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Goodbye, Orchid

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Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder.

Thirty-two year-old Phoenix Walker is an entrepreneur who has built an agency with a heart almost as big as his own. To add to his good fortune, he's falling for Orchid Paige, the beautiful half-Asian marketer who's collaborated with him on a winning military campaign.

They've grown close after months working and traveling together. She's even divulged the trauma in her past that makes her panic over images of injured vets. He's trying not to cross their professional boundary.

Their searing attraction heightens.

Until an accident changes him forever.

Now, he's faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?

280 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2020

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About the author

Carol Van Den Hende

4 books274 followers
Carol Van Den Hende is the award-winning author of "Orchid Blooming" and "Goodbye, Orchid" which are inspired by wounded veterans and have won 20+ literary awards, including the American Fiction Award, IAN Outstanding Fiction First Novel Award, and 2020 Royal Dragonfly for Disability Awareness.

Buzzfeed, Parade, and Travel+Leisure named “heartwarming, heartbreaking” Goodbye, Orchid a most anticipated read. Glamour Magazine recommended this “modern, important take on the power of love.” The International Pulpwood Queens, selected Goodbye, Orchid as a 2022 Bonus Book-of-the-Month.

Carol’s mission is unlocking optimism as a writer, speaker, strategist, Board member and Climate Reality Leader. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous husband and twins, who prove that love really does conquer all.

Please sign up for Carol’s newsletter at carolvandenhende.com/contact or linktr.ee/cvdh

■ 2022 International Book Award Finalist: Women's Fiction and Multicultural Fiction
■ 2022 Beach Book Festival General Fiction Honorable Mention
■ 2022 New York Book Festival General Fiction Honorable Mention
■ 2022 July International Impact Award Multicultural Fiction
■ 2022 Summer Outstanding Creator Awards Grand Prize Honorable Mention; 2nd Place Women’s Fiction, Multicultural, Romance, and Drama; 3rd Place Literary & Contemporary Fiction; Honorable Mention Best Couple
■ 2022 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention General Fiction

■2020 American Fiction Award WINNER urban fiction
■2020 Pinnacle Achievement Award WINNER multicultural fiction
■2020 Outstanding Fiction IAN Book Award for Best New Novel 50-80K words
■2020 Royal Dragonfly Award WINNER Cover Design and Special Needs/Disability Awareness
■2020 New York Book Festival General Fiction Honorable Mention
■2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Best New Fiction and Fiction: General
■2021 Chanticleer International Book Chatelaine Award 1st Place Winner
■The Write Review Top 2020 Favorite
■In D'Tale Magazine Crowned Heart 5-stars
■Audiobook Reviewer 2020 New Author of the Year
■2021 Book Excellence award for Interior Design
■2021 Authorshout award Recommended Read
■2021 Kops-Fetherling International Award Multicultural Fiction Gold
■2021 American Advertising Award Hampton Roads branch Book Cover Gold Medal Addy
■2021 National Indie Excellence Book Award (NIEA) Multicultural Fiction Winner
■2021 Annie Award 1st Place Finalist
■2021 Zibby Award nominee for interior design
■2022 International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys May Bonus Book of the Month
■ 2022 Summer Outstanding Creator Awards Grand Prize Honorable Mention; 2nd Place Women’s Fiction, Multicultural, Romance, and Drama; 3rd Place Literary & Contemporary Fiction; Honorable Mention Best Couple

BUZZFEED Top 12 Most Anticipated Fall Reads
PARADE Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2020
TRAVEL+LEISURE Most Anticipated Books of Fall
POPSUGAR Best New Romances of October
BOOKSTR 8 Best Books of Fall by Women
GLAMOUR Magazine Holiday Gift Guide
Featured in Chicago Tribune, LA Times and more

Writer's Digest 2020 Honorable Mention for genre short story "Before He Heard Her"
Published by Mensa Bulletin magazine
Interviewed by the Joan Hamburg Show WABC Radio, DIYMFA's Gabriela Pereira, Steven James, Jeff Ayers and John Raab, Thrillerfest Executive Producers, Observer-Tribune and more.


“Tension and compelling chemistry that will leave you breathless.”
—Barbara Conrey, USA Today bestselling author of Nowhere Near Goodbye

“A love story for our times, Orchid Blooming reminds us of the power of empathy and will stay with you long after the last page.”
—Lainey Cameron, award-winning author and host of The Best of Women's Fiction podcast

“Orchid Blooming is a beautiful, evocative and gripping love story that will keep you turning pages late into the night. Five sparkling stars for this gorgeous novel.”
– Dallas Wood

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5 stars
146 (57%)
4 stars
55 (21%)
3 stars
39 (15%)
2 stars
11 (4%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 118 reviews
Profile Image for J.B..
Author 12 books597 followers
September 21, 2020
Goodbye Orchid is a tightly-written, well-researched, heart-wrenching tale that will enthrall both romance and women’s fiction readers from the first chapter. A love story that’s all the more powerful because it feels real—centering first on searing tragedy and loss, then the challenges of learning to rise stronger and move forward, and finally on fighting for the person you love by making yourself vulnerable. An absolutely stunning debut by Carol Van Den Hende—a must-read!
Profile Image for Dennis Woods.
Author 2 books145 followers
July 9, 2020
Goodbye Orchid touches on the very real yet ignored challenges experienced by traumatic injuries; including the prospect of sacrificing one's love for another in order to spare or free them. Ultimately, though, this story's strength is in its resilience and optimism.
Profile Image for Bree Lauren.
665 reviews2,086 followers
October 7, 2020
This was much more of a Women's Fiction book than I was expecting, but that was OK. Once I stopped waiting for the romance to truly begin, I was able to enjoy the book for what it was. ⁣

Particularly in the beginning of the book, I found myself underlining so many passages partially because they were beautifully written and also because I related so much to a lot of the thoughts the hero had as he went through this huge life-changing event.⁣

As a romance reader, I definitely wanted more out of the romance, it really didn't move forward until the very end of the book and there was a bunch of questionable miscommunication, but, like I said, the romance isn't the most important part of this book. ⁣

I can't speak for the representation in this book, but I can say that I related to a lot of Phoenix's feelings in the beginning of the book. ⁣
Profile Image for Denise.
289 reviews25 followers
October 6, 2020
Book Review: Goodbye, Orchid: To Love Her, He Had To Leave Her by author, Carol Van Den Hende

Goodbye, Orchid most certainly captured my heart. This beautifully written novel shows the reader that not all storms that come into our lives are meant only to disrupt or destroy~ sometimes those same storms can teach us how truly strong we can be through courage, perseverance, and acceptance.

Phoenix, a man who has it all~ looks, money, a thriving corporate business, an intense attraction for a woman named Orchid, and a family who would do anything for him~ but life as he's known it, comes to a screeching halt. Now near death, and a future not holding much promise, Phoenix begins fighting against himself every step of the way by truly believing he'll never again be good enough, and makes a decision to spin his true feelings for the woman he now knows he loves, into something they're not in an attempt to protect her from himself and the heartache he feels is inevitable.

Author, Carol Van Den Hende, has written a love story that takes its reader on a journey through the struggles and pain of love and loss, and reminds us how allowing oneself permission to heal can lead to finding a new and meaningful path by moving past the hurt and bitterness of tragedy. Whether scarred emotionally or physically, Ms. Van Den Hende's characters are richly unique and portrayed as real, fractured yet relatable, as they strive to become whole again and on to the realization that 'we are enough'.

A heart-wrenching narrative that is thoughtfully crafted through the pages of sacrifice and survival, the toll that scars from the broken pieces of their hearts and minds can have, and how love can win over all.

Goodbye, Orchid is a well-written, well researched, compelling story that I'm pleased to have read, and one I highly recommend to anyone looking for a meaningful story as to how the human spirit can truly inspire...

5 Stars


Wild Sage Book Blog
1 review
October 8, 2020
"Goodbye, Orchid" is absolutely captivating! Be prepared because you won't want to put this book down once you start it. The love story between Orchid & Phoenix reminds us that love conquers all, through thick and thin. Not only is this a riveting story, but the underlying theme of wounded veterans & their hardships make it a great read with an important reminder to us all. I fell in love with Phoenix when reading "Goodbye, Orchid"... he's the perfect guy in my opinion! I'm normally not a huge reader, but Carol's writing kept me intrigued from start to finish.
Profile Image for D.V. Stone.
Author 12 books242 followers
September 26, 2020
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
I couldn't I put Goodbye Orchid down. The story tore my heart out. Both the main characters Orchid and Phoenix, made me cry. Orchid in her determination not to give up on love. Phoenix, because he’s an amazing man with traumatic injuries and dealing with not only the physical but the emotional toll of rehabilitation.
No one is exempt from the cost of the aftermath of the accident. Not Phoenix’s mother. Nor his brother. The struggle of putting one’s life back together is well thought out—the unfairness of judgment when people don’t know the whole story.
This story deals with challenging issues of rejection, denial, pain, depression, anger. But more is the love. Love of family, friends, and romantic. And how that love overcomes even the most heartrending situations.
I’ve worked in medical on and off for forty years, and Ms. Van Den Hende draws us into a story that seems so real to me. I look forward to reading more by this new to me author.
228 reviews9 followers
October 10, 2020
Goodbye Orchid was a wonderful read that will capture your heart and having you thinking about how you would handle the same situation. I could not put this book down. This was a very teachable moment about how you would handle things and about not making judgements about other people.
Rising from ashes is hard. Giving up the one you love is harder.
Thirty-two year-old Phoenix Walker is an entrepreneur who has built an agency with a heart almost as big as his own. To add to his good fortune, he's falling for Orchid Paige, the beautiful half-Asian marketer who's collaborated with him on a winning military campaign.
They've grown close after months working and traveling together. She's even divulged the trauma in her past that makes her panic over images of injured vets. He's trying not to cross their professional boundary. Their searing attraction heightens.
Until an accident changes him forever.
Now, he's faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean leaving her without explaining why?

I really enjoyed this story and it was very emotional and heart warming.
Profile Image for Susan Cushman.
Author 13 books82 followers
July 6, 2020
A modern-day An Affair to Remember, Goodbye Orchid tugs at readers’ heartstrings and takes us on an emotional roller-coaster ride through this serious romance, layered with trauma and lost love. Can Phoenix “rise from the ashes” and learn to live and love again after his life-threatening accident? Can he trust Orchid to see past his limitations and her own traumatic memories? The characters—including Phoenix’s twin brother and friends—are richly drawn, and the themes are timeless. But it’s the story that kept me turning those pages and hoping for a satisfying ending. Van Den Hende did not disappoint.
2 reviews
September 28, 2020
Good Bye Orchid, by Carol Van Den Hende

I read Carol Van Den Hende’s Good By Orchid in two 2 sittings. Hated to put it down.
I liked the short chapters and bold title to introduce the main character n each chapter. She does not distract the reader with too many characters.

A perfect life, Phoenix Walker , had it all…good looks, successful company, admirers and a budding relationship with an exotic woman, named Orchid Page. When a disaster occurred his life changed forever.

The cloistering of his disability and misunderstandings resulting in the roller coaster relationship of Phoenix and Orchid will keep you glued to the pages. There were times one wants to hug them, cry with them & other times, one wants to slap some sense into them.

Carol has a gift for describing her scenes, one example: “Rina’s tears dried in salty lanes along her cheeks and clothes.”

Carol doesn’t mince words either, her characters become real and their actions are none-stop until you realize the novel has ended. RED
Profile Image for Shirley Hailstock.
Author 107 books125 followers
September 27, 2020
As a debut novel, this one is a standout. Carol Van Den Hende is a new voice to watch. Goodbye, Orchid will take you into a world of love and redemption like no other...be prepared for that breath of awe when you read the final word.
2 reviews
October 24, 2020

I finished Goodbye Orchid at 12:30am because I literally couldn’t put it down. I pretty much read 3/4 of it in the last two days!

The story is so lovely and keeps you guessing 'til the end. The writing is amazing. The characters are so well described. It’s as uplifting as it is captivating.

Honestly I have started and stopped reading many many books this year (after only a few chapters) because they just didn’t hook me, and it’s so wonderful to come across a book that does just the opposite. I’m telling all my reader friends about this book...they will love it! (and I’m sure I speak for many when I say we want a sequel!!!!)
September 25, 2020
I couldn’t put it down! “Goodbye, Orchid” is a magnificent novel full of love, perseverance, and the true ebb and flow characteristic of life’s greatest challenges. An absolute must read!
Profile Image for Roberta Berardi.
Author 4 books16 followers
January 10, 2021
Here's another recipe for cheesy success.

Here's a small list of some of the things that are wrong with this novel:

1) This is all about a guy who loses a leg and a hand in an accident, and, even if we might sympathise with him in his terrible and shocking situation, it's pretty evident that he's a manipulative chauvinist. First of all, he deprives Orchid (his woman) of her right to choose whether she wants to be on his side after the amputation. He leaves her when she's away for work, without letting her know of the accident. Ok, this may be his right, although him assuming she's not able to decide on her own is already pretty offensive (even more so, since the reason he provides is that she's squeamish: yet another chauvinist stereotype). What's worst, though, is that he lets everyone among his family and friends believe *she* left him because she could not handle his disability. As a consequence, everyone calls her a bitch. Hence, he's simply an asshole, with or without limbs.
To make things more annoying, after he's dismissed from the hospital and starts to live again, he takes advantage of another woman, who "can handle him": he never loves her, but needs someone to prove himself he can still hang out with women and have sex with them. Then he leaves her, dismissing the whole thing as a way he had to heal. Mutilated and in pain, ok, but still abusive.

2) Almost no narration. Just looooads of dialogues.

3) Needless repetitions. If a situation happens, we don't need to see it narrated again by one character to another. It's boring.

4) "luv" "broh" "hun". Continuously. Plus an insane amount of cheesy phrases to describe these guys' feelings (e.g. "a kiss sweet as caramel").

5) "fucked up" is the most recurrent expression.

6) "Orchid scoured the internet like she was about to defend her postdoctoral thesis": there's no such thing in the world as a postdoctoral thesis, and if you are defending you *doctoral* thesis, certainly you don't go on google. Do some research before writing about something you have no clue about.

7) The novel starts mentioning Stephen Hawking, blackholes, and doughnuts in the same sentence, and none of it makes any sense.

Shall I carry on?
Profile Image for Lisa Wetzel.
446 reviews13 followers
October 24, 2020
We are told never to judge a book by its cover, until you see Goodbye,Orchid by Carol VanDenHende. A beautifully written novel that is true to life!! VanDenHende takes a love story and puts it through so many different emotions that will make you laugh and cry together! This love story evolves around a tragic debilitating accident and how someone comes back from it! From recuperation to learning how to deal and cope with the issues and then how to go on in the future are all well researched and presented. She shows how the family and loved ones are also emotionally involved in all aspects of this story!! I highly recommend this heart wrenching novel but advise you have a box of tissues nearby! Thank you Carol for showing us that true love does conquer all!
Profile Image for Scott Gould.
Author 4 books40 followers
September 27, 2020
Van Den Hende's debut novel is wonderfully paced, a tightly-woven narrative that strikes a delicate emotional balance between the desires of the characters and the situations into which they find themselves (often through no fault of their own) inescapably drawn. By expertly navigating the various points of view in the novel, Van Den Hende shows us real people with real feelings, making the tough decisions between what they want, what they need and what they know they can never have. Goodbye, Orchid has, at its very core, heart.
20 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2021
I was absolutely pulled into the intense telling of the story of Phoenix and Orchid right from the first chapter! Carol Van Den Hende did a marvelous job of developing characters I truly cared about and became invested in their future. Carol also brought us a fully recognizable cast of characters of which we could understand the role they played in the development of this beautifully written equally heartbreaking and heartwarming story. Hard to put down once I began reading!
Profile Image for Bambi Rathman.
318 reviews45 followers
November 6, 2020
When I open a novel and the first pages are a "gotcha" like the pages of Goodbye, Orchid, I know I'm in for an exceptional read. Oh, my gosh! Is this ever one of those books! I have a book hangover from such an amazing story written with intricate details and emotional passages that took my heart and tore it to pieces. I find myself almost speechless trying to form words for a review. Wow! How Ms. VanDenHende took me into the emotional depths of her characters is beyond description. This is the story of Phoenix and Orchid. Perfect and ambitious Phoenix. Gentle and sweet Orchid. Just like the beautiful cover of this book and the shattering orchid, would these characters lives break into pieces and will they find a way to put their lives back together? I couldn't tear myself away from the pages. This was more than a casual read, this was an experience. One that touched me so deeply and even personally.

There are no guarantees in life and in an instant, everything can change. Phoenix's life is forever changed because of a devastating accident. The trauma he experiences is brutal physically and emotionally. What Ms. VanDenHende created in this story is a masterpiece in human resilience. It's not easy, pretty or quick. Sometimes deep and dark. But it's possible to rise from the ashes. She masterfully and meticulously takes the reader into the depths of Phoenix's recovery and his feelings for Orchid, through various stages. Not only the physical but the mental stages as well. There are so many emotions that were pulled out of me through her characters. Each character written with purpose and depth. I'm in awe of her talent and her exceptional ability to put me in the pages like she did. I especially appreciate her compassion for what these traumatic injuries do to people. This is a story that will be in my heart for a very long time.

This is an amazing read! My review is so inadequate for how powerful and emotional this book is. It was unputdownable from the first compelling page to the last touching words. Yes, Phoenix and Orchid expanded my heart. I want to thank Ms. VanDenHende for the honor of reading her story that so sincerly came from her heart and from the inspiration of combat wounded veterans. This is an extraordinary novel! One of the best I've read this year. It's so worth much more than five stars! This is my honest and heartfelt review of a book that ranks as one of my top 5 this year.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,129 reviews187 followers
September 8, 2022
I picked up this book and read it almost in one sitting. I was drawn to Phoenix and Orchid. Although, I do feel like Phoenix did not give Orchid a fair chance in the beginning. As the author says; Phoenix and Orchid did get their happy ending but they really had to work at it. They just needed time.

However, I did understand where Phoenix was coming from due to the tragic accident that he endured. He was bitter and thought that his life was over. Yet, he learned that just because you have a disability does not mean that that you can't still "live". Live for family, live for friends, live for loved ones, and very importantly...live for yourself.

This book does not read like a debut novel. I can't wait to see what author, Carol VanDenHende writes next.
Profile Image for Jen Lowry.
Author 37 books43 followers
September 19, 2020
This adult contemporary romance will keep you up late reading. Don't say I didn't warn you! It's an emotional coaster ride right from the very beginning and doesn't stop taking you for a soul ride until the very last page. You'll fall in love with Phoenix and Orchid from the start, and this instant connection will drag you (sometimes kicking and screaming, other times cheering and hoping) through all of their twists and turns!
September 30, 2020
Goodbye Orchid was a great read! As part of my occupation, I work with people (veterans) with disabilities, so this story quickly drew me in. I had to keep reading to find out what happens, which is not normal for someone who typically wouldn’t find this type of story to keep my attention for long. Goodbye Orchid shared the concept that life can change in a moment and you can do with that change. I highly recommend reading.
Profile Image for Samantha Evans.
Author 7 books68 followers
October 28, 2020
Just wow! What a very good book! What an amazing love story. I was convinced to read the book by just looking at the beautiful cover! It was such a delight! Phoenix is such an interesting character all throughout the book! He meeting Orchid, and it all went from there. It was such a good book, and I will not say much because I am bad at spoiling. So much happened all through the book! It is so worth the read! I recommend this for sure!
1 review1 follower
September 22, 2020
"I read Goodbye, Orchid in just two days. The characters and plot were very compelling. They emotionally engaged me, which not all books do. The book gave me a flash of insight. You see, I've been dealing with back issues this last decade. But I realized if Phoenix and all the other characters in your book can bounce back and go on to live happy and successful lives, I can be a little more optimistic about what I can do. I especially loved these lines 'Phoenix felt hope resist stubbornly then rise a little. He wasn’t alone. He was part of a community of tough guys who were fighting—not just to subsist, but to thrive.' "
1 review1 follower
September 7, 2020

I love, love, loved "Goodbye, Orchid"! I'm privileged to have received an advanced copy and read it at the beach. It was so worth it! The book does an amazing job creating a set of characters you will immediately wish were your friends! Such a roller-coaster of emotion but also at the heart, a real-life situation that could easily happen to any of us. Goodbye, Orchid deserves every accolade and great review! You all have a treat in store!
Profile Image for Barbara McNally.
Author 4 books7 followers
July 7, 2020
Goodbye, Orchid shines a spotlight on the often unspoken side of wounds and ultimately, healing. This beautiful story shows the impact on those transformed as a result of tragedy, and the resulting hope that follows. Carol’s book is relevant to anyone facing the challenge of wounds or caring for someone they love who is wounded by war, accident or illness. Love heals.
26 reviews
September 18, 2020
I loved this book, where the severe physical limitations due to an accident pale in comparison to the emotional ones. Several characters have to figure out their true feelings and battle against misconceptions, both external and in their own minds. You will definitely feel frustrated for them throughout the novel, and will be rooting for them to figure it out!
1 review1 follower
September 25, 2020
This book is sensitively written and draws the reader in immediately. Be prepared to read this book as fast as you can as you will find it challenging to put down. A realistic portrayal of love that one might anticipate when the needs of others are put before our own and the potential loss when communications are cut off. Treat yourself to this book!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 118 reviews

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