This final volume in a popular trilogy (The Wild Child; The China Bride) is a rich and realistic 19th-century historical romance. Gavin Elliott, captain of his trading company's flagship, has been traveling the East Indies since the death of his young wife and infant daughter. Alexandra Warren, too, is widowed; soon after she and her daughter leave Australia for England, their ship is taken by Malaysian pirates and she is abducted. When Gavin visits Malaysia as the guest of a local sultan, he sees Alexandra on the block at a slave auction. As soon as he sets eyes on the indomitable Englishwoman, their fates are united. After a series of trials (including wrestling a giant lizard), Gavin is allowed to bring Alexandra back to England, but their worst problems are not yet behind them. Putney knows how to create characters attractive enough to enchant readers without being too good to be true. Gavin is gallant and romantic"he risks his life for a woman he doesn't know, marries her to protect her reputation and understands her physical reticence after her traumatic experience"but he is not without doubts and desires. Alexandra, for her part, believes that Gavin helps her out of chivalry, but she is too gracious and too aware of her position to reject his aid. Both characters have vivid inner lives and thoroughly imagined personalities. Their union is inevitable"this is a romance novel"but their journey from strangers to spouses to true lovers is utterly authentic. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Sailing back to England as a widow and mother after having lived in Australia with her husband, Alexandra Warren and her daughter are enslaved when pirates capture their ship. She is heartened, months into her servitude, when American ship captain Gavin Elliot vows to free her. He risks his life for her, and circumstances force them into trying to forge a life together-until Gavin's past threatens them both. This is a tale of romance, suspense, and adventure, and Michael Page reads it with spirit and style. He is up to the challenge of myriad accents-Far Eastern, British, and American, as well as a mix of ages. He deftly conveys the story's adventure, suspense, danger, and sensuality. Recommended for fans of period romantic suspense.-Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-From the tantalizing opening scene to the exciting climax, readers will find a creative, entertaining romance tinged with mystery and set in 1834. As the story begins, Gavin is about to be hung for the murder of his wife, Alexandra. The remainder of the novel is a flashback showing the development of their life together and the growth of his business. Gavin, a British-born American seafaring entrepreneur, rescued Alexandra, a British widow, after she had been captured by pirates and sold into slavery on an East Asian island. As a slave, she had been raped and emotionally scarred, so Gavin had to be gentle and patient to help her recover. Their characters are well drawn, and the plot moves quickly and is easy to follow. Putney contrasts Western and Eastern cultures as the rescue involved a game in which Gavin had to excel with five different skills demonstrating male prowess. Later, he had to use other talents to cope with challenges of life in London's proper high society. The author makes further contrasts with the views of slavery as held by Americans and the British during the mid-19th century.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kidnapped and enslaved by Malay pirates, English gentlewoman Alexandra is rescued by a dashing captain who falls in love with her. But first, captain Gavin Elliot negotiates for her release from the wicked Sultan of the imaginary island of Muradi. As Asian despots go, the Sultan is relatively easygoing, and so he proposes a game of chance: Gavin can win the fair Alexandra only by means of several arduous challenges. He scales a crumbling cliff and plants a silk scarf atop it, fights a Komodo dragon and cuts off the priceless pearl the lethal creature wears on its collar, and drinks the Sultan under the table. Clad in shimmering silks and golden manacles, Alexandra is his at last-and Gavin must bed her in public. Alex complies: there's no other way she can safely gain her freedom and find her young daughter Kate. Afterward, Gavin and Alex sail away into the Pacific and find Kate, then marry and return to London. Alex's highborn relatives by marriage are delighted beyond measure to see her again, and Gavin is nonplussed to discover that he's now an earl, according to various quirks of primogeniture, even though he considers himself an American. Alas, there's envy of the new lord and lady, and it's not long before Alex has been kidnapped again-this time by a vicious little beauty married to a merchant mariner who's convinced that Gavin cheated him out of a lucrative South Seas trade route. Meanwhile, accused of her supposed murder, Gavin awaits trial in the Tower of London. Will Alexandra be able to break out of her dungeon using only a soupspoon? Will Gavin be rescued from the hangman's noose? Will the cellar cat ever stop bringing the forlorn captive rats for snacks? An improbablehistorical romance that doesn't know when to quit: another in the long line of wonderfully entertaining tales from Putney (China Bride, 2001, etc.).
“Mary Jo Putney is not to be missed!”
“[MARY JO PUTNEY] IS A BEAUTIFUL WRITER . . . She opens the door to another society during a different time and the reader is so much richer for the experience.”
—The Oakland Press
“Mary Jo Putney can sweep readers into exotic locales as easily as into the ballrooms and courtrooms of Victorian England . . . Another finely crafted tale by a mistress of the genre.”
“ANOTHER IN THE LONG LINE OF
WONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING TALES FROM PUTNEY.”
“With its strong, courageous characters, high degree of emotional intensity, excellent writing, and compelling plot, this novel is classic Putney and a fitting conclusion to the trilogy that began with The Wild Child. One of the best authors writing today, Putney . . . has few peers when it comes to creating emotionally satisfying romances that connect with readers.”
“An exciting, action-packed historical romance that never slows down . . . The story line is loaded with a taste of an exotic 1830s environment. . . . Mary Jo Putney continues to provide a vast panorama of an intriguing bygone era by placing her romances in unique locales.”
—The Midwest Book Review
“A rich and realistic nineteenth-century historical romance . . . Putney knows how to create characters attractive enough to enchant readers without being too good to be true.”
“Recommended . . . Combines passion with suspense . . . Cleanly plotted and well written.”