Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Secret of India Orchard by Nancy Campbell Allen

The Secret of India Orchard

Let’s begin with the summary:

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?

And now, my review:

This was an enjoyable story. I felt for the hero as he couldn’t tell the heroine the truth about his situation or his job, and had to hide his true feelings from her. There was a sweet heroism in this act of nobility (being a military man of his word, but secretly loving her, all while unable to disclose either secret). The book is aptly named.

The hero and heroine were likable, and I sympathized with each of them. In a subtle way, one of the themes in this story was choosing to do the difficult task even when it hurts, just because it was right. The pain of that choice kept me wanting to get back to this story.

There’s a great conflict as the story progresses, which I will not disclose here as it would be a spoiler, but it throws another challenge into their relationship and is rather humorous. 

This publisher's "Proper Romance" collection is one of my favorites. I recommend this book. Such a pleasure to read.

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