Judith McNaught is one of those authors that writes a mixture of stories. Some of her earlier work was historical romances in Whitney, my love and Until You but she has also written some amazing, up to date romances. One of my friends in Canada introduced me to McNaught's work and it was the reason why I started reading again after many years of reading nothing at all unless I had to.
As a child, Diana Foster had life pretty easy. Her father was extremely well off, they lived in a great neighbourhood and she was doing amazingly at school. On her way home from a vacation in Europe, her father tells her that he's remarried so she has a new step mother and sister to meet when she gets home. The problem is, her new family aren't from the same background and don't have much money. Diana actually has nothing to worry about though because they all get on really well and Corey instantly becomes a real sister to her. Diana's stuck up friends don't feel the same way though and with some help from Cole, a stable boy at one of her friends' houses, they make everyone accept Corey.
Cole Harrison is the local hunk and all the girls seem to like him, they even have a bet on who will kiss him first. Everyone looked down on Cole when he was younger and he vowed to prove them all wrong by making it big and being rich. Cole's Uncle helps him out with starting his own business but when he gets bad news about his health, he gives Cole an ultimatum: he has to bring home a wife and soon or he will lose his shares in the company.
Diana has also been doing really well for herself. She has turned her Grandparents quirky habits into a high profile magazine that is doing really well for itself. The magazine is family run but that means having to keep up the image of the magazine at all times. Since she was a child, Diana has had to have everything in perfect order and organised but when something goes wrong, it all gets into a big mess. Diana thinks she has it all, a happy relationship and fiancé as well as all of her family being financially stable but all of that is about to change. Her fiancé runs off and jilts her for an Italian heiress, leaving her to face everyone at the White Orchid Charity Ball, including the press, and she cant get out of it.
Cole reads about Diana misfortune on his way to the charity ball and when he sees how put out she is by the press and the gossip, he comes to her rescue. Diana is quite amazed to see him again and surprised when he becomes her knight in shining armour but he has a hidden agenda which will help them both but will she go for it?
The beginning of this book was fantastic. The introduction is quite long and drawn out but very necessary in order to explain both Diana and Cole's traits, dreams and personalities. I really enjoyed reading about Diana and how she gets to grips with having a new family and her crazy obsession with being neat and organised was funny. I was more drawn to Cole's character though. He had a far more interesting background and big dreams. It was quite obvious that he was going to achieve what he wanted in regards to business and money because of the nature of the books but I loved reading about how he planned on doing it. It was very clear from the beginning that Cole was intelligent and that he was going to do great things.
The minor characters, like Diana's sister, Corey, kind of seemed a bit pointless to me unless McNaught was going to write a book about her as well, which she didn't. A lot of time was spent explaining about Corey's feelings for Spencer which could have gone to much better use and I didn't end up really caring for her. For me, she could have been mentioned a couple of times and I would have been happy with that. I didn't need to know anything else about her.
I really didn't like the ending to this book which was a shame because I loved the rest of it. The end seemed to come about too quickly and was very rushed. It was like all of a sudden Cole and Diana became this happy couple when they went to see Cole's Uncle but for me, there should have been something in-between these parts of the story. It was far too easy a relationship it and I would have liked a bit more to make this book amazing. At 418 pages, it is already quite long and I can understand that it would have been too long any other way.
Not my favourite McNaught book but it was an OK read.
ISBN: 0 671 79555 4