Out of Genre: Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught

Bestselling author Judith McNaught masterfully portrays a remarkable heroine, and an unforgettable passion, in this powerfully moving love story — one of her most beloved novels of all time!

The tempestuous marriage of Alexandra Lawrence, an innocent country girl, and Jordan Townsende, the rich and powerful Duke of Hawthorne, is about to face its ultimate test of tender loyalty. Swept into the endlessly fascinating world of London society, free-spirited Alexandra becomes ensnared in a tangled web of jealousy and revenge, stormy pride and overwhelming passion. But behind her husband’s cold, arrogant mask, there lives a tender, vital, sensual man…the man Alexandra married. Now, she will fight for his very life…and the rapturous bond they alone can share.

Source: GoodReads

Welcome to a new quasi recurring series called Out of Genre.  In which I review books that are non-YA related because occasionally I need to break from the world of YA.

Today, I decided to look at a historical romance.

To be honest, I don’t read a lot of historical romance because the male dominance of the time period really grates on my nerves.  Call it the  feminist or decent human being in me, but it really annoys me when the H is able to boss the h all the time-even when it’s technically historically accurate.

And Jordan Townsende deserves to have his butt kicked back all the way to wherever he was imprisoned for all the crap he put Alex through.  But it’s still one of the more tolerable McNaught historicals.

Also, given the fact that the book was actually published in 1988, Jordan wasn’t near as jerky as expected-reminder to self, start reading historicals that my mom doesn’t recommend.  She seriously has a thing for abusive dickwads-she gifted me with the complete set of Catherine Coulter books and I can tell you that the most offensive McNaught hero looks like a gentleman in comparison to some of Coulter’s heros (don’t even think about making me reread Midsummer MagicI will just rage on and on on that particular stinker).

Apart from being a historical lead and written in the 80’s, Jordan is really a dick.  He is horrible to Alexandra in every regard.  And I’m just glad she didn’t get back into his bed right away-even though I knew it was going to happen.  Honestly, I would’ve liked the book together if Tony (Jordan’ cousin who Alex almost married)would’ve been the hero.  Form his character a little more, make him the dark horse hero who Alex fell in love with over a long period when Jordan was “dead” and then have her tell  Jordan adios after the usual “who I will choose” period.  Or better yet negate the “who will I choose” period and figure out how to get out of the marriage to Jordan and be with Tony, while trying to convince Tony NOT to do the noble thing.

Obviously, I am trying to create a fan fic out of this book.  I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

But Alex, honey, you deserved better than that walking case of syphilis of a husband of yours.

Though, admittedly, Jordan occasionally has his moments.  But I keep wanting Mr. Darcy to come in and smack his pretty Wannabe Wickham face a little bit.

This is one of the reasons I don’t read a lot of historical romances because the heroes make me so mad.

Historically speaking, I know how Jordan was acting was probably fairly accurate to how a man of privilege would of acted in the period, but I just can’t help but feel my blood boil.  Also, I hate how he immediately slams Alex for moving on and not being completely swallowed in grief in a society where women are essentially forced to be married or live a life of squalor.

Yes, I get it’s comedic relief to a degree. Because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all, but it just makes Jordan look like  a narcissistic  dick.

And that’s how I kept referring to him while reading this book.  Although, he is a lot better (I’ll reiterate) than a lot of historical romance books from the period.

And I am fond of McNaught.  I think because I really get a feel for the characters.  While there is some instant love in this book, she actually addresses these issues and you get to see the characters relationship evolve.

Do I regret revisiting Something Wonderful?

Hell no.  It was nice to revisit and made for a nice Sunday afternoon, but it is with flaws.  I think I am going to branch out and see if I can find books like Something Wonderful in the current moment but with a hero who respects the lead and isn’t a walking case of syphilis.

Overall Rating: A solid B.



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