Perfect (Second Opportunities) by Judith McNaught: Perfect is the second book in the series Second Opportunities written by Judith McNaught The story revolves around Julie Mathison and Zachary Benedict.
Perfect Book Synopsis
A rootless foster child, Julie Mathison had blossomed under the love showered upon her by her adoptive family. Now a lovely and vivacious young woman, she was a respected teacher in her small Texas town, and she passionately lived her ideals. Julie was determined to give back all the kindness she’d received; nothing and no one would ever shatter the perfect life she had fashioned.
Zachary Benedict was an actor/director whose Academy Award-winning career had been shattered when he was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After the tall, ruggedly handsome Zack escaped from a Texas prison, he abducted Julie and forced her to drive him to his Colorado mountain hideout. She was outraged, cautious, and unable to ignore the instincts that whispered of his innocence. He was cynical, wary, and increasingly attracted to her. Passion was about to capture them both in its fierce embrace…but the journey to trust, true commitment, and proving Zack’s innocence was just beginning..
Perfect Book Review
Okay by now all the readers who have been following my reviews already knows I’m a sucker when it comes to Romance. I cannot resist the temptation and I take the bite. Naturally, Judith McNaught is one of my favorite authors has she writes fine romance. I’m hardly disappointed when it comes to her stories. Now coming to Perfect.
Perfect is the second book in the series Second Opportunities and it revolves around Julie, a 26-year old school teacher, and Zachary Benedict, an escaped convict. Zachary ‘Zack’ at the age of 18 was kicked out of his luxurious life by his grandmother who wanted to teach him a lesson. Zack hitches a ride to Hollywood soon is discovered by a producer and embarks on an acting career. Though he is one of the successful actors and has won multiple awards, he is not happy with his life has his wife, is caught cheating on him with one of their co-actors.
Zach is put in a tight spot as he has to wrap up the movie he is directing and also acting with his adulteress wife and her Lover. On the last day of shooting, Zach’s wife is killed and the blame goes to Zach and he is imprisoned. He serves 5 years in jail and later escapes with the help of his inmates. On the run from the authorities, Zach meets Julie and he takes her as his captive.
Julie abounded when she was born and was sent to foster care. At the age of 11, Mathison family adopts her and Julie get her loving and happy family. She’s made a Perfect life for herself. She is a respected school teacher, runs a literacy class for adults and volunteers to help specially-abled children. Julie, as she is returning from meeting a potential solicit to raise funds for her literacy class meets Zach and thinking he is an innocent man agrees to give him a ride in her car. Soon she realizes she is helping an escaped convict and tries to escape.
Zach holds Julie hostage threatening he will kill her if she tries to escape. In one time, Julie does get a chance to escape from Zach but seeing him trying to save her life, Julie gives up from escaping and starts believing that Zach indeed is innocent. Sparks fly and love blossoms. Julie thinks their love is Perfect. But Zach knows he has to leave Julie behind and flee the country are risk getting imprisoned again. But Zach soon realizes he cannot live without his Julie and agrees to take her with him. He risks everything to be with her but he is soon captured by the FBI.
Zach believes Julie is behind his capture and starts hating her. Will Zach’s innocence be proven, will Julie be able to get her love back, will they have a happily ever after, will Zach and Julie can have a Perfect life or will there love be doomed? To know the answers for the above, you will have to read the book.
Perfect Book Impression
Character Development: Good
Chemistry: Sizzling, Palpable
Sexual content: Yes
Editing: could have toned down a bit. 700 pages of story weren’t required.
I love Judith’s work. She doesn’t write anything just for the sake of it. She doesn’t rush things to happen all at once. I loved her “Paradise” but I didn’t quite enjoy “Perfect”. The love story, the chemistry everything is there in the story and yet I left Julie falling in love with Zach was not Love but Stockholm syndrome (feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim towards a captor) I quite liked Zach. He is Alpha male, oozing charm and sexuality throughout the book.
Though his life has taken an unpleasant turn, his charm is still there lurking in his heart and Julie rediscovers it for both of them. Julie is a clever, helpful, do-gooder. The story is slow paced in the beginning. Zach and Julie’s story doesn’t start for the quarter of the book. Once their story starts, the pace quickens. I would have given this book 4 stars if the pace was steady and the mystery element was exploited thoroughly. I got the feeling Judith though she is an excellent Romance writer, she could not build the hype for the mystery.
I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t impressed either. I would definitely recommend my friends to try the book. I give this book 3 stars.
“She wept with shame for her lack of will and with fear for a love she couldn’t control.”
I love you, Julie. I loved in Colorado. I love you here, where I am. I will always love you. Everywhere. Always.”
About the Book
Series: Second Opportunities
Author: Judith McNaught
Year of Publication: 1993
Page Count: 695
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Characters: Julie Mathison, Zachary Benedict
Judith McNaught is #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author, with more than forty million copies of her novels in print, in over eighty countries and more than thirty languages. She was also the first female executive producer at a CBS radio station. McNaught is credited with inventing the modern Regency Historical romance sub-genre.