My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was wrong. This is definitely 4 stars for me
Originally, I gave this puppy a 3, but having finished it for the 3rd time just now - I love it almost as much as Almost Heaven, and slightly more than A Kingdom of Dreams.
- Judith McNaught always makes me emotional... I wanted the MCs together, then Clayton didn't deserve Whitney, then she didn't deserve him, then I wanted them back together, then I didn't, then I did. Not since Almost Heaven have I been so emotionally drained by a regency romance. I loved it!
- Clayton. The first time around I gave this book a 3 because I thought Clayton was just too much. Too cruel, too insecure, too arrogant, too... everything bad. But each time I re-read this, I like him more, and this time around I was totally ok with him. If you're expecting a sweet story about courting and making love... you have come to the wrong place, my friend. There is this one scene where... you know, never mind... just don't read it if you're looking for sweet and fluffy. Apart from the bit where Clayton kisses her foot, there is nothing sweet and fluffy about him.
- Whitney was fantastic. I just adored her. She was wilful, feisty, naive, driven, defiant, determined, but so soft. The first time around, I didn't like this quote. I wanted to string Clayton up by his balls for breaking WhitWhit's spirit... but this time around, I actually found it super sweet.
"What splendid accomplishment is that, little one?" Clayton asked.
Her shoulders hunched forward and began to shake.
"I made you love me," she whispered brokenly.
"Somehow, some way, I actually made you love me."
- I loved the tie in with Kingdom of Dreams (although this one takes place centuries later) and the way the author uses the quote from the first book as a tradition:
"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."
- Lady Eubank and Whitney's aunt are wonderful, strong female characters.
- In no real world, ever, would you want a guy like Clayton Westmoreland in your life. He needs meds and counselling. But still, he's fun in a book.
- I had my doubts about Whitney for a minute. I think she may be broken.
- A beautifully told story that had me screaming like a banshee at my pages, muttering despondently to myself, giggling like a maniac, and cheering harder than I have in ages. And while I did not love it all the time, I did love it.