A Mad Heiress and a False Suitor
The younger son of an earl, Dominic Renbourne is offered an irresistible bribe by his arrogant, identical twin brother, Kyle, who is heir to the earldom. All he must so is take Kyle's place at Warfield Manor, where he is to politely court Lady Meriel Grahame, the orphaned and vastly wealthy heiress Kyle is pledged to marry. The deception need only take a few weeks and no one will be the wiser because the fey Lady Meriel lives in a world of her own. The last thing Dominic expects when he arrives is to be entranced by a silent sylph whose ethereal beauty is as stunning as her passionate love for Warfield's flowers and fields and creatures.
Until now, Meriel has kept her distance from normal society, spending her days at one with nature and safe from the nightmare that nearly destroyed her as a child. She is content to live alone, until the handsome intruder begins to inspire dreams of the world beyond her sanctuary. He understands her as no one else ever has--and because she lives outside society's rules, she sees no need to restrain her desire for the man who is surely her destined mate.
Though Dominic's sense of duty helps him control his longing for his brother's future bride, Meriel's untamed spirit proves more powerful than he can resist. In her garden paradise, passion binds them body and soul despite the agonizing consequences.
Can Meriel forgive Dominic's deceit once she learns he is not Kyle, and can Kyle forgive the betrayal of the brother who had once been closer than his own shadow? Then past and present collide in a dangerous cataclysm that may bring destruction--or lasting love and a hope for beginnings.
The Bride Trilogy:
The Wild Child, #1
The China Bride, #2
The Bartered Bride, #3
Praise for The Wild Child:
"Putney writes with attention to historical detail as well as emotional depth."
"The Wild Child is an exquisite blend of gentleness and passion, a wonderful story filled with fascinating, sensitively-drawn characters. Mary Jo Putney conjures the healing power of love, and has created a simply beautiful novel."
—S.K., Washington, DC
"Putney's writing is clear as crystal and smooth as silk… [Her] strong points are her thoughtfulness and her well-drawn cast of compelling and very human characters. "
About the Author:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USAToday bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney's novels are known for psychological depth and intensity and include historical and contemporary romance, fantasy, and young adult fantasy. Winner of numerous writing awards, including two RITAs, three Romantic Times Career Achievement awards, and the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America, she has had numerous books listed among Library Journal's and Booklist's top romances of the year.
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 her--and 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.
This book had me captivated from the beginning. A novel of pain, destruction and love, and loved conquered all.
Mary Jo Putney always delivers a fascinating story! Loved the wild child nature of the main character and the balance of civilization of Dom. Excellent story through the end!
Loved the wildling 🥰