Pink V Week 4 in Review


Somehow, it is already time for our last Pink V recap.  Where did January go?

When we last left Turnip and Arabella, Turnip was asking Arabella to dance at the Epiphany Eve ball.  He whisks her away before Aunt Osborne has a chance to ruin everything by misplacing her shawl, smelling salts, or common sense.  As they dance, Turnip is right on the verge of declaring himself when Arabella has a Major Realization.  She knows where the list is!

Before she can explain herself, Darius Danforth announces that the Dowager Duchess (what’s with all the alliteration here?) has declared that every able bodied man should head for the West Wood for “some Epiphany Eve ritual involving gins, ciders, and a band of overexcited yokels.”  Turnip would much rather stay with Arabella, but he isn’t exactly given a choice!  He’s been dancing around telling Arabella he loves her all night – veiled references to flavors of jam and all that – but when he realizes he’s going to have to leave her for a bit, he gets straight to the point and kisses her.

After all the men depart for the Epiphany tree, Arabella makes her way straight to her room to see if she’s right about the list.  And she is!  It’s been in the pocket of her school uniform all along.  Huzzah, Arabella!  The downside – she ignored Turnip’s advice about staying with the group and finds herself all alone staring down Catherine Carruthers with a gun.

Did anyone else do a bit of a double-take when they realized that Catherine was the “bad guy” in this book?  It does boggle the mind.  Homegirl is a teenager.  A silly, immature teenager who is petulant that her parents are going to marry her off to an admittedly ancient aristocrat.  Yes, she snuck out of school repeatedly, eloped with Darius Danforth, and communicated with him illicitly through a series of pudding messages and journal placements, but all those things seem like small potatoes compared with pointing a gun at Arabella’s head.

But when we learn the truth, suddenly Catherine as the antagonist seems more plausible.  Catherine is not a deadly French spy or a criminal mastermind – she’s a sneaky, spoiled brat who is used to a certain lifestyle and willing to blackmail people to maintain it.  Now that she’s married to Darius, she knows she can’t count on her parents to support her financially once they learn the truth, so she and Darius have been selling secrets to make themselves some cash.  As she’s explaining this and backing Arabella towards a very high window, enter Turnip.  With a pudding.

Turnip and Arabella make quite a team, don’t they?  One minute, Catherine has the gun and all the advantages, and the next, she and Darius are both out cold and trussed on the floor thanks to a pudding, some bed-hangings, and a few formidable punches.  I love this scene because it’s dramatic and funny at the same time, and because I love the way that Turnip and Arabella finally announce their feelings for each other.  Arabella’s lines are so perfect here: “I love you.  I want to prowl castles with you and celebrate Christmas with you and get annoyed with you for climbing things.  And I’m terribly fond of raspberry jam.”

So it seems all that is left to do is for Turnip to officially ask for Arabella’s hand, which he is thrilled to do in front of the disgusting Captain Musgrave and despite interruptions from the Dowager Duchess.  We close with a final letter from Jane to Arabella, sent over a year after Turnip’s proposal, where Jane agrees to be godmother to a certain “baby Jane.”  Happy endings all around.

Did you enjoy Mistletoe as much this time around as you did on your first read?  Did you find yourself missing Eloise and Colin?  Are you ready for Night Jasmine??

If you need a bit more Turnip and Arabella to get you through the long haul to Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (their next appearance, I think), check out the free read Away in a Manger on Lauren’s site.

Make sure you stop by the blog on Friday.  Lauren will be back for Ask the Author V – have all your Turnip questions ready!

9 thoughts on “Pink V Week 4 in Review

  1. I believe that I enjoyed reading it even more this time around! My very favorite Turnip part, and maybe my favorite part of the book, is when he decks Danforth at the end, multiple times. He does it in such a wonderful and satisfying Turnip way, always with style and character. I love that he has that underlying toughness and ability. Woe to Danforth for underestimating Turnip. This snippet is the part that best sums up my delight:
    “And this”—there was an ominous cracking sound as his fist connected with Danforth’s chin—“is for forgetting her name!”

    And the pudding! Hooray for the pudding! “Anyone could bring flowers, but nothing said I love you like a slightly squished Christmas pudding.” Who would have guessed that the pudding would have gone flying through the air during the final throw down? I love the pudding throughout the book.

    For some reason, I did not miss Colin and Eloise in this book, even though I am fans. I can’t explain why.I forgot that this was part of the dual storyline while I was reading this one, which does not make much sense. Generally, I follow their storyline.

    • I do love that Turnip is defending Arabella’s honor as well as trying to keep her safe. What a sweetheart. I’m with you – I did not miss the Colin/Eloise story line, although I’m sure I’ll be glad to catch up with them in Night Jasmine.

  2. Ditto to everything Paige says – fabulous last two chapters! At the ‘decking and trussing’ scene, I also enjoyed Geoff’s appearance, Turnip’s frustration that his proposal to Arabella keeps getting interrupted, and I can just picture the expression on Turnip’s face when Geoff asks for help with Danforth. He rethinks and says, “Never mind, I’ll get Dorrington to help me. I’ll be back in ten minutes, Fitzhugh. Ten minutes.” Priceless! Also, priceless is the scene when Musgrave gets called down by Arabella. And good riddance to Aunt Osborne. I think it is ironic that Arabella is going to end up being so rich, and Musgrave is stuck with his choice which was made based on money. Touche!

    I also did not miss Colin and Eloise, but they’ll be back!

    Great job, Ashley!

  3. I didn’t miss Colin and Eloise either; I don’t know what it is about this book, but I feel like they would have set the tone off kilter. Maybe it’s that Turnip is so very different from all the other heroes. I love that we get to see him as an actual person with feelings and motives and intelligent (if sometimes incomprehensible) thoughts rather than someone who just happens to always be in the way. Huzzah for Turnip!

    • I’m with you, Dara! I felt exactly the same way about Turnip. I love that he’s not a ridiculous caricature – he’s a real person with (astonishingly) real thoughts. Good ones, too.

  4. I love the whole Epiphany Eve Ball scene – from Turnip asking Arabella to dance to Arabella’s realization “so that’s what balustrades are for” So great!!! And I think it’s awesome that Catherine is the villain here. It’s always spies and political intrigue but here is a silly teenage girl with purely selfish reasons – It’s something unexpected. I didn’t necessarily miss Colin and Eloise (their story doesn’t really fit here anyways since there were no actual spies), but I am looking forward to getting back to them!

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