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In the heart of New York City, hidden in the back room of an old Laundromat, are nine rare and valuable plants. <i>Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire </i>tells the story of this legendary garden, and the distance one woman must travel—from the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula—to claim what is hers.<br><br>Lila Nova lives alone in a plain, white box of an apartment. Recovering from a heartbreaking divorce, Lila’s life is like her home: simple, new, and empty. But when she meets a handsome plant-seller named David Exley, an entire world opens up before her eyes. Late one night Lila stumbles across a strange Laundromat and sees ferns so highly-prized that a tiny cutting can fetch thousands of dollars. She learns about flowers with medicinal properties to rival anything found in drugstores. And she hears the legend of nine mystical plants that bring fame, fortune, immortality, and passion. <br><br>The owner of the Laundromat, Armand, presents Lila with a test: if she can make the cutting from a fire fern grow roots, he will show her the secret of his locked room. But Lila is too trusting, and with one terrible mistake she ruins her chance to see Armand’s plants. The only way to win it back is to travel, on her own, to the Yucatan. <br><br>Deep in the rain forests of Mexico, Lila enters a world of shamans and spirit animals, snake charmers, and sexy, heart-stopping Huichols. Alone in the jungle, Lila is forced to learn more than she ever wanted to know about nature—and about herself. An exhilarating journey of love and self-discovery, <i>Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire </i>brings together mystery, adventure, and heat, in every sense of the word.
<p><strong>Amazon Exclusive: Christina Schwarz Reviews Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire</strong></p> <p><strong>Christina Schwarz is the author of <i>So Long at the Fair</i>, <i>All Is Vanity</i>, and <i>Drowning Ruth</i>, a #1 bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club and optioned by Wes Craven for Miramax. Read her exclusive Amazon guest review of <i>Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire</i>:</strong></p> <p>Debut novelist Margot Berwin gives her fecund imagination free play in this lush and steamy summer read. Recently divorced and craving a blank slate, 30-something advertising copywriter Lila Nova moves into a new studio apartment “with absolutely no character” on Union Square. Lila, the sort of contemporary heroine given to amusing self-deflating wisecracks, is not, however, destined to inhabit a clean, white box for long. Within a few chapters, packed with romantic betrayal, plant lore and a couple of visits to a surreal Laundromat in the East Village, she’s on her way to “high adventure” in the Yucatan rain forest, where she’ll encounter ancient magic, poisonous creatures, a murderous exotic plant dealer, and, yes, true love. A wildly inventive novel as vivid and colorful as a jungle flower.</p> <p>(Photo copyright Deone Jahnke)</p>