interesting comment from her father about human comedy and also the fact that he told her Geoff would give her a good life. He appears oblivious, but actually has real insight – love his advice about the ear plugs.

    Mary is an awful person, a money grubbing goldigger. When Letty apologizes, she reveals her true feelings for Geoff – nothing, so Geoff is much better off, but we shall see. I was glad that Henrietta befriended Letty. In some ways Letty reminds me of Amy, charging forth to do what she thinks she must for her family, before really thinking things through.

    • Betty, fantastic insight! I also agree, Geoff was a total dissapointment at the wedding…I guess even the best of us are subject to bad behavior and dramatics. Thankfully, Geoff still has 300 pages to win us back over!

      Ugh, Jasper! Blech. I picture him with a slicked – down middle part hairdo. Slime.

  6. Honestly, I think it’s obvious that Mary is bored with Geoff already. Her only interest in him is financial. I think in the end a marriage between the two of them might have resulted in a husband and wife competing to see who could make the other more jealous. Mary would have an easy time making Geoff jealous and I think he would have found himself tempted to retaliate.

    • Boredom is a perfect word to use to describe Mary. I think that’s why I dislike her so much – she’s bored and selfish. It’s a terrible combination. The more I think about it, them more I wonder if she would have really gone through with the elopment, even if Letty hadn’t stopped it from happening…maybe she would have, just for the money?

      • Oh, I think she definitely would have gone through with it – for the money and position. After all, I think I remember reading that this was her 3rd season, and Geoff would be a pretty good catch under the circumstances. Just commenting based on her character as revealed thus far. I would make a statement about fate working things out. However, considering this is fiction, Lauren had something better in store for both of them

  7. I really like Geoff, the “prince of shadows.” It is frustrating how wrong he is about both Letty and Mary, especially since he is usually so meticulous and and well-thought out, but that is the craziness of the heart.

    As frustrating as it is, in some ways, he is really treating Lefty pretty decently. He thinks she has schemed and manipulated him into marriage and denied him his true love. Yet, he still does the socially honorable thing and marries her, denying himself the thing he wants most and thinking that he is also breaking Mary’s heart. That is some kind of crazy strong backbone. The societal pressure and mores are so foreign to us today.

    I was thinking, it is probably the one time he finally let’s loose, he has acted mooney about Mary and is eloping, and it ends up backfiring so horribly on him. The poor man. He really did end up in a bad situation. And can you imagine showing up at Letty’s house that night to that scene with her parents and Mary?

    Yes, I dislike Mary very much right now. The scene with Letty and Mrs. Ponsonby is one of the all-time greats. It was so Jane Eyre to me. It really made me think, “Yes! Letty is not a retiring little wren. This is gonna be great! Our girl can hold her own!” She would have to, in her family! Our glorious Hen was there being her lovely supportive self, too!

    If Geoff and Mary had married? What a great question. It is so difficult since I know the next book. I think it would have been okay, but just okay. Geoff is smart and perceptive. Ultimately, he would have realized that there was not a great mutual passion or personal respect. Mary would have also been unfulfilled. Geoff doesn’t seem to yet know or love who she really is, either. It is hard to say what they might have discovered or worked out. They don’t seem suited or well-matched, though.

    • Agree totally with your comments, Paige. Pretty much my thoughts also. Yes, Geoff was brave to insist on taking Letty home and meeting with her parents. That would be quite a scene to envision. Thinking about it also reminds me of Mary’s appearance at the top of the stairs in her nightgown – what nerve. Was it to remind Geoff of what he was losing?

      Letty was also quite bold to go off to Ireland alone with a hangover to straighten things out with Geoff. Can you imagine her feelings when she sees him supposedly coming on to Jane? Two gutsy people!

      • I hated the moment when Mary appears at the top of the stairs – hated it for Geoff, and hated it for Letty. It was a masterful act, and the tension in the room was so thick I could feel it!

        I think it took Letty some serious restraint not to get a running start and body slam Jane (er…Gilly)!

    • Paige, what great ideas – I never thought that ‘loving’ Mary was probably the first (and maybe last?) emotional, illogical thing that Geoff had ever done. The one second he lets his hair down, wham – dramatic, heartbreaking scandal.

      I do love how Hen comes to the rescue to Letty during the wedding! It would have been incredibly hard to watch the wedding, and then the abandonment that followed. I wonder if (secretly) that’s why Mary left? As manipulative as she was, do you think she would have had no remorse towards her sister and Geoff, watching them get married when neither of them wanted to?

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