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Wild Orchids

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,141 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A blistering romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Pursuit. Far from her sensible life as an English teacher in Kansas, Lora looks forward to a relaxing vacation in Cancun. But fate thwarts her careful plans when a darkly handsome American named Max jumps into her car with a loaded gun.
Paperback, 377 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Grand Central Publishing
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HEAjunkie What a coincidence! I've been looking for stories like this too, and have just created a list here:

What a coincidence! I've been looking for stories like this too, and have just created a list here:

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 Vie
Nov 14, 2010 Lizzie rated it did not like it
What can I say about this book? Firstly, it is utterly ridiculous. Quite terrible actually. I picked up Wild Orchids at Walmart looking for a quick weekend read, and I figured I could trust one of Robards' books to be relatively enjoyable. Oh man was I wrong.

The premise? Teacher Lora Harding's dream vacation to Mexico takes a horrible turn for the worse when a tall, dark, and muscular stranger commandeers her car at gunpoint taking her hostage, forcing her into a world of danger. Max, our hard
Lucie "a heart so wild"
Wow! I always dream to read this kind of book! & YES..I got it! one of the best with 'kidnapping' theme around...Luckyly I buy this without even considering the 'not high' rating

A story of Stockholm Syndrome between the Kidnapper and His victim. It's so good that once I get started, I don't want it to end. Both characters are great. Hero is ruthless in the beginning, reserved but not brooding. Heroine is brave & witty. She try to escape several times, but seems can't escape from him and
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
2 stars. The whole story line is really unrealistic, but even getting past that I didn't like the characters. Except Tunafish :)

Lora is just....dumb? Falls in love with her kidnapper, who is running from the law and for his life, within nine days. He threatens to kill her (and later a family with small children), rape her, he humiliates and terrorizes her. He steals all of her money and eventually leaves her stranded. Such an awesome guy, right? Of course her reasoning is that a "bad" man would
This romance had everything I love wrapped up into one great book. Starts off with the heroine being kidnapped at gunpoint by our scary, bad-boy hero. Then the story takes off into adventure in the jungle, plane crashes and jail-breaks, stand-off's at gunpoint - even the heroine gets the chance to kick butt a time or two, when she isn't soothing our tortured hero from his nightmares because his time spent in 'Nam. *Sigh* it was just a great story overall. Page-turning suspense and adventure. Goo ...more
Aug 10, 2010 Sanya rated it it was amazing
I still luuuv this book!
First off I feel it's only fair to say that the rating came from the mostly action oriented plot line. I mean there was a lot of action. There was a plan crash, car crash, gun fights, and much more. Too much action for me.
The book starts with Lora on her vacation in Mexico when a frightening man jumps into the cars passenger side and orders her at gun point to drive the car. So she does. Very badly, trying to draw attention to herself and the situation going on and he doesn't like that. So he t
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)

1.5 Stars

Lara has been looking forward to her vacation to Cancun, but what should be a dream holiday turns into a nightmare when she is kidnapped by the mysterious and sexy Max. The heat rises between them, even as their situation gets worse, winding up with them both being stuck in the jungle with two bad guys and seemingly no way out.

It took hard work and lots of discipline, but I did manage to finish this book. Not matter how exasperated I get with a book, I don't like to leave them unread,
Loretta Harris
Loved it of course
Mar 06, 2010 Teresa rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
finished it only to get it finished
Megan Hawkins
May 05, 2017 Megan Hawkins rated it really liked it
This was such an exciting read and captures you from the very first line. I've only read to other books by Karen Robards and I've loved all her writings she certainly doesn't let you down.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
When I started his book I actually thought it would be good. I like when the two love interests aren't lusting after each other instantly and waxing poetic about the others amazingness for pages at a time. Max kidnaps Lora so she's terrified and he's scary and angry. It's a promising, unique start. But as I got further along I started to get frustrated by the nose dive into unoriginal, romance fantasy novel drivel. The way this book is written is annoying too. Basically the author is extremely l ...more
Feb 08, 2013 Jazzy rated it really liked it
Shelves: gamma-anti-hero
Technically 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the premise and for the most part I liked the lead characters.

Max was my favorite kind of hero - tough, seemingly disreputable and a touch crude on the outside and emotionally wounded with a marshmallow core of emotional sensitivity on the inside. About 40% of the way through the story I had the niggling fear that he was going to turn out to be a REALLY, really good guy (my own personal preference, I hate the bait and switch where I am promised a "bad boy" and w
0 stars. Really awful.

I wrote a review and lost it (I thought it posted, but it's not here now), so as a placeholder, here are my status updates on this book. There was much more that aggravated me as I was reading it, but I didn't make posts on everything.

"It's sad: the entire time I'm reading this, I'm wishing that I am reading Night Magic instead. :( "

"They've "done it" and she also knows his full name and that his given name is actually "John". So why is she still calling him "Max" (his la
Aug 04, 2016 Mara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trash-bin, romance, dnf
DNF @48%

All the reasons why you should really avoid this drivel, sorry, book.

-It's racist to the point of pain. Yes, I'm sure Mexico has its problems, but this book is so racist in its description to be embarrassing. (Purely personal: I've been in the area, almost the same route, and it seems an other planet from what I remember.)
-The heroine. She deserves to die, painfully and slowly. She's a moron and a straightlaced goody two shoes and an hypocrite. Usually painful-to-read heroines have a few
Jan 10, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I found it very interesting and difficult to put down. What's really cool is that the action was always moving and you were never sure where it was going to go next. I liked max a lot so I thought he came off a bit strong in the beginning. I also like Lora. She had a lot of spunk and really kept a good head on her shoulders. There were a few times she took risks that I may not have but then again who knows what you would do in that situation. Generally it was a great ...more
May 04, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
I really like Karen Robards so when I picked up this book, I thought I would really enjoy it. I didn't realize this was an older works. You can tell because it is not up to her standards. The characters are likable, but the story was forced. The journey to the end was not smooth. A lot of scenes did not really tie into the story. Sometimes it seemed they had sex just because there was a need for "filler" pages. The twist and turns just didn't make sense most of the time. If you are a fan, go ahe ...more
Aug 03, 2010 Cindi rated it liked it
It took me forever to get through. Not a bad book, just not something that I couldn't put down. For me, the conclusion was kind of rushed. It was probably better than most books written during that time. The language and sex weren't as "careful" as other books from that time. That made it somewhat better I guess.

Neat story, just a tad silly at times. Max was a total jerk through most of it. Lora was a little too accommodating while he was being that way.

Again, not bad. Definitely not great.
Mar 18, 2014 Winona rated it it was ok
This book was kind of boring. :-/ The romance between Max and Lora was almost laughable, it was very lust-y. The only thing binding them together was their physical attraction towards each other. I felt that they were disconnected emotionally. C'mon, romance is suppose to be about emotions! Other than that, the suspense was good enough and the only thing that was interesting was the part about Mei Veng.
Aug 10, 2016 Rebekah rated it liked it
I really wasn't too keen on the first half of this book... I found Max to be too much of a bully that he became unlikeable. The second half, was better and I liked Max and Lora's relationship more - it almost felt like a different book. I think the beginning is a reflection of the time period it was written more than anything... I don't think you'd find that much bullying in a romance novel these days. Overall I would say I liked the book, and I would read more of Robards work.
Nov 25, 2012 M rated it it was amazing
This is an older book that I just re-read. Yes, scenarios are improbable, but there are moments of great humor and the sex scenes were good. This was one of those early attempts at introducing an alphahole as the lead and it worked! It was back when things were implied more than described so I do remember appreciating Robards willingness to go further than her contemporaries. I think this book still holds up nicely!
M.A. Levi
May 23, 2012 M.A. Levi rated it it was amazing
This book was electric! The Story was well rounded, well written and very very captivating! The description and details that went into "setting the stage" made the story so vivid and so real. It spun you into this world filled with danger, passion,exotic places, made you cringe with pain and excited for more. It was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It was utterly amazing! A must read!
Jo Anne
Nov 28, 2016 Jo Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
This is vintage Karen Robards. As in 30 years old. I picked it up on BookBub recently. The hero is a scarred Vietnam vet, and sometimes over-the-top Alpha. The heroine is likable and stands up to him well. And since I'm older, and had good friends and lovers who went to Vietnam in the late 60s & early 70s and came back changed forever, I can relate. Good romantic suspense. Lots of bad guys. Jungle setting. Karan Robards always does a good job!
Sep 28, 2016 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Robards is one of my go-to writers. But this was a little flat for me. Maybe it's because of the era is was written in? It didn't feel dated, but at the same time... it did. I don't know. I've read other 80's Robards with no problems. I'm just gonna blame my weird book mood.
Aug 01, 2014 Kookie9200 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book less than one star, I would. It took me forever to read, and frankly just made me angry. The whole woman falls in love with her captor after he abuses her, humiliates her and so on just because he's hot thing does not appeal to me at all. I didn't see where Max had any redeeming qualities except for being "hot" and Lora was a disaster. I do not recommend.
Jan 09, 2016 Zakia rated it it was ok
Sigh... I am dissapointed with Lora. She is not what I imagine heroin should be. Lora is....dumb. She always act stupidly.Easily panicked and....scream.

I cannot brain when Lora looked at Max dreamily for his hot body in the middle of dangerous situation. How can a person at the point of a gun do that is beyond my imagination.
Anna Mcfadden
Sep 27, 2014 Anna Mcfadden rated it it was amazing
After taking care of her mother for 10 years, just days after her mother's funeral Lora takes a dream trip to Cancun. She is then kidnap by a criminal name Max, but as time goes by she gets to know the real Max and falls in love
Dec 08, 2013 Ardith rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, 80s-romance
I know this was published in 1986. I want to echo a pervious review --Tunafish was my favorite character, too. Other than that, I powered through and finished it. 1986 romance, I finished you. happy now?

Me either.
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Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. She has won multiple awards including six Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Awards for favorite author.
Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, wh
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“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.” 5 likes
“(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…” 3 likes
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