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Silk and Shadows (Onyx) [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Jo Putney
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Australia (27 Jun 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451402774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451402776
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,476,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USAToday bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. Her entire romance writing career is an accidental byproduct of buying a computer for other purposes.

Her novels are known for psychological depth and intensity and include historical and contemporary romance, fantasy, and young adult fantasy. Winner of numerous writing awards, including two RITAs and two Romantic Times Career Achievement awards, she has five times had books listed among the Library Journal's top five romances of the year, and three times had books among the top ten romances of Booklist, the magazine of the American Library Association.

Her favorite reading is great stories, but in a pinch she'll settle for the backs of cereal boxes. She's delighted that e-publishing can now make available books that have been out of print.

Product Description


Peregrine, a handsome, enigmatic man with a blood debt to collect, seeks his revenge against Charles Weston by setting out to steal his new bride--the beautiful Sara St. James.

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THE MESSAGE reached Lord Ross Carlisle quickly, and he boarded the Kali within two hours. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It touches my heart!! 12 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book ,as usual, contains one elment that's always present in Putney's books. Wisdom. To me, this is why her books are so different from the other authors. I always love her characters. In this book, I love Peregrine, Sara and many others. No matter how many times I reread the book, the characters in it are still as refreshing and as intriguing to me as when I'd first read it. Anyone who loves action, excellent plot would love this book as well as her many others. The memorable events in this book has found its way into my heart!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 July 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good story
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic MJP 2 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read several of MJP's series (e.g., the Fallen Angels) and found her work to be exceptional overall. I enjoyed this book, first in the Silk series. The hero and heroine each have their own demons to conquer, but they find that it's easier with each other. The villain is perhaps a shade too villainous... An excellent read.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and heartbreaking 5 July 2001
By E. A. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a sucker for angst. I'll admit this upfront. What's wonderful about this book is that the characters don't wallow in their problems; they get up, keep moving, keep fighting, which allows you, the reader, to cheer for them.
Lady Sara is the epitome of a proper Victorian lady; well-born, well-bred, polite and restrained. Peregrine is the epitome of everything exotic and unEnglish, and he calls on Lady Sara, through his friendship with her cousin Ross, to educate him in the proper ways of British society.
In truth, though, he is conducting a complicated revenge against Sara's betrothed, a venal and wicked man who abuses innocents and murders without compunction. Peregrine's scheme to bring him down becomes even more complex when, in trying to ruin his plan to marry a wealthy, high-born wife (namely Sara), Peregrine begins to see her as more a person in her own right and not just a pawn to attack her fiance.
Putney is known for her "issue" books, and this is no different. Sara was injured as a teen and bears the physical and emotional injuries into her late twenties, and Peregrine was abused horribly as a young boy, fueling his need for revenge. But Putney does not insist on the world stopping to coddle her characters, and that's what keeps the action and the romance going. This was my first of Mary Jo Putney's books, and I have become an avid and loyal fan ever since.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homophobic? Racist? How insulting to imply that! 2 Jun 2007
By J. Myrna RottenRomance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't going to write a review, because this book's rating is appropriate in my opinion (I would give it a 4 1/2, but a 5 is more appropriate than a 4). When I read the reviewer that accused this book of being homophobic and racist, however, I had to put in my two cents to clarify this for anyone who might decide not to purchase Silk and Shadows based on those statements. I'm going to address the racist part first.

This author has written several other books that I have read where there is "interracial" relationships: Thunder & Roses, Angel Rogue, The China Bride, and The Wild Child (secondary character). Yes, the "ethnic" characters were "mixed", but there was a very reasonable explanation for that -- Ms. Putney had to explain why they were in England! Why would Nicholas have been with an English Earl instead of the Rom if he were fully Rom? Why would Maxie have come to England rather than stay in America with her Mohawk tribe if she weren't half English? In this book it seemed obvious to me that the reason wasn't in regards to why Mikahl would come to England, but more as to why he was willing to stay. If he had been Kafi in truth, he would have felt torn (given his personality) in staying, despite Sara being English. In fact, he felt a pull to England because it had been his birthplace, where he'd spent his "formative years", and where he found solace in home and family. His origins were a relatively important literary device as to how he developed a connection to the villain as well. Had he not been English, there would have been no reason for Weldon's *initial* actions to make sense. (And please note I said initial. What happens later is obviously not related to his nationality.) Which also brings me to my final thought on this, which is that Sara married Mikahl believing he was Kafi. She was completely willing to accept him as foreign, and was surprised by his nationality (not race, by the way, but nationality). She even is accepting of his "rank" and his ancestry! To turn a reasonable literary device into an accusation of racism is confusing and unfair to a very eloquent author.

As to homophobia, this claim makes even less sense. The villain was not homosexual! He was a PEDOPHILE! To imply that his villainy lay in any form of homosexuality is vastly insulting, as it implies that homosexuals are somehow pedophiles! In fact, Weldon is an opportunistic pedophile who actually PREFERS girls (specifically very young virgins), but is willing to accept a boy instead. That would indicate that he likes gender neutral appearances (given that Jenny could be mistaken for an 11 year old, that should be obvious), and was originally attracted to a boy because he was "...a pretty lad, though [he] could certainly use a good scrubbing." On that note, there is also the statement that Mikahl somehow believes that abuse of a boy is somehow worse than the abuse of a girl. That statement strikes me as odd given that "He was struck by a sudden image of Jenny as she might have looked her first night in the brothel; her childlike face mirrored everything he himself had felt..." Where does that indicate that he believed that her suffering was not as severe as a boy's might have been? Then his following feelings were that "...finally he understood why Sara was so profoundly upset." Despite his belief that attempting to free as many of Weldon's victims as possible as opposed to focusing on vengeance would be an exercise in futility, he recognized the point that Sara was trying to make. That doesn't strike me as believing that one crime was somehow worse than the other.

One other point to address is the believability of the villain. While there is nothing wrong with bondage/domination or sado-masochism when practiced between consenting adults (as far as *I* am concerned), you have a man who derives sexual satisfaction from abusing children -- it would be reasonable (and common, unfortunately) for that person to enjoy pain infliction and domination of them as well. When a person is willing or amoral/immoral enough to do horrendous acts on one front, he (or she) may, and in fact is likely to, be willing to do horrendous acts on many fronts. I am pleased to see that so many people have never been exposed to people so vile that they are eerily reminiscent of this particular villain. I've seen those like Weldon first hand in my career, and I can attest to at least some of the accuracy of his vileness.

Ms. Putney, as always, does an excellent job of addressing a very dramatic and emotionally charged subject. She also manages to do so touchingly and (as mentioned before) eloquently. I leave with one of my favorite quotes:

"...most of all, I want to be the man that I am only when I am with you." What a guy!

While Mikahl's not my favorite of her heroes (that privilege goes to Robin from Petals in the Storm and Angel Rogue), he is more real than almost every other hero in every other romance novel I have read.

Edited to add: to all of those who believe that Weldon is too outrageous to be real, look up Joseph Edward Duncan, III. If this type of person can exist in real life, there's no reason to think that Weldon isn't believable.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is a dish best served cold 28 Jan 2005
By ellejir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ooooohhhh!!!! This is a good one by Mary Jo Putney! Historical romance readers who love damaged heroes and angsty romance will adore "Silk and Shadows".

Mikahl Khanauri has been coldly plotting his revenge against Charles Weldon for 25 years and it is finally within his grasp. A wealthy, exotic and mysterious man who goes by the name of Prince Peregrine of Kafiristan, Mikahl arrives in Victorian England from Asia and sets in motion his plan to destroy his enemy--financially, socially and physically. Part of the plan involves separating Weldon from his wealthy, high-born fiancee, Lady Sara St. James. Peregrine sets out to charm and compromise the lovely Lady Sara, and finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her honesty and quiet strength. Sara is dangerously attracted to the exciting and mysterious Peregrine....but who is he really and why is he out for vengeance against Weldon???

The characters of the hero and heroine, Mikahl and Sara, are *very* well drawn and complement each other so very well. Mikahl is a complex, multi-layered and wonderfully *flawed* hero (my favorite type!) Sara is an excellent heroine--mature, intelligent, kind-hearted, passionate and true to her ideals. The villain of the piece, Weldon, is perhaps a bit too outrageously villainous (a seriously bad man and cold-hearted hypocrite with really *no* redeeming qualities except for his affection for his daughter.) There are a host of well-drawn secondary characters and even a touching secondary romance.

Typically for a Mary Jo Putney book, some of the issues dealt with in the story (child prostitution, slavery and rape--to name a few) are *very* serious stuff and will not please readers who are looking for a light, fluffy romance. But for those who like their heroes dark and damaged (and in need of redemption), this is an excellent read--well-written, well-plotted with memorable characters.

Highly recommended!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, mysterious and darkly passionate 30 April 2001
By Dr W. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
He calls himself Peregrine... and thus, right at the start of the book, we're given to understand that there is something mysterious about the man who's just landed in London from somewhere in India and who has sent for a friend who, apparently, owes him a favour - Lord Ross Carlisle, the son of a duke, who agrees to sponsor Peregrine in the society of early Victorian London.
So who is Peregrine? Putney's introduction of the character is masterly. We know that he comes from Kafiristan; but he never claims that he was born there. We're told his name is Mikhal Khanauri; but he never claims that this was his birth name. And Ross describes him as a prince, but Peregine never claims to be one. He is dark-skinned, but with unusual green eyes; eyes the villain of the piece recognises and finds troubling.
The only thing Putney does tell us about Peregrine right from the start is that he is looking for revenge, and that his desire for vengeance is all-consuming.
Peregrine's friend Ross has a cousin, Lady Sara, who is engaged to the man Peregrine is out to kill, Sir Charles Weldon. For Ross's sake, he will detach Sara from her fiance before he destroys Weldon; but he didn't expect to find himself overwhelmingly attracted to Sara, and she to him. An innocent in the experience of passion, Sara finds herself drawn to Peregrine more and more, and one kiss is simply not enough...
But as the events roll on inexorably, Sara has to ask herself whether Peregrine wants her for herself, or because she was one of the possessions which he is busy taking away from Weldon. Furthermore, she has to persuade Peregrine, a man who has never known love, to choose between vengeance and love.
Although I didn't find this book as compelling as other Putney works such as Thunder and Roses and The Rake, it was a fascinating and addictive read. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Mikhal and Sara in the two other books in the Silk series - the next book is about Ross, who played a minor but important role in Silk and Shadows but around whom there seem to be some interesting questions.
Oh, and just who is Peregrine? You're going to have to read the book to find out!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Series by MJP 16 Oct 2000
By "mandylml" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've always enjoyed reading MJP's books and this book starts off the excellent "Silk" trilogy. In this first instalment, Sara and Peregrine come together as 2 characters who have lived very different lives; yet are able to find true love by thwarting the very evil and villainous 'pimp'.
MJP once again demonstrates her superb story telling talent by crafting a very seamless tale that shows how wonderful falling in love is. Her supporting cast is great. She was able to contrast the lightness and warmth of Sara with the darkness and enigma of Peregrine.
MJP is unique in that she constantly deals with issues that other authors shun like child prostitution or heroes/heroines who are not quite complete and yet are able to come together to become the sum of a greater whole. Read this one, it is great.
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