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Wonderful Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1997

83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Jill Barnett claims she got the idea for her 13th-century romance, Wonderful, from a beer commercial, from which she learned that ale-making was one of the few occupations open to medieval women. Lady Clio is a headstrong, independent-minded young woman who would like nothing more than to rediscover the long-lost recipe for "heather ale," which was created by the Picts. Although lovely, Clio has long given up on marriage because her betrothed abandoned her to a convent six years before. When Merrick de Beaucort suddenly arrives to claim his bride, he finds that wooing the beautiful Lady Clio is as difficult and arduous as any battle he has faced. Beneath Clio's placid countenance and seemingly docile demeanor lies a lively and adventurous woman with a lot of ideas that Merrick must accept if he is ever to win her love.


Lady Clio has been in a convent for six years waiting for her betrothed to return from the Holy Lands, two years longer than originally planned. Bored beyond belief, she manages to get into one scrape or another, all with the best of intentions. Her focus, while waiting for Merrick to claim her as his bride, is to find the ultimate recipe for heather ale. Upon learning that he has finally returned, Lady Clio leaves the convent and heads to Camrose, her family home, to wait for her errant (and yet unseen) husband-to-be. Meanwhile, Merrick, who is tired from his journeys and ready for a quiet, biddable wife, has no idea that while Lady Clio may look angelic, she is actually full of mischief! And she is determined that he will make up every minute of the two years that he made her wait. As Merrick struggles to make Camrose a veritable fortress that would withstand invasion, Clio struggles with learning how to handle a man who lives his life based on success in battle. Her solution? Fits of defiance that not only frustrate Merrick, but make each confrontation sizzle with anticipation! An automatic attraction between Clio and Merrick causes sparks to fly off the pages, especially as they get to know each other. Add some delightfully humorous characters -- Thud, Thwack, Old Gladdys, Sir Roger and Brother Dismas -- and this is one tale that leaves the reader chuckling.Energetic and full of life, Jill Barnett has created characters that are absolutely Wonderful! I laughed throughout the book at the schemes that Lady Clio devised. Ms. Barnett has done a terrific job blending humor into the storyline. This is definitely a keeper!Amy Wilson -- Copyright © 1994-97 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved -- From Literary Times

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671004123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671004125
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a native Californian, a baby boomer who grew up in a very idyllic place at a very idyllic time--on the coast of Southern California in the 60's, although I spent many childhood summers before that on my grandparents' farm in Texas.

So I'm a West Coast girl raised by Southern parents, who grew up in a place where you spent your free time playing volleyball on the beach and weekends dancing to local bands like Beach Boys and the Righteous Brothers.

My husband and I met in high school, and I never knew I wanted to be a writer until I was in my thirties and back in college again. I had been an art major the first time around--it was the 60's--quit to make some kind of mark in the world, but I got married instead.

My love of history and reading and art all came together for me when I quit school again, after working toward my history degree and then becoming a mother--something we were told couldn't happen. (The child not the degree.) So with the miracle gift of my daughter, came a new career for me.

I knew then I wanted to write a book, had an idea and more importantly a vision of the kind of stories I wanted to tell. I told myself I could always go back to school.

Funny thing the way life works. Almost two years to the day I quit school, I sold my first book on 50 pages to Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. That was over 22 years ago and many books later.

So the road I traveled to become an author had many twists and turns, joys and disappointments. Yet I'm doing something I really love. In so many ways I'm a very lucky woman.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Barks Book Nonsense on October 13, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book so much! WONDERFUL is enchanting, uplifting and has enough history to place you in the world she's created but not enough to feel like a boring history lesson. The details of ale making were fascinating. Her characters are lovable, and the secondary characters are well drawn and add to the fun (I can't wait for Roger's story!). Clio teaches Merrick how to laugh and love and their relationship develops slowly from one of irritation, to friendship, to desire and love. It's all done with such a tender hand that I couldn't stop the tears when I got to towards the end. Speaking of which, it takes an abrupt serious turn which may upset some looking for a pure love and laughter read. For me, this part made the love story all the more poignant. Like all the Barnett books I've read I laughed and cried and completely enjoyed myself. *Sigh* Do I really have to wait 6 months or so for the next one?
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jojo on May 13, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hmmm... this one just didn't do it for me. I see that it got pretty good reviews here on Amazon, so maybe it's just me. It did have a few humorous scenes & the ending wasn't bad. But - to me the heroine, Clio, was an immature BRAT!! She sulked, she pulled stupid tricks, & did not in any manner act like a woman of the 13th century. Things she did that were supposed to be a result of pride really should have just embarrased her. More than one of her stunts really put her life (& the life of others) in danger; Considering the time period they lived in, it just showed a real lack of intelligence. I guess I just need a more intelligent heroine in my reading... Naive is ok, pulling funny stunts is fun, but showing a complete lack of intelligence just doesn't make me admire them.
The hero, Merrick, was really a hard man at first - not unjust or cruel, just very hard. However, set as it was in the 13th century, with the life he had led, it was justified.... or if not justified, at least more realistic. He came around or grew a lot faster than Clio did.
I suppose I've just gotten use to authors who either write a much more in-depth plot, a more in-depth love story, or at least has a spunky heroine that I can have fun reading about AND have a little respect for...
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ana G. "The Book Smugglers" on February 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am in love with Jill Barnett's books. I think she has the perfect balance between funny and gut-wrenching moments. Other romance writers get the balance right as well, perfect example being Julia Quinn. But Jill Barnett does it to such an extreme, it is unbelievable: when I say funny , I am not saying witty or light , I am talking about laugh-out-loud, almost- fell- off- my -chair funny. And when I say gut-wrenching I mean tears streaming down my face, let-me-hold-you-in-my-arms agony. Everything I could hope for in a romance novel and then some more.

Wonderful tells the tale of Lady Clio of Camrose, a young, spirited woman who since very early in life had these wonderful ideas that invariably got her into trouble. The latest one got her banished from the Queen's court in only two days - after which her father managed to secure her future by getting her a betrothal offer from Merrick de Beaucourt a knight who was then fighting in the Holy Land. After 4 years, Merrick has not yet returned, her father falls sick and dies and she becomes the King's ward. She is then sent to a convent where she waits for another 2 years.

Merrick is a man who has fought alongside the King and is given a title as the Earl of Glamorgan and the opportunity to marry Clio and her lands. He is tired of battles and is prepared to settle down with a quiet wife. Only problem is his new lands are on the border with Wales, a constant threat to the English and his betrothed is the complete opposite of quiet and meek. And she is not happy that she had to wait 6 long years for this man.

They can not marry straight away as he needs to fortify the castle's defences and they take this time to get to know each other as they try to hold their grounds on what they believe to be each other's duties.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Rondeau VINE VOICE on May 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another great story from the pen of Jill Barnett. To set the stage - The heroine, Lady Clio has been in a convent two years longer than she was originally led to believe. Having never met her betrothed, she had a young girls dreams of romance, of a hero Knight that would come to woe her, etc. etc. Unfortunately, she has lost that feeling of being wooed and hears that her betrothed is on his way to claim his bride. Insulted and her pride damaged by the embarrassment that it has taken him so long to claim her she decides that she shall teach him a lesson.
Lord Merrick, after fighting for so long in the Crusades, is just so happy to finally be coming home to claim his 'calm and peaceful' life along with a biddable betrothed bride, or so he thinks. Well, that isn't about to happen, because Lady Clio is nothing like what he expected and she has a bone to pick with him for being 2 years late.
This story is so rich in humor and secondary characters, including brothers Thud and Thwack, a one eyed cat called Cyclops, and a bird that can't fly and hangs and swings along on her long braid. Of course,there are also Lady Clio's attempts to make the legendary `heather ale' - ales that do not come out quite right and do strange things to people. Parts of this book have such outrageous dialog and funny scenes that it had me laughing so hard the tears in my eyes wouldn't let me continue reading. This book was simply WONDERFUL. It deserves the HIGHEST of a 5 Star rating. Definitely a keeper!
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