The China Bride

The China Bride

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Overview

August 2000

Rebirth and Betrothal

Award-winning author Mary Jo Putney captivated the hearts of readers everywhere with her breathtaking debut, The Wild Child. Now, in her new novel, The China Bride, she has created another fiercely moving love story and another endearing 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, Troth Montgomery, betrothed to her life as a concubine, never imagined she would one day leave the Orient to arrive at the English 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. But then Kyle Renbourne is seemingly reborn, though his mind and body are badly wounded. Together, Troth and Kyle embark on a miraculous journey of hope, faith, and struggle against a deadly menace that has followed them halfway across the world.

"She squeezed his hand, and in her grip he felt the pulse of her chi. Pure and bright, it glowed with a compassion that warmed the depths of his darkness.... He felt scalded, melted, transformed."

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402509117
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 03/28/2011

About the Author

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney is a graduate of Syracuse University with degrees in eighteenth-century literature and industrial design. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including two Romance Writers of America RITA Awards, four consecutive Golden Leaf awards for Best Historical Romance, and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance. Her books have also received frequent awards from online reader sites such as The Romance Reader, All About Romance, Romance Readers Anonymous, and Under the Covers Awards. The author of twenty-four novels, Ms. Putney lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Table of Contents

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The China Bride 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
East meets west in the love story of Troth Mei Lian Montgomery and Kyle Renbourne (Lord Maxwell). After thoroughly enjoying The Wild Child, by Mary Jo Putney, I could not wait to read the second installment in this trilogy. This is a romantic, action-packed tale entwined with Chinese ways of thinking and learning. Kyle is heir to his family¿s earldom and wealth but he is a restless, passionate man (yes, handsome, too) who longs to see the world. Troth is half Chinese and half Scottish. Up until she agrees to lead Kyle to a temple forbidden to Westerners, she has lived most of her life disguised as a man. She yearns to live life as a woman and visit her father¿s native country, Scotland. Skilled in a from of martial arts, Troth becomes historical romance¿s first female action heroine as she defeats many men while they attempt to attack and kill Kyle. She also uses these skills to entice Kyle. Both characters have a goal in mind and as the saying goes; it is not the destination, but the journey. Their journey is beautiful. So is Mary Jo Putney¿s writing! Her journey of researching and the result, the story, are magical. An added bonus is that the reader is allowed to catch up on Kyle¿s twin brother, Dominic, and his bride, Lady Meriel from The Wild Child about five years after their tale. The hero of The Bartered Bride, Gavin Eliot is also introduced. Thank you, Mary Jo! This trilogy is a cherished part of my collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
A captivating read. This book has recently been re-released (29 Dec 2017) and I don’t know whether the author has updated it to address readers negative feedback but I certainly found nothing to complain about. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book set in China, with such vivid imagery that I felt I was there. The descriptions of the ancient practice of wing chun (a martial art), the use of feng-shui and the harmonising of chi (life force) were fascinating. I thought the story was well paced and the characters engaging and the romance thoroughly believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a shame that the writing isn't better. The prose was predictable, simplistic, with phrases often repeated. If I hadn't read Bronte, Austin, or Arthur Golden among many others: I might think the quality of writing is acceptable......but I have...so I don't. Save your time and read a classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a love hate relationship with this book. You know from the beginning that the lead male character dies however this in no way diminishes the grief the reader feels upon his death. Up to this point the book shows the potential for greatness unfortunately the remainder of the book becomes a typical romance novel. It felt as if at this point someone told the author to change direction to make this a more commercial book. I still highly recommend this book if for nothing more than to understand the China/English trade relationship. I hope one day Putney will decide to rewrite this book allowing the voice of the initial pages to carry throughout the entire book.
Verylate More than 1 year ago
A great story! I love MJP!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The characters were so endearing, and the adventure made me want to keep reading. This author is good at making a historical romance a little more than expected. Can't wait to read the next one.
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period-reader More than 1 year ago
After reading some other reviews I wasn't sure if I should bother. I'm glad I did. It was an enjoyable tour through China and I especially found the explanations of the various religions to be simplistic enough to understand and appreciate.
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