Paradise is a romance novel by Judith McNaught. It was published on 25th May 2010 (reissued edition) by Pocket Books and the book is 709 pages long.
Ruthless corporate raider Matthew Farrell was poised to move in on the legendary department store empire owned by Chicago's renowned Bancroft family. In the glare of the media spotlight, it was a stunning takeover that overshadowed the electric chemistry between Matt, once a scruffy kid from steel town Indiana, and cool, sophisticated Meredith Bancroft. Their brief, ill-fated marriage sparked with thrilling sensuality--he was the outsider who dared to rock her country club world--and ended with a bitter betrayal. Now, locked in a battle that should be all business, dangerous temptations and bitter-sweet memories are stirring their hearts. Will they risk everything on a passion too bold to be denied?
What I thought
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 there.
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 father’s 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.