The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla A Pink Carnation Novel

PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS
OF LAUREN WILLIG

 

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

 

“This tenth bloom to be added to Willig’s popular series is just as fresh and satisfying as any of the other flowers in the best literary bouquet ever created! Fans can rejoice in finding the outstanding features they’ve come to count on: intriguing historical details, double-crossing deceptions, complex characters, and plenty of romance.”


Library Journal
(starred review)

 

“With delectable wit and a deft hand at imaginative plotting, Willig expertly matches up the redoubtable, parasol-wielding Gwen with the perfect hero. The result is a completely captivating tale that fans of this long-running series will cherish.”


Booklist
(starred review)

 

“Another well-crafted, engaging thriller.”


Romantic Times

 

“[A] witty series. . . . The writing is acerbic, arch, and funny . . . a welcome installment.”


Kirkus Reviews

 

The Garden Intrigue

 

“Eloise, of course, is amazing, but it’s truly the plot of The Garden Intrigue that shines . . . wonderful!”

—Romance Junkies

 

“Enlightening and entertaining as always, and full of plenty of romance and intrigue.”


Library Journal

 

“As fresh and charming as its floral theme.”


Kirkus Reviews

 

“Humor, love, espionage—yet again there is absolutely
nothing
that this incredible author leaves out. . . . [These stories] just keep getting better and better every time!”

—Once Upon a Romance

 

The Orchid Affair

 

“Supremely nerve-racking . . . successfully upholds the author’s tradition of providing charming three-dimensional characters, lively action, [and] witty dialogue.”


Library Journal

 

“Willig’s sparkling series continues to elevate the Regency romance genre.”


Kirkus Reviews

 

“Willig combines the atmosphere of the tempestuous era with the perfect touches of historical detail to round out the love story.”


Romantic Times

 

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily

 

“Newcomers and loyal fans alike will love . . . Willig’s signature mix of historical richness and whimsical humor.”


The Newark Star-Ledger

 

“Willig hasn’t lost her touch.”


Publishers Weekly

 

“Willig injects a new energy in her already thriving, thrilling series, and presents the best entry to date.”


Booklist

 

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

 

“Jane Austen for the modern girl . . . sheer fun!”


New York Times
bestselling author Christina Dodd

 

“An engaging historical romance, delightfully funny and sweet. . . . Romance’s rosy glow tints even the spy adventure that unfolds . . . fine historical fiction.”


The Newark Star-Ledger

 

“Another sultry spy tale. . . . The author’s conflation of historical fact, quirky observations, and nicely rendered romances results in an elegant and grandly entertaining book.”


Publishers Weekly

 

“[A] high-spirited and thoroughly enjoyable series.”


Kirkus Reviews

 

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

 

“Willig’s series gets better with each addition, and her latest is filled with swashbuckling fun, romance, and intrigue.”


Booklist

 

“Handily fulfills its promise of intrigue and romance.”

—Publishers Weekly

 

“There are few authors capable of matching Lauren Willig’s ability to merge historical accuracy, heart-pounding romance, and biting wit.”


BookPage

 

The Deception of the Emerald Ring

 

“History textbook meets
Bridget Jones
.”


Marie Claire

 

“A fun and zany time warp full of history, digestible violence, and plenty of romance.”


New York Daily News

 

“Heaving bodices, embellished history, and witty dialogue: What more could you ask for?”


Kirkus Reviews

 

“Smart . . . [a] fast-paced narrative with mistaken identities, double agents, and high-stakes espionage. . . . The historic action is taut and twisting.”


Publishers Weekly

 

The Masque of the Black Tulip

 

“Clever [and] playful. . . . What’s most delicious about Willig’s novels is that the damsels of 1803 bravely put it all on the line for love and country.”


Detroit Free Press

 

“Studded with clever literary and historical nuggets, this charming historical-contemporary romance moves back and forth in time.”


USA Today

 

“Willig has great fun with the conventions of the genre, throwing obstacles between her lovers at every opportunity . . . a great escape.”


The Boston Globe

 

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

 

“A deftly hilarious, sexy novel.”


New York Times
bestselling author Eloisa James

 

“A merry romp with never a dull moment! A fun read.”


New York Times
bestselling author Mary Balogh

 

“This genre-bending read—a dash of chick lit with a historical twist—has it all: romance, mystery, and adventure. Pure fun!”


New York Times
bestselling author Meg Cabot

 

“Willig has an ear for quick wit and an eye for detail. Her fiction debut is chock-f of romance, sexual tension, espionage, adventure, and humor.”


Library Journal

 

“Willig’s imaginative debut . . . is a decidedly delightful romp.”


Booklist

 

“Relentlessly effervescent prose . . . a sexy, smirking, determined-to-charm historical romance debut.”


Kirkus Reviews

 

“A delightful debut.”

—Roundtable Reviews

 

ALSO BY LAUREN WILLIG

 

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

 

The Masque of the Black Tulip

 

The Deception of the Emerald Ring

 

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

 

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

 

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily

 

The Mischief of the Mistletoe

 

The Orchid Affair

 

The Garden Intrigue

 

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

 

 

 

 

New American Library

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014

 

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

First published by New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Copyright © Lauren Willig, 2014

Readers Guide copyright © Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2014

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:

Willig, Lauren.

The mark of the midnight manzanilla: a Pink carnation novel/Lauren Willig.

p. cm.—(Pink carnation 11)

ISBN 978-0-698-14686-0

1. Vampires—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3623.I575M35 2014

813'.6—dc23 2014010559

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Version_1
Contents
Praise

Also by LAUREN WILLIG

Title page

Copyright page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Acknowledgments

Historical Note

About and Author

READERS GUIDE

Excerpt from The Lure of the Moonflower

To my mother,
Rosette F. Willig,
for everything and more.

 

Prologue

 

Cambridge, 2004

“Vampire: Fact or Fiction?” announced Megan grandly.

An undergrad reading Kant in German raised a brow and went back to her critique of pure reason. The tourists at the table next to us edged their plastic chairs ever so slightly towards the other side, bumping into a potted plant in the process.

“So you’ve picked a title, then?” I said.

Megan shrugged. “It’s a little over-the-top, but I thought, why not? It’s almost Halloween, after all.”

So it was. I’d been back in the U.S. for nearly three months now. We’d gone from the sticky heat of late August in Cambridge, the campus deserted except for the sleepy flies on the windowsills and a handful of stressed-out grad students in their carrels at Widener Library, to the Indian summer of September, when bewildered freshmen roamed the streets in defensive herds, turning up at the wrong buildings and crowding the tables at Au Bon Pain. It was October now. The freshmen had settled into their dorms; the upperclassmen were out and about, belatedly buying their course books at the Coop and arguing loudly about existentialism in the upstairs room of Café Algiers.

Summer seemed like a very long time ago. Sometimes, as I scurried from Widener to Robinson Hall, books clutched in one arm, a Vietnamese coffee from Toscanini’s dripping on the other, it seemed hard to believe that I had ever left, had ever spent a year in England, had ever lived—albeit temporarily—in a Georgian manor in Sussex with an Englishman named Colin.

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