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Guardian/Ward Romances 1971-1980

Updated on June 26, 2011

popular romance theme

Guardian/Ward was a popular, early theme for romance novels. The hero was usually at least 10 years older than the heroine, who was usually in her late teens. The heroine was left alone in the world, usually from the death of a parent. The hero stepped in to take care of the young woman, either as her official guardian or he unofficially took over her life.

I have already written about early guardian ward romances. I am slowly reading all her books and I will be adding additional book details in bold. when I can. All the books below are Harlequin Romances or Harlequin Presents

2 MASTER OF MOONROCK BY ANNE HAMPSON

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Thane Benedict was the last person Loren would have chosen to be her guardian. However, there it was: he was indeed to have charge of her until she was twenty; and here she was, at Moonrock, his vast cattle station in the middle of Australia's Outback, for the next two years. Thane tucked Loren's arm in his and they strolled towards a bush track where white gums spread their silver branches and twisted, mottled trunks shone like silver in the light stolen from a full moon. A romantic night, full of sound laughter and music drifting out from the shed. Gradually, as they lengthened the distance between them and the shed, the music faded and became lost altogether. "Where are we going?" Loren asked. He glanced down, his face appearing more lean and angular than ever in the shadows cast by the gently-swaying branches of the trees. "I'm your guardian, remember? -- you can relax." The brooding silence of the bush dropped again, oppressive and intense. Over the moon a thin veil of cloud writhed and swirled, throwing stealthily-moving shadows across the eucalyptus scrub...

14 STORM IN A RAIN BARREL BY ANNE MATHER

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Domine was surprised to find that far from being alone after the death of her guardian, Great Uncle Henry Farriday, she was consigned to the unknown James Mannering --an attractive man who already had several equally attractive women vying for his attention.

38 MOON WITCH BY ANNE MATHER

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Jarrod guarded Sara even against himself Sara Robins had never even heard of Jarrod Kyle until he became her guardian. He was far removed from anyone Sara, at seventeen, had known in the small, quiet world she'd lived in until her grandfather's death. Jarrod Kyle was just twice her age, handsome, rich, successful and surrounded by sophisticated women. Perhaps it was inevitable that Sara would fall in love with him. But was it love or only a teenage crush? Whichever, Sara couldn't imagine Jarrod's returning her feelings!

55 LOVE THIS STRANGER BY ROSALIND BRETT

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

The first time he saw Tess Bentley, Dave Patterson mistook her for a boy. When he found that she was, in fact, a nineteen-year-old girl, and that she was running, single-handed, a general store in the middle of the African veld without relative or friend to help her, he went into action. Despite Tess's protests, in no time he was arranging to take the store out of her hands and reorganizing her life in typically ruthless fashion. The gentle, undemanding friendship of Martin Cramer came as a welcome antidote to Dave's forceful tactics -- but Martin's need of her was to bring Tess grief and misunderstanding when, in spite of herself, she fell in love with the overwhelming stranger who had taken over her life

84 THAT SUMMER OF SURRENDER BY REBECCA CAINE

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Even after her father’s death, perdita had always had a perfectly happy relationship with her attractive young stepmother Olivia. She was certainly no Cinderella! So when Olivia’s chance of making a new life for herself came alone, Perdita was the last person to stand in her way. But unfortunately for them both, the terms of Perdita’s father’s will posed a problem to which the insufferable Blake Hadwyn seemed to offer the only solution: that Perdita spend the few remaining months until she came of age in his care—admittedly in the exotic surroundings of a Caribbean island. But that scarcely consoled Perdita. If only it had been anyone else but him!

Perdita and Olivia live in England, there is not a lot of money left from her father. Olivia has a chance to get a good job at a resort being built in the Caribbean, her boss seems likely to be a new husband. Perdita wants to stay in England, but Olivia will not allow that and she can’t go to the resort because there isn’t room, it is still being built. But after Olivia’s new boss meets Perdita he says she can come, but he was looking at her in a way that made Perdita uncomfortable. She doesn’t like Blake because she heard him and Olivia discussing her going with him to his home and Blake was pretty rude. But she does go and manages to lose her purse and has to be rescued by Blake.

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137 SILVER STY BY SARA SEALE

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Sarah had all kinds of names for the guardian she hadn’t seen for years—the GI (Guardian of Innocence,) The Myth, Poor Fish—just as she had all kinds of ingenious plans to get ride of him when he came. She wanted no interference in her young life. Unfortunately, in a mistaken moment of confidence, she told James Fane all about them, before she knew who he was. James was amused—but as her guardian, he was quite prepared to be firm!

James comes home to Fallow a day early to find a party going on. He has been away for 3 years since inheriting a lot of money from his uncle. He had just been jilted and wanted to get away. He was made guardian to Sarah but had never really met her. They do meet at the party and she doesn’t know who he is, so she tells him all the nicknames she has for her guardian. She also tells him her plan to get rid of the guardian. She will act very sweet and meek so he will be satisfied and leave her with her companion.

138 SATAN TAKES A BRIDE BY VIOLET WINSPEAR

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

"Toni," he said, "I can't just let you go out into the world, so that you can give your hungry little heart to the next rotter who comes along. Nor can I take you eternally sailing as my cabin boy. I can only make you my wife...." With every particle of her lonely young heart, Toni wanted to be with Luque in whatever capacity he asked of her, but that didn't quiet her youthful apprehension about the future.

185 WILD ENCHANTRESS BY ANNE MATHER

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

6 years ago Catherine Fulton and Jared Royal had met and clashed embarrassingly. Now, when her father’s will stipulated Jared as her guardian for the 6 months prior to her 21st birthday, Catherine was no more enthusiastic about the arrangement than he. She went to Barbados reluctantly. “Why did you bring me her, Jared? It’s obvious you don’t really want me. Just because you once had a great deal of satisfaction in putting me down, you can’t resist repeating the experiment, can you?” Yet, despite the ever-present antagonism, some fascination lingered between them. Catherine, as soon as she gets to the island, tells Jared (a painter) she is pregnant. She is not, she is annoyed at the way she is treated, spending her money on a charity, not flighty.

287 FALLEN ANGEL BY ANNE MATHER

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Alex yearned for freedom! Brought up in a French convent, Alex had been sadly neglected by her archaeologist father. He died leaving her starved for affection, desperate to love and be loved - desperate enough to trick her father's friend, Jason Tarrant, into becoming her guardian. Jason knew the dangerous involved in taking a beautiful young girl to his isolated South American ranch, but he couldn't resist her wistful appeal. And Alex soon discovered that she couldn't resist his disturbing male magnetism, or her own awakening desires.

298 FORBIDDEN FIRE BY CHARLOTTE LAMB

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Louise's love for her beautiful home, Queen's Dower, was as solid and unchangeable as the house itself. But her love for her stepbrother, Daniel, had subtly evolved over the years. While she had adored him during her childhood, she now loved him with a woman's passion. She couldn't let Daniel hold her at arm's length, shut her out of his life. She didn't want any other man. She belonged with Daniel, just as she belonged at Queen's Dower. And it would always be that way!

Louise is 17 and just finished with school. The book opens with her coming home on the train and Daniel meets her. It is the first time he doesn't pick her up and spin her around, which hurts Louise. He also brings Barbara, his girlfriend to the station with him. Daniel is her guardian until she is 18, she wants to go to London for art school but he says no. Louise's mom married Daniel's dad when she was 5 and Daniel was 23. They both died when Louise was 8. When Daniel told her about the deaths, she cried and he said he belonged to her and always would. Louise has always had this in the back of her mind.

A friend and her brother come to visit Louise and the brother quickly falls in love with her. She flirts a little with him. He gets frustrated and takes her on a drive and forces himself on her, she runs away and hides until Daniel comes for her. Later she has a nightmare and Daniel stays the night with her. Ducky, their housekeeper sees him in bed with her and is very mad. So Daniel asks her to marry him. He suggests a 6 month platonic marriage, the difference in age really worries him. (18 years!!!) Later she sees Barbara coming out of a hotel with Daniel and is upset.

for a longer review go to Harlequin Presents book reviews

383 YESTERDAY'S SCARS BY CAROLE MORTIMER

HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

How could Rafe have turned against her? Only when Hazel Stanford returned home to Cornwall after three years did she realize the extent of her feelings for Rafe Savage. She was no longer just infatuated with him--she was head over heels in love! But Rafe was bitter and angry--and cold as ice toward Hazel. Was the accident that left him scarred and partially lame responsible? Or was it her? Hazel knew love could heal his wounds, but if Rafe were to send her away, how could she administer the cure?

Hazel ,who is a cousin of Rafe, has returned home after 3 years in the US. Rafe had told her it is time that she should come home, he is sort of her guardian. Hazel is shocked that Rafe was in an accident and wants to know why she wasn't told. Rafe says that his sister wrote to her, but the sister, Celia, is very possessive of Rafe and has always disliked Hazel. But Hazel doesn't even bother to tell Rafe about this, she has complained about Celia before and she never believed her. She was only called back to collect her inheritance and then he wants her gone.

1460 BLACK DELANEY BY HENRIETTA REID

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Rowan Delaney, everyone said, was the incarnation of his highwayman ancestor, the Black Delaney--and Nicola could well believe it, when she was whisked off to live with the turbulent Delarcy family in their castle in Ireland! Rowan is a poor relation treated poorly by her Aunt and family. The aunt contacts the relations in Ireland when she no longer needs Rowan to work for her. The family is quarrelsome. Ita, Rowan’s sister is in love with a man that her brother disapproves of . Nicola helps get them together. There is a cave-in at an archeological dig and Nicola has to be rescued.

1470 KING COUNTRY BY MARGARET WAY

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Colby returned to King Country, in the Outback of Australia where she had spent her childhood. A fabulous area, vast and dominating, where the brilliance of the sky matches the bizarre and incredible colours of the earth; the land of the giant cattle kingdoms and her cousin, Dartland King, a figure of force and vividness who matches his land in strength and character. But Colby has now grown up and learns she isn't the only woman in Dart's life.

Colby used to live on Kinjarra station, which is a cattle station. Their fathers became estranged when Dart’s father quickly remarried after his wife died. Her father was very close to her, so they left the station . Dart’s stepmother had 2 children, a boy and a girl. Dart is now Colby’s guardian. There is a neighbor, Rochelle who is after Dartland (that was his mother’s maiden name, everyone but Rochelle calls his Dark).

1597 THE UNKNOWN MR. BROWN BY SARA SEALE

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

From the age of fourteen, orphaned Victoria was cared for by a benefactor whom she was never able to meet, the unknown "Mr. Brown". As she grew older she found herself weaving romantic fantasies around him - but wasn't there a danger that she would as a result, miss the chance of a real-life love of her own?

Victoria's father was put on trial for crooked financial dealings and she had to testify. Her father kills himself in the middle of the trial and Victoria is left penniless. But someone saw her in the courtroom and decided to support her, while remaining anonymous. She just knows the name, Mr. Brown, and the lawyers admit it is a fake name. When she is 18 she wants to train for a job, but she is sent to finishing school instead. Then she becomes a mother's helper to Kate. It turns out Kate is Robert Farmer's cousin. Robert is the man who interrogated her in court and she has never forgiven him.

1627 MY BEAUTIFUL HEATHEN BY LUCY GILLEN

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Shara Grey was going to live with her sort-of-cousin Patrick Owen, who would act as her guardian until she came of age. It was a situation that was bound to give rise to misunderstanding—and Shara was not the only one to get entirely the wrong ideas about Patrick!

1737 WINTER OF CHANGE BY BETTY NEELS

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Mary Jane might have inherited a house and a comfortable income, but after all, she was twenty-two, a competent staff nurse, and she certainly had no need for a guardian - especially the high-handed Fabian van der Blocq. But what could she do about it - or him?

1787 RUNAWAY VISITORS BY ELEANOR FARNES

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Victoria thought she could look after her young brother and sister while her parents were abroad. They decided otherwise. So Victoria found herself in Italy, entrusted to the care of the disagreeable Charles Duncan, who was anything but pleased at having these juveniles thrust upon him.

1877 MEANS TO AN END BY LUCY GILLEN

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Alison and Danny couldn't get married unless they had some of Alison's money -- but it was all in the hands of her trustee, Stefano Illari, who wouldn't part with it.Alison knew she would somehow have to get on the right side of Stefano, but she disliked him so much. How could she possibly manage it?

2132 BLACK INGO BY MARGARET WAY

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

They were friends but was that enough? Tandarro-- the name had always spelled magic for Genny. But this time her encounter with Ingo Faulkner would be different. Ingo ruled the cattle kingdom and the lives of those dependent on him. It was a shock to Genny to learn she and her mother were included in this group. Her adolescent rebellion against Ingo's influence had proved futile. Now that she was a woman, she knew that there was only one thing she wanted from this dynamic man who had already given her so much-- his love!

2173 SPINDRIFT BY REBECCA STRATTON

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

After all , he was related to her…so, why all the fuss, wondered Bryony. True, they were not blood relatives, but Bryony had always thought of Dominic, her stepbrother, as just that—a brother. Now her friend Marion was implying that things were otherwise…and Bryony, despite her ardent denials, began to wonder if her feelings for Dominic were something more than brotherly. Especially that surprising day when he swept her into his arms and kissed her.

They all live on Caribbean island that Dominic owns. She has 2 half brothers from her father’s marriage to Dominic. She was from a short relationship her father had after Dominic’s mother died. Bryony never met her father until her mother died when she was 12 and he brought her to the island. Her father dies a few years ago and Dominic became her guardian. He is about 14 years older than her. Her youngest brother,Tim, is in love with much older woman and Dominic says he is too young to know his own mind and forbids him to see her. Bryony is on Tim’s side. Marion, an old school friend, and her brother come for a visit.

2188 WILD SWAN BY MARGARET WAY

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

“You’re going to get what you deserve!” Ryan Langton’s smooth taunt set Kylie’s teeth on edge. She hated Ryan with a passion. She would hate him forever. After all, hadn’t Ryan been responsible for her father’s death? But Ryan was tired of her childish accusations and futile plans for revenge—and Kylie knew that she was no match for a powerful Australian cattle baron. “You’ll hurt yourself more than you’ll hurt me.” Ryan had warned. And Kylie soon learned that he was right!

Kylie's father was killed by a wild stallion he was trying to break. Ryan had warned him to get rid of the horse, but he didn't. Kylie saw her father killed and accused Ryan of murder. She was 15 and she soon ran away from the station. She wants to die and is close to it when Ryan finds her. He rescues her and becomes her guardian . Ryan tells her that her dad left some money so she can go to school. Eventually she becomes a teacher, she still visits the station. Kylie has a strange relationship with Ryan, she hates him but is still very much part of his life.

Ryan compares her to a wild swan in her behavior. He brings her to the station for his sister's birthday. Not that Kylie is friends with her, but she does get along with Ryan's younger brothers. Rex is also there, he is a cousin of Ryan and he hates him. Rex goes after Kylie to get at Ryan.Ryan's mom doesn't really like Kylie, but tolerates her visit. There are several women after Ryan but none of them have a chance. It's pretty obvious that Ryan is obsessed with Kylie and has been for years. Otherwise, why would he keep going to see her in the face of her obvious hatred ?

2205 WOOL KING BY KERRY ALLYNE

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

"If you defy me, girl, there'll be trouble!" Tracey shrugged off Ryan's warning indignantly. As far as she was concerned the precious Alexanders could keep their precious money, and their guardianship. She was her own mistress, and she planned to stay that way! But Ryan wasn't about to let Tracey rule her own life. She would spend the next 2 years on his Outback sheep station, and that's all there was to it. There was no way, however, that Tracey would accept Ryan's domination meekly.

Tracey and her younger half-sister do go to the sheep station, which is very large. She was involved with her boss ,who was supposedly getting a divorce, so she doesn't want to go. But the will states that both girls have to go and Lyn, the half-sister wants to go. There is a lot of conflict, Ryan gets mad when Tracey doesn't wear a hat when out riding It turns out she lived there before when she was a little girl, and she had been crazy about Ryan. He was very fond of her, but there was a family fight and her parents left. Her stepfather was an Alexander, but she inherited the same as her sister.

There is an annoying neighbor, Lana, who is after Ryan. She is nasty to Tracey and eventually tells her she is illegitimate, which is true, and some lies to hurt her. Tracey ends up going away and living in a hotel, but Ryan comes to see her on her birthday. She finds out that her grandfather arranged the hotel and the job she had and she feels humiliated. Then Lana comes and tells her that she should leave Ryan alone and that she, and not Ryan , had picked out Tracey's birthday present.

For a longer review go to Harlequin Romance book reviews

2260 MARRIAGE IMPOSSIBLE BY MARGARET PARGETER

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

Could she cope with her new way of life? Tanya's life on the beautiful South Pacific island had been idyllic until her father had died. Then, her neighbor, Luke Harrison, had high-handedly taken charge of her. Luke saw al I women as cast from the same mold--that of his ex-wife. Tanya resented this attitude almost as much as she resented being treated like a child. For Luke Harrison made her feel very much like a woman--a feeling that both frightened and thrilled her!

2356 APOLLO'S DAUGHTER BY REBECCA STRATTON

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

She'd fight every inch of the way! Bethany's life on a Greek island had been carefree and loving until her stepfather, Pavlos, died. Now his stern cousin, Nikolas, was determined that Bethany act like a traditional Greek lady. Not if Bethany could help it! Nikolas must realize she wouldn't be tamed. What Bethany didn't realize was that Nikolas Meandis usually succeeded in whatever he attempted. And inevitably, as Bethany changed from girl to woman, she found she didn't mind at all!

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