A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, July 12, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney- Feature and Review


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 . . .



The Wild Child (The Bride Trilogy, #1)The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This may be one of the most imaginative historical romances I've ever read.

Kyle and Dominic are twins, but Kylebeing the firstborn is the official heir. The boys were close as children, but then their parents made a choice that caused a rift that never closed.

But, Kyle now needs his brother to help him with a very delicate matter. Kyle has to see to some very painful and personal affairs, but he is supposed to meet and get to know his intended bride. So, he enlisted Dominic to woo the fiance' in his place. He knew Dominic wouldn't help him unless he made him an offer he couldn't refuse, which in the case, was an estate Dominic could call his own.

So, Dominic agrees to pretend to be Kyle for a few weeks.

Meriel experienced a traumatic event when she was a child. Both her parents were killed in a raid. She was shuffled around until someone finally contacted her next of kin. Meriel never spoke another word after she was returned to her uncles. So, it was assumed she was "mad". Meriel ran wild on her estate. She was either in her garden, or her tree house, or running around loose, with no rules or school or any of society's strict expectations of a young heiress. The match with Kyle had been decided over 20 years ago, between families. It was hoped that marriage would bring Meriel out of her shell and she would become more normal.

It took Dominic a little while to convince Meriel to spend time with him. But, once they became better acquainted,  Meriel responded to him. Dominic was so enchanted with her, he knew he had to leave the estate or he would betray his brother in the worst way.

However, one of  Meriel's uncles kept her out of an asylum while the other one wanted her committed. When the "good" uncle became ill, and the "bad" uncle learned of the plot to marry Meriel off, he came after her to stop the marriage.

The story was quite interesting. I found myself stopping throughout the day and reading a chapter or two. I couldn't wait to see what would happen between the two brothers, and the two uncles, and with Meriel.

My heart ached for Kyle. I really did feel sorry for him. But, I also knew that he wouldn't have been good for Meriel. Dominic had also suffered great pain during his time in the army, and could relate to Meriel's pain. There were some really funny moments when Muriel, who knew a great deal more than she let on, acted on impulse, and times when she was very clever. (She wanted Dominic, and found a rather inventive way to loosen his inhibitions) She was a very bad girl sometimes.

Her methods were controversial and might raise a few eyebrows. But, this is an older historical romance, which often pushed the envelope a bit too far.

It was refreshing to have a female that appeared fragile,  but was really strong,  and knew her mind. She was at the mercy of so many people with their own agendas, but she rose to the occasion even when she didn't want to.

I also liked that there were so many people who truly cared for Meriel, and really liked her even though she didn't follow convention. That is truly a sign of real friendship and love when people love you just the way you are.

The ending of the book was bittersweet. Meriel will finally be able to put her demons behind her. But, Kyle's story, still left me feeling sad. I know that his story is explored in the next book in this trilogy and I am looking forward to seeing him have his HEA.






Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably ever since.

While becoming a novelist was her ultimate fantasy, it never occurred to her that writing was an achievable goal until she acquired a computer for other purposes. When the realization hit that a computer was the ultimate writing tool, she charged merrily into her first book with an ignorance that illustrates the adage that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 

Fortune sometimes favors the foolish and her first book sold quickly, thereby changing her life forever, in most ways for the better. (“But why didn't anyone tell me that writing would change the way one reads?”) Like a lemming over a cliff, she gave up her freelance graphic design business to become a full-time writer as soon as possible.


  1. Love Mary Jo Putney! I have read any of her books in years, but they're wonderful romances.

    1. I love MJP too! She's still writing historical romance novels! I haven't read one of her new books, but I think I'll make an effort to touch base with her. Thanks for stopping by The Book Review!!


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