Anthony Blake has finally decided to openly court the lovely Sophia Elliot and put his life as a spy for the British crown behind him. When a document goes missing that puts all British spies and their families in danger, though, Anthony decides he must once again don his unreliable and flirtatious playboy facade and find the critical document. He breaks ties with Sophia, but fully intends to undo the damage his lies have caused the very minute he finishes his last mission.
As years go by without word from Anthony, Sophia decides to take a trip to the very edge of the British Empire and spend time healing in India. Still heartbroken and confused, Sophia's plans to forget her former suitor come crashing down when she discovers that Anthony is also in India. The pair soon find themselves amidst a swirling mystery that involves leading figures in both England and India. To ultimately save her, will Anthony finally tell Sophia the truth and allow her to help him recover the missing document? After so many lies and disappointments will Sophia ever learn to trust again? Or will the dangers of Anthony's former life catch up to them both?
Nancy Campbell Allen gives readers a fascinating glimpse into British Imperial India in The Secret of the India Orchid. While I'm growing a bit tired of the "British spy has to break up with his love in order to save her and the country" plot line, the exotic setting and compelling mystery made up for the slightly unbelievable context. I also appreciated that Anthony didn't keep Sophia in the dark for the entirety of the novel, but shows her the courtesy and respect to eventually treat her as an equal. Both characters, as well as the many secondary characters, are well-developed and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed the love story, as well as a look into a country and time-period I've not often explored. I look forward to more from Allen in the future.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own