• The Secret of the India Orchid

  • The Proper Romance Series
  • By: Nancy Campbell Allen
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 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?

©2017 Nancy Campbell Allen (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about The Secret of the India Orchid

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Enjoyable Proper Romance Mystery

The Secret of the India Orchard by Nancy Campbell Allen is the second in a series, though the name of the series has not been given. I did not realize this until after I began reading, though, you don’t need to have read the first book (My Fair Gentlemen) to enjoy this book. The book is part of the “Proper Romance” sub-genre which are romantic stories without any sexual content.

We then meet our young heroine Sophia traveling to India to get away. She had formed an attachment with her brother’s best friend Anthony, but he ends their friendship unexpectedly and leaves the country soon after, leaving Sophia confused and upset. In India, she runs into Anthony. There they rekindle their friendship while also getting involved in a pretty decent murder mystery. At the very beginning of the story, we learn that Anthony had intended in courting Sophia, but he’s forced to leave England immediately when his former boss and spymaster recruits him for an important mission.

Anthony’s mission because a central part of the story, as the documents he’s perusing have come into the ownership of a guest of the house Sophia is residing in while in India. The murder mystery is engaging as well as the description of the English colonization of India in the mid-1900’s century. Sophia is aware of the cultural misconceptions perpetrated by the British Empire and while she’s socially enlightened it’s not to an extent that would be incongruent with someone who had lived at that time.

The obstacles to the romance are not the focus of the story, the narrative is being pushed by the outside forces such as the murder and the search for the documents that are driving the narrative and are driving the interactions between the two characters. The romance eventually resolves itself in an organic way and we get very nice interactions between Sophia and Anthony. They had been best friends and we see why they had gotten along so well in the past.

I’ve noticed that the Proper Romance novels focus more on the social and cultural aspects of the story. It has a tinge of Jane Austin and the social commentary that she provided throughout her novels. And while these are not at that level, they still give us an interesting, though sometimes superficial, view of Regency culture.

17 people found this helpful

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Great book

This was a really good book. I liked the characters and the story. The narrator was also really good. There aren't any sex scenes for anyone who cares. Dual povs and an HEA. I would definitely recommend.

I'd recommend reading My Fair Gentleman first because it is about the h's brother and came before this book. It won't hurt at all to read this book first but I wish I had known because I would've liked to have read the first book prior to this one.

4 people found this helpful

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outstanding

It was a wonderful book to hear. loved every minute of this unique book. It had many different parts.

4 people found this helpful

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Dramatic and lovely

I loved this story. All the classic recency romance elements, but with exotic additions and tons of extra drama. Lots of great characters and all their stories are beautifully intertwined.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story

Had great plot potential, but it felt too predictable for me... Good book idea though :)

2 people found this helpful

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  • KO
  • 11-21-17

Loved it, except for the portrayal of the pastor

As a Christian, I am highly irked by the often negative portrayal of pastors in literature, this story included. Other than that, I found this book to be excellent, beautifully written, and masterfully narrated.

7 people found this helpful

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This story is wonderful!

The story is fresh, entertaining and well written. As for the presentation: I have fallen in love with Justine Eyre so often my friends think I’m gay!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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you can't get anymore bored

just a story anyone could figure out, zip chemistry, boring ongoing story ..I couldn't care what happen. it was an included story with membership and suffered through it

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Sweet story

A sweet chaste romance with a mystery and thought provoking cultural contrasts thrown in. I did notice two spots in the last quarter of the book in which the wrong character was attributed dialogue. Justine Ayer gives a lovely performance as usual.

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Loved this & the 1st one! SO LOVELY!!

This was my 1st listen w/this author (2nd bk) but won't be my last for sure! Both books in this series were truly lovely. It the only word that seems to best describe each story. I especially liked taking a break from the other Royalty Romances which are very worthwhile, wonderfully written & narrated also, but are SO full of (or sometimes not full of enough - ha!) hot, steamy, VERY descriptive love-making scenes (especially when, as an example, I'm listening to a book while cooking, & others are in the same room & are trying to talk to me (yes, I do wear a Bluetooth! ha!)...but I can feel myself blushing & pulling my earbud(s) out JUST to make sure no one can accidentally hear it. It'd be a huge "Grandma!!! What ARE you listening to?"...or...."(fill in your person)" in shock that "you're too old to listen to that! Ha, Ha! Ha! Ha!" Or God forbid if I fell asleep w/1 of those exotic Royal books & my dear olfer hubby pulling out 1 earbud just to hear what I'm listening to...which I think happened once as later 1 day my dear hubby suddenly was VERY interested (for the 1st time!) in me describing what my "books are about." NO worries about that happening with the 1st or this book in this beautiful series! The 1st & this book were VERY well written & I also loved the narration! Both love stories had such heartbreaking things in a person's past you can't help but want to clap, shout "PTL!!", or just feel like you want to cry with happiness for the good that happens to the well deserving person or people!! I couldn't help but long to be in their shoes, well...not during the hard part, as we'll all had enough of that, but when suddenly your entire life's turned upside down & stood upright where you always wanted it to be but thought "it only happens to other people....never me." These were so very interesting from start to finish all I can say is I pray there are more either in this series as a book 3, 4, through 107 (TRULY!) or another series by the same author & wonderful narrator! That these were included in my Membership & I didn't have to use a credit, or pay extra, was an even bigger blessing! THANK YOU AUDIBLE for this treat of FREE books which HELPS SO MANY PEOPLE these days (2022) I'd imagine due to the prices of, well, just about EVERYTHING under the Sun, skyrocketing, it GREATLY helps & also aides us in finding NEW authors to follow!! I gladly buy more credits if needed or when I just cannot wait for my next credit to get the next book in a series, & have done so a LOT in my long history with Audible books. Again, thank you Audible!! Without you I'd never find time to read!

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  • Jay D.
  • 06-28-22

I'm glad it was free...

As others observed, a poor narration with the "cut glass" accent belying a lack of understanding of the script. Strange misoronounciations from the Canadian actress. Most frequently (and annoyingly) tears (sobs) pronounced 'tares', cravat "cravart", aplomb - aplumb but accomplished accOMplished, to the extent that her rendition of "she knit her brows together" more than once, had me visualising needles and yarn!

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  • Kirsty Mackay
  • 06-24-22

.Nice one Good plot,

II like this very clever and a sweet romance, With a murder thrown in

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Emerkar
  • 06-22-22

Couldn’t enjoy narration

Writing is passable (though by no means in league of Joanna Bourne or Sherry Thomas), but the narrator is definitely not for me, as she always highlights the shortcomings of writing instead of doing the opposite. When mundane sentences are read aloud in an excessive voice, it is just irritating.

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  • Margaret west
  • 05-22-22

A brilliant book

I loved this book. The narrator of course, makes the book even better. The storyline really catches your attention and I found myself listening to it every second I had spare.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zoë Arnold
  • 04-24-22

Lovely escapism

I really enjoyed this novel, I listened to it while sewing and it was a great mystery. Just enough that you could guess some parts for yourself, but the plot twist wasn't at all predictable.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Nahid hajialikhani
  • 04-19-22

Poor narrator

Dear god the narrator is awful. Impossible to bear it for hours. Didn’t finish the book.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Heidi Paice
  • 03-31-22

Ok

Book ok but absolutely awful narrator!! She irritated me the whole time so I couldn’t enjoy the story .

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  • Kerry
  • 08-08-17

Excellent story

Very well narrated. An easy listen and a well written story. It has great characters and intrigue, romance and adventure. Well worth a listen

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lyndy
  • 08-07-22

Good story, well narrated

Characters were well developed. Good story from another era in an exotic location.
if you've visited India it is evocative of the place.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bill
  • 08-04-22

Under impressed

Not a genre I usually listen to and I disliked the narration so much I struggled to finish. The narrator had an unpleasant inflection that really was in readable to listen to. he other voices were mostly fine but he natural voice really unpleasant to my ear. Story ok but predictable and overall very lightweight

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-22

Loved it

Really enjoyed the characters, setting and storyline. Flowed really well and Justine Eyre did a wonderful job at narrating. If you like other Nancy Campbell Allen books I’m sure you will like this one too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette Olsen
  • 02-27-22

My only peeve is...

I only have one peeve about this performance and that is the narrator. Don't get me wrong she has a great voice, but she also has an annoying habit of finishing nearly every sentence on a high note. Now and then is okay but a whole book. Sorry, but I'm just saying.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-22

Narrators voice is irritating

The narrator appears to extend all words ending in R in an annoying way. It is quite distracting. It is a shame as the story is wonderful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lady D
  • 12-01-21

Clean romance, mystery

Enjoyed it. Fast moving story right from chapter one. Clean romance with a mystery entwined. Twists & turns keep you guessing as to 'who done it'.
Some violence in the mystery part of the story but not gory.
Good narrator - male & female voices, accents including Indian & British.