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Mary Jo Putney

Author of The Rake

107+ Works 13,578 Members 466 Reviews 22 Favorited

About the Author

Romance writer Mary Jo Putney was born in New York and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in English literature and Industrial design. She served as the art editor of The New Internationalist magazine in London and worked as a designer in California before settling in Baltimore, show more Maryland in 1980 to run her own freelance graphic design business Her first novel was a traditional Regency romance, which sold in one week. Signet liked the novel so much that it offered Putney a three-book contract. In 1987 that first novel, The Diabolical Baron, was published. Since then, she has published more than twenty-nine books. Her books have been ranked on the national bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Most of her books have been historical romance. She has also begun writing fantasy romance and romantic fantasy. Putney has won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice, for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer and has been a RITA finalist nine times. She is on the Romance Writers of America Honor Roll for bestselling authors, and has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards and four Golden Leaf Awards. Her titles include: Dark Mirror, Dark Passage, No Longer a Gentleman, Never Less than a Lady, and Nowhere Near Respectable. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Mary Jo Putney has also published fantasy romance novels as M.J. Putney.

Image credit: Franco


Works by Mary Jo Putney

The Rake (1998) 649 copies
Thunder and Roses (1993) 546 copies
The Wild Child (1999) 542 copies
One Perfect Rose (1997) 499 copies
Loving a Lost Lord (2009) 496 copies
The Bargain (1999) 481 copies
Silk and Shadows (1991) 384 copies
Shattered Rainbows (1996) 368 copies
The China Bride (2000) 362 copies
Dancing on the Wind (1994) 356 copies
Never Less Than a Lady (2010) 354 copies
The Marriage Spell (2006) 337 copies
Dark Mirror (2011) 336 copies
Angel Rogue (1995) 335 copies
River Of Fire (1996) 330 copies
Petals in the Storm (1989) 323 copies
A Kiss of Fate: A Novel (2004) 311 copies
The Bartered Bride (2002) 299 copies
Nowhere Near Respectable (2011) 296 copies
Stolen Magic (2005) 282 copies
Silk and Secrets (1992) 276 copies
Veils of Silk (1992) 275 copies
Dearly Beloved (1990) 257 copies
The Burning Point (2000) 242 copies
No Longer a Gentleman (2011) 241 copies
Uncommon Vows (1991) 230 copies
The Diabolical Baron (1987) 227 copies
A Distant Magic (2007) 215 copies
Sometimes a Rogue (2013) 210 copies
Not Quite a Wife (2014) 205 copies
Not Always a Saint (2015) 201 copies
The Spiral Path (2002) 177 copies
Once a Soldier (2016) 169 copies
Once a Rebel (2017) 125 copies
Bewitched, Bothered, and BeVampyred (20-in-1) (2005) — Editor; Contributor — 123 copies
Dark Passage (2011) 110 copies
Once a Scoundrel (2018) 106 copies
Fallen from Grace (2011) 103 copies
Once a Spy (2019) 100 copies
Rakes and Rogues (5-in-1) (1993) — Contributor — 99 copies
Carousel of Hearts (1989) 98 copies
Once Dishonored (2020) 86 copies
Dark Destiny (2012) 75 copies
Lady of Fortune (1988) 71 copies
Seduction on a Snowy Night (3-in-1) (2019) — Contributor — 71 copies
Dashing & Dangerous (5-in-1) (1995) — Contributor — 70 copies
Captured Hearts (5-in-1) (1995) — Contributor — 69 copies
The Would-be Widow (1988) 61 copies
The Rogue and the Runaway (1990) 58 copies
Dangerous to Know (2007) 56 copies
A Victorian Christmas (Anthology 5-in-1) (1992) — Contributor — 54 copies
Once a Laird (2021) 51 copies
Chalice of Roses (Anthology 4-in-1) (2010) — Contributor — 50 copies
The Controversial Countess (1988) 42 copies
A Yuletide Kiss (2021) — Author — 40 copies
The Journey Home [Anthology 10-in-1] (2004) — Contributor — 22 copies
Dangerous Gifts (2012) 18 copies
The Christmas Cuckoo (2013) 16 copies
Stirring the Embers (2013) 16 copies
Silver Lady (2023) 14 copies
Songs of Love and Darkness (2012) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Christmas Tart (1992) 5 copies
Sunshine for Christmas (1990) 5 copies
Christmas Mischief (2010) 4 copies
Once a Soldier (2021) 3 copies
Phoenix Falling (2013) 2 copies
Shining On 1 copy
Lost Girls 1 copy
Promesse 1 copy
Una esposa singular (2015) 1 copy

Associated Works

Irresistible Forces [Anthology 6-in-1] (2004) — Contributor — 595 copies
The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (2009) — Contributor — 410 copies
The Vorkosigan Companion (2008) — Contributor, some editions — 349 copies
Dragon Lovers (Anthology 4-in-1) (2007) — Contributor — 277 copies
Faery Magic (Anthology 4-in-1) (1998) — Contributor — 229 copies
Mischief and Mistletoe (2012) — Contributor — 145 copies
A Stockingful of Joy (Anthology 4-in-1) (2005) — Contributor — 134 copies
A Constellation of Cats (2001) — Contributor — 99 copies
Enchantment Place (2008) — Contributor — 80 copies
Christmas Ghosts (2013) — Contributor — 17 copies
Christmas Roses: Three Historical Novellas (2015) — Contributor — 3 copies


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Common Knowledge



Found: YA Novel with Timetravel in Name that Book (September 2021)


This is the first book in a new series, Dangerous Gifts, about Regency-era men and women with paranormal abilities. I was enthralled with the story from the first pages, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

The book opens with Lord and Lady Tremayne discovering two young boys hiding in an alley in London. Their families had rejected Bran and Cade because they exhibited strange abilities. Taken in and raised by the Tremaynes, who also possess similar abilities, Bran and Cade learned to control and use their gifts for good. Both now work for the Home Office, doing what they can to protect their country. Bran's gifts lean towards investigation and being able to connect events to form an accurate picture of looming trouble.

Bran is shocked to return home one day and find a lawyer from Cornwall wanting to see him. It appears that the father who rejected him so cruelly years earlier now needs to find the only son he has left. Bran is not interested in Penhaligon's title, lands, or fortune, but his intuition tells him he must go to Cornwall. With another war with France looming, the Cornwall coast is a prime location for smugglers and spies.

Bran's arrival in Cornwall is just as awkward as he expected. While his mother and sister are welcoming and kind, his father is as dismissive and arrogant as Bran remembered. I loved Bran's ability to keep his cool, which riled his father more. Additionally, Bran feels a growing sense of danger as he spends time in the village and meets various people. There is also a sense that something else has drawn him there, but he doesn't yet know what it is.

Meanwhile, we meet a young woman simply called "Girl." She is being held captive by two people who appear to have nefarious intentions. One of her captors, Starling, has a gift for putting a mind block on Girl, keeping her subdued. But Girl has retained enough of a sense of self that she knows she must escape. I loved seeing her determination and how she worked to regain some of her control, eventually taking advantage of an opportunity to escape. My heart pounded as I followed her flight and how it led her straight to Bran.

I loved how Bran immediately recognized that Girl (who he calls Lady) is gifted. His protectiveness, patience, and kindness were balm to her soul as he helped her recover from her ordeal. The sparks between them are immediately noticeable. Bran has his work cut out to remember he's an honorable man, especially as she begins to recover her memories, such as her name, Merryn. There are some terrific scenes of them together as they get to know each other. Bran sends for Cade and his sister, Tamsyn, a healer, to help investigate the sense of danger and help Merryn. Seeing Bran struggle to resist Merryn's wiles while awaiting her complete recovery was fun. I especially enjoyed watching Bran attempt to explain the depth and reality of their connection to Merryn. The ending was great, and the epilogue was a perfect wrap-up for the book.

As the four of them delve deeper into the danger they feel, the twists and turns of discoveries and revelations kept them (and me) guessing about where and how the trouble would occur. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something would happen to complicate the situation. I never expected the particular gift that made Merryn so vital to the bad guys' plans and the danger it put her in. I was glued to the pages as everything came together, and they raced to prevent disaster. The resolution was well done.

The secondary characters were terrific and added extra depth to the story. I like the relationship between Cade and Bran, who have maintained their closeness into adulthood. Their love and respect for each other is evident throughout the book. I enjoyed seeing Cade confront part of his past. The surprise he discovered showed a little-known side of him, and I look forward to the possibility of seeing more of it. I loved their sister, Tamsyn, one of the three biological children of the Tremaynes. She is strong, independent, and gifted, and loves her family. The interactions between her and her brothers were fun. It was also evident that they respected her intelligence and abilities. I suspect that Cade and she will be the subjects of the next books in the series.

A secondary romance was going on between Bran's Penhaligon sister, Glynis, and the estate's lawyer, Matthew Davey. Her father forbids it, but she and Matthew find ways to be together. Matthew was a terrific man who loved her but wouldn't do anything that could hurt her. I liked Matthew's friendship with Bran and his willingness to assist with their investigations. Glynis was initially sweet and quiet, but her genuine personality began to show through as the book progressed. I loved her burgeoning friendship with Merryn and Tamsyn. I loved the twist at the end.

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scoutmomskf | 3 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |
So Perfect!

A tale that sweeps you away to Regency times. Romance linked with treason and treachery!
Rhys and Gwyn Tremayne have been rescuing children from the depths of the London stews forever. Bran Tremayne and his companion Cade were two of these. Although it seems they are somewhat different. Like Lady Tremayne they’re gifted, although many see them as from the devil. Gwyn is a finder. Cade can sense trouble. Bran has a strong intuition that senses lines connecting to the truth of a situation.
Twenty-three years later Bran works for the London Home Office.
He receives unwelcome news from his mother Lady Tremayne. A solicitor from Plymouth is looking for a child from that time. A child with a dragon tattoo on his shoulder.
Once an undesirable, his grandfather is reluctantly forced to seek Bran out to come under his auspices. He wants Bran to be trained as his heir. You can imagine what Bran thinks about that!
What Bran discovers is a mother, a sister and later a strange girl unwilling enthralled to a twisted mind, Starling.
The bravery of Girl is startling, her ethereal beauty and and her bravery call to Bran. She is of course gifted.
I’m so looking forward to more in this paranormal regency series.

A Kensington Books ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
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eyes.2c | 3 other reviews | Nov 22, 2023 |
There is always something wonderous and magical about a well-written historical romance, but when the characters really are ‘gifted’ it just becomes – WOW! I don’t often read fantasy/paranormal (whichever word you prefer) books, but I just had to check out this one because of the author – and the book blurb. I’m glad I decided to read it – and now I am looking forward to the second book in the series.

The Prologue nicely introduces us to Lord and Lady Tremayne who are both ‘gifted’ and one of their gifts is finding others who are also ‘gifted’ – usually children who have been turned out of their homes because their families and society cannot deal with their gifts. They have rescued many gifted children, so this could – should the author wish it – be a long series. 😊 The two children featured in the prologue are Brannock (Bran) and Cade Evans and though they are not brothers by blood, they are closer than brothers by choice.

Fast forward several years and we find Bran and Cade as grown-up young men who work for the Home Office. It seems the Home Office has seen the benefit of using these misfits to help keep England safe. They are given a fair amount of autonomy and Bran keeps feeling he needs to go to Cornwall, but he can’t put his finger on a reason for that. Then, when someone turns up at the Tremayne home looking for a gifted male who has a dragon tattoo on his shoulder, Bran knows he needs to determine if he is the heir the man is seeking – and what, if anything, that means to him. Still, he knows that is only secondary because he is sure there is something afoot in Cornwall that will require his unique skills.

In Cornwall, Bran rescues Merryn and protects her from those seeking to recapture her. Merryn remembers nothing except needing to escape. However, the longer she’s out of captivity, the more she remembers – and the stronger Bran feels there is a serious threat to England coming from somewhere in Cornwall.

The story is filled with excitement, action, adventure, and, of course, romance as Bran and Merryn work their way through the mystery to uncover and thwart a huge plot to destabilize and weaken the country. As far as Bran’s natural family goes, I’m not sure I care for his decision – because I have to wonder how any future children of his will feel about that. On the other hand – things went in a perfectly acceptable way.

I enjoyed the read – and am looking forward to the next book in the series. I hope you’ll love it as much as I did. Happy Reading!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book - provided by the publisher and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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BarbaraRogers | 3 other reviews | Nov 14, 2023 |
Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me. Putney has several books that I regularly re-read because the characters are engaging and the plot is interesting. This book has neither engaging characters nor an interesting plot. Everything was rather staid and a little boring.
aeryn0 | 11 other reviews | Jul 23, 2023 |



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Melinda McRae Contributor
Edith Layton Contributor
Sandra Heath Contributor
Sabrina Jeffries Contributor, Author
Kristin James Contributor
Susan Grant Author, Contributor
Sheila Walsh Contributor
Carla Kelly Contributor
Maura Seger Contributor
Emma Lange Contributor
Marjorie Farrell Contributor
Joan Wolf Contributor
Mary Balogh Contributor
Julie Tetel Contributor
Betina Krahn Contributor
Patricia Gaffney Contributor
Barbara Samuel Contributor
Karen Harbaugh Contributor
Jade Lee Author
Simon Prebble Reader, Narrator
Nicola Cornick Contributor
Word Wenches Author collective
Susan King Contributor
Anne Gracie Contributor
Cara Elliott Contributor
Jo Beverley Contributor
Joanna Bourne Contributor
P. C. Cast Contributor
Linda Wisdom Contributor
Lynn Warren Contributor
Jennifer St. Giles Contributor
Michelle Rowen Contributor
Terese Ramin Contributor
Sophia Nash Contributor
Judi McCoy Contributor
Fiona MacLeod Contributor
Shelly Laurenston Contributor
Gena Showalter Contributor
Kathryn Caskie Contributor
Rachel Carrington Contributor
Alesia Holliday Contributor
Elizabeth Holcombe Contributor
Merline Lovelace Contributor
Gayle Wilson Contributor
Melanie Delon Cover artist
Rebecca York Collaborator
Catherine Asaro Collaborator
Candice Kohl Collaborator
Mary Kirk Editor
Diane Chamberlain Collaborator
CB Scott Collaborator
Lucy Grijalva Collaborator
Linda Madl Collaborator
Mallory Kane Collaborator
Lisa Tuttle Contributor
Carrie Vaughn Contributor
Yasmine Galenorn Contributor
M. L. N. Hanover Contributor
Amelia Brito Translator
Lina Levy Cover artist
Wanda Morella Translator
Deborah Luque Translator
Michael Page Narrator
Julie Guinard Traduction


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