Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: John Roberts “Max” Maxwell
Heroine: Lora Susan Harding
Published on: March 15, 2001
Started On: August 28, 2011
Finished On: August 28, 2011
Reading Wild Orchids by Karen Robards for the 3rd time doesn’t seem to have diminished my enjoyment factor of the novel by even one iota. Call me crazy but even with the massive amount of books I have on my review pile, I just had to pick this one up and read it in one sitting yet again because the magic that is Max and Lora is an unbeatable one for me.
37 year old John Roberts Maxwell (Max) is a man hardened by the reality of war that had been his way of life when he had been enlisted in the Vietnam war. Leaving a piece of his soul behind due to the decisions he had been forced to make, Max comes home a changed man, a man incapable of giving what his innocent wife had demanded of him. A cynic to the core, Max doesn’t realize that life as he knows it would cease to exist the moment he kidnaps the prim and proper Lora in his attempt to evade the authorities of Mexico.
27 year old Lora Susan Harding is finally a free woman with the right to while away her time as she pleases. Having spent most of her life trying to put others needs first, Lora is ecstatic with the thought of exploring the exotic Mexico, the first vacation she has ever taken in her life. However, from the very start, her vacation refuses to proceed along as she envisoned it and being kidnapped at gun point by a disreputable looking man with an American accent just seems to be the icing on the cake.
At first, Lora is scared out of her wits at the thought of the less than savory acts her captor might try and force on her. A lady through and through, Lora hardly accepts herself to find her captor ridiculously sexy to the extent of ogling him and eating him up with her eyes every chance she gets. No stranger to the world of intimacy, Lora however has no clue that the uninhibited creature that emerges from deep within her that just wants to lick her delectable and broody captor from head to toe is a side of her that exists.
After Lora’s multiple attempts to escape which falls flat on her face every single time, Lora comes to the disturbing conclusion that she has a bad case of the Stockholme’s syndrome if judging the way all her emotions go haywire around Max is anything to judge herself by. Through a chain of events, Lora finds herself stranded in the midst of a Mexican jungle, depending on Max for her very survival. As the proximity heightens the already taut live wire of sexual tension between them, both Max and Lora find themselves to be no match for its heady power.
Wild Orchids would always remain by far my most favorite novel by Karen Robards. For some, Max might not be the stuff dreams are made out of. But when push comes to shove, Max is a man who delivers and Lord does he deliver! A man who is leery of commitment and relationships, Max cannot believe himself when he starts lusting after the prim schoolteacher who lands in his life. The harder he tries to shove her thoughts and presence out of his mind, the more tenacious her hold on him becomes and its a match that Max loses, rather ungraciously at first. Vital, sexy and the ultimate dangerous hero is how I would describe Max.
Lora’s character is an endearing mix of innocence and practicality all laced into one with a body that practically drives Max to the brink of insanity. It is the way she reaches far deeper than just his baser emotions that has Max struggling to shove her away with all his might, a man reluctant to share his demons with a woman Max thinks would be just as incapable of handling reality as his ex-wife had seemed to be.
Though towards the end, I definitely want a bit more grovelling from Max every time I read this one, I think the ending itself might be growing on me as I didn’t find it that sorely lacking the third time around. It seemed a fitting ending based on both Max and Lora’s characters and my bet is Lora loves Max too much to even give him enough leeway to do much grovelling even if it were to come to that.
The best thing about this book, hands down is the raw, explosive and primitive passion between two people that just serves as one whole session of sensory overload from start to finish.
(Max) He shook his head impatiently. “You’ll be all right. I’ve got to go. Lora…” he hesitated, then with a muttered, “Hell!” swooped over her. Before she knew what was happening, he had her pinned back against the seat and his mouth was on hers, hard and hot and almost brutal in its demand. His hand was rough and warm on her breast. Lora’s senses exploded. She forgot the men outside the car, her anger with Max, everything as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back with a hunger that had been building inside her forever…
“Lora…” Her name was a tormented whisper as he kissed her harder, fiercer than before, as if he was starving for the taste of her mouth. She twisted in his arms, not trying to get away but to work her arms free… She managed to push them up through his crushing hold and lock them around his neck. He groaned deep in his throat, and she groaned too in protest as his mouth suddenly left hers. He was looking down at her, his breathing heavy, a wild glitter in his eyes. Lora lifted one hand from the corded nape of his neck and lightly stroked the rough, wet edges of his hair.
He smiled then, a slow smile that sent the blood racing through her veins. Lora felt the throbbing inside her intensify until she was sure she would not be able to stand it another second as he slowly, oh, so slowly, lowered his head. His target was her left breast. Lora felt his hot mouth close on the straining nipple, felt him tug the crest of her breast into his mouth to rub it with the rough wet surface of his tongue, and cried out in a frenzy of need.
And in that instant he took her.
She climaxed at once as he squeezed inside, enormous and hard and fiery hot and filling her to bursting.
Lora followed his eyes to the subject of their conversation. He was such a masculine man, tall and strong and sure of himself, cocky almost. A male chauvinist to his toenails, she suspected, as incapable of admitting to feeling hurt and lonely and afraid as a pig was of flying. But he was vulnerable too, enormously vulnerable. More than many people who openly asked for it, he needed love. He needed someone to hold him in her arms and convince him that what he had done was not so bad, was not unforgivable, did not put him beyond the pale of normal society. To convince him that he was lovable. And loved. And she meant to be that someone.
Funny, she had always thought that thin, bespectacled, intellectual types like Brian attracted her. Lora had to smile at her own naivete. Who would have guessed that she, Lora Harding, would buckle at the knees over a hunk of male beef?
Reviewers Note: From time to time, I get a hankering to re-read my favorite novels and sometimes I find myself with the urge revise the review that I had written down previously. Since I feel that revising a review that had been published a long time back is not something that ought to be done, I have resorted to start a new reviewing process aka the Re-Read Review. Books that rate a Re-Read Review would mostly be books that I am quite gushy about and cannot recommend highly enough!