Monday, August 7, 2017

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen {Review}

The Secret of the India Orchid 
by Nancy Campbell Allen
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Shadow Mountain
Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the façade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?
My Review: 4 Stars
I love this Proper Romance line because it's a guarantee I'm going to get a fun and clean read.
There's something about India during the Regency times that is so fascinating. The exotic location and foreign people and customs almost force these people to band together, as they strive to maintain their upper class identities. It's very interesting to see single women go there in hopes of securing a match when England proves fruitless. 
Sophia is a very strong-willed and self-reliant young lady and when a potential suit with her brother's best friend doesn't materialize, she heads to India, only to discover that Anthony is there too. Of course, Anthony has his reasons for abandoning the blossoming relationship, but he can't tell Sophia.
My favorite moments of the book are found in the intrigue and mystery, as well as in the flirtatious interactions between Anthony and Sophia. The intrigue and mystery is well done and I couldn't figure out the who and whys surrounding it. I almost felt like I was playing the game Clue. As for the rest of the story, it is sweet and gentle, but I had a little trouble fully engaging. There are many instances when the characters are mourning the loss of what could've been, which is understandable, but I wanted to feel a little more connected to the emotion.
This is a pleasant read, especially for those who enjoy a Regency story out of the norm.
Content: mild, non-descriptive violence (murder, etc); mild romance (kissing).
*I received a copy to review, which did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.*

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