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Wild Bells to the Wild Sky Paperback – Feb 1989

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon Books (Mm); Reissue edition (February 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380873877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380873876
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 10.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,087,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Lily Christian was just an enchantingly innocent child of paradise when she fell in love with the sun bronzed captain who came to take her home to England

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By K. J. Blake on April 27 2004
Format: Paperback
Lily Christian was just an enchantingly innocent child of paradise when she fell in love with the sun-bronzed captain who came to take her home to England. But shamed by the resplendent ladies of the court, she bitterly despaired of ever being loved in return.
As the years passed, and fortune's cruelty forced her into a life of adventure, the girl once forgotten became a ravishing beauty who tormented Valentine Whitelaw's heart. And as the royal treachery that has destroyed her family now threatened her, he became her champion.
Drawn together into perilous adventure and intrigue, they crossed the world, won glorious renown in the service of the Queen... and found their love's destiny past the ends of desire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the best historical romances EVER! Jan. 7 2010
By WitchyD - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh, Laurie McBain was such a great romance writer! I really wish her books would go back into print so that today's writers and readers can see how it was done! Along with Virginia Henley and Beatrice Small, McBain's stories were some of the very first historical romances I ever read (way, way back in high school). They are true classics of the genre.

This a romance / adventure / coming of age story between Elizabethan era Lily Christian and her sea-dog pirate captain, Valentine Whitelaw. While this is not an overtly sexual story (try Ms. Small's Skye O'Malley for that), it does contain one of the best romances I ever read. It contains everything great about the Elizabethan period, brave sea-dogs, bad Spanish spies, the new world, faires, and even a small cameo from Shakespeare.

Truly this is a classic historical romance read. It's one that I hold all other up to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Queen of Historical Romance Aug. 27 2008
By Jeanette Cooper - Published on
WILD BELLS TO THE WILD SKY, By Laurie McBain,is a marvelous read. This is my second reading of this book and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. Laurie McBain only wrote about seven books--that I've been able to find--and she is an excellent historical romance writer that captures the period of her settings remarkably. In this book, Lilly Christian is stranded on an island with her mother, brother, half-sister, and Sir Basil, an agent to Queen Elizabeth Tudor in 1558, and is rescued seven years later by Valentine Whitelaw, the man who will later become the love of her life. With traitors plotting to overthrow Elizabeth to put Mary Stuart on the throne, Lilly Christian becomes a target of the traitors because she accidently overheard something she shouldn't have and because Sir Basil kept a journal with notations about the plot against Elizabeth, which Lilly has carefully hidden away. The story is suspenseful and keeps the interest level high. A great book for lovers of historical romance.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
odd man out again Oct. 16 2004
By Feles31 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lily Christian's father was a dashing English Captain in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. However, due to the political intrigues of the day, her father was murdered while Lily, her spanish mother Magdalena, and the family friend, Sir Basil, were left stranded upon a desert isle.

There, Magdalena gave birth to Lily's brother, Tristram. In time, as no rescue appeared, Magdalena and Basil grew to love each other and had a girl child, Dulcie. Magdalena and Basil contracted fevers from some shipwrecked sailors and died. The three children continued to live alone on the island until the appearance of Basil's brother, Captain Valentine Whitelaw, who had come to rescue them.

In England, the children adjusted to civilized life with much difficulty. Basil's wife, sister, and son, Simon, welcomed them but legally, Lily and Tristram were under the guardianship of Lily's relative, Hartwell Barclay. The children did not want to be separated and Dulcie also went with them to Hartwell. Lily grew into a beautiful woman and, soon, Simon fell in love with her. Hartwell also began to desire her and, after a botched attack on Lily that seemed to end in Hartwell's accidental death, she and her siblings fled to the gypsies for fear of their lives.

The gypsy, Romney Lee, loved Lily also and allowed them to travel with his group of entertainers. Lily and the children created a puppet show to earn a living, telling an old fantasy story Basil had always told them on the island. However, when old enemies saw the puppet show and realized it's true meaning, Lily and her family were in danger once more.

Once again, Valentine appeared, back from trips at sea. He did not recognize the grown up Lily and he, too, desired her. Amid some misunderstandings and anger, it was determined that they must return to the island to pick up Basil's journal with all the proof they needed to solve multiple problems facing them. On the island, Lily and Valentine finally became lovers and managed to gather the journal and hidden treasure. All of which contributed to a happy ending, at last.

The good point about this story is that I actually read this book ages ago and never forgot about the couple being stranded on a desert island who grew to love each other. It certainly makes one think. The fact that Basil had a family, still, back home only adds to the whole complicated situation. What if they had all survived and returned home? Complicated.

That said, as a romance, I didn't care for this book at all. The first half of the book is dedicated to the time the children spent growing up on the island. Then another quarter is spent on the children growing up in England and escaping from their guardian. By the time the hero and heroine actually really spend time together as adults in a relationship, the book is over.

This book doesn't compare to McBain's other books, such as Moonstruck Madness, which I highly recommend.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enthralling Tale of Queen Elizabeth's Sea Dogs-a Great Love Story--a Keeper! April 19 2013
By Regan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few authors can come close to the masterful storytelling of Laurie McBain which is why I am one of her fans. With an amazingly complex plot, this one features prejudice, treachery, threats to the queen, spies, gypsies and high seas adventure making it one of her best. I highly recommend it.

Lily Christian was the product of a marriage between her English father, a privateer for Queen Elizabeth I, and her aristocratic Spanish mother who met Lily's father when he captured a Spanish galleon on which the Spanish beauty was traveling with her family. Like her mother before her, Lily is beautiful with dark auburn hair, but she has her father's green eyes and his love of adventure. Even as a child Lily was climbing with him the rigging of his ship. When treachery results in her father's death and his ship being sunk by a vengeful Spanish uncle, Lily and her mother and their father's friend Basil Whitelaw escape to become castaways on an island in the West Indies. Seven years later, at 14, Valentine Whitelaw, Basil's younger brother and one of the queen's favorite privateers, rescues Lily. And she falls in love with the dashing captain who, she overhears confiding to his mistress, thinks of Lily as only the daughter of a friend.

McBain's style is to build the story slowly with layer upon layer of meticulous detail as she carefully weaves together many disparate threads. This tale from Elizabethan England (and the West Indies) is incredibly well crafted, with endearing characters (including real persons like Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare and Lily's siblings and a pet monkey and parrot), and rich in historic detail. Oh yes, and a surprise at the end!

Lily is a special heroine, always unselfishly caring for others and sacrificing her own desires for them. Valentine is a noble hero who will take most of the story to recognize the woman destined for him.

You may have to purchase it used, as I did, but it will be worth it, I promise!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not spicy, but great story!!! Aug. 5 2010
By Rhonda Parker - Published on
Format: Paperback
Great book, even if it not as spicy as many of the time period. The adventures and the main characters keep you turning pages!

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