Her captivating stories and vibrant characters have earned New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney enthusiastic praise from reviewers and readers alike. Now, from the majestic mansions of eighteenth-century London to the mist-shrouded wilds of the Scottish Highlands, she brings you her most breathtaking romantic adventure yet.
Love and magic prove to be comfortable bedfellows in this enchanting mid-18th-century romance from Putney (A Twist of Fate; The Bartered Bride), which launches a new series focused on the Guardians, a group of English and Scottish folk who possess supernatural powers. Gwynne Owens, daughter of an English Guardian, has grown up as a scholar of the group's lore, though she has few powers of her own. An early, platonic marriage left her a wealthy widow, and though she values her independence, she finds it hard to resist her attraction to Duncan Macrae, a Scottish mage who is adept at manipulating the weather. As Duncan aggressively courts Gwynne, the winds of war between England and Scotland grow stronger, along with the Guardian council's sense that a catastrophe is imminent. Gwynne eventually marries Duncan, but when the uprising of Bonnie Prince Charlie occurs, she realizes she must betray her husband, who has aligned himself with his countrymen. Putney plays out the consequences of their decisions until the very end, keeping readers enthralled all the way up to the inevitable coming together of hero and heroine. Their final love scene is a touch trite, but overall, Putney does a fine job of weaving magical elements together with actual historical events to create a rich, romantic tapestry. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 29, 2004
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Excerpt from A Kiss of Fate by Mary Jo Putney
Duncan Macrae inhaled deeply, intoxicated by the rampant scents of summer. Having arrived in London the night before after a long, grueling tour of the Continent, he would have preferred to spend the day sleeping, but his friend Lord Falconer had insisted on dragging him from London to Richmond. Now Duncan was glad he had come.
As they rounded the corner of their hostess's mansion, he scanned the women in gorgeous gowns who drifted across the emerald grass, flirting outrageously with even more gorgeous gentlemen. "The ladies of London are like a bouquet of exotic flowers."
Simon Malmain smiled lazily. "You'll find no females so exquisite in those wild Scottish hills of yours."
"Scottish lassies are just as lovely, and with far less artifice." Duncan glanced at the sky. "Lady Bethany chose her day well. Britain at its best."
"As you know, she has some Macrae blood. Enough to always choose a fine day for her entertainments despite our chancy English weather." Simon lovingly smoothed a wrinkle from his blue brocade sleeve. "If rain threatened, I'd not have worn this new coat. It was damnably expensive."
Duncan grinned. His friend mimicked the manners of a fop so perfectly that even Duncan, who had known him since the nursery, sometimes had trouble remembering that Simon was the most dangerous mage in Britain. Except, perhaps, for Duncan himself. "Where is Lady Bethany? I should pay my respects to our hostess. It's been years since I've seen her."
Simon shaded his eyes to scan the crowd. "Over there, below the gazebo."
The men turned their steps toward their hostess. Duncan eyed the lavish refreshment tables with interest, but eating must wait upon manners. As they neared the gazebo, he heard a string quartet inside, playing music as lighthearted as the day. "It's hard to believe that the shadow of civil war lies over Britain," Duncan said softly.
"That's why you're here," Simon said with equal softness. "And it's why I and others have spent so much time in Scotland. The future isn't fixed. If we Guardians build enough bridges between our nations, perhaps war can be averted