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Paradise - Judith McNaught

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Genre: Romance / Author: Judith McNaught / Edition: Reprint / Mass Market Paperback / 720 Pages / Book is published 1992-06-01 by Simon & Schuster UK

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      13.01.2010 15:27
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      Romance at its best

      The Past
      Meredith Bancroft is daughter of the head of a chain of department stores. As a child, she was always expected to be perfect and well behaved but part of her was dying to have some fun. Meredith has never been the most popular or beautiful girl at her school and thinks that her major crush, Parker, will never notice her but her new friend Lisa helps her out.

      Now 18, Meredith has confidence and has grown into her looks but she still isn't happy. After her Grandfather's death, she has a big fight with her father and storms out. When she meets her friends at the country club, all of the girls are buzzing about someone new. Matthew Farrell is an ambitious steel worker who doesn't exactly fit in with everyone else there. When Meredith's father sees her talking to Matt, he immediately tells her to get rid of him because he doesn't think he's good enough for her. Looking to annoy her father, she refuses and offers Matt a drink. The two quickly get on very well and Meredith shows him how to stand up to everyone at the club. One thing leads to another and innocent Meredith gives Matt her virginity. Although he isn't pleased that she didn't tell him this fact, before he leaves, he gives her his phone number and where to reach him before he leaves for South America. Matt never imagined getting someone pregnant as it ruined his whole life plan but once he finds out, he is determined to support Meredith and the baby...by getting married.

      Meredith's father is less than impressed with his daughters actions and when she loses the baby, he tells Matt a completely different story. Her father bans him from visiting her in hospital even though she screams out for him all of the time and Matt is lead to believe that Meredith had an abortion. Meredith's father tries to pay Matt to leave her alone, letting him think that she had an abortion and wants a divorce but she doesn't know anything about this. She thinks that Matt abandoned her because he never came to visit.

      The Present
      Matt is a very successful business man and has done extremely well for himself but he has never gotten over the heartbreak of his past and refuses to ever get married again. The only thing he wants now is revenge on Meredith and her father for the hurt they caused him.

      Meredith is actually quite happy. She is close to getting the position she wants in the company and finally got the man she thought she loved as a child. Meredith is now engaged to Parker but as their wedding date gets closer, they discover something that could ruin her forever.

      My Thoughts
      This is kind of a follow on book from Perfect as it focuses on Matthew and Meredith who were introduced in the previous book. They both seemed like a lovely couple who loved each other very much so I was looking forward to reading about what they had to go through to get their.

      The beginning of the story, set in the past, was extremely sad and it actually made me cry. Meredith's father is the ultimate villain and I haven't read about anyone so mean and hurtful in a long time. The deceit and lies that he puts Meredith and Matt through is terrible and he certainly deserved for something bad to happen to him. After all that Meredith and Matt had gone through in a short space of time, it shocked me that Meredith was so quick to believe her father. It seemed like Matt would do anything for her and the baby, even if it meant leaving so that he could afford to support them.

      Matt has never gotten over what happened and it shows in his personality in the present. He is very hard and doesn't show much emotion at all. All he wants is to be successful and show everyone who has hurt him or put him down in the past that he's better than them all. Once you get past what happened before, I don't think you are supposed to like Matt very much because of the way he acts but I really did like him. Because of what happened to him, I could tell that he was still the same nice guy somewhere deep down and I was just waiting for that to come out again.

      Although Meredith was also hurt by her fathers lies, I didn't feel for her in the same way I did for Matt. Don't get me wrong, I did feel sorry for her but Matt seemed to be hurt the most. Meredith does very well for herself and gets herself a nice fiancé that she has always wanted but you can tell that the same amount of feeling isn't there as it was with Matt. I was glad to see that she had a lot more confidence and could stand up for herself now.

      The beginning of this story was very emotional but the rest of it got even better. Both main characters are interesting and well developed due to the lead up to the main story. There is a lot going on all the time from all sides which kept me thoroughly entertained. I loved the inclusion of secondary characters Parker and Lisa and was glad to see them both get their own happy endings.

      This book had everything I could possibly want. There is romance, lies, deception and action all of the way through and they are the reasons why I loved it so much. Everything about this story kept me hooked from the first page and the character development was fantastic. Highly recommended romance novel.

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