Some of my very best reads are the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Ring trilogy and A Song of Ice and Fire series.
The characters in Whitney, My Love remind me a lot of Rhett, Scarlet and Ashley from Gone with the Wind. Not that I'm complaining. I loved Gone with the Wind and must also declare my love for this novel.
To summarize briefly, Whitney is a rebellious tomboy that enjoys performing show jumps on horses, using slingshots and having an unhealthy obsession for her neighbor Paul Sevarin. Her disappointed father sends her away to France to become the proper lady she ought to be at the tender age of 15. Fast forward three years later and Whitney has become the belle of the ton and is breaking hearts left and right. It is in France that she catches the eye of one Duke of Claymore aka Clayton Westmoreland. After her success in France she returns home to win the love of her childhood sweetheart only to have her efforts thwarted by Clayton Westmoreland.
In this novel you have Clayton- the ultimate alpha male who knows what he wants and is determined to get it no matter the cost. Whitney is outspoken and unlike other heroines of this time. She's tenacious and fights Clayton at every turn making their encounters and witty banters so much fun to read.
A lot of readers have been fixating on the forced seduction and dismissing the rest of the novel. This is a beautifully written book with two of the most endearing, often infuriating, stubborn characters that I've ever come across who have many obstacles (or in this case - misunderstandings) to overcome before finally getting their HEA. Unlike Gone with the Wind, where Scarlet O'Hara fails to realize her love for Rhett Butler until it's too late, Whitney doesn't make that mistake.
Judith McNaught is a master storyteller and the way she can evoke a range of emotions in her readers for her characters is simply amazing. This is the first book I read by JM and it remains to be my favorite in the romance genre. I've read a handful more by this author and have yet to be disappointed. This one is a keeper.