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.
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I've read nearly everything that Mary Jo Putney has written, and her work is always intelligently crafted. When you pick up an MJP, you're guaranteed a good story peopled with complex characters and highly imaginative plot development.
For some reason, though, I shied away from reading 'Uncommon Vows' for a long time. I suppose because it was a medieval and I've always been more partial to regencies. Boy, was I stupid! In MJP's hands, the period comes to life. Simply put, I was hooked from the first page and finished the book in a day.
The storyline in a nutshell- Lady Meriel, an ex convent novice and now chatelaine to her brother, chances to get lost in the royal forest and is apprehended on suspicion of poaching by Adrian, Earl of Shropshire. They had a brief encounter 5 years ago when Meriel was still at the convent, and Adrian has never forgotten her. He doesn't recognise the novice and lady as one and the same, but he is strongly drawn to Meriel and decides to order her taken back to his castle for further questioning. He knows he's being unreasonable, but he's helpless. Adrian is a powerfully drawn, complex character- originally a younger son, he was jolted from a monastic life at an abbey when he was 15 years old, when his family was slaughtered by Guy de Burgoigne. Needless to say, he has sworn vengeance. Guy is the story's evil presence and he's a nicely fleshed out character, too. Meriel is a fascinating character- she has a purity and joy for life, as well as a love of freedom and a strong intellect. She refuses to bow to Adrian, and needless to say, the sparks fly. Adrian vows to keep her imprisoned until she consents to be his, and Meriel refuses to bend to his will while he keeps her imprisoned. A real battle of wills ensues.Read more ›
Totally agree with those reviewers who heavily criticise this book. Its one of those awful rape fantasy tales thinly disguised as a romance. The so called hero Adrian kidnaps the heroine and attempts to coerce into being his mistress by isolating and imprisoning her and by trying to corrupt her with his wealth and unwelcomed advances. She ends up with amnesia after an attempted suicide she is driven to, as she makes a desperate effort to elude his corrupting influence. Then suddenly not only does she suffer memory loss forgetting his treatment of her she is also astonishingly and conveniently immediately eager to be seduced by her kidnapper and in her hormonely driven ignorance happily marries him. Its trite, fantastical drivel in rather poor taste. Up to the point where Meriel resists Adrian's corrupting influence its a good read, but when she turns into a medieval lust bimbo (which is a symptom of amnesia I was previously ignorant of) and he takes shameless advantage of her memory loss and eager kisses. I was just disgusted! Plus its a really ridiculous premise. A darker tale is one thing but a willing victim heroine and a selfish, shallow rapist hero is too dark for me! And yes it is rape if the woman's consent is when she lacks her full faculties and has been deceived. Have generations of women's rights activists wasted their time when books like this clearly appeal to so many women? I've seen the reality of violent controlling men ruining the lives of women. I watched more than one of my female relatives suffer when living with some of the other "Adrians" in this world. Believe me its no fantasy.Read more ›
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