by Sandra K. Moore

March 2005
ISBN: 0-373-51349-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #35
Mass Market Paperback

The Orchid Hunter is my first Bombshell title and it seemed fitting to start with a debut author. I read the book as a romance and I shall rate it as a romance.

I like a strong heroine and Dr. Jessie Robards is that. I like a flawed heroine. Jessie is that. I like a heroine to grow, to learn and to succeed. Jessie does all that. She tracks down rare orchids for a rich and eccentric collector, dodging fellow hunters and several government agencies. Itís the adventure and the good money she craves. However, the search for the Death Orchid becomes personal, as it could save her dying uncle.

I like a geeky hero and Sandra K. Moore introduces one. I like a capable hero, and he is that. I like a hero to be caring, and this one proves in many actions how much he cares. I like unpredictable romances. Not an easy feat, but Sandra K. Moore proved it is possible.

What makes this story a difficult romance, is the late appearance of the real hero. Itís a heroine driven story and as such a very fascinating one, but for a romance the first quarter is lacking. However, the heroine is real and itís exciting to follow her into the jungle and see her succeed in her search for more than just a very rare orchid. Her motivations sound true, her actions I understand and her daring character intrigues me. And when the romance becomes subject of the story the author once again proves that a different approach doesnít have to be bad, but can not only challenge the characters but also the reader.

Maybe even more important, Ms. Moore did a wonderful job bringing to life her setting. The heat, the sounds and the danger of the Amazon are always present and provide the reader with a sensual adventure. I also admire how she managed to weave in cultural and environmental issues without interrupting the storytelling flow, but providing that little bit of extra that turns a good book into a very good read.

I highly recommend The Orchid Hunter to any reader looking for a heroine driven action novel. Itís not a perfect romance novel, but a very entertaining one. And anyone looking for a new author to discover should give Sandra K. Moore a try. Iíve put this very talented author on my ďto be watchedĒ list.

Reviewed in May 2005 by Kris Alice.

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