Paradise Wild

Paradise Wild

by Johanna Lindsey

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380776511
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/25/2006
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 554,803
Product dimensions: 0.00(w) x 0.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

One of the world's most successful authors of historical romance, every one of Johanna Lindsey's previous novels has been a national bestseller, and several of her titles have reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Ms. Lindsey lives in New England with her family.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

April 9, 1891

The tall, slender, golden-haired young woman fidgeting by the hall table fastened her startling green eyes on the closed door at' the left of the hall. She sighed. The sigh caused her younger cousin Lauren to look away from the window and ask, "For heaven's sake, Corinne, why are you so nervous?" Lauren Ashbum turned back to the window and studied the chilly scene across the way, her brown head tilted back. Boston Common looked so stark-row upon row of ancient trees bending to the merciless wind tearing its way toward Beacon Street and this townhouse.

Even in April, Boston was not an easy place to live. The months of cold, harsh winds and the need to stay indoors much of the time had taken a toll on the cousins. Corinne was harder to please than usual, and even sweet-tempered Lauren found herself gloomy much of the time.

"It doesn't look as though spring is coming at all this year," Lauren sighed as she fingered the rich scarlet draperies.

Corinne glanced up, her golden brows drawing together over the marvelous emerald eyes. "How can you prattle about spring at a time like this?" she snapped. Her glance moved quickly to the closed door and then back to her young cousin.

Following her gaze, Lauren shrugged. "I would think you'd be used to this by now. You've been through it twice in the last year alone."

Corinne's quick temper charged to the surface. "I shouldn't expect you to understand!" she said bitterly. "You have years before suitors will come to speak to your father. Then we'll see how you like waiting while your future is decided by men-instead of by you."

Lauren'sbrown eyes filled. "I do understand, Cori. I'm sixteen, only three years younger than you."

Corinne instantly regretted her sharp words. Impulsive, she was always having to apologize for angry remarks.

"I'm sorry, Cousin. It's just that I'm so nervous this time. Russell really is my last hope."

"Now why do you say that, Cori? You've had scores of suitors for the last three years, all the most handsome and well-to-do men in Boston. Don't you know how beautiful you are? If Cousin Samuel says no to Russell, there will be plenty more for you to choose from."

"No, there won't be. There are very few men like Russell."

Lauren smiled knowingly. "You mean there are very few men you can twirl around your little finger as you do Russell. Or the way you did Charles, and William before that."

"Exactly. The others just won't do."

"Russell Drayton isn't quite as timid as the other two were. I was really surprised when you chose him. But then, he has seemed to conform to your wishes."

"Russell and I have an understanding. He'll do just fine."

"I guess it's fortunate that you don't love him. At least if your father refuses him, you won't be brokenhearted."

"I will never be broken-hearted," Corinne laughed. "But Russell is going to exert himself, show he has some guts. He should be putting on quite a performance right now," she said, nodding toward the closed study door. She frowned. "The interview shouldn't be taking this long. "

"Why don't we wait in the parlor?" Lauren suggested. "This hall is too drafty."

"You go ahead. I couldn't sit still. And I want to see Russell the second he comes out."

Corinne rang the bell by the parlor door and the Barrows' butler appeared instantly from the back of the house. "Brock, Miss Ashburn will have tea in the parlor."

"Yes, Miss Barrows," the dour Brock replied. "And Mr. Drayton? Will he be staying for dinner after the interview, miss?"

Corinne stiffened. It infuriated her that the household staff always knew everything. She had just that morning decided that today would be appropriate for Russell to make his plea, what with her father's congenial mood of the last few days.

"I will let you know, Brock," she replied sharply, dismissing him.

At that moment the front door knocker sounded, startling the three. Brock moved to answer it, but Corinne stopped him, eager for any diversion. She opened the door and shivered as the chill wind swept past her into the hall, molding her blue muslin dress to her body.

The sharp, light-green eyes of a stranger met hers. The man was small and slender, with bright red hair and long sideburns extending below his bowler hat, which he was wise enough to hold in place. He was a curious little ferret-like man with a beaked nose, wearing a tight-fitting brown tweed suit.

"May I help you?" Corinne offered.

Ned Dougherty scrutinized the lovely blond girl carefully with an eye for detail, a habit necessitated by his profession. His mind registered the dark-gold hair, the slightly arched brows, the large eyes of a brilliant, clear, greenish yellow, set perfectly over the modestly curved nose. Long eyelashes fanned high cheekbones. Her lips were not too wide. Her smooth, ivory complexion and gently rounded chin blended beautifully with the lovely face.

"May I help you?" she repeated, a little sharply.

Ned cleared his throat. Hers was a face he would not forget. Nor could anyone ignore the gleaming golden hair with its coppery highlights.

"Is this the Samuel Barrows residence?"


Ned's sharp green eyes continued his examination, noting the slim neck, the high, pointed breasts. The dress tapered to a tiny waist and he could guess at the slim hips and long legs. She seemed about five feet seven, rather tall for a girl.

"Sir, if you do not quickly state your business, I must bid you good day." Corinne was growing impatient.

"Forgive me, miss. I am looking for a Samuel Barrows who, many years ago, visited a group of islands in the Pacific known once as the Sandwich Islands, more recently as the Hawaiian Islands."

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Paradise Wild 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
dianaleez on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is not Joanna Lindsey at her best; like the little girl with the curl, when she's good she's very good and when she's bad she's horrid. Here she is merely predictable with rather boring main characters. There is no chemistry and little plot.Not a keeper.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Johanna Lindsey book I've tried to read, and I will never read another. I picked this up at the library based on the number of fold marks on the spine, using them as an unofficial rating system based on how many people had read it.  Unfortunately, I was let down by my fellow readers. I got through 103 pages before my disgust made me stop.  ::Spoiler Alert:: ::Spoiler Alert:: ::Spoiler Alert:: The heroine is atrocious. A spoiled brat who is determined to marry a man with plenty of money to fuel her gambling addiction, and who will be easily manipulated into letting her conduct "love affairs" whenever she wants.  The hero is abominable. Yet another spoiled brat who blames his parents unhappiness on the heroine's father, so, in true romance-novel fashion, he vows to destroy the father. After meeting the heroine and "courting" her for a couple months, he assumes that she is not a virgin, which is convenient for him, because he doesn't mess with virgins. They place a bet in which she will go upstairs if she loses, which is where all sex and debauchery happens in the club. The hero knows that the heroine has a gambling addiction, and it is made perfectly clear that he knows she'll bet whatever she has to, which is why HE is the one who raises the stakes by telling her he'll forgive her I.O.U.s if she goes upstairs with him. With her addiction, she accepts as he knows she will. She loses, of course, he basically drags her upstairs, and despite her protests and insistence that she's a virgin, he rapes her, only realizing his mistake when he sees the blood evidence. He then steals her clothing and orders her to stay put, because he's got to confess to her father that he raped his daughter and, for honor's sake, he asks for her hand in marriage. He tells her father that he regrets it, but only because she was a virgin, not because he feels bad about taking her against her will. '"I raped your daughter," Jared cut him off coldly. "I regret it, but it doesn't alter the fact- I raped her. If I had had the slightest belief in her innocence, then it certainly wouldn't have happened. But she did wager herself. I could not believe a virgin would take that risk."' (pg. 102).   Her father, after hearing that it happened because of gambling, is no longer angry that his daughter has been raped and AGREES TO LET THIS MAN MARRY HIS DAUGHTER. If you have kids, I ask you, if your child was raped, would you want him or her to marry the rapist, regardless of a gamble? Absolutely despicable. This is where I had to stop. I couldn't read any further. I want the heroines to be admirable and I want to fall in love with the heroes, in spite of the flaws they both have. But there was not a single redeemable character in 103 pages. Not one. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hated this book. If you are offended by rape scenes solely featuring the hero and heroine, don't waste your time.
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By far her worst book I've read. Why is there a rape scene? In a romance novel? This really upset me. I forced myself to finish it because I spent the money on it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok this book for me was bitter-sweet!! At the end, I liked it...didnt love it, but liked it!! It definitely kept me interested...I read it in 2 days. I didnt LOVE the characters.I thought Jarred was a little too stubborn and aggresive and the misunderstandings the whole time drove me nuts, BUT the book was different than others and I like that. Everyone cant have the same personalities and always be Heros and I like that JL spiced things up a bit. I will recommend this book, its was nice ;0) It kinda reminded me of "A Pirates Love".
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe how shallow the other reviews were. Corrine is a 'real' woman. She is not perfect and neither is Jared. Yet together they become a wonderful couple and save each other from lives of self-indulgent tantrums. They actually grow in this book. These two characters are not looking for love but it finds them anyway. Thank GOD!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I generally enjoy reading Johanna Lindsey, but this book was horrid!! Corinne was a shallow, manipulative compulsive gambler. She is looking for a husband she can control (and have affairs on) in order to get her trust fund to subsidize her gambling addition. It's difficult to read a book when you hate the heroine as much as I did...and the hero ain't that great either. Come to think of it, I didn't like most of the characters...Jarrod's mother was a drunk who neglected her children...his father forced himself on his wife. Corinne's dad married her mom for money and then wanted to leave her once he got his money. And that's just what you learn in the first 50 pages!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first romance novel I ever read. I love this book and became a huge fan of Lindsey. I have read every novel she wrote up until the early 2000's. I think I will puchase this ebook and read it again. It has been more than 30 years since I read it, but I'm sure it will still be my favorite. I think some of the other reviews are a little harsh and rideculous. It's a romance novel people...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He rapes and hits her stick with the malory family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only JLindsey could take characters from despicable to endearing by stories end!