Hothouse Flower: The romantic and moving novel from the bestselling author of The Seven Sisters series

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Hothouse Flower: The romantic and moving novel from the bestselling author of The Seven Sisters series

Hothouse Flower: The romantic and moving novel from the bestselling author of The Seven Sisters series

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Lucinda Riley can truly spin a tale and frankly, after reading Kate Morton's novels, which are essentially tragedies, it's refreshing to read a story told in the same vein but with a more uplifting ending. But what bugged me the most are those stupid dialogues. I haven't read so much bullshit in a very long time. Seriously, people don't talk like that. Especially not, if they know each other. And what made me laugh out loud are sentences like "I hope I am worth enough for you", from a person living in 2010. Oooooookay.

Hothouse Flower: The Calloway Sisters, Book 2 (The Calloway

Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets. Here is where The Baker's Daughter truly shines. Elsie and her parents run a bakery in Garmisch, Germany, a city where Gestapo soldiers raid houses and residents fear for their lives in the worst days of World War II. McCoy renders the bakery especially well. I could smell, see, and taste the breads and sweet treats. My mouth still waters thinking about them. Goodies aside, the bakers move this part of the story. At seventeen, Elsie is being courted by an SS officer who is closer in age to her father than to her. She does not love him. Rather, Elsie adores Hollywood movies and is more concerned with keeping a secret that could get her and her family killed. Julia Forrester has many happy memories of a childhood spent at Wharton Park, playing amongst the exotic flowers her grandad cared for. In Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter, the main character is Reba Adams, a writer who lives in El Paso, Texas. Reba dreams of going to California but has not capitalized on her vision yet: "I thought I'd start here and eventually make my way to California—L.A., Santa Barbara, San Francisco." She has yet to leave Texas, however.Now, recovering from a family tragedy, she seeks comfort once more at Wharton Park, newly inherited by the charismatic Kit Crawford, with a sad story of his own. I still really liked this book and would definitely recommend it even with these couple of things that I didn't care for.

The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley | Goodreads The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley | Goodreads

Now here's where I had some issues with the book. I had some trouble understanding the motives behind some of the characters. First, Henry, the heir to Wharton House, is sort of horrible. He leads Olivia on and traps her in a loveless marriage and only seems to be looking out for himself. He doesn't seem to understand why what he's doing is wrong and he sort of manipulates Julia's grandfather to get what he wants. Even though I liked the love story between Henry and Lidia, it made it a little hard to fully support their love story as Henry was just generally horrible. I loved seeing how the mystery of Julia's family came together. The historical part of the book takes place during World War II in both England and Thailand. I liked how the story was told by Julia's grandmother as sort of an omniscient point of view. The part of the story set in Thailand was definitely my favorite. It's a love story between two people who deeply care for each other and holds the secret to Julia's existence. It is worth noting that Hothouse Flower was republished in 2012 with the title of The Orchid House just so that any confusion with readers thinking it might be a different story, when this is not the case are cleared up straight away. Although the central theme of a family saga set in a country house spanning from the 1930's to the present day is far from an original one, this one is different. It has such a multi layered story to tell us with so many stirring and compelling love stories, secrets and surprises to share I stayed awake far too late at night reading this as I was engrossed. Extremely well written the story flows beautifully, period and locations are credibly described and the characters feel realistic. The situations that they face are ones that we are all able to empathise with from generation to generation. Certainly one of the best family sagas of the genre that I have read recently. The other issue that I had was everything that happened with Julia's personal life. I don't want to give anything away so excuse me for being vague. First, it just seemed a crazy that it would happen in the first place. I almost wished that it would have been left out of the book because aside from making Julia really sad, I don't think it added anything to the book. All in all this book is badly written, with logical errors all the time, absurd dialogues and predictable to no end. I really can't point out all the things that bugged - let me just say, there were a lot. I still can't believe that nobody noticed all the errors when it came to the logical aspects. WTF!

Julia, the protagonist has just had her world thrown upside down. Devastated and mostly catatonic, she stumbles upon a mystery of the noble house she grew up by. So at this point, the story takes off. We're introduced to a bevy of characters, including Harry, Lord Crawford. Oh man, was this guy unlikeable or what? He marries this largely affable girl, Olivia, whom he hurts repeatedly. One second, he's possibly gay and is found kissing one of her male friends. No harm, no foul. It turns out he was confused and professes to Olivia that he loves her and wants to do right by her. She gives him a second chance and the reader is treated to a few paragraphs where the couple are basking in their new love. Then he goes off to war and falls in love with a 17 year old in Thailand, then makes plans to be with her and leave his wife because apparently, he never loved her. I'm sorry. He was an selfish asshole. Anyway, it turns out that Julia, remember our modern-day protagonist, is his granddaughter. Turns out, he unknowingly left the 17 year old pregnant. I think this book would have been better had Harry been more likable.


Book was displayed in a bookstore as "for fans of Downton Abbey" - I've never watched the show but everyone has told me I'll love it. I mean the prologue was kinda great and I thought, OMG, this book has to fantastic. I was SO wrong. After the prologue the whole story goes down the drain and only consists of stupid and blunt characters that are all so very annoying and not likeable at all. Plus, they don't show how they feel nor is the author able to make the reader care at all for them. They are all like puppets on a string. Same with the setting. You have no pictures in mind when Harry is in Bangkok or Julie in France. They are there. The end. WTF? In this case, I regret wasting my time. I feel like a fool because I kept slogging on until the end, despite early and plentiful signs that it wasn't going to be what I hoped; I admit I was interested enough in the plot to just read a little further... a little further... But it just could have been so much better.Two new novels are a welcome addition to this fairly recent development: The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy and The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley. Both books have a similar feel yet are very distinctive. Both feature strong, memorable heroines and move from our own time into a past we cannot even begin to contemplate. Yet these women must; if they do not, then they will never get on with their lives. Language is trite (I literally threw the book down when one character decided "she could not allow herself to love again"); and as though the author doesn't trust that the dialogue between characters conveys the proper ideas, each exchange is followed by a few lines redundantly summarizing what everyone meant and felt. McCoy has done meticulous research for The Baker's Daughter. The best example of her diligence is Elsie's older sister, Hazel, a participant in the Lebensborn Program. This was part of Germany experiment to perpetuate the Aryan race by producing blond-haired, blue-eyed German children with high morals, exceptional intelligence, and an unbreakable bond with the state. Hazel, in effect, had babies for Germany and had to give them up. Lebensborn was real, and McCoy accurately portrays this chapter in German history. As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true. Wharton Park holds a special place in the heart of Julia Forrester, a world-renowned concert pianist. As a child, Julia spent time there since her grandparents were long-time employees of the Crawfords and lived in a cottage on the grounds of the manor. Her grandfather grew exotic orchids and made Wharton Park famous for the rare flowers; her grandmother, Elsie, was a lady's maid. Their devotion to the manor parallels that of the servants of Downton Abbey for the Granthams. Julia's summers at the estate were dreamlike: "The tranquility and warmth of the hothouses—sitting snugly in the corner of the kitchen garden, sheltered against the cruel winds that blew in from the North Sea during the winter—stayed in her memory all year."

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