This post was written by Betty. We’re recapping a bit early to prepare for Lauren’s return on Friday for Ask the Author VI. Thanks to Betty for leading us through our month of The Temptation of the Night Jasmine!
Colin and Eloise: Colin is the one who surprises Eloise at the old Norman tower. The mysterious mechanical objects inside are old lawn equipment – nothing strange about that. Colin nonchalantly fixes the padlock on the door. On their way back to the house, Colin’s secret is revealed. He is writing a spy novel!! So all ends well, and the relationship seems to be on track.
As for Robert, Charlotte, Henrietta, Miles, and Tommy, they hire a boat to take them to Medmenham Abbey in pursuit of the king and the Frenchman. On the quiet journey Robert does some soul searching. He realizes Charlotte is stronger than he thought and perhaps wasn’t in need of his protection. When Charlotte awakens, and seems wary of him, he explains his association with Medmenham and his reason for seeking revenge. Robert wants everything to be the way it was at Girdings when he first returned. Charlotte is reluctant and feels she has been on a romantic on again, off again cycle with Robert.
Lights are on in the Abbey when they arrive. Robert leads everyone to the caves, but there is no sign of anyone above ground in the mausoleum. Henrietta suggests the king might be hidden in the church, so they split up. Inside the church, the ladies see a man climbing down from a ladder leading to the ceiling. Charlotte runs screeching down the church aisle to distract him while Henrietta pulls out her gun. The shocked man falls to the ground hitting his head. After tying him up, Charlotte climbs the ladder as they suspect the king is hidden in an alcove above. She is then startled by a man with a French accent telling her to come down. After she is down, the Frenchman sends a man up to get the king. Then he hurries everyone out to his carriage.
Meanwhile, the men have not seen evidence of anyone in the caves. Just as they are prepared to enter the boat and travel further back, Robert realizes the boat is on the wrong side of the river. This means the king is probably in the church. They return to the churchyard to see everyone being forced into the carriage. The Frenchman’s plan is foiled, but he escapes.
Later at the palace, Charlotte is welcomed by the king and thanked for rescuing him. Everyone else is there including her grandmother. The king announces Robert has requested Charlotte’s hand in marriage, but Charlotte refuses. Robert leaves and the Dowager chastises her. She admits she had paid Medmenham to show Charlotte attention so Robert would be attracted to her.
Several weeks later, back at Girdings, Charlotte is regretting her decision. Penelope is already married and in India, so Charlotte contemplates visiting her and looking for Robert. As she walks out to the garden she sees a jam tart in the path and follows a trail of tarts to where Robert is waiting at the bridge. Charlotte is surprised to hear he never went to India and now accepts his proposal. They plan to marry, travel to India, and return to live at Girdings. So it is ‘a happily ever after ending’ for Robert and Charlotte, just like a fairy tale.
What are your thoughts on this book as a whole?
Did you always feel Robert and Charlotte were meant to be together? Will their marriage be a realistic one, or will it be like a fairytale?
Which supporting characters did you enjoy the most in Pink VI and why?
I have enjoyed rereading and talking about The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. I will check back from time to time in case anyone is behind in this reread and wants to discuss any of the posts. Congratulations to Lauren on the 10th anniversary of her Pink Carnation books!