The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney, Ballentine 1999. hardback First Edition with very good dust jacket.
The Wild Child, Putney creates a breathtaking love story that awakens all the senses, inviting a magical world of wonders in a magnificent English garden.Dominic Renbourne has been bribed to take his twin brother Kyle's place at Warfield Manor, where he is to pay gentlemanly court to Lady Meriel Grahame, the extravagantly wealthy heiress Kyle intends to marry. The deception need only take a few weeks and no one will be the wiser, especially the strange Lady Meriel who is whispered to be . . . mad. The last thing Dominic expects when he arrives is to be entranced by a silent woman whose ethereal beauty is as stunning as her mystical relationship to the intoxicating flowers and trees that surround her. Until now, Meriel has kept her distance from society, spending her days at one with the earth and safe from the nightmare that nearly destroyed her as a child. She is content to live alone, but suddenly this handsome intruder begins to inspire dreams of life beyond her sanctuary. He senses her restlessness, her awakening desire, and the truth that she is much more than she seems.Theirs is an extraordinary courtship. Without words, Meriel teaches Dominic to appreciate the natural splendors of her isolated world. While Dominic's sense of duty barely restrains his longing for his brother's future bride, Meriel's untamed spirit proves more powerful than Dominic can resist.