Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Title: Almost Heaven
Author: Judith McNaught
Publisher: Pocket Books (1990)

First I must thank the SBD crew over at Sum of Me for helping me pick a McNaught to try. I certainly appreciated the detailed info re tropes/subject matter to pick from. I actually read the book a couple months ago now but am only just getting around to saying a few words. The set-up: Elizabeth Cameron had a slight hiccup during her debut year resulting in the loss of a fiance and the good opinion of England's polite society. At one time she had 15 offers of marriage, now she is trying to keep her estate running. Her dear old uncle (pushy, jizzwaddy brute!) needs her wed and fast. His hilariously stupid attempt at this is to send letters to those previous 15 suitors telling them that Elizabeth is up for sale available again. Three respond that they are willing to have her visit for a couple weeks to see if they suit. Elizabeth is, not surprisingly, appalled at this notion and makes a plan to annoy all of them so they will send her home again - unwed - so she can focus on the estate. She manages to shirk the first two pretty quickly but her time with the third proves a bit more interesting.

aside: Potential Husband #2, Lord John Marchman, Earl of Canford, was probably my favorite thing about the book. Seriously! I heart Johnny! I want him to have his own book. I want him to be the hero and to have a wonderful heroine show up and woo his cravat right off. Said heroine will come with fishing pole and avid love of boar (or whatever) hunting and the two of them will live HEA on his beautiful land and eat fish every night in their carcass-laden dining room. Can't you see it? Wouldn't he be such a darling hero? *sigh*

Ok, back to regularly scheduled programing... Basically this book was too for me. It was too long, too obvious (in general), too obvious the protags would end up together*, too sweet, everything worked out too easily, I was never too worried anything truly bad would happen, and the heroine even had a bordering-on Too Stupid To Live Moment (spoilerly, highlight if interested: I didn't believe for one second she would run off like that with her brother. If I'm to believe that then I can't believe anything about how much in love with Ian she was supposed to be. She didn't even give him a chance! That is just not-using-your-head ridiculous). Now, this is not to say that I didn't enjoy anything about the book. Though cloying, it was a nice love story and I was happy to see the characters (esp Ian) make some conscious decisions to change their lives for the better. However, there wasn't anything about the book that has made me rush out to add more McNaught onto my TBR pile.

rating: 3 of 5 stars

*yes, I do realize that every romance ends with the protags getting together but let's not forget that a main requirement for sgwordy's enjoyment of a romance is that she believes, even if only a teensy bit, that there is an outside chance the protags won't end up together

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