Review of "The imperial orchid" by Nicola Italia - A romantic adventure set in Engeland, Egypt and on Ceylon in 1900

It is 1900 and Francie is one of the few women in England with a university degree. She works as a botanical illustrator and is hired to accompany an expedition to Ceylon hoping to find a rare orchid. However when she is already halfway in France she discovers that the one who will lead the expedition is the guy she only knew as Miles and who she had met a few times before.
Miles is the heir of the earl who organised the expedition and is a former soldier who tries to drink, gamble and fornicate his way out of a war trauma.

For most of these kind of novels you know how the heroes will end up and the quality of the novel is determined by the road towards happiness.
The novel has a very slow start but the author manages that way to make the personal developments real and believable. All those falling in love at first sight or being sexed into love is so unrealistic. This story feels a lot more real.

I really liked the description of the sights in Egypt and on Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

I have read several other novels by this author. Her first was very good but was one great simmering story of erotic moments. This novel is very clean and thus also a good read for a more prudish reader or a teenager. The most that is described is naked arms and a kiss.  That is also the downside of the novel. While having a long build up to a climax (pun intended) the end of the story is a bit rushed.

This review is placed on my blog, Amazon, Goodreads and in two Facebook groups.


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