Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Kulani is “The Orchid,” a young, insecure, pro-surfer who comes from a rough background on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He’s Beau Toyama’s cousin from Hawaiian Lei. But he’s also a healer and has a heart as deep as the ocean he’s part of. Like the great Hawaiians, who have gone before him, warrior Kulani Mahikoa epitomizes the spirit of aloha and love. Kulani’s not only healing his own wounds, but “The Lost Boys”—young, homeless, abandoned and abused gay boys he’s taken under his wing.
Rob Masterson is a wounded psychologist who’s trying to come to terms with his husband Tony’s death. When he died, they were separated but still living together. Can the lone and lonely New Zealand widower reconcile all the pieces of guilt and love, to heal and fall in love again? When he drops anchor in Kona Harbor and meets the exotic islander—young, bolshie Kulani—explosive heat makes sparks fly between them.
Is the age difference between them a barrier or something they’ll get past? Kulani has more layers than Rob ever bargained for. And Rob’s tangled knot of responsibility, grief and guilt with his New Zealand heritage and past life is something he needs to untangle.
Two wounded men have to learn to trust and love one another. Traveling between the South Sea Islands of beautiful New Zealand and the exotic Hawaiian Islands—they forge a sea change, finding a home for their shrapnel laced souls.
I discovered Meg Amor through the first terrific book in this series, Hawaiian Lei. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor cemented the fact that I’ve found something incredibly special, in this series and in this amazing author. From that forward where I learned the author had suffered two losses central to her heart, she brought that pain and loss to this story, making it ours through the character of Rob. All the way, from the first sentence through to the dictionary at the end, Meg Amor held me captive by a tale layered in the need and search for love in all its aspects, from romantic to familial. It does so within a deep and encompassing framework of various Pacific Island cultures and religions, the spirituality flowing through the storylines like a healer’s chant. It takes place not only on the Big Island (BI) of Hawaii but also in New Zealand as Rob searches for closure for himself and a start anew finally with Kulani. For Kulani, he’s looking for acceptance, healing, and love too. It’s his journey as well. This is a big story, big in heart, big in scale and the author makes this vast narrative intimate in emotion and connectivity for the reader.
Rob Masterson is a complex character. He’s older than Kulani, wounded by the loss of his husband, torn and beaten in ways by the way in which his marriage was ending and the way his husband died. Rob hasn’t healed when he meets Kulani, a gorgeous younger man. Rob immediately recognizes in Kulani someone with wounds as deep or deeper than his but there’s an attraction between them than neither can resist. Kulani is a character full of surprises for us and Rob. That initial meeting of a sullen, young man lays the right superficial impression for the author to blow us away with the depths of pain and beauty awaiting below the surface. She peels away the first layer slowly for Rob and us as Kulani slowly begins to open up and show his true self, only for Rob to realize how much he’s been holding back himself. Amor makes us believe in each man. Their pain, sometimes awkwardness (Kulani’s), abruptness (Rob’s), and tenderness to and for each other is vivid, authentic and real. So is the steps they take, forward and back, towards a relationship. It includes help and support from a number of other characters, including Beau and Matt from Hawaiian Lei and even their respective parents. Again, the relationship dynamics here are complex and real. And they make the story.
Now this story also contains a third element I won’t go into here. It sets the stage for the third book in this series, Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) which I’m going to read and review next. Going into it here would I believe spoil something wonderful so I’m leaving it out. But again, this aspect of the story, again just elevates Hawaiian Orchid and this series into another realm for me, that of the comfort read and the story I’ll read again and again.
The mysticism and spiritualism present in the first story is still here, toned down somewhat but it flows through as naturally as breathing air. So beautifully done you might not even notice how deeply ingrained it is for these men and families. But it’s there, especially in the reading Rob has done for him, one more important necessary step in the healing process for him. Plus there are other elements that appear in the story as well, folded in so easily that I believed in them as much as Rob and Kulani.
This is an incredible story. I highly recommend it as I do the one that starts the series. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor will be on my Best of List this year and it’s highly likely the series will as well. Hawaiian Fragrance is next. There’s something else you might want to look at! There’s a link here to the Hawaiian Orchid page on Meg Amor’s website. It contains more information on the meaning of the different orchids, the characters, the big island of Hawaii and much more. Check it out!
Cover artist: Syneca Featherstone. I just love these covers. Beautiful and as lush as the islands themselves, the men are perfect!
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
Series The Hawaiians :