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As a child, Whitney Stone was a bit of a rebel. She wasn't like any of the other young ladies around her and she certainly didn't act the same way. She was her own fathers nightmare because he didn't know how to handle her. Performing show jumps on horses, knowing how to use a slingshot and obsessing about local boy Paul are Whitney's interests instead of things like painting, drawing and being lady like. Whitney is far from lady like. When her obsession with Paul becomes too much for her father, he calls upon her Aunt and Uncle to take her away to Paris with them to teach her how she should really act. Before she leaves, she promises that she will come back and marry Paul one day.
Whitney is a huge success in Parisian society with a good amount of suitors although she hasn't accepted any of them. Whitney normally loves the attention that she receives but at one masquerade ball there is someone that she just cannot place even though she knows she has seen him before. This man is very full of himself and seems to try to impress Whitney but she isn't having any of it, leaving the man a bit put out.
After 3 years in France, Whitney returns home, excited about seeing Paul again. As soon as he sets eyes on Whitney all grown up, Paul is fascinated by her, realising what they could have together. Things are never easy when it comes to love and new neighbour Clayton Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore is there to stir things up. He disguises himself as Clayton Westland and seems to only have eyes for Whitney. Will Whitney succumb to his charms or stay faithful to her promise to eventually marry Paul?
This seems to be the most famous book from Judith McNaught and one of my personal favourites. Most of her work is current but this, along with 'Until You', is a historical romance and my favourite genre to read.
Whitney is a fantastic character and a breath of fresh air when it comes to reading this genre. She knows exactly what she wants and goes about it in her own way, which isn't exactly looked upon in a good light. Whitney is boisterous, loud and demands attention the whole way through the story and there is never anything boring about her. I loved the way that she was outspoken and different from other female leads in this genre and that was a big reason why I loved this story so much. When Whitney went to France, she learned how she should be acting but when she returns home, you can see some of her old habits resurfacing, making her a much more interesting character again.
Clayton is the ultimate historical romance main character. Everything about him is wonderfully written, from his personality to his looks to the little facial expressions that he makes when he isn't very pleased. He is extremely powerful and will go to any length to get what he wants, especially Whitney, even though he would rather have her come to him all on her own. Clayton does have a really bad temper and a very hard time when it comes to believing Whitney some of the time and there is one part in the story that a lot of readers think was overdone and too much and although it is a little bit hard to read sometimes, it isn't so bad. Clayton feels terrible after this situation and even though the subject is a bit out of place in the genre, McNaught does a good job of not letting the hero off lightly.
There always seems to be something either exciting or interesting going on in the story and there weren't any parts that I didn't enjoy. Normally there will be a couple of chapters in a book that after I have read it once, I will skip the next time but that doesn't happen for me with Whitney, my love. Each time that I read this story I am 100% entwined in the story and I can never put it down once I start reading it again.
Every time that I read this book I fall in love with it all over again. I only read this book for the first time in 2007 but I have read it a couple of times a year at least since then. This is the ultimate historical romance story so if you like this genre, it is a must read.