A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland #1)


From sweeping passion to taut suspense, Judith McNaught has entertained millions with a stunning array of emotions in nine dazzling bestsellers. In this beloved classic, "one of the best ever" (Rendezvous), two defiant hearts clash in a furious battle of wills -- in a glorious age of chivalry.

Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as "The Wolf," his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will...until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web...a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

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book review50

Another group read so there was some fun in reading this. I was curious about the book since a friend told me it’s really good so I was hoping for a bit of awesomeness or something. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. Why? It’s not because it’s a bad book, it’s actually really good for a historical romance, but it didn’t catch me in the right mood. So caution! If you are not in the mood to read something dramatic don’t bother. I guess if I reread it another time I might like it.

A Kingdom of Dreams was another sleeping pill to me. What is my problem? First of all Jennifer (I can’t call her Jenny, the name sucks too much) is horrible. I couldn’t get to like her or even stand her at all. She’s just annoying and idiotic, but I’ll get back to that later. Second of all the story is too passive. Yes I know historicals are usually like this. Maybe this is one of the reasons I don’t enjoy them anymore. They get me bored. Badly. If they were humorous I’d at least laugh a bit. Which brings us to my third problem. Very, and I mean VERY, few funny moments. Yep. At least they’d make up for all the things I’m not enjoying but the story is just full of drama so meh humor meh me liking it.

I’ll start complaining now about the shiniest character in the book: Jennifer. I hated her from the moment she appeared in the book. That’s page one. She was having conversations with God in the beginning of the story. WTF. This kinda hints to mental instability. I'm just sayin'. Is Jennifer confusing God with a 911 operator? I mean you ask God for strength or guidance not to bolt a guy with thunder (he's not Thor you know) or the blueprint of the building to plan her escape. Probably falling asleep during prayer messed up her spiritual education. Oh and speaking of Thor, <Spoiler! CTRL + A to read!> when she killed the horse she sealed her fate. I could never forgive her for this or get over this or anything. Her being that stupid just ruined my mood.

Jennifer, who’s always lifting her chin and claims that she’s not proud (she reminds me of Cinderella’s evil sisters walking around with their nose in the air), is such a martyr (wuss). She sacrificed a part of herself (her hymen) to a brute (poor old Royce) so wild he causes fear to everyone in the kingdom (poor kids in orphanages). Aaaah the drama. And of course Royce loves her so much. And I can’t really see why. Is it because she’s annoying? Is he that sadistic? Or because she has daddy issues and guys are suckers for girls with daddy issues? Or maybe because she’s hot... or almost hot. He could surely do better since he’s popular with the ladies. Why does he have to fall in lust love with her? It makes no sense.

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Another problem was with Royce having to rape Jennifer in order for him to have a decent conversation with her. Well it wasn’t raping but turning her on or something. And it wasn’t much conversation just having her calm and reasonable. But still, it’s a bit time-consuming don’t you think? The best solution would be to hit her in the head with a club (cavemen style), drag her to bed and have sex with her. Wouldn’t this be easier? Cavemen have good strategies for hooking up with… cavegirls? lol

It really shocks me that she’s seventeen and having a life like she’s almost thirty. I know historicals are like this and people actually used to be like this in the past. Treating women this way, forcing them to marry or to sleep with old fags wtf how can I not be revolted? And what do women usually do in these books? Ah just wait around, sew a few things, take care of some orphans and just waste the day doing nothing. Well I like my heroines smart, strong, independent, carrying guns and killing things. If you have a historical that offers a heroine like this please recommend it to me. Else I’m thinking of giving up the genre.

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And yeah she just realizes she loves him and forgives him when he’s about to die for her. Wtf selfish much? She is one of the worst characters ever. I swear to God she just got me angry throughout the book. Not a single positive thought.

Now some good things about the book. Let’s start with spanking. I’m a big fan on guys that are men enough to spank women. Now violence and slaps meh they’re too much. Some guys should be beaten to death for raising their hand at a woman. But spanking is another issue. Kids get it. Annoying heroines get it. You have to see why I’m a fan of it. It’s right there in front of you.

Royce is a tough SOB. I liked him but I don’t buy his savageness. There are rumors that he’s cruel but he didn’t show any sign that he’s the tough ruler everyone respects. First of all he went soft for Jennifer way too easily. If he’s so tough at least act more dramatic. Make a show out of it. Second, the guard who was supposed to watch the prisoners fell asleep during his job. Because of this Royce’s most loyal horse dies and he almost lost his hostages. I don’t know but doesn’t this scream for a harsh punishment on the guard? A fierce leader would have killed him. Hell, if I was playing an RPG and this would have happened I’d execute the guy myself. Heh must love playing RPGs…

Some other characters that I liked were Arik, of course, Stefan and even the aunt Elinor lady. Elinor and Arik are really funny. The way she was treating him made me laugh.

Oh and before I forget! Did they use the word “sleepyhead” at that time? I’m not familiar with this but it doesn’t sound like the word a fierce warrior would use.

 

Top 5 quotes

#5 "I attended mass every day, except when I was ill, which was seldom, and I said my prayers every morning and every evening. Nearly every evening," she amended hastily before her conscience could contradict her again, "except when I fell asleep before I was finished".

#4 "Oh dear," Brenna said apprehensively, her eyes on the pile of blankets in the corner that they had slashed to ribbons. "Somehow, I haven't thought of the men here as—people."

#3 "They'll hang you for this!" Jenny prophesied with furious glee. "The pope himself will make sure of it! They'll behead you, they'll draw and quarter you, they'll hang your head from a pike and feed your entrails to—"
"Please," Royce drawled in exaggerated horror, "you will give me nightmares."

#2 "Your skin is white and soft and smooth. It reminds me of…" "Yes?" she prompted, chuckling. "An egg. Shall I go on?" "Oh, please no," she muttered, laughing.

#1 "Why is it," Royce murmured, gazing into her intoxicating eyes, "that every time you surrender willingly, like this, you make me feel like a king who has conquered. Yet when I conquer you against your will, you make me feel like a defeated beggar?"

 
Final Score: ***

 

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
Historical Romance 
May 31, 1991
Series list

A Kingdom of Dreams (#1)

Whitney, My Love (#2)

Until You (#3)

 

A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1)

Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland, #2)

Until You (Westmoreland, #3)

   

Author’s Website

Buy it at Amazon


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