The Noble Savage
|By Violet Winspear|
|Publisher||Harlequin Presents #90|
|Mills & Boon Romance #986|
|Release Month||Apr 1975 (US)|
|Jan 1975 (UK)|
|Harlequin Presents Series #|
|Preceded by||The Snow On The Hills|
|Followed by||Stormy Encounter|
|Mills & Boon Romance Series #|
|Preceded by||Stranger In The Glen|
|Followed by||Pavement Of Pearl|
- Author: Violet Winspear
- Publisher: Mills & Boon Romance #986
- Year: 1975, January
- Setting: France
- Amazon Listing: The Noble Savage - out of print
Was this she had longed for?
Mrs. Amy du Mont was a rich, vulgar social climber. No wonder quiet, well-bred Altar Garret resented being trapped in her employ.
It was through Mrs. du Mont's efforts that they met the imposing Spanish grandee, the Conde Estuardo Santigardas de Reyes--yet it was Altar who gained his interest. When he asked her, surprisingly, to marry him, he made it clear his proposal had nothing to do with love.
Altar felt anything would be better than her present job. But what else might she get out of the marriage?
The Noble Savage is about a Conde who uses the society companion of a cruel title chaser on the French Riviera in his own scheme. Isobel is trapped in a dead end job as traveling companion and dogsbody to an obnoxious wealthy woman. The Conde cuts the woman dead, only to find she imagines an attraction. The Conde Estigardias de Reyes notices Isobel, whose lips twitch at the embarassing reprimand. He hatches a plan.
On some time off, Isobel reflect her meagre options. She has no resources and no savings, and relishes the stolen days of foreign travel and the perks. Orphaned and alone, Isobel is beautiful with blue eyes and white blonde hair, but is frozen from the death of father. The Conde pounces. When Isobel won't go out with him, he promises revenge. To stave off trouble she relents and they dine out.
Isobel waits for the punch line and it arrives. The Conde wants a wife, one who will pose as the mother of an infant child of his family. His brother has died and left the child, and his ailing noble grandmother will never accept the child's heritage or illegitimacy. The Conde plans to palm the child off as his own, angry at the circumstancs that demanded his brother be forced to abandon the woman he loved. But he needs a "wife" to pull it off. Isobel is entertained but turns him down.
The Conde returns Isobel to the hotel in a thoughtful mood. Isobel's pride is somewhat elevated by having turned down the most elgible man in Europe. The angered Conde then dangles Isobel's scarf in front of her employer, in front of social company. The implication that Isobel enjoys the Conde's visits while the employer is rejected drives the woman into a frenzy of anger. She stages a hotel room jewel robbery and turns Isobel out into the street.
Dozing off on a bench at sundown is how the Conde finds Isobel. Party to blame for what happened, he has ferreted out her oubliette. He wryly takes her to see the baby, noting she has no choice now but to accompany him. The Conde wants Isobel's pure appearance to work its magic and turn the stolid grandmother's heart into accepting the child as the Conde's heir. Isobel marries him in a ceremony and they drive to the hacienda estate.
Isobel is unnerved at the sharp woman who greets them and looks analytically at the child. The family retainers acknowledge the baby as a Reyes and all is well. But the Conde now wants the benefits of marriage and begins toying with Isobel about bedroom issues. The castle is crawling with eyes and ears and Isobel is forced to play mouse to the Conde's mocking cat. Isobel begins to feel conflicted about her role.
Isobel begins to sees the parallels to her former life. The Conde grows angry as it seems she does not appreciate her position, ironically that is what she appreciates most of all. But events and interactions in the hacienda reveal the Conde is really just a human being wearing a title after all, he's fallen for Isobel hard and is not sure whether to assert his rights or romance her, afraid both methods will fail.
A final encounter comes when Isobel wanders off into the swamp and gets lost in a mess of glass and mud. The Conde rides in on a charger and rescues her, revealing his feelings for her and allowing her to discover her own emotions without cash or tiaras lying on the table. When the currency between them changes, both the Conde and Isobel climb toward happiness.
- 1975, January - Paperback Release (Mills & Boon Romance #986) (UK Original Release)
- 1975, April - Paperback Release (Harlequin Presents #90) (US Original Release)
- 1981, March - Paperback Release (Mills & Boon Best Seller Romance #292)