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Guardian/Ward Harlequin romances

Updated on June 28, 2011

from 1950-1970

Ward/Guardian was a popular theme for vintage Harlequins. The hero was an older man who through circumstances became guardian to the young heroine. Usually she was in her late teens and she rebelled against having a guardian. Sometimes the heroine was younger or an adult, but usually she was about 16 or 17. Many of the most popular authors wrote titles with this book theme.

The list below is not complete. I have a website at vintageromances.com and I am trying to categorizing all the stories. These are the books I know are with this theme and I will add more books as I update the website.

I am reading all the books and as I do, I will add more book details to the descriptions in bold.

1971-1980 guardian ward romances

1981-1990 guardian ward romances

1991-2010 guardian ward romances

478 DEAR TRUSTEE BY MARY BURCHELL

Her father left her four surprises When Cecile's father died, she had not thought he would leave her a fortune-- and he had not. He left three trustees: efficient Aunt Josephine, cantankerous Uncle Algernon, and handsome, winning Gregory Picton. Cecile also discovered Laurie, the mother she had once thought dead. She instantly realized her affection for her mother and slowly came to understand her deep caring for Gregory.Then she learned that her love for one must destroy her love for the other.

582 WINTER IS PAST BY ANNE WEALE

"I expected you to be a child." It was a brutal shock to Alexandra when after waiting five years to return to Malaysia she arrived to find that her father had been killed. Her situation wasn't helped by the fact that he'd left her in the care of a guardian--the darkly attractive Jonathan Fraser, who persisted in treating her like a child. Alex couldn't tell him that where he was concerned, she was very much a woman!

657 ORPHAN BRIDE BY SARA SEALE

Julian Dane's career as a test pilot was ended after he crashed, leaving him with a crippled leg, his romance also ended when his fiancée married an American. So as Julian told his friend Luke, "This time I'll pick my wife out of an orphanage and see that she has no preconceived notions that interfere with mine." He selected Jennet Brown and carefully set about moulding her to fit his ideal pattern, but Jettent had a personality of her own.

When he is at the orphanage he says he wants a companion for his aunt and he does take Jennet, who is 16, down to stay with his aunt and her brother, in Dartmoor. She is not allowed to go to school, just having singing lessons. Jennet is lonely and goes walking on the moors. One day she meets some kids who had a sick mother. She goes back and help her. She keeps going back and there is a 19 year old in the house. He likes her but she keeps going back because it is her first experience of a family. They give her a birthday present, a porcelain fawn, which is very precious to her. But Julian finds out and forbids her from seeing them anymore. He tells her she is to marry him.

734 MISTRESS OF BROWN FURROWS BY SUSAN BARRIE

To go from the shelter and seclusion of an English boarding school to the vastness and glitter of London, a beautiful estate in Westmoreland and the dreaming palaces of Venice--and to be surrounded by every comfort that money can buy--what a transformation! Yet everywhere Carol, who had been given so much, was haunted by the lack of something precious--the love of the man who had married her out of compassion, to save her from a life of poverty and hardship. What was she to do? How could she convince him that she was not a frail child but a woman capable of loving and being loved , of sharing his life and turning his house into a home?

Timothy has been Carol's guardian for 8 years. They first meet when he picks her up on her last day at school. He had known her father, there is no money left. He is not her legal guardian and he wants to make the relationship a proper one. So he marries her and takes her to his estate, Brown Furrows. Timothy's sister lives with him and she is not very nice to Carol. The sister had encouraged her to leap a fence during a fox hunt and then doesn't report that she is missing. It turns out Carol is hurt very badly and left out in the cold for awhile. She suffers from amnesia for a time then goes to Venice to convalesce in the home of a family friend.

813 THE WEDDING DRESS BY MARY BURCHELL

He wasn't her idea of a guardian. Shortly after her father's death, Loraine found herself in the care of Paul Cardine, and living in the heady atmosphere of Paris. She landed a modeling job in the city's most acclaimed fashion house-and discovered her old friend, Philip Otway. But the romantic tangle that soon enveloped them made a jumble of Loraine's emotions. Did she love the delightfully charming Philip, or "Monsieur Cardine of the chilly manner and remote ways"?

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832 NO SILVER SPOON BY JANE ARBOR

A fortune-teller had once told Glanna that she had a great gift for loving, but what was the use of having a loving heart, thought Glanna sadly, when she had no one to love? Here she was, at the tender age of seventeen, consigned to the guardianship of Lewis Craig, her father's old friend, who couldn't possibly want her. After all, she would only be in the way once Lewis and his glamorous girlfriend were married. But was that really why she felt so apprehensive about the thought of Lewis's marriage?

949 THE THIRD UNCLE BY SARA SEALE

He treats me like a child--I'll show him! Nineteen-year-old Gilly was insulted as only a young woman can be. She had come to Marley College to meet her guardian, Oliver Blunt. But he proved to be a domineering man who refused to believe she was a sophisticated woman, and persisted in treating her as a schoolgirl. Gilly vowed revenge. If he treated her like a child, she would act like one! It was only when she began falling in love that she regretted her decision. . . .

973 TIME OF GRACE BY SARA SEALE

When Stella Quest was helping Gavin Mackinnon to get ready to receive his unknown Irish ward she thoughtfully provided all the books and toys a little girl could want. But Tansy proved to be an 18 year old with a strange, elusive charm that was all her own. It was a surprise, and to Stella a most irritating one

1019 THE FLOWER OF THE MORNING BY CELINE CONWAY

The Flower of the Morning grew only on the Malayan island of Numeh, and someone had told Katie that she resembled it. Untouched, the flower was magnificent, but, if the petals were bruised the flower wilted. Was Katie like that ? She her-self did not think so -- but that was before she had met, and tried to defy, the arrogant overlord of the island, Simon Forbes.

Katie comes to the island to get her money from Simon. He is a sort of guardian, her father put him in charge of her small inheritance. Simon can keep the capital until she is 25, she gets an allowance. But Katie and her aunt, Lorina, want to buy a guest farm. Katie really trusts Lorina, but she really shouldn't. Lorina wants her to get all the capital and then then would be partners. But there isn't that much money, it is just invested really well and that provides an income for her, Simon wants Katie to go to school. ( The investment yields over 24 percent per year!!!) Katie meets up with Simon on the beach and she tells him everything about why she is there before she realizes who he is.

Simon refuses to discuss the matter for a few weeks so the girls stay there. Eventually Lorina gets sick (she is faking) so she moves into Simon's house. Lorina is after him. Katie gradually gets disillusioned with Lorina and Simon keeps pushing her toward the dull, pompous new doctor, Larry Brendon.

1035 STAR CREEK BY PAMELA KENT

When Helen's father died, she was grateful to Roger Trelawnce, his old friend and now her guardian, when he offered her a temporary home in his Cornish manor house --and it was not long before she found herself looking on him as much more than a guardian.But that was before she discovered the existence of Mrs. Valerie Trelawnce.

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1056 ONE COIN IN THE FOUNTAIN BY ANITA CHARLES

Wishes do not always come true Rose's handsome guardian, Sir Laurence Melville, was jilted at the altar. In love with him herself, Rose silently cheered, but then Sir Laurence immediately left England. Not even the dashing prince Rose later met in Rome, where she'd gone as a companion, could erase Sir Laurence's image from her heart. Then Rose threw a coin in the fountain; miraculously, Sir Laurence appeared. Unfortunately, he was accompanied by the beautiful Signora Bardoli!
Rose catches his rather nasty fiancée , Heather, with another man. Heather says if Rose breathes a word she will tell Lance that Rose is in love with him, so she stays quiet. After Heather leaves him, Rose get a job as companion to Heather's godmother, which is how she ends up in Rome. Eventually Heather shows up in Rome too, minus the man she ran away with.

1072 YOUNG AMANDA BY SARA SEALE

What would be the emotions of a young girl reared in an orphanage who suddenly inherits a fortune? Amanda, for seventeen years the inmate of an institution, finds herself an heiress with cousins whose existence she never suspected. This is the story of her struggle to adapt herself, her tender-hearted consideration for the disappointed relations who impose upon her, and her stormy association with the one man who can guide and protect her.

1076 BELLS IN THE WIND BY KATE STARR

"It takes more than love..." And dearly as March Langdan loved the tiny Japanese village that had been her home for so long, how could she protect it from the sweeping changes threatened by the businessman Hugh Fernance? (Japan)

March has lived in the village since she was a baby. Her father was a successful author and also represented the company in the village. The local Japanese are perfectly happy to have their village modernized and March doesn't get very far trying to stop Hugh. Wind bells are one of the local handicrafts and Hugh says they can be made better by machine, but company business isn't the only reason he is there.

He appoints himself guardian to March, whose father recently died. Her father was very popular in Japan and Hugh is determined to take her back to Tokyo. But March doesn't want to go and she has plenty of money and owns her father's house. So Hugh moves to the village for the few weeks until she becomes 21. March's Japanese name is Akiko (autumn child).

1099 CARPET OF DREAMS BY SUSAN BARRIE

Peta, young orphan with a background of vagabond life on the Continent, made a disconcerting addition to Geoffrey Wentworth's austere bachelor household--and he did not scruple to tell her so! It was not until he had driven her away to the attractions of a Florentine villa that he realized how badly he was going to miss her. Peta had been living with her stepfather, who was Geoffrey’s brother. Geoffrey thought she was a little girl, not a 19 year old. He becomes a sort of guardian to her.

1101 GIRL AT WHITE DRIFT BY ROSALIND BRETT

When Jerry arrived at her unknown guardian’s farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains he was angry and taken aback to find that she was not, as he had assumed, a boy, and she very much resented his attitude. But in 3 months both of them were to change their minds very considerably!

1123 THE SEA WAIF BY ANNE WEALE

It couldn’t be, could it? Sara Winchester, the beautiful and talented singer, stood motionless gazing at the painting in the gallery window. As she tried to focus through her tears, her thoughts went racing back to her 16th birthday, almost 6 years ago, and the first time she had set eyes on the sleep black-hulled sloop Sea Wolf and its owner, Jonathan “Joe” Logan.

Sara is illegimate, lived with stepdad on a boat. The dad is drinking a lot, he was ill and when they met up with Joe he kills himself. He knows Joe will take care of Sara. Joe is a painter and he becomes an unofficial guardian to Sara. When Joe has a commission for a portrait, Sara meets a man that can help get her a career in singing. So Joe leaves her there and she does become successful.

1125 DEAR RHADAMANTHUS BY MARGERY HILTON

After her father died, Judy was somewhat daunted to find that he had consigned her to the guardianship of his old friend Quentin Frayle, whom she remembered from childhood as a forbidding character. Then she found that there was a far more attractive side to him - and alas! it was all being turned on his glamorous cousin, Crystal.

Judy was already out of school and had a job when her father died, so she saw no reason to go live with Quentin. But Quentin, who is the family lawyer, insists that she go to live with him in Kent. Her father was afraid that his estranged wife, Crystal's stepmom, would try to claim her for her money. Quentin reluctantly allows Judy to work at backstage at a local theater. Quentin is twice Crystal's age.

1165 WARD OF LUCIFER BY MARY BURCHELL

Sitting in the train, Norma heard them discussing the guardian she had never seen. Sinister, they said...............worldly................proud. Hardly the man to have charge of a 16 year old girl!

1207 YOUNG INTRUDER BY ELEANOR FARNES

Alison Vale was a welcome addition to the home of her guardian, Peter Malliner - welcome to Peter himself and to his brother Douglas who was slowly recovering from an air crash, even, after a time to fussy and fluttery Cousin Priscilla. But to Lydia Peyton, Alison was far from welcome. Lydia intended to become Peter's wife, and she planned to get rid of this obstacle. But she had not bargained for Alison possessing considerable good sense as well as sweetness..

1215 SOFT IS THE MUSIC BY JANE BEECH

At first Philip had planned to adopt her A debt of gratitude led world-renowned pianist Philip Trevallin to promise a dying woman that he would care for her child. Then he discovered that Claire was not the little girl he had expected. Admittedly she had talent worth developing but, embittered by a setback in his own career, he pushed too hard. Then he found that the void created by Claire's sudden departure had been made not by a young pupil, but by a warm loving woman.

1218 BEGGARS MAY SING BY SARA SEALE

Gina and her brother Sebastian weren't literally beggars - but they were financially dependent on Mark Proctor though he was no relation to them, merely their stepmother's brother. Sebastian, at 18 well on his way to becoming a charming waster, saw nothing amiss in the situation, but Gina found her dependence galling and worrying. Particularly when she realized that she was in love with Mark

1222 DARK CONFESSOR BY ELINOR DAVIS

Surgeon-Commander Simon Redman did not in the least want to take charge of an 18 year ward, and Sally Galbraith felt no more enthusiastic about her stern guardian-to-be. But each of them was to change their mind before the end of the story.Sally's father was a friend of Simon's and he listed him as a guardian to his daughter. Simon is a naval doctor and isn't really ready to be a guardian.

1255 LITTLE SAVAGE BY MARGARET MALCOLM

A chance landing on a Polynesian island brought Joanna Lawless into Mark Sterne’s life. Against his better judgment he accepted the guardianship of the beautiful 19 year old orphan and brought her back to England with him ,to face the problems of civilized life.

1263 THE LORDLY ONE BY SARA SEALE

Carey Lord at the age of 36 suddenly found himself guardian to 2 orphaned girls. Dee, an uncomplicated schoolgirl, was easy enough to manage, but 18 year old Morgan, unpredictable as the sorceress after whom she was named, untamed and wayward as the March winds, suspicious and resentful, needed very careful handling indeed. The wild, unspoiled Cornish coast makes a fitting background for this tender story of how Carey and Morgan gradually come to understand each other, and how she discovered that he was more than just the arrogant “lordly one” she had nicknamed him.

1266 WHERE NO STARS SHINE BY IVY FERRARI

Dr. Ross Arncliff had warned Tessa very strongly that her friendship with Mike Shaw would bring her nothing but trouble. She understood better when she realized that it was Mike's brother who had caused the death of Dr. Arncliff's wife-but she still didn't see why he should dictate to her where her friends were concerned.Tessa's father had died and she was left penniless. So she comes to stay with her aunt, but she is away , so she stays with Ross, who acts as a sort of guardian for her. His wife died in a caving accident and eventually Ross has to rescue Tessa when she is trapped in a cave.

1420 PRECIOUS WAIF BY ANNE HAMPSON

Cathy had fiercely hated the vague image of someone she held responsible for her father's death. It was a shock to discover that person was Charles Blythe. It turned her world upside-down. She had loved Charles -- as a benefactor and then as a man. "You think I can't manage on my own," she cried. "Well, I can. And when I leave, I never want to see you again!"

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