Almost Heaven: A Novel (The Sequels series) (英語) マスマーケット – 1991/6/1
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught crafts a powerful and unforgettable tale of two willful lovers in a twisting path of secrets throughout nineteenth-century Great Britain.
The Countess of Havenhurst, Lady Elizabeth Cameron, possesses a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thorton—notorious gambler and social outcast—her reputation is shattered. Thorton, rakishly handsome but with a mysterious lineage, embarks on a voyage to Elizabeth’s heart. Unfortunately, this journey is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge. Destined for each other, yet wary of the other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love, from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands. Will Elizabeth find true love or is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?
Well-developed main characters with a compelling mutual attraction give strength and charm to this romance set in 19th-century Great Britain. (Publishers Weekly on ALMOST HEAVEN)
Judith McNaught once again works her unique magic in this charming, sparkling romance. (RT Book Reviews on REMEMBER WHEN)
People have been waiting for this book for years… Until You takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. (Kathe Robin in USA Today on UNTIL YOU)
By portraying her protagonists with verve and good humor, and adroitly mixing corporate maneuvers and passionate encounters, McNaught has produced a captivating tale. (Publishers Weekly on PARADISE)
Fans of Danielle Steel and Janet Daily who enjoy a stylish… fast-paced story will welcome McNaught. (Library Journal on PARADISE)
Judith McNaught comes close to an Edith Wharton edge. (The Chicago Tribune on PARADISE)
A mixture of virtue and passion that is almost—ahem—perfect. (Kirkus Reviews on PERFECT)
Judith McNaught is in a class by herself. (USA Today on WHITNEY, MY LOVE)
The ultimate love story, one you can dream about forever. (RT Book Reviews on WHITNEY, MY LOVE)
A wonderful love story…fast-paced and exciting…great dialogue! (New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux on WHITNEY, MY LOVE)
年代設定はWHITNEY MY LOVEの以前です。UNTIL YOUで活躍するチャリティお婆さんがこちらでもお節介役として登場します。(イアンの大叔母にあたります。)
Now, maybe that's a little presumptuous of me, but eh, how else could she know how to make me love every one of her books?
You have another idea? Didn't think so.
Just like Whitney, My Love or A Kingdom of Dreams, Almost Heaven is deeply developed, with dimensional characters full of sizzling chemistry - whose romance grows on you until it burns into your heart.
This hero. Lord have mercy.
I'm not one for sweet heroes, and I was unsure - even though he had an intoxicating presence about him - how much I was going to love a hero who immediately proposes to the heroine, while professing to her that's she "magnificent." Well, I should have known right away (this is Judith McNaught folks, Queen of Conflict) that their amicable relationship wouldn't last long, and that their short 'tryst' actually became a nightmare for the heroine.
I don't particularly like to read about couples who have already met before - at least in a romantic way - and neither do I like flashbacks to show the scene we weren't there to witness. But McNaught does it in a way that makes it feel like it's the present, and the first meeting between Ian and Elizabeth was electric - Ian, a more handsome than sin scoundrel without a title nor fortune to keep him in the ton's good graces.
If it wouldn't come off strange, I would write this entire review swooning over just how hot this hero actually is. But, alas, that might make me come off as a lonely creeper.
Confidence. Intelligence. An electric sex appeal. Ian had it all. He went from poor to riches. There is nothing more attractive than an ambitious man - and that is exactly what he was. At one point he was aspiring to marry a stunning, intelligent debutante who he met briefly during a weekend party, until he found out she was cuckolding her fiance by looking for a fling with him - or so he thought.
Two years later, Elizabeth's in dire straights, about to lose her home she has spent the past years stringing pennies along to keep. She's a social outcast from being caught up in the scandal with Ian, and she wants nothing more than to never see him again. But little does she know her uncle has written her past suitors to try to marry her off again. Ian being one of them, but only because his incompetent servant agreed to the wrong letter.
Elizabeth was a fierce, intelligent heroine. Her hatred of Ian is greatly returned, and when she shows up on his doorstep in rural Scotland, they both didn't think they'd be pulled together like they had that very first time two years past.
Almost Heaven was so much fun. I found myself trying to quell my laughter so my husband didn't wake up - and yes, I stayed up way too late to finish it. The chemistry between the couple was electric - hell, Ian was eletric himself, and there was an abundance of conflict to keep me stuck to the pages. A fantastic tale by JM going straight to my favorites' shelf.
P.S. This new kindle edition desperately needs proofread. Come on, Simon & Schuster - very disappointed in you. It's littered with awkward misspellings, punctuation errors, and random typos.
The story itself is not one of my favorites of hers, as it is just too over the top and contrived in the angst and not realistic in the social customs. It’s fun to see Alex and Jordan Townsende reappear, and often, but they don’t act as true to their characters from their own books, so it’s hard to get too excited. Overall, any book by Ms McNaught is going to be better than most, but this one just isn’t as good as her others.