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Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
The Imperial Orchid by Nicola Italia is a historical romance set at the end of the Victorian era. Orchid mania has gripped England, and Lord Holloway is no exception. Having been sent a drawing of an elusive specimen, he enlists the reluctant help of his son, Miles St. Clair, to lead an expedition to tropical Ceylon. Miles, however, would rather be doing anything but this and instead pursues a beautiful, intelligent woman he’s unexpectedly bumped into at several London soirees. Little does he know, Frances Wakefield is making a surprise addition to his exploration party. One of the Royal Horticultural Society’s most gifted illustrators, Frances is delighted to find herself a member of the party traveling to Ceylon. What is not so delightful is the presence of the insufferable, arrogant Miles St. Clair. However, as the party descends deeper into the quest, it starts to become clear there is more at stake than previously thought. Will love blossom in the tropics, or are they doomed to a darker fate?
With palpable descriptions and a building heat not attributed to the weather of Ceylon, The Imperial Orchid by Nicola Italia had my attention from the first page. I’m an avid fan of historical romance, especially ones that buck the trend, and this novel ticked all my boxes. I loved Frances’s fire from the start but appreciated her vulnerability and innocence as well. Miles had a softer side, which was wonderful to see coming out as he succumbed to his feelings for Frances. This book will definitely appeal to fans of The Mummy as the atmosphere was just as delicious as the romance.