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Group Reads and Challenges > May Group Book Discussion: Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

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message 1: by Jennefer (last edited Apr 28, 2010 11:41AM) (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
WHITNEY MY LOVE by Judith McNaught
WHITNEY MY LOVE by Judith McNaught 1985



Average GoodReads rating: 4.08

GoodReads Discription: Whitney Stone's teenage crush on a neighbor has her cold, unfeeling father banishing her to Paris into the care of her aunt and uncle. Under their loving guidance, the young woman blossoms into a ravishing beauty and becomes the darling of glittering Parisian society--a fact not lost on the handsome and equally powerful Duke of Claymore, who determines to make her his wife. Despite the duke's fervent interest, Whitney remains fixed on her childhood love. That is, until she finds herself tempted by the Duke--an attraction that both delights and baffles Whitney, causing her to be increasingly wary of what her heart may lead her to do. The Duke suffers no such confusion. He wants Whitney. And he plans to have her, despite a number of obstacles, including the infatuation Whitney seems to have for another; her aunt's growing concerns; and her greedy father's bungling efforts to control his beautiful daughter. But before the Duke and Whitney's plans can reach fruition, they'll have to work their way through a morass of misunderstandings that threaten any hope of a happy ending.

Availability: This book was re-released in 1999 with an extended ending and two scenes rewritten. The scenes that were changed knock it down the BR scale a notch or two and make the book much more PC. I highly recommend everyone try to read the original version before the 1999 rewrite in it's original most bodice ripper form! :) Should be failrly easy to find, lots of used copies around. paperbackswap has several copes for you fellow swappers out there (if you are new to PBS you can buy a credit for around $3, or they will give you two credits for free for starting a swap shelf with 10 books or more!) Amazon has a few copies of the original available. abebooks has several copies avalable for around $4 and some with free shipping. And of course check out your local used book store. Note: if you choose to read the rewritten version you are still more than welcome to participate in the group discussion. All major plot developments are left in tact by the rewrite so we should have no problem discussing :)

Discussions: How would you rate this book on a BR scale of 1-10? Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes? Who was your favorite character? Do you think Whitney ended up with the right man? What was your favorite scene? What do you think was the most “bodice ripper” scene in the book? At what point in the book did you decide if you liked it or not? What helped make this decision? If you could change something about the book would you? If so what/how?

Bonus Questions *mildly spoiler-ish*: Did the ridding crop scene and/or rape scene make you uncomfortable? Do you think the author made a good choice to rewrite those scenes? Why or why not?


Please be considerate of others and use 'spoiler spaces' when revealing key plot elements.


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 107 comments Oh, I'm so excited! Can't wait to pick this one up. Might be a few weeks though... I have a couple of different things going at the moment.


message 3: by Kay (new)

Kay | 14 comments Just ordered my copy from Amazon, I love getting the used books from them cheap!!! I loved this book the first time I read it. :) Can't wait to re-visit an old friend!


message 4: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 54 comments Darn it, I have the new version. You all will just have to let me know what the differences are.


message 5: by Noelle (new)

Noelle | 120 comments I ordered mine a few weeks ago but was mailed 'Outlaw' by Susan Johnson by mistake :( I ordered 'Whitney My Love' from somewere else and hopefully it will be here soon.


message 6: by KimKirt (new)

KimKirt | 20 comments Well, I need to decide, I can get the new or old version from the library (they have both), probably is, the old version is in large print which I absolutely cannot stand reading because the large print makes my eyes go funky. Sigh! Decisions!


message 7: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments I just re-read this one for another challenge (and because I love it) so will jump in with you all, if you don't mind. This is one my favourite books by one of my favourite authors.

My version is the "incorrect" 1985 one.


message 8: by Jennefer (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
Please do! I read this not too long ago as well so I dont think I will be re-reading in May.... but once we get going I will thow in my two cents :)


message 9: by Jennefer (last edited Apr 28, 2010 11:45AM) (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
*mildly spoiler-ish response regarding mildy spoiler-ish bonus questions* Oh, those are not "key plot elements". Saying there is a riding crop in a scene tells you nothing and it is a BR so saying there is a rape is not really a spoiler.... but if it will make you feel better I will edit and add a spoiler warning. :)


message 10: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Jennefer wrote: "Saying there is a riding crop in a scene tells you nothing"

I'll say. Anyone could be doing anything with that to anybody.

Bodice Rippers: Upending Your Quaint Conventional Notions Since 1974.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 107 comments Karla wrote: I'll say. Anyone could be doing anything with that to anybody.

Bodice Rippers: Upending Your Quaint Conventional Notions Since 1974."


lol Karla. love it. So funny!


message 12: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (creeker) | 133 comments I got the original at a vendors mall a while back but I think once I start reading it, it may fall apart in the process It's in quite ruff shape


message 13: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments Karla wrote: "Jennefer wrote: "Saying there is a riding crop in a scene tells you nothing"

I'll say. Anyone could be doing anything with that to anybody.

Bodice Rippers: Upending Your Quaint Conventional Notio..."


Very clever, LOL!


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

My new old copy came today diving in, can't wait to see how is compares.


message 15: by Kay (new)

Kay | 14 comments Dang!!! I got the new improved verision.... can't seem to locate my old one. So I bought a "new" old one.... I guess I'll have to rely on remembering the old verision from the thousands of books that I have read... Oh well what the heck, I know that I'll enjoy this one anyway. Starting it on Thrusday or Friday after I get the other 2 books I am reading done....


message 16: by Jennefer (last edited May 05, 2010 12:13PM) (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
***spoiler****

When I read this a couple of months ago I also picked up a copy of the new edition to compare this scene. There is a very slight difference just before they have sex where you are reading everything that is going through Whitney's mind about how she knew that he was going to rape her and this was her punishment yada yada yada which is all the same in the new and old. but then in the new right after you read everything that was going through her mind it say "But she was wrong" at that point he is prepared to stop but then Whitney verbaly says that she is ok and she wants it. It is only a couple of lines inserted so that Whitney actually gives her verbal consent to have sex so that it is not a rape, but everything else is the same and just as brutal.


message 17: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Hah, wow. And I wonder if this soothed the anti-rape readers, or if they saw it as the blatant ploy it was? :D


message 18: by Jennefer (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
Karla wrote: "Hah, wow. And I wonder if this soothed the anti-rape readers, or if they saw it as the blatant ploy it was? :D"

***spoiler***
Thats what I say! Just so we are clear I don't mind the scene as it was at all, I am ok with this kind of stuff in my fiction.... but if McNaught thinks that Whitney verbally saying she wants to have sex was the big offensive thing in that scene then she just does not get it! There is a line where she is starting to kinda get into it and he stops what he was doing to her and says something like "I don't want you to enjoy this too much now"... yikes! That line is left in the new version and apparently is ok! If she verbally says she wants to have sex then it is perfectly ok for him to be out to physically and mentally hurt and humiliate her! LOL I mean really!


message 19: by Jennefer (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
Love your new avatar by the way Karla! Sexy! :)


message 20: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Jennefer wrote: "Love your new avatar by the way Karla! Sexy! :)"

Ain't it pretteh?
Angel in Scarlet

Still haven't read it yet. The copy I got from PBSwap REEKS of perfume! It might take another year or so for it to finally get tolerable enough to hold. (Seriously, it smells like it was left to pickle in a vat of it.)


message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 107 comments I was noticing your avatar the other day too Karla. Probably right after you changed it. It's gorgeous! Love it! :)

I'm anxious to get this one going but I'm juggling so much reading right now! I decided to try to read two books at the same time which I've never done before... It's not going so well. lol. Gotta get through my two current reads, plus I need to (want to) read this The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris for my in person book club so I can move on to Whitney! So many books, so little time. Ah! ;) I might not get to it until close to the end of this month, but I'm loving reading about the controversy!


message 22: by Tonya (last edited May 06, 2010 07:53AM) (new)

Tonya (_tonya_) | 0 comments Karla wrote: "Still haven't read it yet. The copy I got from PBSwap REEKS of perfume! It might take another year or so for it to finally get tolerable enough to hold. (Seriously, it smells like it was left to pickle in a vat of it.)"


I got mine at the library book sale so I only paid 4 cents for it and it doesn't smell bad!! That is definitely one of my very favorite covers!


message 23: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Tonya wrote: "That is definitely one of my very favorite covers! "

I've seen the pose on several other covers too! (This is the only one I can remember off the top of my head tho)

description


message 24: by *Ash* (new)

*Ash* (ashdex) i haven't finished the book yet but i am half way through it. I am thoroughly enjoying it.


*spoiler* (i suppose)

The crop scene didn't make me uncomfortable neither did the rape scene.

The crop scene, she did deserve it, but you had to of known he wouldn't go through with it. maybe he wanted to see how far he could push her; but you had to know he would stop.

the "rape" scene wasn't a rape scene. she consented, and the moment he realised the truth (like an idiot he should've realise before hand and not listened to Margaret) he stopped. a rape would've consisted of him continuing.

sorry if no-one agrees with me that's just what i think.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) SPOILER*******************


I never thought the rape scene was that big a deal. I'm not condoning rape when I say this. It's an ugly thing, but it was coming out of the intense relationship that Whitney and Clayton have. Clayton is rather mentally unstable, IMHO. I have read a lot worse. I didn't think it was necessary to change that. If she wrote the book that why, why go back and change it, and like you say, in a way that seems more offensive, like Whitney's agreeing to her punishment and humilation?


message 26: by Tara (new)

Tara | 21 comments I'm waiting on my 1985 edition to arrive in the mail. I have the newer, watered-down version here, not realizing it before that I didn't have the older one. It was a "Doh!" moment. I just hope it gets here before June lol.


message 27: by Julia (new)

Julia | 6 comments Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: Clayton is rather mentally unstable, IMHO.

And how! That was one of the things I disliked about the book. Clayton seemed like a reasonable man in all other aspects of his life except when it came to Whitney.


message 28: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments Hi all, hope you don't mind if import my comments from (cringe, sorry) another discussion I was in about this book, which is one of my favourites.

****RIDING CROP **** SPOILER-ISH ALERT ****





After having read the riding crop scene I can't understand what all the fuss is/was about. It is totally in line with the story and with HR in general IMO. I think I have a couple of other books where the spoiled brat heroine gets taken over hero's knee and given the spanking of her life. Also, I think the most important part of that whole scene is that Whitney is caught, punished, allowed to show remorse and then forgiven - for the first time in her life. This is part of the appeal Westmoreland has for her. No one else in her life has cared deeply enough to do it - they either indulge her, yell at her or ignore her. I think it signals the beginning of her growing up as well.

He is rather stern, though. Good thing he's gorgeous!


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) I can see your point, Tammy. Clayton gave Whitney the attention she was seeking.

I admit I don't care for the patriarchal message of spanking a heroine for punishment in a romance. But, I can see how it was significant in WML.


message 30: by Jennefer (new)

Jennefer (jenneferpracticex3) | 444 comments Mod
Acornn wrote: "...I'm not liking this book too much. When I first read it six years ago, I remember liking it a lot when I finished it. Now, I don't really care for it. I'm just really annoyed by it and can't wait to finish it. I'm nearing the end and can't wait to read the 'extended' ending in the rewritten version..."


Isn't it funny how your opinion of some books can change so drastically! I'm sorry you are not enjoying it as much this time. :( I will be interested to hear what you think of the extended ending.


message 31: by Noelle (new)

Noelle | 120 comments I just finished WML(1985) this morning...SPOILERS..........
At first I wasnt liking the book very much. It could be because I wasn't feeling well and it made it hard to read, but all I was thinking was whats all the fuss about?? When I read the crop scene I didn't have any problems whith her getting a spanking and felt it fit with the time period. The only part I had a problem with is that it states in the book that she had welts from the crop but then she gets right back on her horse and rides without any discomfort.No flinching or stitting forward in the sadle to relieve pressure,nothing. Then I have to think...arn't those ridding habbits really thick?? Could she have even gotten any welts through all of the clothing??
For me the book got really good just before the rape scene, I love all of the angst and I was up crying while reading it in the middle of the night(always a good sign =) After that I couldn't put it down and was glad that I had bought it.


message 32: by *Ash* (new)

*Ash* (ashdex) Acornn,

thanks for helping me understand why people were deliberately asking about those 2 scenes. it makes sense now. well if i had read the original i wouldn't have agreed to either of the scenes. but now i'm going to have to find one of the older versions and read those 2 particular scenes and see how i feel about them then.

thanks again.


message 33: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Noelle wrote: "Then I have to think...arn't those ridding habbits really thick?? Could she have even gotten any welts through all of the clothing??"

Well, it's not a riding crop, but my iguana was cranky once and lashed his tail at me - it was like a short bullwhip motion - and it gave me a welt through my sweatshirt, so I think it's possible.

Probably depends on how much force was used with the crop. It's a small end with a flexible cane - I bet it could really pack a wallop if it was wielded in the "right" way.


message 34: by Noelle (new)

Noelle | 120 comments I think your probably right Karla. I was talking about it with my husband lastnight and his point was that a man can put alot of force behind the blow and I guess I didn't think about that part. So...ouch!


message 35: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Acornn wrote: "I just remembered this and dug up the info. Click here to find out about a big mistake in the original and possibly the rewritten version of Whitney, My Love."

So what's the glaring error? It won't load up page 2 of the thread. Says the link's broken... ???


message 36: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Acornn wrote: "No one knows what it is."

So JM is pulling a Carly Simon. Meh.


message 37: by Karla (last edited May 10, 2010 12:04PM) (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Acornn wrote: "I found the post with the answer here, http://www.duchessproductions.com/inh..."

I wonder how many of all those readers are skimmers and therefore didn't catch it? ;-) j/k!!!!

ETA: Weird that the Page 2 link wouldn't take me to it, though. Huh, internet dead-ends! Go fig!


message 38: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments Karla wrote: "Acornn wrote: "I found the post with the answer here, http://www.duchessproductions.com/inh..."

I wonder how many of all those readers are skimmers and therefore didn't catch it? ..."


Karla, I am a skimmer and I resemble that remark! LOL! I never would have caught that one.


message 39: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Hee hee. >:)

I doubt I would have, either, unless my brain misfired and picked up on it by total chance.


message 40: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 107 comments If any reader has to search for it, is it really that big of a deal? I'm a read every word person and doubt I would have caught it (although I haven't read Whitney yet. I'll probably catch it now. lol) I say as long as it doesn't throw a wrench in your reading it isn't a "big" mistake(I also say it obviously doesn't throw a wrench in the reading because even the first person who posted about it said she read it many times before noticing) ... and that's my two cents! ;)


message 41: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Knee...ankle...doesn't change the story at all. It's like an Easter Egg on a DVD. :)


message 42: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments I think the most interesting thing about all of this is Judith McNaught's messages on the boards explaining the ankle bit and another blip that people thought was a mistake.

Anyone else read that far?


message 43: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Oh, the Westmoreland/Westland slip?

Speaking of which, I started WML yesterday and when Clayton is planning to go to the country undercover, so to speak, his name change isn't all that super-secret. An amoeba could see the similarities, since he's oh-so-notorious. It's like a certain agent who always goes under the name James Bond, no matter who or what he's trying to infiltrate. You'd have THOUGHT word had gotten around about the guy.... :P


message 44: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments Karla wrote: "Oh, the Westmoreland/Westland slip?

Speaking of which, I started WML yesterday and when Clayton is planning to go to the country undercover, so to speak, his name change isn't all that super-secre..."


Oh, you are goooood!!!! LOL!


message 45: by Karla (last edited May 10, 2010 12:45PM) (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Hah! Well, now I'm wondering if Whitney is going to be completely idiotic and not realize Clayton's the Notorious B.I.G. of Rakehells for chapters upon chapters when 1) already someone knows who he is (either her aunt or the dowager) and 2) with a gossipy group of twits such as she hangs around with, all of a sudden their grapevine skillz are going to suddenly poop out.

I guess I'll have to wait and see and hope it's not prolonged to an absurd nth degree. :P


message 46: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments It's not - it's a wonderful book, although Westmoreland is the king of PBB (pretty bossy bastards). The gossipy group of twits she hangs around with all get theirs in the end.


message 47: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
For those who have read it all the way through (I'm on pg 180), what is it about Clayton Westmoreland which makes him such a hated hero? Is the omgwtf stuff still in the future? Because I'm not finding him all that loathsome, and comments on other forums, etc. had me thinking he was only a tiny step below Sean Culhane. ???


message 48: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
Acornn wrote: "I don't understand why people love it so much."

Since it's still early, I can't say that I will love it, but I am liking McNaught's style. The setting is described so well, and the interactions between all the characters have a kind of spark that's connected with me. I'm really enjoying the characters and the setup, so that's all a reader can ask for, really!


message 49: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Walton Grant (tamgrant) | 214 comments Acornn, isn't Defiant Angel that rip-off of WML? I agree with you about Clayton - I've read bodice rippers with MUCH bigger "alphole" heros. I call him a PBB (pretty bossy bastard), LOL.

I don't understand all the fuss about this book either -- it is one of my favourites, but that's more due to the author than the book itself. Nor do I get all the whoop-up about the riding crop and the "rape" scene. I haven't read the revised version so I can't comment on all that added-on stuff. I can tell you, though, that I thought the book was just fine the way it was.

Karla, I'm interested in your thoughts once you are done reading, as well.


message 50: by Karla (new)

Karla | 1668 comments Mod
I think these revisions are a way to get people to still love the book in the PC age with a clean conscience. JMHO. I'd rather stick with what was originally published, even if the content was sometimes apparently dictated by the editor.


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