Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Always Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende (Review)

Always Orchid by Carol Van Den Hende

This last book in the Goodbye, Orchid series is a satisfying ending to a memorable trilogy. 

Book Details:

Title: Always Orchid (Book 3 Goodbye, Orchid Series) by Carol Van Den Hende
Category: Adult Fiction, 346 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Azine Press
Release date: October 24, 2023
Content rating: PG -13 (Mature topic: traumatic injuries)

Book Description:

He almost let her go. Her past could tear them apart. But a love like theirs is worth fighting for...

Phoenix Walker will never be the same. Nine months after a heroic act leaves him forever changed, he refuses to hurt Orchid Paige ever again.

Orchid is ready to forgive. Convincing her guy she still loves him, no matter his injuries, she works to rebuild their intimacy. But their move to her family's ancestral country unveils China's superstitions against people with disabilities. Worse, their friend's life has been upended by those prejudices.

Will Phoenix and Orchid find a way to beat the odds and turn discrimination into compassion?

Always Orchid is the riveting third book in the Goodbye, Orchid contemporary fiction series and can be read as a standalone. If you like relatable characters, surprising twists, and stories that pull on your emotions, then you'll love award-winning author Carol Van Den Hende's journey to unconditional acceptance.

Book Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Because this novel is the third and last book in the series, I decided to read the first book Orchid Blooming before diving into this one. I'm glad I did because the first book in a series is the best way to get introduced to the main characters. Having said this, the author does a great job of including the backstory from the previous two books in this one. I chose not to read the second book and this didn't affect my enjoyment of this one.

Nine months after Phoenix's accident, he and Orchid decide to give their relationship a second chance. Orchid is returning to China for at least another year and Phoenix has decided to go with her. Here is where this book shines: we see the lives of two people who love each other but need to adjust to the reality of living with physical and psychological disabilities. I appreciated the author's research into what life is like for those who suffer from traumatic injuries and need to rebuild their lives. 

Orchid and Phoenix were great characters. I thought Phoenix was a bit too perfect, never showing anger at the dramatic and life-altering change he was experiencing. Maybe some of this was addressed in the second book. I loved the ending and it brought the various themes that ran through this trilogy to a satisfying and touching finale.

If you like stories of triumphing over adversities, cross-cultural relationships, altruism, forgiveness, and resiliency, you will find this trilogy satisfying and memorable.

Disclosure: Thanks to Book Sparks for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Buy the Book

About the Author

CAROL VAN DEN HENDE is an award-winning author who pens stories of resilience and hope. Her novels Orchid Blooming and Goodbye, Orchid draw from her Chinese-American heritage and have won 30+ literary and design awards, including the American Fiction Award, IAN Outstanding Fiction First Novel Award, and Royal Dragonfly Awards for Cultural Diversity and Disability Awareness.

Buzzfeed, Parade, and Travel+Leisure named Carol’s books a most anticipated read. Glamour Magazine recommended her “modern, important take on the power of love.” The International Pulpwood Queens selected Goodbye, Orchid as a 2022 Bonus Book-of-the-Month and Orchid Blooming as a 2023 International Book-of-the-Month.

Carol’s mission is unlocking optimism as a writer, speaker, strategist, Board member and Climate Reality Leader. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous hubby and twins, who prove that love really does conquer all.

Connect with the author on her website.


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