The Wild Child

The Wild Child

Book - 1999
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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.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 1999
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345433152
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 24 cm


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KimmyRose Jan 25, 2017

An usual heroine for a historical romance: because she was never domesticated as a rich, proper English lady normally would have been, all her ideas and behaviours were refreshingly bold and natural. For example, she took on the typical male roles: she seduced the man; she was the one who wished to continue their romance without marriage; and she was the one not driven by appearances and a desire to please society. I liked her. I also liked her believability: she didn't suddenly recover from trauma, but her development was gradual and balanced.

The pacing was poor for the last third: I grew impatient. And the ending had one particularly ridiculously unbelievable twist, thankfully with a secondary character, not the main couple. I wasn't fond of the transitions to Kyle's story: it was a jerky storytelling method that detracted from the main story.

I wonder how different this story would have been if Muriel were a boy and Dominic were, say, a widow (to give her some power in English society). From a 21st century hindsight pov, Muriel didn't have enough relative gratitude for her situation. Good book for gender studies, that's for sure.

Barbara5060 Apr 28, 2014

The twist to this romance is that the female character is considered "mad" and one of her guardians wants to commit her to an institution for treatment and the other would like to see her married, if possible. The "treatment" at the time for mental illness is Scary, but very accurate. A subplot is about a woman committed to the institution because her husband wanted her money. A good insight into how mental illness was viewed and "treated" in the past. Let's NOT go back to that, though abandoning most of our mentally ill today is a crime as well.

Apr 08, 2014

good story -- surprise ending was unexpected. liked it .. however shouLd have read this before CHINA would have clarified a lot of the other story. Will read more of Mary Jo Putney's work

scottivy Mar 24, 2014

story is too slow


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