The Secret of the India Orchid

by Nancy Campbell Allen

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Paperback SKU 5166090

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Product Description

Anthony Blake, the Earl of Wilshire, 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 facade 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?

Product Details

Size5.5 x 8.5
PublishedShadow Mountain 2017

About the Author

Nancy Campbell Allen

Nancy Campbell Allen (N.C. Allen) is the author of fifteen published novels and numerous novellas, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2006, her work won the Utah Best of State award, and she received a Whitney Award for My Fair Gentleman. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children. Visit her at

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Average rating:

(based upon 11 reviews)

By , Submitted on 2017-10-04

Fun read

Intriguing Mystery and Clean Romance
By , Submitted on 2017-09-12

This book is part of the Proper Romance line but it has a wonderful mystery full of suspicions, clues, hints, and everything I love to keep me reading late into the night.
I loved the setting of this novel. Reading about India in a time where it was treated as almost a summer-home for the British was so interesting. The setup with Anthony Blake was well-done and I was rooting for him from the start. Sophia's character is fresh, determined, and smart as she faces the mystery surrounding her heart, Anthony, and the deeper mystery involving murder and intrigue.
This is a satisfying read and I look forward to more from Nancy Allen.

Great book, loved the plot, romance, mystery, pretty much everything
By , Submitted on 2017-08-21

Another Proper Romance, hooray! I love these books from Shadow Mountain Publishing. They are romance at it's best, great plot lines, great characters, great authors and you never have to worry about either your kids or your grandma reading anything that's in them. So great!

I really enjoyed this one. I liked that the characters were some we'd seen and loved before in My Fair Gentleman, this one does stand on it's own, but make sure you read that one as well!

I loved Sophia. I loved that she was independent. Even though she has a good and happy life in England, she wants to see what's out there so she heads to India. As I was reading this, I realized just how similar life in India and England would have been at the time. There were a bunch of English soldiers and their families living in India, so the scenery would have been different but the people tried to keep their own culture within the culture. Anyway...back to Sophia. I liked her kindness towards the servants in India. She knew how it was to be a servant and have the person you are serving be unkind, so she went out of her way to be kind to all of the servants. I liked her attitude towards Anthony too, he may have broken her heart, but she was not going to let him see it.

Then there's Anthony. I felt a bit torn for him. I understood, well sort of anyway, why he broke Sophia's heart. But I still was annoyed at him on her behalf. I did like his sense of honor and integrity. I liked that he was trying constantly to protect Sophia from the demons of his past and from the threats of the present. He really was a great guy.

The plot of this one is so great! I love that it includes romance, mystery, and a great location. I never would have guessed the criminal in this one, wow, I was way off! I liked the way the story ended and I'm really hoping that more of the great characters in this one get their own stories later on!

Mystery, suspense, and love, who could ask for more :)
By , Submitted on 2017-08-17

Let us start by admiring the beautiful cover. I am a cover fanatic, and I absolutely love this. Second, let's be real, this is a Proper if you don't know what my review will be you don't know me that well ;).

This was such a wonderful installment in the Proper Romance Series. Allen brought India to life for me with her beautiful world building, and excellent characters.

I knew that there was going to be mystery involved, but had no idea it was going to be so exciting. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of this book, and was thoroughly enjoying that fact. I love mystery, and romance, bu this had a real kick to it. Allen did such a great job with the mystery, and romance that I was drawn into their world.

Sophia is such a great character. I cannot even express how much I loved her. Her snarkyness, and willingness to put her self out side the "box" that women were suppose to be in back then really made me love her even more. She wasn't afraid to be her own person.

Anthony....again, so I need to say much? YUMMMMMMMY. I have to admit Allen did a great job of making him look like he wasn't always the nicest guy, but even then......just YUMMMY.

There are so many other wonderful characters as well, but I don't want to give too much away. This is such a great mixture of suspense, and romance. I love it when a book can keep me so engaged the whole time.

Nancy Campbell Allen, does such a great job and bringing her surroundings to life as well as making the characters part of you life with her writing. It's just beautiful. I am so thankful I was able to be part of this tour. If you like historical romance, with mystery and suspense, you will love this book. Pick it up you wont regret it.

Content: Clean, which is why I personally love the Proper Romance series so much.
Source: I was given this book as part of a blog tour. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Another great proper romance!
By , Submitted on 2017-08-07

After thoroughly enjoying Allen's My Fair Gentleman I eagerly picked up this sequel about the sister of the previous protagonist. The book starts with Anthony Blake, whose planning on courting Sophia Elliot has to be put on hold when he receives the news that he needs to become a spy again to retrieve a dangerous revealing document. Chapter two picks up two years later as Sophia continues to work on putting her feelings for Anthony behind her. But Sophia and Anthony meet again in India and it's clear from the beginning that their feelings for each other are as strong as ever. But Anthony's mission is not yet over and as such he can't reveal his reasons for backing off to Sophia. But Sophia finds herself getting involved in the mystery when a man ends up being attacked with a young boy as the witness. I enjoyed both the romance and the mystery/action parts of the book. Both Sophia and Anthony are likable, great characters. Shadow Mountain's Proper Romance series has become my favorite source for romance because they are clean with great stories and characters.

By , Submitted on 2017-08-06

This is another fantastic proper romance from Shadow Mountain. There have been a couple of books I've read recently set in India, and I have loved all of them. This is no exception. This story is full of mystery, secrets, and broken-hearted love. Anthony is an Earl caught between duty and his heart. Sophia is just trying to understand why. As the plot unfolds and thickens, the pages fly by to see whether or not secrets are revealed in time and hearts can forgive. It's a wonderful story that is for anyone who loves mysterious secrets with their love stories. I highly recommend it.

Romance and Intrigue in an Exotic Location
By , Submitted on 2017-08-06

I love this Proper Romance line because it's a guarantee I'm going to get a fun and clean read.

There's something about India during the Regency times that is so fascinating. The exotic location and foreign people and customs almost force these people to band together, as they strive to maintain their upper class identities. It's very interesting to see single women go there in hopes of securing a match when England proves fruitless.

Sophia is a very strong-willed and self-reliant young lady and when a potential suit with her brother's best friend doesn't materialize, she heads to India, only to discover that Anthony is there too. Of course, Anthony has his reasons for abandoning the blossoming relationship, but he can't tell Sophia.

My favorite moments of the book are found in the intrigue and mystery, as well as in the flirtatious interactions between Anthony and Sophia. The intrigue and mystery is well done and I couldn't figure out the who and whys surrounding it. I almost felt like I was playing the game Clue. As for the rest of the story, it is sweet and gentle, but I had a little trouble fully engaging. There are many instances when the characters are mourning the loss of what could've been, which is understandable, but I wanted to feel a little more connected to the emotion.

This is a pleasant read, especially for those who enjoy a Regency story out of the norm.

Content: mild, non-descriptive violence (murder, etc); mild romance (kissing).

*I received a copy to review, which did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.*

Thrilling & full of suspense, rich in history & detail
By , Submitted on 2017-08-03

Beautiful cover, with a suspenseful and thrilling story inside. I thoroughly enjoyed the last book written by Nancy, and was looking forward with anticipation to her next release. 'Beauty & the Clockwork Beast' was so well thought out and written, I thought for sure it be hard to beat. I prefer my historical fiction to take place in England, for homesick reasons... But after reading a recent book by Jennifer Moore, I was excited to read another story, largely set in India. With the close relationship between the 2 countries during this period, and the dominating rule of the British, I am always intrigued how they were able to coexist and at the efforts of the Upper classes to exert their influence on the Indian people.

Anthony Blake, the Lord of Wilshire has served his country as a spy, and has been relieved of duty upon the death of his older brother. Inheriting the title and the estate has opened his horizon to the possibility of settling down and he has found a fondness for Miss Sophia Elliot. A sister of his best friend. She herself has had a surprising rise in status, once a servant, she now has inheritance to thank for her new station in life. A surprise visit from the man who once gave the orders for Anthony in his previous vocation immediately halts all plans and dreams for his future with his precious Sophia. With his hands tied he sets about creating rumors that will keep his one true love safe, but threatens to loose her forever, as her heart breaks. He cannot tell her the truth.

I would have loved a book, on both of their back stories. Such interesting characters with much history and a past that we are given small snippets of, but nothing substantial. It's been two years and Sophia has arrived for a needed trip to India. To escape her country, her grief over her lost love and to make an effort to forget the past and move forward. Yet who should be there as she steps down from the carriage upon arrival at the British Residence near Bombay? Lord Wilshire himself.

I loved this story. The anguish. The torn sense of duty over self. The location descriptions. The history. The wide range of characters, of whom I felt the main supporting ones really added richness and depth to the plot. Thoroughly unpredictable, you will be left guessing 'whodunnit' right to the very end!

I would have loved to know what happened to Charlie, since so much mention is made regarding his future. Or even Charity & Beatrice. I did feel the epilogue was well done though. Sometimes there's a hurried 'wrap up' of the story, but in this case it was just right. Beautiful ending to an enjoyable read.

My favourite thing? Probably the use of the flowers & colors in the lapels. Interesting!

Thank you to Netgalley & Shadow Mountain for the complimentary copy. This is my honest review.

Regency Romance with Intrigue and Danger!
By , Submitted on 2017-08-03

I really do love the Proper Romance line from Shadow Mountain. This book is an excellent addition to this collection and I just love Nancy Campbell Allen's writing.

This book is set in India during the regency era. Yes, this is a romance but it's got some swirling intrigue as well. There are secrets everywhere and Sophia is caught in the middle of them all and she doesn't even know it! Well, eventually she does. And then she is in trouble!

Poor Anthony. His heart beats and yearns for Sophia but hello? Spy? Yeah, that puts a damper on the whole I love Sophia thing. It was rather fun watching him squirm and clench his jaw and fist his hands in frustration as he watched and interacted with Sophia. There was some good tension and build up between the two of them.

So very enjoyable!

The Scarlet Pimpernel of India
By , Submitted on 2017-08-01

A loose follow-up to My Fair Gentleman, which I adored (you can read my review of that one here), The Secret of the India Orchid follows Jack's younger sister Sophie. Sophie comes from a unique background, and I enjoyed her. She is both tender and strong. With her life experiences, she is different than other characters. Because of that, she has a unique voice and tenaciousness. As much as I liked Sophie's character, I liked Anthony even more. A swoon-worthy gentleman disguised as a rouge, Anthony the spy reminds me of the Scarlet Pimpernel (because I haven't read any James Bond books). A fun premise for a book set in lovely, exotic India. Well worth the read!

Great book!
By , Submitted on 2017-07-25

Opening line:
"Anthony Blake, the new Earl of Wilshire, stepped from white's Gentleman's Club with a light heart and a smile on his face."

On the eve that Anthony Blake was going to propose to his best friend's sister, he is thrust back into the British spying game that he thought he left behind. Because of the danger his mission would bring to his family and loved ones he cuts off his relationship with Sophia Elliott and resume his guise as a "womanizer."

Poor Sophia! She thought her and Anthony had a spark of affection for each other and now he's traveling the globe and flirting with all the women. How could she be so wrong about him? She decides to get away from England and explore a different country. And she's loving her adventure...until all of a sudden, Anthony Blake is there beside her. She's hurt, confused and angry. And she still loves him.

Trying not to blow his cover, Anthony has a hard time concentrating on his mission while Sophia is giving him the cold shoulder Or reminding him that they are brother and sister (as he stated in his letter when he broke ties with her.).

But it doesn't matter if he's trying to protect her. There's romance, intrigue and a murder.

I enjoyed this story! It clipped along with the tension and witty banter and mystery. I really did like how the characters were kind to each other and cared about each other. Other than the villain, of course.

Thanks to netgalle and Shadow Mountain for the early read!

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