The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen (Blog Tour Review & #Giveaway)

Welcome to another post for the Proper Romance line from Shadow Mountain!
Today I'm reviewing their newest release. Check that and the giveaway out below...

The Secret of the India Orchid
(A Proper Romance)
by Nancy Campbell Allen
Adult Historical Romance, Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 Pages
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 fa├žade 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?

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My Review

THE SECRET OF THE INDIA ORCHID was a sweet story. The characters were likable, the setting exotic, and the mysterious undertone kept the story interesting. Overall, an enjoyable read.

I have some mixed feelings about this one. I'll start off with what I liked and then move on to some of my issues.

I thought Sophie and Anthony were likable characters. I liked the way they teased each other and the camaraderie that existed between them. The romance definitely worked for me, but could have even been developed more. I liked their connection being Sophie's brother and his wife, Jack and Ivy, who are characters from a prior story, My Fair Gentleman. Since I really enjoyed that story, it was nice to hear about them. I really liked the exotic setting in India. It was interesting seeing how the English basically tried to establish their own mini England where they were with similar activities and societal expectations. I also enjoyed the friends that Sophie made and her concern for others, as well as Anthony's military friend. He was actually one of my favorite characters. The ending had a dramatic climax and then ended quite sweetly.

As I said, I liked the characters, but I felt like I didn't get to know them as well as characters from previous stories in this line or from this author. I think some of that had to do with the fact that they're already in love and so the story is missing much of that discovery and initial falling-in-love period where the reader really gets to know the characters and fall in love with them as well. There were some subtle nuances of them falling in love again, but they were minimal and mixed in with resentment, jealousy, and then the whole suspense aspect of the story. It might also be due to the number of side characters that Sophie spends time with and the story invests time in. There was some added drama that didn't always make sense (Anthony wasn't always as disciplined or proactive as I thought in his mission, making his act of ignoring Sophia questionable as well as how good of a spy he is, and then Sophia doubted Anthony's intentions sometimes when that didn't make sense after what just occurred in the story). I didn't quite get Sophia's immediate attachment to some of the other characters and how certain people came to her when they should have gone to the military or the head of the household first, or the girls running off to supposedly do something and ending up just being in danger, but nothing really happening... I got the plot reasons, but I also wanted it to make sense realistically. I wanted the suspense aspect to work more for me as well. It needed more development. I didn't feel like the author was completely committed to the suspense. Maybe there were too many moving parts without them being fully developed or too many characters who took the spotlight and the story needed to be more focused? It just surprised me because this is so unusual for this author and line.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Even with my misgivings, I really did enjoy the story. The setting and suspense gave the story some nice intrigue, while the romance and the likable characters were what held things together for me.

Content: Some violence and innuendo, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

Books in the Series

  The Lady of the Lakes: The True Love Story of Sir Walter Scott (Historical Proper Romance #2)
The Sheriffs of Savage Wells Beauty and the Clockwork Beast Forever and Forever (Historical Proper Romance) A Lady's Favor
My Fair GentlemanHeir to Edenbrooke Lord Fenton's Folly A Heart Revealed
(Books link to my reviews or Amazon.)

About the Author

Nancy Campbell Allen (N.C. Allen) has a degree in elementary education and has been writing for fun since the third grade. Her first book was published in 1999, and she now has eleven books to her credit—four contemporary romance and seven historicals, including the award-winning Civil War series Faith of Our Fathers—and plans to write until the day she dies. She loves to read, travel, and spend time with family and friends. She has completed two half marathons and is trying to talk herself into doing another one. Nancy lives in Ogden, Utah, with her husband and three children, although one recently married, moved out, and brought a son-in-law to the mix. She still maintains that this does not make her old.


Shadow Mountain is giving away three books from their line (must by published by August 31st 2017) to one of my lucky followers. Enter below and come back to tweet and comment to earn more entries all during August!

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Have you read this one? Any thoughts on the book or my review?

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