Remember When by Judith McNaught

Title: Remember When

Author: Judith McNaught

Genre: Contemporary romance

Synopsis: When multinational tycoon Cole Harrison approached her on a moonlit balcony at the White Orchid Charity Ball, Diana Foster had no idea how extraordinary the night ahead would be.

The most lavish social event of the Houston season had brought out American aristocracy, Texas-style, in glittering array. So, after losing her fiancé to a blond Italian heiress and reading about it in a sleazy gossip paper, the lovely Diana felt obliged to make an appearance-if only to save face and to bolster her company’s image.

Foster’s Beautiful Living magazine was her family’s sucess story, and Diana knew that, single, childless, and suddenly unengaged, she was not living up to its lucrative image of upscale domestic tranquility. A women of gentle grace and kindness, Diana deeply valued her privacy and her dignity, both of which were at risk that night among certain rumor-driven socialites. And now the pride of Dallas billionaires, Cole Harrison, was closing in on her with two crystal flutes and a bottle of champagne.

The tall, lithe former stableboy couldn’t negotiate his way out of a contract with his crusty uncle, Cal-he had to bring home a wife, and soon, or see Cal’s share of the business Cole had created go to an undeserving relative.
A man as coolly analytical as he was arrestingly attractive, Cole decided that his bride-to-be should be rich in her own right, meltingly beautiful, and a woman of impeccable character… Diana Foster! It was the perfect to their respective dilemmas, and, after a lot of champagne for Diana and some skilled persuasion from Cole, their lips met in a long, slow, bargain-sealing kiss.
Neither one dared imagine that a match made in logic’s heaven might be headed straight for an unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime love.

Review: This book was promoted heavily in Judith McNaught’s previous book, Paradise, and having thoroughly enjoyed taking the journey to true love with Matt and Meredith, I expected another great story but ended up being very disappointed. 

While I enjoyed the detailed story of their relationship as teenager (Diana) and young adult (Cole), it seemed like a ‘cop-out’ to gloss over major plot points in their adult lives together – their first time together (sex) and Diana drunk-dialing the media to share her good news, through flashbacks.
I wasn’t looking for an erotic-style love scene but to have to figure out that what Diana thought was a dream, recounted in a couple paragraphs, was disappointing. Even more disappointing was how long it took her to figure out she had actually done all of those things.

Diana’s and Cole’s journey to truth, love and commitment as adults seemed to drag for me. I appreciate it may have been written as a tender, subtle romance, as some readers have argued, but to me it lacked the usual McNaught touch.

Perhaps I placed RW on a pedestal because of how much I fell in love with the writing and unusual plot lines in Paradise but even so, there was something lacking in RW which was made worse by all of the promotional pages in Paradise and other books.

Don’t get me wrong, Judith McNaught is a great author but Remember When is best forgotten…or better yet, Rewritten.

Grade: C+

Excerpt: “While you’re getting dressed,” Diana said as she turned and started toward the back stairs that led down to the kitchen, “I’ll see what kind of food I can find to bring for Cole.”

“For who?” Corey (Diana’s sister) asked, her mind fixated on the unexpected thrill of seeing Spence.

“Cole Harrison. You know – at the Hayward’s stable. Doug said Cole’s back from his vacation,” she explained with a smile and a breathless catch in her voice. “Unless something’s changed, he’ll be short of food, as usual.”

Corey watched her walk away, immobilized by the unmistakeable undercurrent of excitement she’d just witnessed in Diana. Not once had Diana ever said anything to indicate she had secret feelings for the Hayward’s stable hand, but then Diana didn’t blurt out every thought that came into her mind the way Corey did………..

“Cole lives at the Haywards’ stable and works there too but he’s thin and I don’t think he wants to ‘waste’ what little money he has on food.”…

“Gram, could I take some of your canned peaches and a few of these jams too?…The last time I brought Cole some of your strawberry preserves he said it was better than candy, and he’s crazy about candy.”

Aglow at this praise from a hungry stranger, Mrs Britton promptly added four more jars of strawberry preserves to the bag…When she reached for a second paper bag and headed back into the panty, Diana stopped her. “I don’t want him to think this is charity, Gram.” With an apologetic grin, she added, “I’ve got him completely convinced you’re a sort of a ‘compulsive canning addict’ and that we always have piles of leftovers after every meal.”…………………

She realised that she would never know how it felt to have his mouth cover hers in a kiss, or his arms close around her, or his hands press her tightly against him. She accepted all that with only a little regret. Because she was smart enough to know that if he ever made up his mind to kiss her, she probably wouldn’t be able to handle it or control him……………….

They were as different as two people could be…Cole was bunt, reckless and earthy. Diana was reserved, cautious and hopelessly proper.

He was motorcycles and blue jeans and battered duffel bags, with a need to blaze his own trails through life.

She was BMWs and prom gowns and matched luggage, with a need to stay on smooth, paved roads………….

Cole…didn’t want to distress Diana and now that he knew she wasn’t another one of Addison’s army of admirers, he felt charitable to give the man some credit. “If he does know, he either doesn’t find it annoying, or else he’s too much of a gentleman to hurt her (Corey’s) feelings.”

Cole propped both of his elbows on the fence, and he and Diana lapsed into a companionable silence for several moments. Finally, Cole said, “If it isn’t Addison, then who’s the latest guy who makes your heart beat faster?”

“…the dean of admissions at Southern Methodist – he signed my college admission letter and made my little heart flutter.”

“Diana, that’s wonderful!” he interrupted with a heart-stopping smile. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Because when I’m with you, nothing else seems to matter, Diana thought. “I was waiting for the right moment,” she said.




1 Comment

  1. Mayana

    This is actually my favorite book of Judith’s. I read it when I miss Cole and Diana and Corey :D. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. ;P


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