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The Orchard

The Orchard

By: Jeffrey Stepakoff
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books 
Publication Date: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-58159-6
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor 
Review Date: May 2011

This absolutely incredible book written by the passionate author who brought readers the masterpiece, Fireworks Over Toccoa, is yet another beautiful story with characters that will uplift, inspire, and make readers fall desperately in love.

Grace Lyndon is our main character. She is what one would call an up and comer, working as an assistant perfumer in a company in Paris. Through her love and passion for her work, Grace uncovered the fact that there is a very special and unique orchid located in the jungles of Papua, New Guinea. This is a flower that has the most amazing and delectable scent that ‘man’ could ever hope to find. In fact, the opening chapter brings the reader to the exact location where the flower resides.

Returning to Paris, and working on the fragrance that will be the biggest and best in the world, Grace finds herself at a launch party surrounded by orchids, the fragrance, and the future.

However, fate has something else in mind for Grace. While at the party, Grace is approached by an American - Mr. Rice - who is looking for a “flavorist” for his company and is interested in offering Grace far more money and a better title than the French will ever provide. Playing on the fact that Grace IS a true American from Georgia who is simply not returning home because her parents are deceased and she feels as if there’s nothing left for her there - Mr. Rice cuts a deal and Grace travels home.

When we next see Grace, she’s been working hard for Southern Compounds for over a year, and has risen in the company through her intelligence and ‘nose’ for the good things in life. And soon, one of the greatest things that life has to offer, crosses Grace’s path.

Dylan Jackson is a widower who owns an apple farm in the mountains of North Georgia. On a journey for the next perfume ‘flavor,’ Grace finds herself tasting an apple that was grown in Dylan’s orchard, which has more depth and flavor than anything she’s ever tried. Heading to the mountains of North Georgia, Grace soon finds Dylan and the couple discover themselves on an unexpected path leading to an attraction that builds so fast and so passionately, that neither can figure out the next steps. Worse yet, with Grace being the type of woman who always looks forward to the future, and Dylan being the type of man who can not seem to extricate himself from the past - their romance seems doomed.

To say there is literally nothing wrong with a book is an impossibility - even with the best of the best. But readers will honestly not even be able to come up with a ‘comma out of place’ in this unbelievably daring, sweet, haunting, passionate, amazing romance which Jeffrey Stepakoff is so absolutely great at delivering. The characters are unforgettable, the plot extremely interesting, and, frankly, the only bad thing to say is the book ends way too fast. Frankly, this author should write thousand page novels, because no fan will ever grow tired of what he has to say.

Quill Says: This author should be tied to his laptop, in order to create even more of his enticing and timeless novels.

Feathered Quill

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