"Until you, I never knew what true love was...."
"Until you, my life was never complete."
"I was nothing, until you."
Every true romantic has dreamed of having these words whispered to them in the throes of mad passion or tender love making. And so has Sheridan Bromleigh in Judith McNaught's novel ''Until You".
After the death of her english-born mother and younger brother, Sheridan spent her childhood roaming the American countryside with her father and the many strangers that they met along the way. Life was fun, exciting and unpredictable. That is, until her father decided to pay a visit to his spinster sister-in law in Richmond, Virginia. When aunt Cornelia took one look at Sheridan, she was flabbergasted and outraged. Her neice had grown up to be a tomboy who could swear in two languages and roamed the countryside dressed in pants and boots in the company of an Indian and a Spanish vagabond. She didn't look like a female or act like one. So it came to be that Sheridan was left in the care of her aunt, where she learned to dress, speak and act like a proper lady.
With the help of her aunt, Sheridan becomes a teacher in a school for wealthy young ladies. She is then hired to escort one of her students to England to meet her fiance. But the young heiress, a spoiled Charise Lancaster, escapes off the ship and elopes with a young stranger. Sheridan is then left to figure out how she will explain events to Charise's fiance. Meanwhile, Charise's intended, a not-so-wealthy Lord Burleton, has been killed in an accident by Stephen Westmoreland, the Earl of Langford. Feeling responsible, Stephen makes his way to the docks to explain the dire news to the fiance of the man he killed. But another accident ensues, and Sheridan is hit by a cargo net loaded with crates. She awakens in Stephen Westmoreland's mansion with no memory. She doesn't know her name, what she looks like, or where she's from. All she does know is that this beautiful man keeps calling her Miss Lancaster.....
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sheridan is a fiesty, brave, red-headed beauty who is a romantic at heart. She realizes that she is falling in love with Stephen and that she wants that fairy tale ending....she wants her lover and husband to need her, want her, enrapture her with deep kisses and deeper words. Stephen is bitter about love in the beginning, believing that women only want him for his wealth and stature in society. Having been burned once, he is reluctant to open himself up to the notion of true love. But I so wanted to see Sheridan catch this gorgeous Earl. Although he tries to fight it at first, Stephen can't help but be attracted to Sheridan and her innocence, natural beauty and strong spirit. Sheridan and Stephen's steamy encounters leave not only the characters breathless, but the reader as well. This story left me with my heart all a-flutter and a feeling of hope.....hope that true love will always triumph, even for we tell-it-like-it-is, fiesty gals!