Whitney, My Love

Whitney, My Love - Judith McNaught I'd love to give this book more stars, but I can't help but relate to the many reviews here that point out the numerous flaws in this schizophrenic romance. It's tough to accept a "happy ending" when the Hero is such a jerk who leaps to remarkable unfounded conclusions at the drop of a hat, and a Heroine who first tries to thwart the Hero at every turn and then is madly in love with him, despite his abominable behavior.We're supposed to believe that Clayton Westmoreland behaves as he does because he's so in love with Whitney. The merest hint that Whitney has been unfaithful to him in any way sets him off into bouts of said conclusion jumping that result in horrid cruelty, such as raping his so-called lady love. Huh? Of course the 'hints' that are dropped are all completely false, and in the middle of the "rape", Clayton realizes that Whitney *is* still a virgin, and that's now taken her maidenhead. While he's supposed to be affianced to her, Clayton withdraws his suit and tries to pay Whitney off, ostensibly so that she can pursue marriage with her childhood love, Paul. Except that Whitney has fallen in love with Clayton and now doesn't know what to do. Even though they do end up married, their bliss is short when another conclusion that Clayton jumps to causes him to emotionally and physically torment Whitney almost to breaking.And that "misunderstanding" is based on his almost-rape of her. Because after that near-rape, Whitney decided to try to get him back by writing a letter stating that she was pregnant. But the letter was never sent and dated just days before she reappeared at his estate, and with the help of his family, managed to win his heart and love back - supposedly. Now the stupid man believes that Whitney had an affair with another man (probably Paul) and is trying to fop off her bastard on him! Making things worse, by this time, Whitney truly *is* pregnant by Clayton. And the whole stupid thing hinges on Whitney's lack of understanding about how babies are made (if the man doesn't "finish", the likelihood of being pregnant is almost nill), and the complete lack of honesty and communication between these two silly people.It's painful to read, despite it's better moments. It's tough to really love a book where the Hero buys his intended, falsely pursues her, then beats her, harasses her, teases her physically, but then believes every little falsity spoken or intimated by her rivals, culminating in his near-rape of her, then deciding to "do the right thing" and let her go due to his shame, then trying to win her back, getting set off again after a possible reconciliation, angrily taking another woman as his fiancee, then realizing what a fool he's been, pushing her into an 8-week wedding of the century when she wanted 8 months, blissfully trying to make up for the near-rape by complete seduction and gentleness, and then flying off the handle (again!) thinking that she's cuckholded him, to realizing that the child is his, and he truly loves her. UGH!Honestly, I skimmed the book, so I'm sure I missed more stupidity between these two very lost people. It could have been a great book IF ONLY the author didn't feel compelled to push the envelope of "misunderstandings" and "tortured heroes" of the historical romance genre. I can't accept a HEA when I fear that any false move Whitney makes will likely end in her death, as Clayton will one day leap to one conclusion too many and flat-out murder her in his rage.