Tag: Judith McNaught

Retro Review: A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.

Posted January 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 44 Comments

Retro Review: A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.Reviewer: Rowena
A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Series: Westmorelands #1
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 1st 2003
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 438
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as "The Wolf"; his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will . . . until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web . . . a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

***As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This week, we’re going back to the author that started my love of romance novels, Judith McNaught. I remember this review and all of the fighting commenting we did in the comments. What a lively bunch we are…ha! Oh man, the memories…***

This review was originally posted on May 29, 2007.

Okay so this weekend, while I was in the midst of reading all these books while waiting to read my book book, I did a reread of this book, A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught.

Now in our little circle of friends, this is the book that brings out the claws. I kid you not, we have gotten into some serious fight emails (in ALL CAPS y’all) about this book and the heroine. While some of us think that Jenny was a stupid beeyatch who deserved all the crap that she got, we still think she was redeemable in the end, there are others who think otherwise. They’re the ones that think Jenny should have died a slow death where she was tortured, hanging over a fire pit, being slow roasted.

LOL.

And as I was reading this book, this past weekend I found myself being just as absorbed in this story as I was the many other times I’ve read this book.

I found myself falling deeper and deeper under the Royce Westmoreland spell and I thought this book was fantastically written. The emotions Judith McNaught envoked in the readers toward the characters, pulled them deep into the story and made them apart of it, made them hate the bad guys (and the good guys) and made them hungry with the thirst of justice (for poor Thor and William) and I’ve got to say that Judith McNaught sure knows what she’s doing when she writes these books.

She’s a master at weaving a world that sparks such interesting topics and discussions. I mean, I’ve never fought with anyone like I did with Izzy and Holly over the whole Jenny thing and I admit to poking fun at them, deliberately provoking them into getting all huffy and puffy about Jenny and her actions.

It’s really fun, to read this book and roll my eyes and get that nervous twitch in my stomach when I knew Jenny was going to do something stupid, like sew the soldiers clothes shut or carve Royce’s face with his own knife, then you know, THE scene where she did what she did to Thor? And then when she hesitated over Royce’s lance when he approached her for her ribbon?

sigh

These are the things that made me so angry at Jenny but I didn’t wish Royce ended up with anyone else. I mean, she was stupid but she was very repentant at the end. Yeah, Royce was nearly dead before she got her wits around her to go and put a stop to the slaughtering of her husband, but she DID do it and she truly showed that she did in fact love him with all that she was…

Royce’s speech when he brought Jenny back to his home and introduced him to the servants, sigh I just love it…so much so that I’m going to type it out for you.

Behold your new mistress, my wife. And know that when she bids you, I have bidden you; what service you render her, you are rendering me, what loyalty you give or withhold from her, you give or withhold from me.

swoon

Man but this was a good book, a fantastic book and even though Jenny was a stupid ass, I still loved this book and I will continue to read it over and over again because it’s just that great.

Go on, bring on the vicious words for Jenny, I know you’re just dying to say them…LOL.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can purchase it here.

four-half-stars

Retro Review: Once & Always by Judith McNaught

Posted April 21, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro Review: Once & Always by Judith McNaughtReviewer: Rowena
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Series: Sequels #1
Also in this series: Once and Always
Published by Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: September 20th 1990
Genres: Romance, Historical
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Across the vast ocean sailed Victoria Seaton, a free-spirited American beauty left suddenly orphaned and alone. Eager to claim her long-lost heritage, she was amazed at the formal elegance of Wakefield, the sumptuous English estate of her distant cousin...the notorious Lord Jason Fielding. Sought after at plays, operas, and balls by London's most fashionable ladies, Jason remained a mystery to Victoria. Bewildered by his arrogant demeanor, yet drawn to his panther-like grace, she came to sense the searingly painful memories that smoldered in the depths of his jade-green eyes. Unable to resist her spitfire charm, Jason gathered her at last into his powerful arms, ravishing her lips with his kisses, arousing in her a sweet, insistent hunger. Wed in desire, they were enfolded in a fierce, consuming joy, free at last from the past's cruel grasp. Then, in a moment of blinding anguish, Victoria discovered the shocking treachery that lay at the heart of their love...a love she had dreamed would triumph...Once And Always.

***THIS REVIEW WILL BE FILLED WITH SPOILERS SO KEEP SCROLLING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK AND DON’T WAIT TO BE SPOILED***

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Alright, you’ve been warned…

It’s been ages since I’ve read this book so when my book club chose it for last month’s discussion, I knew that I was going to have to re-read it since I couldn’t remember anything aside from the gift that Tory gave Jason and that she kissed his back.

And that thing. For those of you guys who have read this book before, you know what I’m talking about. I’ll come back to that in a little bit.

Victoria Seaton known affectionately as Tory has been shipped to live in England with distant relatives after her parents die in a carriage accident. Victoria and her sister are sent to live with family they don’t know and have never heard anything about. Victoria looks just like her mother so she’s sent to live with Charles Fielding and her sister goes to live with their grandmother. When Victoria shows up at the Fielding residence, she’s met by Jason Fielding, Charles’ nephew who is the heir to all of Charles titles and businesses.

Jason wants nothing to do with a gold digging hussy from America and if Charles wants to house her, he’ll have to come and fetch the girl himself. Jason’s past has soured him on all relationships and he really wants nothing to do with anyone. He’s cold and he’s bitter and he’s been like that ever since his wife and son died a few years ago.

This wasn’t an easy romance to read. I remember loving the hell out of this book when I first read it. This was one of those romances that were filled with moments that I absolutely loved. Moments that broke my heart and then moments that enraged me so.

Jason was such a broken man that lived each day doing whatever he damn well pleased. He had not one iota of care left in his system for anyone outside of himself. He didn’t let himself get close to anyone and he preferred it that way and then Victoria Seaton comes into his life and she’s the complete opposite of him. She’s bright and happy where he’s dark and cold and she’s got this courage that shines from within and a caring touch for everyone that crosses her path. They shouldn’t have made sense together but over the course of the book, you see that they do.

I loved that when Jason finally owns up to his feelings for Tory, the love he showers her with made me all swoony. I loved that Victoria was able to reach Jason when nobody else could and I loved that her love for him grew over time and once she let herself fall out of love with Andrew and into love with Jason, I loved how all in she was. I loved seeing her thaw Jason’s heart with the gifts, by caring about his welfare and by just being herself. She was probably my very favorite part of this book.

What I didn’t love was how Jason jumped to conclusion after conclusion about Tory’s every move. It didn’t matter how out of character he knew it was, she was guilty before found innocent. I didn’t love the way that Charles manipulated Jason and Tory, no matter what his reasons were for doing so. And I didn’t love when Jason went to London right after their wedding and we find out who he was in London with.

I remember reading this book back in the day and being so completely sure that Jason didn’t cheat on Victoria when he was in London. Reading this book now? I am completely sure of the opposite. What’s funny is that while discussing this very thing with my book club, we were split down the middle. The ones who didn’t think he cheated, didn’t want to believe he did but the others? The others read it for themselves and it was plain as day that Jason was up to no good in London. Sure it was a sign of the times since he wasn’t the only Lord to keep a mistress but it was so disappointing to realize that he wasn’t the hero that I remembered. The hero that I was so sure of before. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and a bit more cynical but to me, it was so obvious that Jason didn’t spend his nights alone in London and that hurt my heart.

Reading this book all over again reminded me how angsty McNaught romances are. She really pushes you over the edge, emotionally before dragging you back by your hair. This book was an emotional roller coaster that knocked me on my ass more than once. I rejoiced with Tory and Jason, I raged at the both of them but in the end? I was so hot damn glad that they got their shit together and did right by each other. I came full circle with this read and while I didn’t absolutely love it this time around, I wasn’t fully disappointed either. I would re-read this one again.

So if you’re going to read this one, prepare yourself. It’s not easy, the characters will drive you crazy but you’ll be okay. Haha.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Throwback Thursday: The Quotes (2)

Posted December 26, 2013 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

throwback-thursday

Today’s quote comes from an old favorite of ours,Paradise by Judith McNaught. Who didn’t love them some Matt Farrell? Who didn’t want to jump right in and risk everything for MATT freaking FARRELL???

Matt Farrell

Makes me want to go back and re-read this book. I loved it so back in the day. Who read and loved Paradise by Judith McNaught? I did, I did!

Review: Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Posted September 20, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Holly‘s review of Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and riveting suspense: These are the trademarks of beloved author Judith McNaught. With millions of devoted fans and ten New York Times bestsellers to date, McNaught is a writer whose work just gets better with each new novel–and Every Breath You Take is the book readers have been waiting for. Returning to the lavish Chicago setting of her popular novel Paradise, and revisiting some of that book’s characters as well, this story will captivate in inimitable Judith McNaught style.

High atop a snow-covered hill, the stately old Wyatt mansion is perched like a crown, its stone spires pointing upward, its stained glass windows glowing like colorful jewels. Such opulence means success and, surely, happiness. But on the eve of wealthy philanthropist Cecil Wyatt’s eightieth birthday, all the money in the world won’t bring back his missing grandson, William Wyatt. The only thing for certain: Foul play was involved.

The family, the police, the media–all have tried in vain to discover the young man’s fate. Now suspicion has turned shockingly toward William’s own half-brother, the rather distant and enigmatic Mitchell Wyatt.

Kate Donovan never dreamed that a chance romantic encounter on a tropical island paradise would tag her as a suspect in a high-society murder case. But after Kate tangles with the darkly charismatic Mitchell Wyatt, she finds herself cast in a shadow of guilt and mistrust. As the Chicago police tighten their net, it will take all of Kate’s ingenuity to clear her name. With her calm, cool wit, and the help of a man who may or may not be a dangerous catch, Kate vows to claim the life and love she desires.

I’ve been in a nasty reading funk. So what do I do to get myself out of it? Re-read!

It’s been years since I read this book. I recall liking it the first time around, but not loving it. I think that’s because I read the hardcover version, which is missing some key scenes. The paperback, which I always enjoy more, has quite a few deleted scenes along with some bonus material. If you’re going to read it, I highly recommend you read the paperback. The blurb is misleading.

Kate is dealing with the death of her father and trying to figure out how to take over running his restaurant. When her fiance suggests a romantic getaway she agrees – reluctantly. At the last minute he’s called away and she goes on her own, expecting that he’ll join her. He keeps putting her off, and she’s forced to realize that there isn’t much between them except mutual respect. She doesn’t love him, and she’s pretty sure he doesn’t love her either. She wrestles with the decisions, but decides she’ll break up with him when she gets home. In the meantime she meets Mitchell Wyatt. He’s suave, debonair and sweeps her off her feet.

Mitchell isn’t interested in starting a great love affair. A one night stand with a beautiful, obviously attached, woman is one thing. But it isn’t long before he realizes there’s more to Kate than meets the eye. He can’t help but be drawn to her. For the next week they get to know each other and slowly fall in love.

But circumstances are against them. In the end they each head back to the states with the wrong opinion of the other. Neither is willing to admit it, but both are devastated. Kate more so than Mitchell, because she knows something he doesn’t..she’s carrying his child.

Now she needs him to help her protect their son..the son she never told him about. But Mitchell is still under suspicion for the death of his half-brother, and there are years of old hurts between them.

As with all McNaught novels, this is angsty and filled with misunderstandings and miscommunications. And as with all her other novels, McNaught makes it work. Though Kate is just this side of too nice and Mitchell just this side of an alpha-hole, I really enjoyed it. Kate’s too sweet attitude works because she grows and changes as the novel progresses. Mitchell’s attitude also works based on his childhood and current family problems.

The hardcover version of this novel doesn’t do justice to the hurts they both suffered, but the paperback has just enough added content to make it believable. I’m glad I re-read it. I wish she’d release her next book already.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Ballantine. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

What I Read Last Week

Posted August 30, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 16 Comments

Good morning!
Whatcha up to?  Anything fun happening in your life?  My life last week was pretty fun.  We had back to school night for my oldest so we got to meet all of her teachers and walk around the campus.  They all seem pretty nice so that’s a bonus.
Then Friday night my youngest had another belt test.  She technically hadn’t qualified since she took the entire month of July off (and you need a certain amount of class time to qualify) but for some reason they made an exception for her.  So instead of having 3 or 4 months to learn all she needed to know she had already learned it in 6 weeks!  Yikes.  That girl is determined to be a black belt.  Go baby! 🙂  This time she had to break a board with a punch instead of a kick. She passed and is now a blue belt. Here she is breaking the board:
Then on Sunday I drove out and met some of the So Cal Bloggers for lunch.  Ames was visiting from Canada and it was so good to meet her!  She’s just adorable and so, so nice.  We all had a great time eating at The Cheesecake Factory and shopping at Borders.

Lori, Ames, Wendy, Rosie, Rowena, me, Holly  Nikki

On to what I read this past week:
My first read for the week was book 4 in the Psycop series, Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price.  This was an excellent read!  The story continued Vic and Jacob’s relationship which had some wonderful as well as stressful moments.  Jacob and his Psycop partner, Carolyn, are working on a sex crime in a retirement home and it’s taking it’s toll on Jacob.  Vic tries to help figure out who the culprit is.  This one vies for first with book 5 as my favorite.  I loved everything about this book.  Such a good series.  5 out of 5
Next up was a read for The Book Binge, Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn.  This is book 2 in the Children of the Mist series and is Tristan’s story. Tristan meets Isobel at the king’s coronation but doesn’t know she is part of his clan’s mortal enemy.  He starts not to care and is determined to have her.  I really liked Tristan in this story and though the heroine was a bit hard headed it really worked for me. 4.25 out of 5
Next was The Sweetest Deal by Mary Campisi.  This releases from Carina Press on the 6th of September.  The hero is trying to make a real estate development deal with a financial backer.  Only the backer wants something in return – he wants the hero to impregnate his daughter.  Talk about getting too involved in your children’s lives! lol  The hero agrees because he’s desperate to make the deal, but once he meets the daughter (though he doesn’t know it’s her at the time) he falls hard and fast.  The heroine has been severely burned in a relationship and is reluctant to put her heart on the line again.  This was a cute book but I have to say I didn’t like the heroine very much.  She wanted to be A-#1 in her dad’s eyes but was positive that she couldn’t get there because she was a woman instead of a man.  She was a barracuda in her work place but she was also pretty whiney and immature and it grated on my nerves a bit. The hero definitely saved this book for me. 3 out of 5
Cross Your Heart by Michele Bardsley was another book that I read for The Book Binge.  This is book 7 in the Broken Heart Vampire series.  It was about a staid vampire woman living in Broken Heart who’s having issues with what appears to be a ghost.  She’s saved by a were-cat who wants her all to himself.  It was a great little romance and mystery all rolled into one.  Bardsley’s books are always fun, entertaining reads.  4 out of 5
Next up was Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price.  This is book 5 and the last book in the series – so far.   It was another excellent read.  More Vic and Jacob as well as Vic looking into his time and “training” at Camp Hell.  You can read my review here5 out of 5
For The Love of Mollie by KT Grant was my next read.  This is a cute romance about a woman, Mollie, who is determined to lose weight so that the man she’s had a crush on forever will finally notice her.  She heads to the gym and ends up meeting the owner, Connor.  Connor is all over her and wants more.  They start a sexual relationship but Mollie is just positive that Connor is too good to be true.  Why would a man like him be interested in a woman like her, she asks herself.  As I said, very cute.  Mollie was a bit of a hypocrite at times but I really liked Connor and his determination with Mollie.  3.75 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Snowbound by Larissa Ione.  Olympic silver medalist, now working as a ski patroller and EMT, Sean, wants to break his sexual dry spell but for some reason the blonde bimbos aren’t doing it for him.  When he sees Robyn who is back in her hometown for her high school reunion he falls for her.  Robyn wants nothing to do with anyone who is anywhere near celebrity status.  She can’t seem to stay away from Sean though.  This was a very good book about learning what you want out of life and the importance of trust in a relationship.  I really enjoyed it. 4 out of 5
I read A Matter of Duty by Elizabeth Jewell for The Book Binge.  This was a bizarre little book about a shapeshifter and his wife.  He’s not a typical shapeshifter (I always think werewolves and were-cats, etc) – more like he can morph and make himself look like any human he wants.  Being the head of the shapeshifters only he can impregnate women who are married to humans as humans and shapeshifters can’t procreate.  But his wife wants a baby too.  So the other woman’s human husband steps in – in a bizarre 4 way.  Wow.  2 out of 5
While I was on my way to the blogger get together I actually listened to my very first audio book.  It was a 2.5 hour drive each way – it really made the time go by quicker – ok, it only seemed to, but still. 🙂  I listened to Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught.  The story is about a Broadway star who is married only her husband is missing, then found dead.  Did she do it or did her stalker?  Or maybe it’s the known criminal who keeps showing up.  It was a good story – the narrator was a bit breathy and I can’t say I loved all of the voices she did for the characters, but the book was good.  It was romance “light” and the romance seemed a bit rushed, imho, but still good. 4 out of 5
And last on the list was The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie.  I have to thank Orannia for recommending this one to me. (It was when we were talking about how petite and little the characters were and how beautiful.  This book has the heroine as a plain woman but the hero thinks her beautiful and doesn’t even notice her 4 sisters who are gorgeous.)  5 orphaned sisters being beaten by their grandfather escape to their great-uncle under false pretenses.  The oldest, Prudence, creates a betrothal to a Duke she’s never met in order for her sisters to be presented into society.  The book is so good.  Hilarious and touching. It got a bit sappy at the end for my liking but still wonderful.  4.5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!