Can an English lady raised as a “wild orchid” ever be truly tamed?
When Trevor Mandeville leaves behind the drawing rooms of London and journeys to an island paradise in search of a rare orchid, he comes face-to-face with an even more shocking treasure. Stolen from her family at a young age, Joya Penn has spent most of her life running wild and free. Trevor tries to resist her charms, but soon finds himself captivated by the deliciously innocent—yet wildly seductive—young creature with eyes as blue as a mountain lake and blonde hair rippling down her back in an untamed mane.
Given her first taste of desire by the handsome adventurer, Joya believes all her dreams have come true when Trevor agrees to escort her back to London. But her uninhibited ways quickly throw his entire household—and his heart—into delightful chaos.
As Joya despairs of ever being the sort of “proper lady” Trevor could love, Trevor begins to wonder if he’s finally found the treasure he has been hunting for his entire life . . . in the forbidden paradise of Joya’s arms.
Jill Marie Landis is the New York Times bestselling author and seven-time Romance Writers of American Finalist for the RITA Award. Long known for her historical romances, Jill Marie Landis also now writes The Tiki Goddess Mysteries (set on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, where she lives with her husband, actor Steve Landis).
In her newest historical romance, Landis leaves the 1820 U.S. frontier of Blue Moon for Victorian England with the story of Joya Penn, the daughter of a famous orchid hunter living on Matarenga, a Madagascar-esque island off the coast of Africa. Joya has always felt that some part of her was missing, and to compensate, she draws pictures of a girl she dreams about who looks just like her but lives in London. One day, Trevor Mandeville, an amateur orchid hunter, comes to offer Joya's father a deal with the Mandeville import company. He's awestruck when he casts eyes on Joya--not because she's wielding a machete and wearing much less clothing than a proper lady should, but because she looks exactly like his sister, Janelle. In order to learn more about her heritage, Joya accompanies Trevor back to England, where she tries but fails to acquire the ways of polite society. In a rehashed plot, Trevor marries Joya to save her reputation, but she flees back to Africa in the wake of her terminal gaucheness. Her husband follows her, at which point the lovers resolve to spend a month in a Matarengan marriage hut and then hunt orchids together. There are some good ideas here and a couple of good laughs among Landis's exotic set pieces, but the silly plot is beyond rescue.