In 2020, I read 65 books, ranging from sappy historical romance to light a fire underneath you social justice non-fiction, with plenty in-between. Some came out this year, some are several years old at this point. The only thing they have in common is that I really enjoyed them.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down that list for you, and talk a little bit about the books I picked, and why they engaged me enough to make it into my top 10.
So without further introduction, here’s #10…
The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig
If the internet is to be believed, I’ve loved Lauren Willig’s books for about ten years now. The Lure of the Moonflower is the twelfth and final book in her Pink Carnation series. For that reason, this book may not be the one you should start with.
Truth be told, I’ve had this book on my shelf since it was released in 2015. I’ve read most of Willig’s non-pink books that have come out both before and since Moonflower, but have left this one sitting unread all this time. It’s not that I didn’t want to read it, truth be told, I didn’t want this series to end. I haven’t been this attached to a series since Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series, which I read back in my early teens.
In short, I’m a sucker for historical romance. I mean, books that have some sort of romantic subplot are typically right up my alley, but these kinds of books, with the history, and the intrigue, and the romance? :chef’s kiss:
Because it’s such a late entry in the series, I don’t want to go heavy on the spoilers. Basically, there’s a spy network that has been building throughout the series, and of course, there’s a floral theme. Set in the early 1800’s, the series is set in the time of Napoleon, and centers on spies trying to bring down France and protect England. One thing that I adore about the series is that the main characters are usually former minor characters from previous books. Otherwise, the character is somehow otherwise related to another, whether by blood or friendship, so it all makes the world feel fleshed out and connected. That, in my opinion, makes for a really fun series, and keeps it engaging over the twelve books.
I will say that this book brings a satisfying conclusion, ties up all the necessary loose ends, but still leaves just a touch of wiggle room should Willig ever decide to revisit the world. (Which, honestly, I kind of doubt, because she’s had some pretty good success with her standalone novels!)
If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, I recommend checking out some of her standalone historical fiction books before diving into the Pink Carnation series. That would give you a taste of her style, and not commit you to twelve books – assuming you’re like me and really don’t need twelve more books in your to be read pile. *Ahem*
Anyway, for my absolute love of the series, a satisfying conclusion, and a cheerful ride along the way, The Lure of the Moonflower easily takes the top 10 spot on my list for 2020.