Cover image for Mad Jack
Title:
Mad Jack
Author:
Coulter, Catherine.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Jove edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Jove Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 18 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780515124200
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The fifth book in the Bride Saga from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Winifrede disguises herself as a male valet to Grayson St. Cyre's aunts, but when Grayson discovers the truth, he uncovers feelings he never imagined
he possessed.


Author Notes

Catherine Coulter was born on December 26, 1942 in Cameron County, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a master's degree in early 19th century European history from Boston College. Her first novel, The Autumn Countess, was published in 1978. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1982, she worked on Wall Street as a speech writer. Since then she has written over 65 books including The Aristocrat, Afterglow, False Pretenses, Impulse, and Born to Be Wild. She also writes the FBI Thriller series and numerous historical romance trilogies including the Song, Star, Magic, Night, Bride, Viking, and Legacy Trilogies. She writes A Brit in the FBI series with J. T. Ellison.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Winifrede Levering Bascombe escapes her sadistic stepfather, and turns up on the doorstep of Grayson St. Cyre, Lord Cliffe, in disguise as the boy Mad Jack, valet to Gray's two elderly great-aunts. Mad Jack and Gray hit it off, and the plot, like a royal maze, leads the randy duo through myriad twists and turns that involve a stolen horse, a fist-fight between the hero and heroine, a serious illness, the rescue of Mad Jack's younger sister from the evil stepfather, and the thwarting of an evil suitor who only wants Mad Jack's fortune. But that is only the beginning: their impetuous marriage may be doomed unless a hidden madwoman can counter a mysterious revelation. All this, and a killer who wants revenge on Gray for his work in helping battered women, adds up to an entertainingly sexy romp through Regency-era England. It never quite comes together as well as some of best-seller Coulter's other works, but fans will be delighted at the cameo appearances of characters from her Brides series. --Diana Tixier Herald


Publisher's Weekly Review

The household of Lord Cliffe, Grayson St. Cyres, is turned topsy-turvy in this historical romance when his two eccentric great aunts descend on him with their valet, Mad Jack. As it turns out, Jack is in fact Winifrede Levering Bascombe, a young runaway in disguise, hiding from her abusive stepfather. When Jack steals one of St. Cyres's horses, the chase is on; and when St. Cyres apprehends the scamp, he discovers the masquerade and the inevitable love affair develops. The less-than-ingenious plot appears to be going nowhere until Coulter throws in a special twist that saves the day. Despite this, the story is well-worn and cutesy, and the males are reduced to inept creatures dominated by the strong-willed women in their lives. Although entertaining (due mostly to the eccentric, hysterical aunts), Coulter's newest doesn't hold up to her bestselling The Wild Baron. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

St. Cyre Town House London, 1811 March 25th GRAYSON ALBEMARLE ST. Cyre, Baron Cliffe, read the single page one more time, then slowly crumpled it in his hand. Some letter, he thought, as he threw the ball of paper into the fireplace. Not many words on the page, but most of the few there were vicious and malevolent. He watched the paper slowly crinkle around the edges, then burst into bright flame. He walked out of the drawing room and down the long corridor toward the back of his home. He opened the door to the library--his room--all somber and warm and filled with books and little else. The heavy, dark gold velvet draperies were drawn tightly against the night, the fire low and sluggish because none of the servants had known he would be coming into this room at this time. They all thought he'd left five minutes before to visit his mistress. He thought of the damned letter and cursed, but not as fluently as his father had when he was so drunk he could scarcely walk. He sat down at his desk and took a piece of foolscap from the top drawer, dipped the quill into the ink pot, and wrote: If I receive another threat from you, I will treat you as you deserve. I will beat you senseless and leave you in a ditch to die. He signed his initials, GSC, slowly folded the paper, and slid it into an envelope. He walked to the elegant Spanish table that sat against the wall in the entrance hall and placed the envelope onto the ancient silver salver that his butler, Quincy, cleaned every other day, at one o'clock in the afternoon, without fail. He wondered as he walked in the cold, clear, early spring night to the apartment of his sweet Jenny what would happen now. Probably nothing. Men of Clyde Barrister's stamp were cowards. Carlisle Manor Near Folkstone March 29th There was nothing more to say, damn her. He was panting with rage at her, the ungrateful little bitch. He couldn't help himself. He raised his hand to strike her, then got hold of himself. ''If I hit you, Carlton will know it and perhaps not want you.'' She whimpered, her head down, her hair straggling long and tangled and sweaty down the sides of her face. ''Silent at last, are you? I never thought I'd see you mute as a tree. It's refreshing for once not having to listen to your complaints and see those looks of yours. Silence and submissiveness are very charming in women, in you especially, though I'm just now seeing them for the first time. Well, perhaps it's over, eh? Yes, you've finally given up. You won't go against me anymore.'' She said not a word. When he grabbed her chin in his hand and forced her head up, there were tears in her eyes. But still he frowned. He stared down at her hard, still breathing hoarsely from his pacing and yelling. But his face was no longer as flushed as it had been a minute before, and his voice no longer trembled with rage when he spoke. ''You will marry Sir Carlton Avery. He will return tomorrow morning. You will smile shyly at him and tell him that it is your honor to become his wife. I have given him my blessing. The marriage settlements are agreed upon. Everything is done. You will not disobey me, or when I next see you, I will make you very sorry.'' He grabbed her chin again, saw the tear streaking down her cheeks, and smiled. ''Good,'' he said. ''Tonight you will bathe and wash your hair. You look like a slut from Drury Lane.'' He swiftly left her bedchamber, humming with his victory. Still, because he didn't want her to forget that he was serious, he slammed the door behind him. She heard his key grate in the lock. She heard his heavy-booted footsteps receding down the long corridor. She drew in a deep breath, looked upward, and said, ''Thank you, God. Thank you, God.'' He'd forgotten to retie her hands. She lifted her hands, looked at the ugly, raw bruises on her wrists, and began to rub feeling back into them. She bent over to untie her ankles, then rose slowly from the chair where she'd been trussed up like a criminal for three days. She relieved herself and quickly downed two glasses of water from the carafe that sat on her bedside table. Her breathing calmed. She was very hungry. He hadn't allowed her any food since the previous evening. But he'd forgotten and left her hands untied. Perhaps he hadn't forgotten. Perhaps he believed he'd finally broken her and tying her hands didn't matter. Well, she'd tried to make him believe that. To hold her tongue had cost her dearly. To squeeze tears out of her eyes hadn't proved so difficult. Would he come back? That got her into action more quickly than having Farmer Mason's bull Prixil racing toward her across the south field would have. She had to leave in the next three minutes, perhaps sooner. She'd thought of this so often during the long hours of the past three days, had meticulously planned it, modified her plans, pictured everything she would be able to carry in the small, light valise. The next two minutes she spent tying the ends of her two sheets together, slinging them out of the second-floor window, and praying that she would fit through the tall, narrow opening. No doubt she was thinner now than she had been three days ago. She'd stared at that window off and on during the past three days, knowing it was her only way out. She would have to squeeze through it. She had no choice at all. She managed, barely. When she was dangling six feet above the ground, she looked briefly back up at her bedchamber window, then smiled. She let go and rolled when she landed on the soft, sloping ground. When she stopped, shook herself, and found that she'd gained only a few bruises from her jump, she looked back at her home once more, its lines soft and mellow beneath the brilliant light of the half-moon. A lovely property, Carlisle Manor, one that had belonged to her father, Thomas Levering Bascombe, not this bastard, not this man who'd married her mother after her father had died. And now Carlisle Manor was his, all his, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. With luck she wouldn't be missed until the morning. Unless he remembered and came back to tie her hands. Then things would be a bit more difficult. At least Georgie was far away from here, all the way up at York, and thus would be safe from their stepfather's rage when he discovered that his pigeon had escaped the cage. His pigeon also knew where to go. Excerpted from Mad Jack by Catherine Coulter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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