Monday, August 10

Buddy Review: Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught

Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught

Description~ The tempestuous marriage of Alexandra Lawrence, an innocent country girl, and Jordan Townsende, the rich and powerful Duke of Hawthorne, is about to face its ultimate test of tender loyalty. Swept into the endlessly fascinating world of London society, free-spirited Alexandra becomes ensnared in a tangled web of jealousy and revenge, stormy pride and overwhelming passion. But behind her husband's cold, arrogant mask, there lives a tender, vital, sensual man...the man Alexandra married. Now, she will fight for his very life...and the rapturous bond they alone can share.

Monroe: I thought we could start off by talking about why you chose to read Something Wonderful in the first place. I know you told me this was your first romance, one that got you sucked into reading this genre right? What made it so special?

Rowena: Before I started reading romance novels, I used to hear all of my older sisters discuss different books from time and time. Judith McNaught was a huge favorite of theirs and I overheard my sister’s Blanche and Helen talking about Jordan. I used to see them reading books all the time and then one day, which I happen to remember was January 21, 1999. I picked up Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught and started reading it just to see what the big deal was. I read that book in two days and I knew that I was lost. From that day on, I haven’t gone very long without reading a romance novel. I’m hooked and I don’t ever want to stop reading these. I am in love with these books and as much as I love all of the heroes that I read, I will always have a special place for Jordan Matthew Addison Townsende in my heart. =P I think what made it so special was the drama. Over the course of the book, you’re getting to know two characters so well that you can’t help but root them on toward their happy ending and when they’re going through the different conflicts, it makes you that more excited to see how they’ll finally get their shit together and do right by each other. That happily ever after is what’s so special….and Jordan and Alex’s happily ever after remains one of my most favorites of all time.

Monroe: Yes! Romances are awesome. They tug at all the right strings of your soul! I too read this book in two days! How could you not?!? I got so wrapped up in it that I had to make myself go to bed at 4am one night! I just loved that at every turn you were on the tip of your seat with some new drama taking place. If someone wasn't being shot at, poisoned or in the midst of a screaming match they were being seduced in the most amazing ways! ;o) This was my first McNaught book to ever read and I knew once I was done reading it I wanted this review with you b/c you're the reason I even picked it up! And man am I ever thankful! You know I think one of my favorite things about this book is that Alex is so innocent which in turn makes Jordan very protective. He has such a hard exterior that you never expected him to be so careful and loving with her. He just knew she was something different! I think one of my favorite scenes actually shows how innocent she was after they were married and Jordan was going to take her to bed that night...she goes behind a screen to change and she’s appalled by the holes and slits in the night gown. She goes as far as saying his seamstress should have her scissors taken away from her! lol Of course Jordan can't help but laugh and neither could I! And how about when Jordan went missing? OMG I lost it there for a while and thought he was never coming back!

Rowena: Jordan knew that she was something wonderful. =P For me, this book reminds me of the kind of marriage that I want. Well, not the kind that starts with my soon to be husband plotting to ship me off to live in some far away estate and leave me there while he goes on his merry way but the way that this book ended and the depth of Jordan’s love for Alex at the end is definitely something I’ve always wanted ever since I was a little girl. I really enjoyed this story as a whole. There was plenty of angst, plenty of verbal sparring between the characters and it was just one very emotional but very fulfilling ride. One of my most memorable reads that’s for sure. So let’s get down and dirty with this mess….what did you think of Jordan Matthew Addison Townsende? What was your favorite thing about him? Your least favorite thing about him? I want to know all of the juicy bits so let’s get to it!

Monroe: What I LOVE about Jordan...that even when he was mad he loved her unconditionally! He even talked about at one point wanting to beat her! lol But at the same time couldn't help but think of how beautiful she was and how much he cared for her! That right there is a great love. Even when he was mad he never doubted that he cared for her! :o) And you know...there's not much to hate about Jordan...I mean sure he’s quick to anger at times and I cringed when he talked about pitying her and sending her off but otherwise he came out of all of those bad qualities and in the end totally redeemed himself! My question...what about after you thought Jordan was dead? I mean sure there was a voice in the back of your head telling you he was still alive but did you sorta get a liking for Tony? I did in a way that I hurt for Alex and Tony was so sweet, I never really considered him as the villain...BUT I think deep in Tony's heart he didn't TRULY want her. I think he more of had a infatuation with her. That's about it.

Rowena: You know when I first read the book, I remember wondering why Judith McNaught chose to write the book the way that she did with the reader thinking that Jordan was dead. As I got deeper and deeper into the book, Jordan’s supposed death helped to bring out different emotions in me. I felt and grieved for Jordan the same way that Alex did even though I knew what an ass he was by what he was planning to do with Alex once they were married. None of that mattered because that scene when they had their mock duel happened and I saw a softness in Jordan that I absolutely loved and held on to. As far as Tony was concerned, I didn’t hate Tony. I doubted him for a little bit while I was reading this for the first time but I just liked Tony. I didn’t absolutely love him but I didn’t hate him either. I just liked him. I thought he did as best as he could by Alex and I admired the way that he stepped into his role as back up Duke even though a little part of me wondered if he was behind all of the Jordan business. It was too obvious so I didn’t hold on to those thoughts for long but to me, Tony was no replacement for Jordan. Nobody was. Jordan was in a league all his own. I loved him more than anyone in this book even when he was being an obtuse ass. I loved Jordan as well, he’s one of my favorite Judith McNaught heroes because he was my first….and you always remember your first! =P

Monroe: Very true you do always remember your first! :o) I really love how McNaught seemed to perfectly sum up every loose end! From Jordan's grandmother's distaste for Alex to Tony and his lost love of Sally! Speaking of Jordan's grandmother...I loved her and Alex's relationship! At first she totally despised Alex and then Jordan's disappearance brought them together! :o) I thought it was extremely touching how she stayed right by her side when she was basically a vegetable! And I teared up when Alex told her the stories of how proud Jordan was of her and how much he loved her. Super touching!

Rowena: That’s right. That scene with Jordan’s grandmother when Alex goes to see her after Jordan’s disappearance was announced. How she fought until she started crying? I love that scene. Judith McNaught does a fantastic job of writing stories that engage the reader in the different emotions. She knows how to make me laugh, cry and sigh all while reading her stories. You really get into these books and this book was no exception. Jordan and Alex’s relationship is one of the sweetest and powerful because when Jordan is with Alex at the end, pleading with her not to leave him. When he’s telling her that he remembers the colors of the flowers outside and when he’s telling her that if she leaves him, his soul will be black and how much he needs her. Those kinds of powerful scenes where there is just no doubt of the hero’s love for the heroine makes reading romance novels all the more worthwhile for me. What did you think about Roddy Carstairs? Haha.

Monroe: Oh ya and I just loved Alex's words as she first came to...about how big Elizabeth Grangerfield's feet where! LMAO! TOO FUNNY! Oh that IS someone I expected to be in on everything. How he was so dumb telling everyone about saving Jordan and then the bet he put her name! Ya I figured he was in on it! I really liked his character though! He was so openly flirty and you could tell he just didn't give a hoot about what people thought! But all in all he ended up being a decent friend of Alex's! What did you think about Jordan coming into her own? I loved how she blossomed into a beautiful girl (even though Jordan loved her before she matured :o) and when she started going out to the balls and being around the men! I rooted for her to be happy SO MANY TIMES! She tried so hard!

Rowena: Oh yeah, I totally remember that. I laughed out loud because that is so something Alex would say. Then to see Jordan laughing while crying? Awww. It was too cute, the perfect way to end the book. Roddy made me laugh and he got on my nerves a lot too but he was a good character in the book. As you read more and more of JM’s historical novels, you’ll see Roddy pop up here and there. He’s fun. I thought that the growth Alex went through in this story was outstanding. To see how far she came in such a short amount of time. The Alex at the end of the book was sure of herself, was in total love with her husband and she was a young woman that her grandfather would have been outrageously proud of. I loved how she kept right on coming back and proving everyone wrong about her. She was so strong. After having been embarrassed by Jordan and then to have everyone talk about her the way that they did and to see her brave the crowds anyway made me admire the socks right off of her and just like you, I was cheering her on so much. She was a great heroine!

Monroe: Yes I really loved her too! :o) She I think has probably been one of my fav heroines in Historicals! So overall I seriously loved this book. It made your emotions go all over the place and to me that’s good writing! As I said this was my first McNaught book and I have to thank you Ween for making me read it b/c I KNOW it won’t be my last. I can’t help but give this book an A+! I think it’s pretty obvious, but what’s your rating?

Rowena: Oh, my grade is an A+! This book entertained me so much that it seriously hooked me on romance forever! It was such a long journey but after I finished the book, I was so content with the book as a whole and so giddy that I knew that this book would be one book that I will love forever. Jordan was an unforgettable hero and Alex was an outstanding heroine. They were perfect together and I love how Jordan came to realize that over the course of this book. I loved how it was Alex that got him through the worst of his abduction and I loved how Alex made him work to get back into her good graces. I love that she knew, even as a historical heroine that she was meant for more than just a crotchety ol’ marriage. I love how she wished and dreamed for that something wonderful…and then got it in Jordan. Love this book, A+!


~ames~ said...

The first and only McNaught I ever read was Whitney, My Love. I know it's somewhat controversial, but I liked her writing style and the story was good.

So I'm very intrigued with this book.

Great review ladies!!

Monroe Dawson said...

Oh Ame read this book its 'Something Wonderful' LMAO!

nath said...

Excellent review ladies!! I too love this book... there's just something about Alex and Jordan. I love the beginning where Alex is soo innocent. The nightgown scene is so hilarious, LOL :)

I enjoyed the relationship between Jordan's grandmother and Alex and how these two became attached to each other. I can understand the grandmother's initial distaste and I was glad she wasn't stubborn about it when she realized that Alex truly loved Jordan.

Those scenes where Alex tries to make Jordan enjoy life. I love those the best. She's not trying to change him... just thaw him a little :P Alex is such a great heroine!

Ames, didn't you read A Kingdom of Heaven? and you absolutely need to read this one!!

Monroe Dawson said...

YES I loved the nightgown scene! I died laughing! This book is so great...its a keeper!

Nicole McLaughlin said...

This isn't the first time I've heard someone say that a Judith McNaught novel popped their romance cherry!!! (i just came up with that doozy!!) I've never read one of her i must!!

Awesome review girls!!

Cecile said...

Wonderful review ladies!!!! (((clapping))))

Lori said...

I absolutely love this book. Love. It. I loved watching Jordan and his grandmother fall under Alex's wide-eyed innocent Pollyanna spell. It's everything cliched about romance there is, and nobody but McNaught could make it work. And it's everything I started reading romance for all those millions of years ago.

Isabel said...

I remember Rowena making me read this book. She was supposed to read or watch something as a trade. I forget what though. I think I liked it. lol. Don't remember though.

Hilcia said...

Ohhh, lovely review! Love McNaught and this book is a definite keeper for me. It's been a loooong time since I read it! Might be time for a re-read... soon. ;P

Monroe Dawson said...

McNaught didn't pop my cherry but she very well couldve! Shes really great!

YES! Isnt their growing relationship heart warming! <3 I love Wena made me read this...I loved it so much I have it in ebook and paperback! lol

Iz & Hilcia-

Rowena said...

LMAO Iz...i was supposed to watch Princess Bride in return. Man, I tried watching it twice but it's not my thing. Foti says I'm weird for not having watched that either.

Thanks for having me Monroe, it was fun..we should do it again! And yes, that was me inviting myself to do another review with you, haha.

~ames~ said...

Oh hey, I did read Kingdom of Dreams.

But I blanked it out of my memory because the heroine KILLS the hero's horse.