Wilde Child: Wildes of Lindow Castle

Written by Eloisa James
Review by Ray Thompson

1784. Lady Joan Wilde, daughter of the Duke of Lindow, is considered scandalous, not only because she is illegitimate, but because she defies social convention. By contrast, Thaddeus Shaw, Viscount Greywick and future Duke of Eversley, is a paragon of rectitude. She finds him pompous and irritating; he finds her extremely annoying. Despite this, they feel a mutual attraction, and as they start to understand each other better, their relationship improves.

What enlivens the familiar romance trope of opposites who attract is the lively dialogue and insights into how one’s conduct affects others in ways not always appreciated. We are, unfortunately, often too preoccupied with our own concerns to notice. There are other interesting insights too: the restrictive cumbersomeness of aristocratic women’s clothing, the challenges for touring companies who perform plays for an unsophisticated provincial audience, and the rudeness and arrogance of a privileged elite, most strikingly witnessed in the conduct of Thaddeus’ father and the delightfully named Lady Bumtrinket.

This is Book 6 in the Wildes of Lindow Castle series, and though the plot drifts towards farce at times, as Joan herself remarks, the eccentric family is as amusing and entertaining as ever. Definitely recommended.