Desert Isle Keeper
The Wild One
There’s just something about a hero who charges out of the dark to save women and children from the hands of vile villains. There’s something else altogether about a heroine who returns the favor by saving him! I knew right from the opening chapters of The Wild One when just such a scene took place that not only was I going to immensely enjoy this book, but that Lord Gareth de Montforte and Juliet Paige were going to make a very interesting couple.
Juliet arrives in England from war-torn America. With her is her infant daughter, Charlotte. She is bound for Blackheath Castle in Berkshire in hopes that her deceased betrothed’s family, the de Monforte’s will accept both her and her daughter. Charles had told her that if anything should happen to him that his oldest brother Lucien should be Charlotte’s guardian. Charles was killed in battle.
En route, their coach is overtaken by a band of cutthroats who don’t think twice about shooting the passengers in cold blood. Juliet refuses to hand over the gold signet ring Charles gave to her and finds herself staring down the barrel of a pistol.
Twenty-three year-old Gareth de Monteforte has always been known as The Wild One, leading his merry band of debauched trouble makers from one scrape to another, but when he happens upon the stage coach robbery, he leaps into action – and gets himself shot.
So fate leads Juliet and her daughter into Blackheath Castle. Lucien de Montforte, lord of the castle and family patriarch sets into motion a cunning plan designed to lead Juliet straight into his younger brother’s arms, and force Gareth to become a man. And what a man he becomes!
Through Lucien’s machinations, Gareth and Juliet end up married and on their own. Despite their mutual attraction, each fears Gareth will not be able to care for the family. With Lucien watching to make sure the new family survives, Gareth strives to prove himself worthy of Juliet and her love. He has never been able to compete with his brother, Charles, the now deceased Beloved One, and is determined to make a good life for his wife and adopted daughter.
I greatly enjoyed this book. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Harmon’s for quite some time now, but I feel The Wild One is her best work to date. The characters are real and vibrant, with plenty of emotion, sexual tension, and a genuine commitment to each other. Gareth is a wonderful hero – not at all perfect but a wonderfully big-hearted, sensitive boy/man. Juliet is a perfect heroine – a combination of strength and vulnerability without alternating between shrew and wimp like many historical heroines.
There is fantastic sexual tension between these two characters, and by the time they finally get to truly consummate their marriage – whew! There’s a scene that will make it impossible for the reader to ever look at an ordinary table the same way again.
The Wild One is the first in the series about the de Montforte family and ends with the perfect setup for the next book. The Beloved One is coming home. I wonder how he’ll take the news that his betrothed has married his younger brother?