Thursday, 22 November 2012

Until You by Judith McNaught

About the book
Until You is third book in the Westmoorland series by Judith McNaught. It was published by Pocket on 1st April 1995 and it is 448 pages long.

Sheridan Bromleigh was hired to look after one of her students and an heiress on the journey from America to England. The student, Charise Lancaster, is betrothed and they are going to England so that she can meet her fiancé. Charise is a bit fanciful and when their boat visits a port, she runs away and marries another man. Sheridan is left to consider the consequences and what she is going to say to Lord Burleton.

Instead of Lord Burleton standing on their pier waiting for the arrival of his fiancé, Stephen Westmoreland stands there instead. Stephen has never seen Charise before so he has no idea what to expect and assumes that Sheridan is Charise. He begins to explain to her that an awful accident has happened and her husband to be is dead but as soon as she begins to speak, she walks straight into the path of a cargo load that hits her on the head.

When Sheridan finally wakes up, she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings... Stephan's mansion but she has bigger problems than that. She has no clue who she is, where she is or why. Everyone is calling her Miss Lancaster so she assumes that must be who she is, even though she has a strange feeling, thinking otherwise. Stephen feels extremely guilty about what happened and is determined to be there for Sheridan even when the pair don't get on very well to begin with. Sheridan is beginning to feel at home with Stephen, really believing that they have a chance of true love but when the real Charise turns up, everything she thinks she knows is thrown out of the window.

What I thought
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I loved Whitney, my love so much. The introduction of Stephen was amazing and I immediately loved him but he wasn't the same man in this book. Somewhere in the middle, he turned into quite a cold man who hardly anyone seemed to like, which was nothing like the man we met in the previous book. Although you could see that he genuinely cared about what he did to begin with, his actions towards Sheridan weren't justified and I don't really understand why he treat her the way that he did to begin with. It was only towards the end of the book, once he stopped being arrogant and nasty, that I started to actually warm to him a little bit.

Sheridan on the other hand was fantastic which was hugely helped by the plot. I could really feel the confusion that she was experiencing and not knowing how to handle the situation that she found herself in once she had woken up. Sheridan was easy to like from the very beginning because nothing that happened was her fault. I felt extremely sorry for her throughout the book because Stephen was hardly ever nice to her and more often than not, he was incredibly mean to her, which she didn't deserve at all. Sheridan was quite a brave character. I think that if I were in her position and couldn't remember anything about myself, I would have freaked out a lot more than she did. Once she took on the identity of Charise, she did everything that she possibly could to fit in and make Stephen's life easier.

The story on a whole was quite good but it wasn't one that I loved as much as McNaught's other books. As soon as I started reading, I pretty much guessed the ending. The general romance aspects were there, like in any other book in this genre, but I also managed to guess how the conflict was going to happen. I love to have at least a bit of mystery in these books, something to keep me guessing a little bit even when I know the main characters are going to end up together but this one didn't really give me anything like that.

The minor characters were a nice addition to this story and apart from Sheridan, they were what kept me from hating this book. I enjoyed the appearance of Clayton and Whitney because it was lovely to see that Whitney wanted to return the favour to Stephen from the outcome of the previous book.

Overall, this book was just OK but it doesn't come close to the other amazing books by this author. If you have never read anything by her before then I urge you not to start with this one.

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