White Orchid

Linda Ladd, Author Topaz $5.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-40555-5
Silly plot devices abound in Ladd's (White Rose) latest romance, the third in her White Flower trilogy. The central silliness is the marriage by proxy of two British children, Anjelica Blake and Nicholas Sedgwick, 10 years before the action of the novel, which opens in England in 1866. Anjelica is 20 when the story begins and has been living in India for the entire 10 years of her ``marriage.'' During that time, her mother died and she and her father dropped out of sight. The Sedgwicks hire Stuart Delaney, an ex-Confederate agent with a Yankee price on his head, to go to India, find Anjelica and bring her back to England. He does find her--in the court of a 10-year-old maharajah who has declared her a man so that she may act as his adviser. After considerable effort, Anjelica and Stuart convince the boy to allow her to leave his court and return to England. By this time, Anjelica and Stuart are in love, but they are kept apart for the next 18 chapters by Anjelica's marital status. There is almost no sense of history or place to enrich the thin, contrived plot, and Ladd's depiction of the culture of India is stunningly superficial. White Orchid will disappoint all but Ladd's most devoted fans. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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