Cover image for The China bride
The China bride
Putney, Mary Jo.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine, 2000.
Physical Description:
310 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Library
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Award-winning author Mary Jo Putney captivated the hearts of readers everywhere with her breathtaking hardcover debut, The Wild Child. Now, in her spectacular new novel The China Bride, she has created another brilliantly moving love story, and a very special heroine--a rare beauty torn between two cultures who valiantly struggles to discover the woman she is destined to be.

Born to a Scottish father and now living in China, Troth Montgomery grew up speaking several languages and thinking of faraway England as home. Enduring life as a concubine, she never imagined that one day she would leave the Orient, arriving in bitter winter at the estate of a stranger--the brother of the man who had briefly been her husband. Kyle Renbourne, Viscount of Maxwell, had taken Troth as his bride shortly before his apparent execution in a Chinese prison. Now, as his widow, she is entitled to the home she always dreamed of but remains haunted by the memory of a dashing husband and the brief, forbidden love they shared.

Then Kyle seemingly returns from the dead. Though he has survived, his mind and body are badly wounded. He needs time to heal and retreats from the exotic wife he barely knows. Bitterly aware that she will never be a fitting English wife, Troth defiantly embraces her foreign traditions, hoping that the ancient arts of her ancestors will restore Kyle's spirit and her own battered heart. Together they embark on a miraculous journey of hope and faith as Kyle becomes enchanted with the intimate tranquillity he shares with his bewitching Troth. But before he can win back his China bride, Kyle must first face a deadly menace that has followed them halfway across the world. . . .

Written with exquisite elegance and gentle passion, The China Bride is a stirring tale of everlasting love and the power of forgiveness, by a master storyteller.

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 3

Booklist Review

It's no wonder that best-seller Putney is a favorite of romance fans. Only a master storyteller could convincingly start a fast-paced, happily-ever-after historical romance with the heroine reporting the death of the hero to his family. Troth Montgomery has spent almost her entire adult life in Canton during the 1830s disguised as Jin Kang, a male translator and spy. Kyle Renbourne, seeking adventure before shouldering his responsibilities as a peer of the realm, is bewildered to find himself attracted to Jin Kang while in Canton on business until he discovers that he is really a she. He then insists on visiting a distant temple even though foreigners are forbidden to travel beyond the narrow strip called the Settlement. Kyle's quest may well cost him his life, but not before he marries Troth. Excitement abounds, but Putney excels most at portraying two individuals who do not fit comfortably into the worlds in which they were born but who, through their differences, become soul mates as well as lovers. --Diana Tixier Herald

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nineteenth-century China, England and Scotland are the settings for Putney's continuing saga of the Renbourne twins, Dominic and Kyle, begun in The Wild Child. There, Kyle handed over his unwanted betrothed, Meriel (a match arranged at birth), to his twin brother, Dominic, and escaped to Spain with his terminally ill mistress, Constancia. Ever since his true love's death, Kyle has been exploring the world. In 1832, he is in Macao. His father's health is failing, however, and Kyle plans to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing the Temple of Hoshan, "an image of peace and unearthly beauty," then return to England to resume his duties as Lord Maxwell. Unfortunately, China is closed to all Fan-qui (foreigners) and Kyle must stay within the confines of the Canton Settlement, a narrow strip of warehouses serving as shipping point for all European and American trade companies. In order to sneak into the Chinese countryside, Kyle enlists the aid of Jin Kang, who he thinks is a young male Chinese interpreter. Jin is actually Troth Mei-Lian Montgomery, feisty daughter of a Scottish trader and Chinese concubine, who is forced to make her living by spying on "foreign devils." Kyle's rash escapade is predictably unsuccessful, as he is discovered and sentenced to death. He marries Troth (symbolically) and dispatches her to England to tell his family of his fate√Ąwhich, of course, turns out to be different from what she imagines. In chapters alternating between Troth's experiences in England and flashbacks to her adventures with Kyle in China, Putney contrives an awkward tale, dependant for its drama on Kyle's belief that he can never love again, and on Troth's fear of rejection by Kyle's family. Though the conflict rarely grips, the sex scenes are adequately steamy, and Putney provides plenty of atmospheric details. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Picking up the story of the "irresponsible twin" from The Wild Child (LJ 8/99), Putney's latest historical sweeps its adventure-seeking hero to the other side of the globe and into the narrow, conflicted life of Troth Mei-Lian Montgomery, an orphaned Eurasian daughter of a Scottish trader, with dangerous, passionate, and life-changing results. A master at creating unusual, sympathetic characters in compelling relational situations, Putney takes a woman caught between two worlds and a British peer who has vowed never to marry again and sends them on a forbidden journey that not only challenges their preconceptions about life and each other but eventually brings them love as well. Smoothly integrated references to the ancient practices of tai chi, feng shui, and wing chun add interest and authenticity to this highly sensual, emotionally involving romance, which also addresses a number of women's and ethnic issues still relevant today. This elegantly written work is sure to join Putney's earlier novels in most library romance collections. Putney is a best-selling RITA Award winner and lives in Baltimore. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Macao, China February 1832 Kyle Renbourne, tenth Viscount Maxwell, concealed his impatience as he politely greeted dozens of members of Macao's European community who had gathered to meet an honest-to-God lord. Then, his social duty done, he slipped outside to the veranda so he could contemplate the last, best adventure that would begin the next morning. The sprawling house stood high on one of South China's steep hills. Below, a scattering of lights defined the sweep of Macao around the eastern harbor. An exotic little city at the southeastern corner of the Pearl River estuary, Macao had been founded by the Portuguese, theonly European power to find favor with the Chinese. For almost three centuries the enclave had been home to merchants and missionaries and a rare mixing of races. Kyle had enjoyed his visit. But Macao wasn't really China, and he was eager to be on his way to Canton. He leaned against the railing, enjoying the cool breeze on his face. Perhaps it was his imagination, but the wind seemed scented with unknown spices and ancient mysteries, beckoning him to the land he'd dreamed of since he was a boy. His host, friend, and partner, Gavin Elliott, came through the shuttered doors. "You look like a child on Christmas Eve, ready to burst with anticipation." "You can afford to be casual about sailing to Canton tomorrow. You've been doing it for fifteen years. This is my first visit." Kyle hesitated before adding, "And probably my last." "So you're going back to England. You'll be missed." "It's time." Kyle thought of the years he'd spent in travel, moving ever eastward. He'd seen the Great Mosque of Damascus and walked the hills where Jesus had preached. He'd explored India from the brilliantly colored south to the wild, lonely mountains of the northwest. Along the way, he'd had his share of adventures, and survived disasters that might have left his younger brother heir to the family earldom--and wouldn't Dominic have hated that! He'd also lost the angry edge that had marked him when he was younger, and about time, since he'd be thirty-five at his next birthday. "My father's health has been failing. I don't want to risk returning too late." "Ah. Sorry to hear that." Gavin pulled out a cigar and struck a light. "When Wrexham is gone, you'll be too busy as an earl to roam the far corners of the globe." "The world is a smaller place than it used to be. Ships are faster, and the unknown is being mapped and explored. I've been saving China for last. After this visit, I'll be ready to go home." "Why is China last?" Kyle thought back to the day he'd discovered China. "When I was fourteen, I wandered into a curio shop in London and found a folio of Chinese drawings and watercolors. Lord knows how it made its way there. Cost me six months' allowance. The pictures fascinated me. It was like looking into a different world. That was when I decided I must travel to the East." "You're fortunate that you've been able to fulfill your dream." There was a hint of bleakness in Gavin's voice. Kyle wondered what the other man's dreams were, but didn't ask. Dreams were a private affair. "The ultimate dream may be out of my reach. Have you ever heard of the Temple of Hoshan?" "I saw a drawing once. About a hundred miles west of Canton, I think?" "That's the one. Is there any chance of visiting it?" "Out of the question." Gavin drew on his cigar, the tip flaring in the darkness. "The Chinese are dead serious about keeping Europeans quarantined in the Settlement. You won't even be allowed within the city walls of Canton, much less permitted to travel into the countryside." Kyle knew about the Settlement, a narrow strip of warehouses between the Canton waterfront and the city walls. He'd also been told about the infamous Eight Regulations that were designed to keep foreigners in line. Still, in his experience, men with money and determination could usually find a way around the rules. "Maybe crossing the right palms with silver would give me the chance to travel inland." "You wouldn't get a mile before you were arrested. You're a Fan-qui , a foreign devil. You'd stand out like an elephant in Edinburgh." The Scottish burr that lingered from Gavin's childhood strengthened. "Ye'd end up rotting in some prefect's dungeon as a spy." "No doubt you're right." Nonetheless, Kyle intended to investigate further during his stay in Canton. For twenty years the Temple of Hoshan had lived in his imagination, an image of peace and unearthly beauty. If there was a way to visit, he'd find it. Excerpted from The China Bride 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.