Once and Always is another wonderful novel by Judith McNaught. Victoria Seaton has just lost both of her parents in a tragic accident and is brought across the ocean from America to England by a distant relative who is connected to her in a way she had never known. Once there she meets Jason Fielding, a man without a happy past.
Victoria is unsure of how she fits in in the strange country and find herself completely baffled by Jason whose emotions change with a drop of a hat. She tries to find a way to keep herself from being a burden as she waits for her childhood love Andrew whom she is practically engaged to to come for her. Time continues to pass without any word from Andrew, and Victoria finds herself becoming increasingly intrigued by Jason. Every time they get closer something comes up which seems to almost completely wipe away any progress they’ve made.
Just as I enjoyed the other books I’ve read by Judith McNaught I loved this one. Victoria was a lively main character who offset Jason perfectly. Both came from different backgrounds and have to overcome many hurdles before they can be happy together. I couldn’t help but love Jason even if he couldn’t seem to love himself.
I love how Judith creates two characters who are so different yet so perfect for each other and place them together. But I like how their journey towards each other isn’t easy. There is usually more than one obstacle they need to conquer before they can finally be together and happy. Wonderful story. And the quote which incorporates the title is heartwarming and one of my favorite parts.
Second Prize by Chris Manby didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Lara’s best friend and roommate has just got engaged, and Lara feels like she’s being left behind. She hasn’t had any male prospects for awhile and is unsure she ever will. That is until the handsome Hugh Armstrong-Hamilton comes along. She falls for him hard and fast even accepting his last-minute date cancellations and insisting she pay for herself when they’re out on dates despite his deep pockets.
Hugh is the ultimate prize, but Lara soon finds that she’s only his second prize, using her when he and his longtime love are on the outs. And Lara cannot seem to get enough of him and keeps going back to him time and time again. In her blindness she’s missing out on someone who has never and will never treat her as a second prize.
Lara was the only interesting character the book had to offer even though she was a bit stupid when it came to Hugh. None of the guys in this novel seemed to be a nice catch, not even Lara’s roommate’s future husband Andrew. I kept waiting for some great guy to come in and sweep her off her feet, but he never came. I had a lot more hope for this story and was let down a bit with the ending.