Cover image for The wild child
Title:
The wild child
Author:
Putney, Mary Jo.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Rockland, MA : Wheeler Pub., [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
464 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9781568957906
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

With her enchanting romance One Perfect Rose, Mary Jo Putney earned her rightful place on bestseller lists and "keeper" shelves everywhere. Her lush historical settings, bewitching characters, and unique passion for the beauty of nature transport readers to a place as close to the heart as secret dreams. Now, in her glorious new novel, The Wild Child, Putney creates a breathtaking love story that awakens all the senses, inviting a magical world of wonders in a magnificent English garden. Dominic Renbourne has been bribed to take his twin brother Kyle's place at Warfield Manor, where he is to pay gentlemanly court to Lady Meriel Grahame, the extravagantly wealthy heiress Kyle intends to marry. The deception need only take a few weeks and no one will be the wiser, especially the strange Lady Meriel who is whispered to be . . . mad. The last thing Dominic expects when he arrives is to be entranced by a silent woman whose ethereal beauty is as stunning as her mystical relationship to the intoxicating flowers and trees that surround her. Until now, Meriel has kept her distance from society, spending her days at one with the earth and safe from the nightmare that nearly destroyed her as a child. She is content to live alone, but suddenly this handsome intruder begins to inspire dreams of life beyond her sanctuary. He senses her restlessness, her awakening desire, and the truth that she is much more than she seems. Theirs is an extraordinary courtship. Without words, Meriel teaches Dominic to appreciate the natural splendors of her isolated world. While Dominic's sense of duty barely restrains his longing for his brother's future bride, Meriel's untamed spirit proves more powerful than Dominic can resist. But will Meriel forgive his deceit once she learns he is not Kyle? Moreover, will their love be able to save them both from the treachery that still secretly shadows Meriel? And will their passion endure the rift that will divide two brothers? Told with Mary Jo Putney's incomparable intelligence and grace, The Wild Child is an unforgettable tale about the infinite possibilities of love.


Author Notes

Romance writer Mary Jo Putney was born in New York and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in English literature and Industrial design. She served as the art editor of The New Internationalist magazine in London and worked as a designer in California before settling in Baltimore, Maryland in 1980 to run her own freelance graphic design business Her first novel was a traditional Regency romance, which sold in one week. Signet liked the novel so much that it offered Putney a three-book contract. In 1987 that first novel, The Diabolical Baron, was published. Since then, she has published more than twenty-nine books. Her books have been ranked on the national bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Most of her books have been historical romance. She has also begun writing fantasy romance and romantic fantasy. Putney has won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice, for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer and has been a RITA finalist nine times. She is on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll for bestselling authors, and has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards and four Golden Leaf Awards. Her titles include: Dark Mirror, Dark Passage, No Longer a Gentleman, Never Less than a Lady, and Nowhere Near Respectable.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In award-winning Putney's newest, a Regency period historical, Dominic Renbourne agrees to masquerade as his twin brother to secure a betrothal with a very wealthy young woman who is also thought to be quite mad. Dominic discovers, however, that Lady Meriel Grahame isn't at all what she appears. For her part, Meriel finds herself falling in love with the man she believes she is supposed to marry. Her love gives her strength, and she finally finds the courage to leave her very private world, both physically and emotionally. Woven throughout the story are musings on regret and forgiveness, madness and sanity, and on the importance of learning to look beyond the surface of what we see. Putney's writing is clear as crystal and smooth as silk. The plot winds and twists and finally ties up neatly, but Putney's strong points are her thoughtfulness and her well-drawn cast of compelling and very human characters. --Ann Bouricius


Publisher's Weekly Review

Lady Meriel Grahame, the eighth heroine in Putney's Fallen Angels series, has lived in a world of self-imposed silence since the night of violence in colonial India that claimed her parents' lives. Deemed mad by her guardian uncles (one good, one evil), looked after by two widows (both good), she lives a life of fey barefoot willfulness, making weedy centerpieces for the mahogany dining table and communing with the animals who roam the gorgeous grounds of her ancestral home, Warfield. Lord Grahame, her evil uncle, would like to see her locked up in a mental asylum (Putney dwells on the horrors of early 19th-century "modern" psychiatry), but her good uncle, Lord Amworth, thinks a wedding and bedding might cure herÄand the time is now, while Grahame is out of the country. Since infancy, Meriel has been pledged to Kyle Renbourne, Lord Maxwell, the future earl of Wrexham. Heart-bound to escort his dying mistress home to Spain, Kyle dispatches his twin brother, Dominic, to court Meriel in his place. The novel is most enjoyable precisely where it's most predictable, and it's in the all-consuming attraction, body and spirit, between Dominic and Meriel that it reaches its peak. Allowed unthinkable liberties, Meriel paints henna designs on Dominic's trembling torso, laughs at his morality and offers up an irresistible bargaining chip: if she may have his body, he shall hear her voice. Her words may lack the eloquence of her silence, and the second half of the novel is altogether the weaker, but there's satisfaction for readers who like to see villains die and everyone else live happily ever after. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Putney's delicious post-Regency romance is married fittingly with Barbara Rosenblatt's amazing facility with characters and dialects and her perfect emotional pitch. Dominic Renbourne is asked by his identical twin brother, Kyle, to impersonate him at a visit to his fiance, Lady Meriel Grahame. Meriel is known to be mad, so it is unlikely that she will notice the difference. Dominic is captivated by Meriel's intelligence and spirit when, despite her refusal to speak, he recognizes that she is eccentric but not insane. Meriel, living in her own world on her estate since witnessing the massacre of her parents in India when she was only five, finds herself drawn to Dominic, for the first time seeking a connection to someone outside her world at Warfield, but both face obstacles to their happiness. Shadows from Meriel's past and Dominic's betrayal of his brother will threaten their future. Putney writes with attention to historical detail as well as emotional depth. Rosenblatt is superb throughout, finding the correct voice, nuance, and tone for each sentence. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.DMelody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA-Identical twins Kyle and Dominic were close as children but have grown apart as young adults. Thus, Dominic is surprised when Kyle asks him to temporarily take his place courting Lady Meriel, who is rumored to be mad. Wealthy, beautiful, gentle Meriel was orphaned and severely traumatized in Indian riots as a small child. Raised by caring elderly relatives on an isolated, large British estate, she doesn't speak until Dominic (masquerading as Kyle) patiently brings her out of her shell. The young man is recovering from the horrors of Waterloo. A shorter subplot shows Kyle taking his true love, his dying mistress, to her home in Spain for burial. Putney depicts high society, the problems of women, and the insane of Regency England. She is at her best with characterization: readers watch many people grow and relationships change in a relatively short time. With lots of romance, some comic touches, a villain, and a touch of mystery, this novel provides good entertainment.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Dominic Renbourne's head was pounding like a regimental drum. He came awake slowly, knowing he shouldn't have drunk so much at the boxing match the night before. A good evening, but he'd pay for it all day. Belatedly he realized there was pounding on the door as well as in his head. Where the hell was Clement? Damn, his valet was still in the country visiting his ailing mother. Bloody nuisance. Since the knocking showed no sign of abatement, Dominic swung his legs to the floor and took stock. The sun's rays said early afternoon, not morning. He still wore crumpled breeches and shirt, but had managed to get his coat and boots off before collapsing on the bed. Yawning, he ambled from his bedroom into the sitting room. He hoped Clement's mother recovered soon; Dominic's rooms were a shambles. If matters got much worse, he'd have to find a charwoman to clean the place. He swung open the door and saw--himself. Or rather, a cold-eyed, immaculately tailored version of himself. The shock of seeing his twin brother in the passageway was like a splash of ice water. Before Dominic could think of a suitably acid greeting, his brother pushed past him into the sitting room. "You need a shave and a haircut." Kyle kicked aside a rumpled coat with one shining black boot. "And a bonfire to purge this place." "I don't recall asking your opinion." Dominic's normally easy temper flared with the special kind of irritation that only his brother and father could inspire. How long had it been since he'd seen Kyle? At least two years, and then only in passing, with cool nods exchanged. They didn't move in the same circles. Both of them preferred it that way. "Why are you here? Has Wrexham died?" "The earl enjoys his usual health. Robust, in an invalidish sort of way." His brother began to prowl the room, unease showing in every line of his body. Dominic closed the door, then leaned against it and folded his arms across his chest, beginning to enjoy his twin's obvious discomfort. Kyle had always concealed a tense, restless nature under a rigidly controlled exterior, but today the control was slipping badly. He looked ready to jump out of his skin. "If our dear father is still among the living, why are you stooping to visit my poor chambers?" Kyle frowned. In another few years his sour disposition would carve hard lines around his mouth, yet for now his features were still eerily like the image Dominic saw in the mirror every morning. Kyle's face was a fraction fuller, his eyes perhaps a shade less blue, but the pair of them were still alike as peas in a pod. Both a little above middle height, leanly built but with broad shoulders, dark hair with a slight wave. As a boy, Dominic had reveled in that resemblance. Now he resented it. It seemed wrong that they should appear so similar when they were utterly different. "Perhaps I am visiting from brotherly affection." "Do you think I'm a fool, Lord Maxwell?" "Yes," his brother said bluntly, his contemptuous gaze scanning the cluttered room. "Surely you can do better than this with your life." Dominic's mouth hardened. His manner of living was not a subject he would discuss with his brother. "I presume you are here because you want something, though I can't imagine what a useless younger son could possibly offer to the lord and heir of Wrexham." And if Kyle did want something, he was going about it the wrong way. Apparently realizing that, his brother said in a more moderate tone, "You're right, I need help, and only you can supply it." "Indeed?" His eyes showing how much he hated asking for aid, Kyle said flatly, "I want you to pretend to be me for several weeks." After a moment of shock, Dominic laughed. "Don't be absurd. I could fool strangers easily enough, but not anyone who knows you well. Besides, what is the point? Deception is a child's game." Dominic had always been better at impersonating his brother than the other way around, but they hadn't changed places since they'd started school. Or rather, schools. Sometimes Dominic wondered how different his life would have been if they'd both gone to Eton. "There are ... special circumstances. You would be among strangers, not anyone who knows me." Kyle hesitated, then added, "I'll make it worth your while." Dominic had been heading toward the small butler's pantry, but at that he swung around, eyes glittering. "Out. Now." Though he had been bullied and betrayed by his brother, he would never be bought. Kyle pulled a folded sheaf of papers from an inside pocket and tossed them at Dominic. "Your reward if you carry this off successfully." Dominic caught the sheaf and opened it, then stopped in his tracks, stunned by what he held. "This is the deed to Bradshaw Manor!" "I'm quite aware of what it is." Kyle plucked the deed from his brother's hand and tucked it back inside his coat. As a younger son, Dominic received a modest allowance, barely enough to live as a gentleman, while Kyle would eventually receive the entire Wrexham fortune. Quite a reward for emerging from their mother's body a mere ten minutes earlier. And not only would Kyle someday be one of Britain's great lords, on their twenty-first birthday he had received Bradshaw Manor outright. It was a fine estate in Cambridgeshire, well cultivated and including a handsome house. Dominic would sell his soul for Bradshaw Manor--and Kyle knew it. "You bastard." "I could hardly be illegitimate without you being the same, dear brother." Kyle smiled as he saw the power shifting into his hands. "And you malign our mother, of hallowed memory." Excerpted from The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney 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.