The new cover of The Wild One

Charles de Montforte has died in the colonies, leaving his American fiance, Juliet, heartbroken and in dire straights. She’s pregnant with his child. He’s always told her to return to his home in England, Blackheath Castle, if anything ever happened to him, and his family would take care of her. Branded a Royalist sympathiser she has no choice, and makes the crossing with baby Charlotte in tow. Nearing the castle, her stagecoach is held up at gunpoint. Enter Gareth de Montforte, or The Wild One. He’s no hero. In fact he’s fond of whiskey, whores and gambling. But he’s in the right place at the right time, and also in possession of a pistol. In the process of saving the passengers, he’s shot in the side. Juliet administers first aid, and on the journey to the castle, realises he’s the brother of her dear Charles, and confesses to him who she is. Gareth is delighted. But at Blackheath, not all are delighted as Gareth is by Juliet’s arrival. The eldest, Lucien, gives Juliet a cold reception. The other siblings, Andrew and Nerissa, are delighted and saddened to meet their tiny niece and her mother. While outwardly disagreeable, Lucien is a master manipulator, and has plans for Juliet. Plans that concern his brother Gareth.

The original 1997 cover from Avon.

LOVED this book. Beautifully written and with excellent characterisation and a gripping plot. It’s so rare to find all three. I go through about ten samples a day looking for writing that doesn’t make me want to stab my eye out with a fork. But there’s nothing disappointing about the writing, or anything else, in The Wild One. Harmon has created a complex and unpredictable story. I particularly loved the ending. Gripping!

Lord Gareth is described as being a tearaway, 23 going on 15, and he certainly behaves that way. I was shaking my head at him for the first part of the book, incredulous. Such a child! So irresponsible! Which is, of course, the point. It’s so rare for the heroine (and other characters) to find fault with the hero and for the faults to actually be true. Usually he’s misunderstood. But no. Gareth, to begin with, is kind of a twat.

My one tiny, tiny gripe is to do with Lucien. He’s described as a master manipulator. As “one of the most dangerous men in England”. I was gunning for him to be truly evil. Almost irredeemable. Because these books are a series and all the brothers get their romance. Who could fall in love with such a man, not merely a rake, but damnable. But his character was a little exaggerated in the beginning. He’s certainly got irregular ways, but … well, I won’t go on as it’s getting into spoiler territory. I’m still super keen to read his book, The Wicked One. Mmm … *delicious shivers*

The de Montforte brothers books have been rereleased by Harmon with new almost-as-chesty covers. I’m so glad they have been too. And best of all, The Wild One is FREE on Kindle! Get into them today. Highly recommended.