The Renegade Wife

Caroline Warfield
The Renegade Wife
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Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date
October 2016
Book 1 of Children of Empire
Historical Romance

Betrayed by his cousin and the woman he loved, Rand Wheatly fled England, his dreams of a loving family shattered. He clings to his solitude in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. Returning from a business trip to find a widow and two children squatting in his house, he flies into a rage. He wants her gone, but her children are sick and injured, and his heart is not as hard as he likes to pretend.

Meggy Blair harbors a secret, and she'll do whatever it takes to keep her children safe. She'd hopes to hide with her Ojibwa grandmother, if she can find the woman and her people. She doesn't expect to find shelter with a quiet, solitary man, a man who lowers his defensive walls enough to let Meggy and her children in.

Their idyllic interlude is shattered when Meggy's brutal husband appears to claim his children. She isn't a widow, but a wife, a woman who betrayed the man she was supposed to love, just as Rand's sweetheart betrayed him. He soon discovers why Meggy is on the run, but time is running out. To save them all, Rand must return and face his demons.

Book Review by Adelaide Rose (reviewer)
Jan 23, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
46 people found the following review helpful
"One large hand cupped her cheek, its graceful fingers splayed across her face while a thumb caressed her lower lip. His other hand settled on her lower back and pulled her closer, sending molten fire through her veins. She melted to her core and leaned against him."

Meggy Blair is a devoted mother who would do anything to protect her young children, Drew and Lena, including endure physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their ruthless father, Sergeant Fergus Blair. However, when Fergus turns his violence on her son and daughter, breaking her son's arm in the process, Meggy is compelled to flee for their safety, as well as her own.

Hoping to find refuge with her grandmother's people, the Ojibwa, she takes flight into the Canadian wilderness. However, when her five-year-old daughter comes down with a life-threatening fever, she is forced to take shelter in the empty home of a stranger.

Rand Wheatly, cousin of the Duke of Murnane, is a dashing and reclusive businessman who prefers his aged wool jacket and cabin in the woods to the finery of his aristocratic upbringing. Jilted in his youth by a woman who chose his cousin's title over true love, Rand has vowed to never trust, let alone love, again.

When he finds an exotic beauty in his home without his permission, he is overcome with anger and betrayal, frightening Meggy as he attempts to drive her out.

However, when he meets the fragile children she is fighting to protect, he cannot repress his desire to defend them from the cruelty of the world around them and, as he unravels the full story of the brutality they have endured, Rand finds himself willing to fight the law itself to shield them from the life they have known.

Unknown to Rand, however, Fergus Blair is not inclined to let his wife and children escape his vicious grasp. Following the trail of rumors about a beautiful, dark-haired woman with two young children, he easily tracks them to a nearby community.

More than simply a cruel and possessive husband, Blair is also a criminal, embroiled in a counterfeiting scheme involving high-ranking and ruthless military personnel. His pursuit of Meggy now brings with it heightened danger that jeopardizes the very lives of those she loves.

Compelling Meggy to return using threats against her children and the handsome man who has offered her protection, Blair confines Meggy to squalor and captivity.

When Rand's efforts to rescue Meggy from the criminals that surround her result in even greater danger and violence, he turns to his powerful family for assistance and is forced to confront painful feelings and reconcile his complex relationship with his family...

THE RENEGADE WIFE is an exciting and excellently-written story that will appeal to lovers of historical romance, as well as wholesome, family-oriented stories.

Once again, Caroline Warfield deserves acknowledgement for crafting a thoroughly researched novel. Her attention to detail is stunning and her passion for literature is apparent on every page. Ms. Warfield immerses the reader in a landscape of vivid, sometimes gritty, details through which the plight of her richly-developed characters is made harrowingly real.

There are a few small editing errors in the review copy that I received. However, these small typos and grammatical issues are few and far between and do not detract from a delightful reading experience.

Based on this novel, as well as my previous experience with Caroline Warfield's writing, I would recommend this author highly to students of the historical romance genre. Though Ms. Warfield doubtlessly dedicates long hours to her research and story crafting, her efforts are rewarded through the creation of stand-out work at a time when many romance novels can feel formulaic and hastily written.

A novel with a strong female heroine and family focus, THE RENEGADE WIFE presents the slow emergence of a relationship based not only on desire, but also on the heroine's freedom of choice and need for self-actualization. This respectful, female-focused story provides an engaging departure from stories of female submission and will likely resonate with diverse women seeking a beautiful and sincere narrative that respects the importance of family and a woman's right to take her time falling in love.
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December 07, 2019 03:42 PM ( EST )