Friday, September 5, 2014
New Review: Judith McNaught’s ALMOST HEAVEN – A Bodice Ripper Set in Regency London with a Hunk from Scotland...oh yes!
It begins as 17-year-old Elizabeth Cameron, Countess of Havenhurst, is in her first season and makes some errors of judgment that, while demonstrating her independence and courage, set her back in the ton's eyes. Caught alone with the handsome rake, Ian Thornton, who isn't even a peer, she is ruined. To his credit, Ian, a known gambler, wants to marry her, but Elizabeth is too afraid of the perils of gambling that have made her a pauper, and so she rejects his noble offer. Instead, she valiantly holds onto the family estate, Havenhurst, using her ingenuity to provide for the few servants—for two long years. But in an effort to reduce his costs, her uncle decides to marry her off, to any of her former suitors who will take her. Through the selection process, Elizabeth encounters Ian Thornton once again. This time, however, Ian emerges as a very wealthy man and heir to the Duke of Stanhope, and he is very skeptical of Elizabeth.
McNaught does a superb job of demonstrating the sexual tension between Elizabeth and Ian. (He is a hunk we'd all love to be with in a remote hunting lodge in Scotland.) The dialog is witty and very funny at times; the characters are rich and interesting; and the action and sexual tension simmer.
There are a few twists and turns that while a bit improbable do not detract from the wonderful ending. A good read and I recommend it.