From bestselling author Luanne Rice—a captivating and sexy novel of love, both enduring and unexpected
Year after year, Luanne Rice’s fans eagerly await her next book. Their enthusiasm is soon to be rewarded with The Lemon Orchard, Rice’s romantic new love story between two people from seemingly different worlds.
In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? The answer comes as Roberto reveals the heartbreaking story of his own loss—a pain Julia knows all too well, but for one striking difference: Roberto’s daughter was lost but never found. And despite the odds he cannot bear to give up hope.
Set in the sea and citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains, The Lemon Orchard is an affirming story about the redemptive power of compassion and the kind of love that seems to find us when we need it most.
THE LEMON ORCHARD is where Julia finds herself five years after her daughter’s tragic death. She is staying at her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu to house sit and has her dog Bonnie to keep her company. Julia is looking for peace and nothing more, but we all know how life goes. She is still reeling from the car accident that claimed the lives of her daughter as well as her husband. She just wants to relax and enjoy the beauty of where she is, but she keeps running into Roberto. Roberto runs the lemon orchard and is an undocumented worker. Could there ever be two more completely different people in the same place? Roberto came from Mexico five years ago with his daughter Rosa. What happens as they are crossing the border will break your heart.
As much as Julia and Roberto both try to fight it, their attraction grows. They start spending more and more time together sharing everything with each other. When Roberto tells Julia the details of what happened and how he lost his daughter, Julia’s heart breaks for him. Both of them are so lost without their daughters. Can they help each other get through or will there be too much pain?
Julia has studied anthropology and spent time in the desert doing research. She would love to find closure for Roberto, and she just might still have the contacts to help him. After much leg work by a retired Border Patrol agent, Julia and Roberto are finally getting some answers as to what happened to Rosa. You won’t believe where this part of the story goes.
THE LEMON ORCHARD is filled with so much heart ache, loss, hope, love, forgiveness, and happiness. You will read this story very quickly, as you will have to know how it ends. You will be pulled in right from the very start, and author Luanne Rice will not let you go even after the book ends. I was very connected to Julia and Roberto and could feel their pain coming right off of the pages. THE LEMON ORCHARD is a very haunting story. It’s a beautifully written story with gut-wrenching honesty in the portrayal of the immigration journey. I would love for there to be a sequel, but if not, it’s a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. I finished THE LEMON ORCHARD with tears streaming down my face and a huge lump in my throat.