Friday, October 12, 2012

The Enchanted Land. Jude Deveraux

Morgan grew up with her embittered mother in their affluent Trahern House without her father. Both of her parents die and when the will is read, Morgan discovers her late father has bequeathed all his property to her. But there is a condition. Morgan must marry and live with her spouse in New Mexico, which incidentally happens to be her birthplace and the reason for her parent’s separation.
Morgan meets Seth(a suave young man) at a party and offers him a contractual marriage proposal at a named fee to which Seth agrees.
Will their marriage remain a mere marriage of convenience or will it blossom into a real marriage with both partners falling in love?

This is the very first romance novel I’ve ever read and I must confess I was blown away. Before I read it, I imagined it will be sappy and soppy like the many telenovelas that are shown on television but the story felt nothing of the sort. I guess it’s true what they say that ‘Never judge a book by its cover’.

Morgan comes across as one who is averse to any relationship with men due to the ideas(which she seems to confirm as true anytime she has a quarrel with Seth and for which ironically, Seth also chides her because according to him, those notions are misplaced stereotypes) she has gathered from her late mother while growing up. Morgan however seem to mature from a naive girl into a mature woman through the many heart wrenching episodes she encounters in her marriage.

Seth at the beginning of the novel appears to be a young ambitious man who seeks independence and is not willing to inherit his father’s estate (which would have fallen to him automatically being the only son of his parents) but wants to be a self made man and has even left home to start his own ranch. He is however not much of a lover. Throughout the book, all his acquaintances and family seem to know that Seth is not one to fall in love especially with one as Morgan who is plain and self-effacing. Seth goes through agonizing soul searching in their marriage and then finally admits to himself that he is in love. This however does not make their relationship any less easy as they (Seth and Morgan) each learn to trust each other amid many scandals and accusations in their relationship.

However, my favorite character was Gordon (Morgan’s foster cousin) who though in love with Morgan, decides it is best she remains with Seth and then deliberately schedules his activities and travels to allow for them to get close to each other and to fall in love again. He is in my view, the true hero of the novel.

The progression of the story beautifully captures the tensions and emotions of real love and the narration is vivid and leaves very little to the imagination. On the whole, The Enchanted Land was a good read.

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