The Wild Child

The Wild Child

by Mary Jo Putney


View All Available Formats & Editions


Bribed by Kyle, his twin brother, Dominic Renbourne agrees to take his twin's place for a few weeks at Warfield Manor, where he is to pay court to Lady Meriel Grahame, the orphaned heiress Kyle intends to marry. The last thing Dominic expects is to be entranced by a silent sprite whose ethereal beauty is as intoxicating as the flowers and trees that surround her.

For much of her life Meriel has lived outside normal society, finding joy and peace in her garden, safe from the nightmare that nearly destroyed her as a child. She is content with solitude until the handsome intruder begins to inspire dreams of life beyond her sanctuary. Despite his longing, Dominic's sense of duty keeps him away from his brother's future bride, but Meriel's untamed spirit proves more powerful than Dominic can resist . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345433152
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/29/1999
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 6.51(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range: 5 - 7 Years

About the Author

New York Times-, Publisher's Weekly-, and Wall Street Journal- 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, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance, and four consecutive Golden Leaf awards for Best 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. The author of twenty-two novels, Ms. Putney lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Read an Excerpt

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."


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."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Wild Child 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
SabrinaJeffries on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very original tale about a seemingly mad young woman whose sheltered world is opened up when the hero shows her how not to fear. It was a heart-wrenching and beautiful tour-de-force. Putney never disappoints.
debs4jc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This romance is made interesting by the combination of twin suitors and a most unusual potential bride. The twins are Dominic and Kyle, sons of an Earl but only one can inherit, so when Kyle wants Dominic to stand in his place and court the potential bride--Meriel--he has quite the thing to bribe him with--the inheritance of an estate. Dominic reluctantly agrees, and since Meriel appears to be somewhat mad--she suffered a childhood trauma and since then has not spoken a word--both think that the girl will be easily fooled. Dominic does not reckon on falling for the wild, untamed Meriel, who is not mad but who rather prefers the company of flowers and wild creatures to the society of people. To see how Dominic is able to win her over and resolve the conflicts with her and his own family kept my interest well. Fans of historical romances with lots of interesing twists and turns should enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this is a story that has somewhat predictable mysteries and love, there is a freshness to this story that leaves you with a satisfied feeling
CathyLeming on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the setting of this novel and, as usual, this author's ability to maake me love a story I might reject from any other author. Some very interesting elements in this story, like a heroine who was raised in India.
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney is a fantastic historical romance. Ms. Putney has delivered a well-written book. I loved the characters, they are amazing. This book did have spots where it dragged a bit, and was a little repetitive on some subjects. Dominic's brother is supposed to marry Lady Merial but sends his twin, Dominick in his place so Merial can get familiar with him. Merial, believed to be mad, and Dominick's story is loaded with drama, humor, action and sizzle. I enjoyed reading Wild Child and look forward to my next book by Mary Jo Putney. Wild Child is book 1 of The Bride Trilogy but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a complete story, not a cliff-hanger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually read "the china bride" first, not realizing the eas a book that came before. I loved this story (even w/ figuring out the deceptions) and can't eait to re-read the china bride
Verylate More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book, as I love all of Mary Jo Putney's books! Couldn't put it down!
MBV More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great love story! Strong characters, lots of romance and real tenderness and interesring story line that kept me wanting to know what was next. Its always fun to have some adventure thrown into a story like this- keeps it interesting. Love this author, and loved China Bride the next story too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
period-reader More than 1 year ago
Although it was apparent early on in the book that our hero would convince his lady to speak, I found it to be a lovely story. I really enjoyed the melding of different cultures into the plot and found the characters easy to identify with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago