STARRED REVIEW
March 30, 2021

Wilde Child

By Eloisa James
Review by

Eloisa James returns to the adventures of her wonderful Wildes in Wilde Child, a sparkling Georgian romance between an unconventional, theater-loving heroine and a stuffy viscount.

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Eloisa James returns to the adventures of her wonderful Wildes in Wilde Child, a sparkling Georgian romance between an unconventional, theater-loving heroine and a stuffy viscount.

Lady Joan Wilde’s reputation has always preceded her. Her golden blond hair (courtesy of her mother’s affair with a Prussian aristocrat) marks her as an illegitimate daughter, and her parentage is constantly whispered about among high society. Thankfully, Joan has a loving family who doesn’t mind embracing her eccentric ways, as Wilde Child continues to showcase the supportive familial bonds that readers love and have come to expect from this series.

Joan has grown up loving the stage, often performing for her family in the privacy of their home at Lindow Castle. In true Joan fashion, she wants to shake things up a bit and take the leading role in a local theater troupe’s production of Hamlet. However, a woman in breeches, front and center in a Shakespeare play, is asking for scandal. Joan is unabashedly herself, and her tenacity and passion for acting make her the star of every scene. She is a whimsical departure from the shy wallflowers that so often populate the subgenre, with often hilarious results.

Unfortunately, Joan’s brash personality is the bane of Thaddeus Erskine Shaw’s existence. As Viscount Greywick and heir to the Duke of Eversley, Thaddeus shouldn’t be seen with the likes of Joan. She consistently gets under his skin, and he is baffled by the way such an unconventional woman snatches his attention like no one else. His solution is to help the Wildes find a suitable husband for Joan, but before she’ll even consider marriage, she wants to make her dream of performing come true. Thaddeus’ solution is to protect and accompany Joan during the play’s production in a neighboring village, but enacting such a plan puts Thaddeus and Joan in rather close quarters.

Thaddeus’ slow burn for Joan is something to be savored, especially for readers who love to watch a buttoned-up hero slowly come undone. James dials Thaddeus’ inner yearning up to 11, while Joan can’t help herself from teasing the stalwart, seemingly unmoved viscount. Thaddeus’ process of loosening his tight grip upon his conduct (with the help of Joan’s insistent presence) is a welcome foil to the often entertainingly outlandish Wilde household.

James’ writing shines when her characters don’t take themselves too seriously, and the Wilde clan’s infectious energy is the epitome of delightful. Overflowing with tried-and-true romance tropes like opposites attract and secret pining, Wilde Child proves that sometimes there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The wheel can roll right along if it continues to produce this caliber of happily ever after.

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Get the Book

Wilde Child

Wilde Child

By Eloisa James
Avon
ISBN 9780062878076

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