by Danelle Harmon

December 1997
ISBN: 0-380-79262-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

is the first in the series of books by Danelle Harmon involving four brothers and so far, I'm mildly looking forward to reading the rest of the installment.

The Wild One is Gareth de Montforte, third brother to the Duke of Blackheath. He is the so-called "Wild One", because of his easy-going manner and juvenile antics; he is also the ringleader of a group called the Den of Debauchery. Gareth becomes the heir to the dukedome when Charles, the second brother, was presumably killed in the British-American War in Boston.

Juliet Paige was Charles' fiancée and was pregnant at the time that Charles was reported killed. With no other family alive and left with the responsibility of raising a child, not to mention living in war torn Boston, Juliet decides to travel to England to provide a safe haven for her and Charles' daughter. In England, she meets Charles' family, including Gareth. After some obvious manipulation by the duke, Gareth and Juliet marry and it was after their marriage that events became implausible.

The story wasn't as interesting as I would have liked but it was good enough for me to keep the pages turning. Harmon played up the differences between the hero and heroine - Gareth, the peer who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, was rakish and juvenile even in dire circumstances and Juliet was the ultra responsible colonial who valued work ethic to the hilt. The suspension of belief is necessary when the reader finds Gareth (whose brother is a duke) impoverished, homeless, and who has to eventually labor for a living. It was difficult to believe that as a peer that he would have to resort to blue-collar work rather than ask his wealthy duke of a brother for help, despite their falling out. It's hard to imagine that Gareth doesn't at least have some sort of stipend, coming from a wealthy family. Worst of all was the contrived scene of Gareth choosing to sleep in the streets, under an awning (of some sorts) to get out of the rain all due to an argument with the duke. This dispute unbelievably resulted in Gareth being homeless and penniless since all the "family" properties are owned by the Duke. Moreover, Gareth had a vision of Charles admonishing him to do right with his wife in a dream sequence that bordered on corny.

Despite the unbelievable events within the narrative, Harmon tells a good story; she's a talented writer who is imaginative and sometimes convincing - good enough to look forward to reading the rest of the De Montforte stories.

Reviewed in August 2001 by Veronica.

Read more reviews of Danelle Harmon books.Click Here