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Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Sunday, February 12, 2006
In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth's heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.
Destined for each other, yet wary of each other's motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London's drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

Oh yah.. I said I'd finish this by February 11, and well, I finished at 2am, so technically I finished on Feb. 12 but whatever. This book was long. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but man, I can't believe how long this story was.

Let's start with the good... I really loved the beginning of this book, just the H/H meeting and having that immediate connection and attraction to one another. I loved how Ian turned Elizabeth down when she asked him for a dance, and then how he changed his mind after she stood up for him in the card room. And then how he asked her to meet him in the woodcutter's cottage the next day, man oh man was my heart pumping that entire time! I was almost afraid to turn the pages to find out what would happen. JM just seems to do a great job of keeping your mindset in that time period, so you realize how scandalous and exciting it was for Elizabeth to meet with Ian in private.

I loved seeing Alexandra and Jordan Townsende appear in this book, and how they helped out Elizabeth. All I gotta say is that I still love those two, and Jordan is such a good husband to Alex. I think Alex is a better heroine than Elizabeth, mostly because Elizabeth was a little stubborn and a bit too proud. Now moving on to Ian Thornton... oh boy, this man is all that and a bag of chips. I really loved all those scenes where he would be laid back, and give that slow lazy smile. And how about his unusual gift of high intelligence. Very dreamy I'd say. But like Elizabeth, he was pretty stubborn.

Which brings me to the bad part of this book. The misunderstandings between these two were a bit annoying. Sure it happens, but back and forth and back and forth... ugh!! Stop already! First misunderstanding: The notes. So how long does it take before the H/H realize something fishy is going on when both claim they received a note from the other but did not send one? I would've questioned that from the get go (i.e. what did your note say? who gave you the note? what was the writing like? etc etc) These two just kept arguing back and forth and when Ian finally realized the handwriting wasn't hers, he should've been more pissed off that someone tried to mess with them.

Second misunderstanding: The Robert murder thing. Okay first she's pissed b/c she thinks Ian caused her brother to suffer, then Ian's pissed b/c he thinks she ran away with someone. I don't get why Ian was so mad at Elizabeth after she gave her testimonial. Aren't you a bit relieved she wasn't with a lover, that she left b/c she hadn't seen her brother in over 2 years? Okay yah Ian's mad b/c Elizabeth really believed he was capable of doing those things Robert accused him of, but can you blame her? You didn't tell the truth, you thought if you told her she wouldn't want to marry you anymore. Shame on you for having no faith in your love.

The difference between this misunderstanding and the one in Something Wonderful, was that when Jordan believed Alex was betrayed him, he was upset/very sad but he didn't treat her like crap. I was so mad when Ian told Elizabeth to "shut up." That seemed a bit harsh.

Anyway this was still an enjoyable read, just a bit frustrating. I hate seeing that much pain happen to two good people. I'm glad they both had their talk in the end and admitted that they both wronged each other; and start over. I think I'm giving this one a 4 (almost 4.5) out of 5.

Favorite Scenes/Quotes:

"You're here because we're already half in love with each other."

Elizabeth and Ian reading side by side and holding hands.

"What is it you want?"
"What did you just say?"

She raised her eyes to his. "I said I want you, only I'm afraid that I--"

Elizabeth thinking babies were made by husband and wife kissing in bed.

Ian Thornton has no peers.

The whole scene when Elizabeth tries to cook breakfast for Ian... I know it wasn't funny, I felt so bad for her, but I just enjoyed reading that. It was very emotional.
posted by Daphne @ 9:01 PM  
  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger Grace said…

    Awwww Daph! I'm so glad you enjoyed AH! Isn't Ian Thornton so dreamy? *sigh* I love him! To date, he still remains to be one of my favourite heroes.

    Like you, I hated the misunderstandings that happened between them. Sometimes, during my re-reads, I'll skip the part where Elizabeth runs away with Robert because I feel so awful the entire time! LOL. But I guess all that drama helps to build a fatter story right?

    I also thought the epilogue at the end was uber cute, with the usual JM signature of using the title. I also feel so content after reading it. Hehe.

  • At 6:00 AM, Blogger Isabel said…

    I'm gonna be good and NOT read this until I read the book..... yeah right. ha ha

  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger Holly said…

    Ok, Spoiler Hoe..like that'll happen.

    Oooh, girl, I LOVE this book. Ian rocks my socks! But I hated all the stupid drama! UGH! LOL

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Dylan said…

    OMGosh, you finally posted a blog? I've been waiting and waiting and then I totally miss a few posts, dammit...LOL.

    I'm so glad you liked AH, wasn't Ian a dreamboat? But you still haven't answered our question (well me and Patti Cakes) So is Jordan or Ian for you? Come on, you gotta tell!!

    I loved this entire book and I was already full blown in love with Ian Thornton when he told Elizabeth they were already half way in love with each other...gosh this book is so the bomb, I think I feel a reread coming on...LOVE IT!

    Alright, I'm off to catch up on your blog, woo hoo, Daphne's back!

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Who Is Daphne?

Name: Daphne
Home: California, United States
About Me: I love to read, especially romance books. I love to play, especially computer games and puzzles. I love to dance, especially lindy hop. I love my family and friends.
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