Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review/Giveaway: The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice

The Lemon Orchard
by Luanne Rice
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: July 2, 2013
Genre: Woman's Ficton
Source: publisher in exchange for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*purchases through buy links support this blog


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.
I was delighted when the opportunity presented itself for me to review The Lemon Orchard and I moved my schedule around to accommodate it. I am so glad that I did because Luanne Rice delivered a beautifully poignant tale about loss, love and hope. From the very first page I was enthralled by the author’s voice and her characters. Three word review: heart-breaking, captivating and beautiful.

The tale begins with a first person prologue that immediately draws the reader in, and then we fast forward five years later as Julia agrees to house sit her aunt and uncle’s home located in the coastal foothills of Malibu. The tale is then told in third person and broken up into different perspectives by chapter. Julia and Roberto share the bulk, but we also get a few others. Together with her dog Bonnie they enjoy the solace of the beautiful home surrounded by lemon orchards. She is drawn to Roberto the handsome overseer and she recognizes a similar pain in his eyes. As the two become friends she shares her grief and he shares the story of his missing daughter. Julia decides to help find her and the tale that unfolds is breathtakingly beautiful, suspenseful, romantic and completely captivating.

Rice created characters that are well rounded and completely realistic. I immediately connect with them and felt their emotions. Julia keeps everything bottled up just below the surface and you can see them clearly in her eyes and brow. Rice portrayed her struggles and grief in a way that felt real and I could almost imagine myself in her shoes. Roberto’s story captured my heart, and made me look at illegals from their perspective. Lion is a friend of the family and famous movie star whose love story we become privy to and was one that I enjoyed. He helped give us some outside perspective regarding Julia and Roberto. Jack Leary is a retired Border Patrol Officer and a true man of honor who filled in clues and helped further the suspenseful plot. I admired the man. We meet other characters who help further the plot and give us insight.

The Lemon Orchard flows beautifully as Rice paints both the beautiful coastal community and the characters. All of the characters from the smallest to the main characters were fleshed-out and felt realistic. I love when I can immediately identify with them and understand what drives them. Julia’s loss and road to healing was remarkable in itself and then Rice weaved in Roberto’s tale and I came undone. Her perception of loss and parenthood was profound. The romance that developed was sweet, believable and heartbreaking. I was glad to have been a part of and experience the change it brought about. I enjoyed the first half of the book as I watched things unfold but the second half held me captive and would not let me go. As a result, I sat up very late reading to find out what happened. I closed this book with tears in my eyes as I experienced both sadness and joy.

The Lemon Orchard is a powerful tale of love, and compassion. Rice shows us that you can move forward and make peace. This was my first Rice book but it won’t be my last.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Penguin Publishing is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of 
The Lemon Orchard and this beautiful matching tote!!


Sponsored US only Rafflecopter Giveaway  

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82 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous cabingoddess said...

Yaaaa thanks my caffeinated friend!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous Jan Mardis said...

I can't wait to read this book.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:51 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy Jan it was quite good:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This was my first and I can see why you did!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM , Anonymous Gin's Book Notes (Ginny) said...

Oh, this book is on my Amazon Wish List! I have read all of Luanne Rice's older books. I went through a spell where I checked every book of hers out at the library and I have to say I enjoyed them all. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It was Anita, good luck to you:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM , Anonymous Anita Yancey said...

I haven't read any of Rice's books yet, but this one sounds really good and I'd love to read it. Thanks for this chance.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

good luck Justine!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are welcome, I think you will like this Dani :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous Danielle Chapman said...

I haven't read any books by Rice before but I have heard about her. Thanks for the giveaway!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Justine said...

No, I haven't read Rice before.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Denise said...

No, I haven't read any of hers before. This looks good!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous alisa said...

I have not read Luanne yet. But I will now. Looks like a great book. Thanks for sharing.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Laura said...

how beautiful is that cover! I have never read anything by Luann Rice before and I love to read new things from new authors. Would love a chance to read

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

So had I until now and I am glad I read it, good luck Jillyn:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you would appreciate the tale and the unique characters

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Mary and so glad you stopped by, I will stop by and check out your blog:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are welcome Connie, I was really pleased with this and love trying new to me authors

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jessie and good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Jessie L said...

I haven't read LuAnn Rice before but I'm looking forward to finally getting the chance. Thank you for the post for this book. I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Connie said...

Thanks for your review... this looks really good

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Mary Hill said...

http://mary-anderingcreatively.blogspot.com/

PS following you in several ways too.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Mary Hill said...

Hi, You have big following. I really enjoyed reading your review of Luanne Rice's book. I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

A new author for me but one I'll keep an eye out for now. Sounds heartbreaking but beautiful. Lovely review, I love when an author can make you happy and sad.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Jillyn said...

I have not, but I've seen her name all over the place lately!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

good luck Lisa!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Ty..good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I hope you do!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Kristin Clifton said...

I have not read Luanne Rice yet but she is another author who is ALL OVER our library!!! I know a lot of the other girls read her, though. I should pick up one of her books! Especially how well you say she writes; that she was able to write emotions so well. Yikes, need to stock up on Kleenex! Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Ty Wilson said...

I have not read anything by Luanne Rice, but I hope to rectify that soon. This one looks great.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Lisa Richardson said...

I love Luanne Rice's books, and have read them for many years. Would love to win this!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

well worth any tears that fall!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This sounds like one of those reads I stay away from because of the tears but end up reading it and loving it. I haven't read her before, but I've always wanted to! This does sound like something I would enjoy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Have a great 4th Heidi!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

good luck Heather!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Heather S said...

No I haven't read Rice before but I'd certainly LOVE to! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

No I have not read this author before :) Thanks for the giveaway chance!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

I was immediately drawn to this one when I saw the cover. It sounds like an amazing read and one that I would certainly enjoy. I am going to have to try and make room for this one! Have a Happy Fourth!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Me too Tammy! good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Tammy said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet but I love finding new authors to read.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love how realistic her characters are, you can see and feel their emotions, thanks Giselle

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jenea, have a lovely 4th!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Giselle Cormier said...

This sounds like a cute read. I've never read anything by this author before BUt I have come upon her name once or twice. I do like how dramatic it sounds!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this so much. i sounds emotional and romantic at the same time. Wonderful review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

maybe you will win it:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

cool, I am so glad I read it

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks and good luck

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Ali good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Exactly Diana!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I get it, but I love how Rice mixed in suspense into this one

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I so agree Brandi and Rice did a lovely job

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I was happy and sad and happy and ...you get the picture. Thanks Nick

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are welcome Erin!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Laurel and I hope you enjoy it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Andrea:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I understand, I tend to read lighter books this time of year as well. My next Caffeinated Confession is all about that. LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Me too..but there were moments that I laughed as well!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

your comment cracked me up..mine is I like Nora Roberts..hahaha!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Dena said...

I haven't read anything by this author before. This book sounds lovely. Sometimes I like reading books that make you cry.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

This sounds like an emotional read! It's probably not something I could take right now (I get so incredibly lazy during summer), but I love the sound of it and will definitely check it out at a later date. I'm glad it managed to draw a response from you. Beautiful review, Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Andrea @ The Bookish Babe said...

Wow! It is so clear how much you enjoyed The Lemon Orchard. I love that you were so drawn to the characters. I will definitely add this to my tbr!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Laurel-Rain Snow said...

And yes, I have read and loved other books by Rice.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great review, Kimba....and this book is definitely on my wish list. Can't wait to read it.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Erin F said...

I haven't read this author yet and this book sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

I love that cover, Kim! I'll admit this is not the book for me but you sound like you really loved it. Your review really shows how much you enjoyed the book, Kim!
Any book that can make you cry by the end is a good book! Lovely review, Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

Loss and love are always great to read about when written well

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Aurian said...

Great review Kim, thank you. It is not a book for me though, too much real life drama and heartbreak. I want to escape with my books.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Diana said...

I love her books. The characters are real & the settings just wonderful. It's like traveling but I am still in my reading chair at home. Reading Cloud Nine right now.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous cabingoddess said...

I love Luanne, this is one of my dirty little secret authors. Her writing is elegant and I am itching to read this one when I have more time!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

I haven't tried this author yet but this sounds like a great emotional read! Lovely review Kim!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous LadyBug Literature said...

I haven't unfortunately.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

I do really like the sound of this one

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Marie said...

I have not.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It was beautiful. Good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous Belle Read said...

This sounds like a beautiful read. I have been wondering. The cover certainly is lovely. Thank you for your review and for the giveaway.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are very welcome and good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous Natasha said...

I haven't yet. This one sounds like a great read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Debbie, I understand.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Denise, glad you like the sound of it..good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Alisa, good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love trying new to me authors too Laura..good luck!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Kim I'm glad you like Luanne, she used to be one of my go to authors, however it was her Seventh Heaven I was reading when I learned about my husband's cancer. One of these days I'll be able to go back to her but not yet. Isn't it funny how the mind works.

Great review and I agree that her novels are very poignant and memorable.
deb

 

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