Lady Ophelia longs to be independent, daring and bold, but her mother’s illness has stolen the last of her creative fire. Condemned to an isolated country cottage after the death of her idealistic father, she and her mother are forsaken by family and all of society. Disappointed by those she once trusted, Lady Ophelia lovingly nurses her dying mother knowing that her own dreams of being an artist will never be realized. That is until she meets a devilish aristocrat who reawakens her desire to be wild.
Viscount Stark has never known love. Reputed to be a rebel and a rake by all, at heart he is anything but. When he meets Lady Ophelia, he is struck by her haunting presence, dignity, and honor. Will he continue to play his wicked games and risk ruining the last of Lady Ophelia’s wounded heart? Or will he dare to be the gentleman he always wanted to be and unveil a love he never thought possible?
Publisher and Release Date: Bard Productions, May 2014
Time and Setting: England, 1859
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars
Review by Lady Blue
Andrew Colton, Viscount Stark, has never known love. He goes through life seeking pleasure, but never finding true contentment. He encounters Ophelia Darlington, who is wading in the river, contemplating the sad state of her life, and he has the opportunity to rescue her when she slips and falls. He escorts her home, which turns out to be a small cottage. Although Ophelia is the daughter of an earl, she has lived in poverty since her father’s death, having been disowned – along with her mother – by her half-brother, the new earl. If that weren’t bad enough, her beloved mother is dying.
Andrew is already intrigued by Ophelia, and he is totally charmed by her mother. Mama, in turn, is quite taken with Andrew, and feels he is a perfect match for Ophelia. Between them, they concoct a plan for Ophelia and Mama to be his guests in town and very soon, he whisks them both off to his home in London, despite Ophelia’s objections. This is how Mama wants to spend her last days, and Ophelia doesn’t have the heart to refuse her.
The bond that develops quickly between Andrew and Mama is beautiful and heartwarming. He finds the parental love he never had and at the same time, he and Ophelia are falling in love, though she is fighting it, hesitant to trust her future to anyone, based on the examples set by her father and half-brother. Eventually she has to learn to trust in order to find the love and security she longs for.
Mama is such a wonderfully written character. She is loving and brave, and despite her own rapidly fading life, she is able to give love to Andrew, who so badly needs it, and to encourage Ophelia to be brave and true to her own heart.
There is enough emotion in this short novella to fuel three full length novels. Lady Wild packs a powerful punch on different levels. To me, a well written book has to tug on your emotions, and this one does, from many directions. Máire Claremont has written a poignant, beautiful story, and I highly recommend it.
Note that this book will be priced at 99 cents on Amazon through June 3rd. Maire Claremont is also donating the profits to hospice care in honor of her own lovely mother, who provided much of the inspiration for Mama in this story.