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Perfect judith mcnaught pdf

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Perfect by Judith McNaught - From the New York Times bestselling author of the Paradise and Westmoreland Dynasty series comes a romantic adventure that. Read Perfect read free novels online from your Mobile, Pc. Perfect is a Romance novel by Judith McNaught. It is little wonder that Judith McNaught has been critically acclaimed as today's most Perfect. Something Wonderful. ABC Amber Text Converter Trial version.

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Perfect. byMcNaught, Judith. Publication date Topics Fugitives from justice, Women Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files. Perfect Judith Mcnaught Pdf night.. Let New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught who is in a class by. Perfect (The Paradise series) [Judith McNaught] on meteolille.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From the New York Times bestselling author of the .

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 fa. 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. 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.

What an evil witch! When that predictable "making peace" scene happened I had to roll my eyes, only to soon be taken by surprise with another tearful moment. One of the many I have to say. Now that the bad is out of my way I am ready to tell a little bit about this amazing story. Julie is a teacher in a little town - She is fiery, funny, stubborn, witty, intelligent, brave, generous and compassionate.

Condemned for a crime he didn't commit Zack is sentenced to 45 years in prison. Two lives destined to collide by fate when Zack decided to escape from prison after 5 years behind the bars. Julie was the unfortunate person who crossed his path when Zack needed a car to get away.

Firstly she innocently offered him a lift but soon she found out who Zack really was and his plans to get out of the Country. Horrified, she attempted to escape but there was nowhere to run. Julie was then taken hostage and kidnapped by Zack.

After a few unexpected events they were forced to stay a few days in a recluse house in the mountains waiting for a chopper — one more step towards his final destination: South America — when he finally would release Julie. In these few days a resentful, cynical, disillusioned and callous Zack gets to know Julie. His defences started to crack.

A heart enfolded by ice because of too many injustices done to him, started to melt. Beside her idealism Zack felt terribly old and jaded. He was nine years older and a thousand times harder than she, and yet something about her softened him and made him like being soft, both of which were new experiences for him.

Julie is one of the most amazing female characters I had ever come across. She had an ugly past which could have shaped her in a bitter person. However, she took the only good opportunity life handed over to her when she was 11 year old and did the most of it to become a better person. And what a beautiful and captivating person Julie turned out to be.

Zack didn't stand a chance. Loved it! View all 37 comments. Apr 17, Karla rated it it was amazing Shelves: Very enjoyable book with an epic quality!

Perfect is a rather lengthy read at pages, but I was never bored and the story was just riveting! The author draws you in with the compelling history about the main character's childhoods and the circumstances that bring them together.

Read Perfect read free novels online by Judith McNaught read free novels online

It was an interesting and necessary set-up and made them easy to relate to. What reall 5 Stars! What really sealed it for me was that the last 60 or so pages that give the reader wonderful bonus material.

It was extra time to spend with the characters under different circumstances after a read that left at times left me very anxious.

Judith pdf perfect mcnaught

Those last pages summed up the book wonderfully and felt like a beautiful extended epilogue There was some laugh out loud moments and plenty of dialogue which broke up the narrative and made it easy to connect to the characters. I also enjoyed the appearance of two characters from Paradise , the first book in the series, who played significant roles in this book. Which I might add is another amazing read and would recommend being read prior to Perfect. It's not imperative, but Mathew and Meredith's story is just as compelling as Zach and Julie's, and when they show up in this read you'll understand who they are.

My only complaint is that two secondary character's fates felt unresolved. It might not bother other readers, but I felt the need to know what happened to them and hope they have a book of their own. Still a 5 star read for me and I look forward to reading more of Judith McNaught's books, she is an exceptional author!

View all 9 comments. Mar 14, Gavin rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'm not a giant fan of contemporary romance, but I've always had a soft spot for Judith McNaught's books. Mainly because she was the first romance author I ever read! I'm not entirely sure why, but I always find her stories engaging and enjoyable. This one proved no different. This was not my first read of Perfect.

It is however the first time I've read it in many years. This time around I did spot a few more flaws. Some of the authors views are a touch dated and a few of the supporting characte I'm not a giant fan of contemporary romance, but I've always had a soft spot for Judith McNaught's books. Some of the authors views are a touch dated and a few of the supporting characters got completely forgotten about towards the end.

That said, none of that overly hurt my enjoyment of the story. The story is interesting enough. Zac Benedict, former movie star and Hollywood golden boy, has spent the last 5 years in prison for the murder of his wife. He escapes from prison in the hopes of proving his innocence.

Unfortunately things do not go smoothly and before long he is forced to snatch a hostage in the form of Julie Matheson. This is a romance so of course the pair fall madly in love with each other!

I liked both Julie and Zac. They were different characters, but I liked them as a pair and enjoyed their story. The non-romance part of the plot was also fairly interesting, which is always a plus. I'm going to keep the original rating for nostalgia's sake. View 2 comments. Is consent consent if you are a hostage? The other positive, it was good, infuriating fun to read with those two. I was kind of hooked at the beginning. Call it novelty, I give you permission. Why would you want to read it?

Some people LOVE this book! The hero is incredibly emotionally manipulative.

Judith pdf perfect mcnaught

The dialogue made me want to scream, just like the rest of the book. My eye got twitchy…. And twitchier. See, apparently if you save someone, it negates former bad acts, makes former bad acts unbelievable, and future bad acts like sexual assault and abuse just something that will never happen again. Also, women in this book are told constantly to calm down. Not since Blue-Eyed Devil have I loathed a book so completely that i finished.

And funnily, this reminded me of that from the get-go, which should have told me something. View all 21 comments.

So here's the thing. I love, love, love romance books. I love the HEA, I love the hot sex scenes, I love a guy that is totally into the heroine and the heroine being kick ass.

But as we have all said here time and time again, older romance novels are problematic. There are a lot of tropes that just don't get done anymore unless that's a genre that you are trying to market to these days.

These book had a whole mess of issues that made me cringe. Then again, this was written in so I was tryin So here's the thing. Then again, this was written in so I was trying to give McNaught some leeway here, but honestly there was so much other stuff that didn't work that I just could not give this above two stars.

I bought this book and have no intention of even looking it's way again. I think that McNaught's historical romances are set up a bit better than this book though we still have the trope of heroine does something and hero takes it badly without listening that appears twice in this one.

We also have the heroine is a virgin and has the best first time ever trope. Let us not even get started on the TSTL kicks that Julie kept getting on throughout this entire book. Book one is "Paradise" starring other characters that appear in this book as secondary characters Matthew and Meredith. Book two is focused on Zachary Benedict and Julie Mathison.

Zachary Mathison is thrown out of his family's home by his grandmother. Zack then is able to turn around and become a stuntman of course he did and from there go on to acting and directing.

He ends up being a highly respected actor and is now in the process of directing his wife in what many are calling an Oscar caliber film. When Zack finds his wife in disarray with the lead actor on the film and demanding a divorce. When a scene involving a gun leads to her death, Zack is then charged and convicted of her murder.

Julie Mathison is a foster kid that is shuffled around until someone realizes her potential. She is eventually sent to live with the Mathison family in Texas and promises she will do whatever she needs to be the "perfect" daughter, sister, friend. She eventually grows up and becomes a teacher and is happy with her life with her boyfriend I think his name was Greg even though she feels like something is missing from their relationship it's the sex Julie, that's what is missing.

When Zack escapes from jail he eventually comes across Juile at a cafe, Julie because she realizes he has on new jeans and invents a reason for why he would have on new jeans no I am not kidding gives him a ride where eventually Julie figures out that Zack is an escaped convict who then takes her hostage.

He just has to guys cause he's so drawn to her. I mean he's been in jail for five years ughhhh. That is just the bare bones to this story. We also have a plethora of characters in this one. Why McNaught got into Julie's brother Ted's romance in this one made no sense.

That is honestly why this book was so endless and went on for more than pages. She could have just broken up Ted's story and at least laid out the bare bones in this one without taking away from the main story. That said, Ted sucks and can kick rocks. The last few chapters of this book are actually about not having sex before marriage.

I could not deal with this many men in my life being that up in my body. To wrap it up most of the men not Matt are awful and I honestly thought the character of Paul was a freaking chump. Who hangs around someone who is not into you at all? Katherine and Meredith were better heroines in my eyes than Julie. Julie is passive through this whole freaking book. And her going from being a virgin to all of a sudden wanting to have sex with Zack, who has kidnapped her by the way blows my mind.

Judith McNaught

I wonder if McNaught even thought of the implications of Stockholm Syndrome? Zack repeatedly makes Julie tell him she believes that he is innocent. I think that would have been an interesting side road for her to go down. The initial part of the book with regards to writing held a lot of promise. I always get annoyed when an author rushes the backstory to characters to get to the meet cutes and all.

But McNaught did a very good of setting up Zack and Julie's circumstances. However, as I said above, there was way too much going on. This book did not need to be pages. The flow was up and down depending on where McNaught took the story. Sometimes we would follow Zack and Julie around, then we would shift back to Ted and Katherine, Matt and Meredith, and then freaking Paul. Also don't tell me how she doesn't even let men come into her home and she's all let me give a total stranger a ride cause of his jeans.

His starved senses wanted to feast on the entire banquet. Maybe wait a while on the hot smexy times. I mean sure, let's get her drinking so you can do whatever. How do you go from that to I am a slut?! Also I should not be laughing at this, but I am. I have only been reading this for a little bit, but no, you have not been perfect. Tonight, however, she was willing to surrender it to an escaped convict who was incapable of loving anyone and who had nothing whatsoever to offer her.

FYI these two didn't even use condoms. I can't with Julie having sex with a convicted criminal and not even thinking about STDs. AIDS was a thing back in and my first thought would be men being raped in jail or raping others and ugh this is why sometimes I have to yell at myself to just read and not get all actually about books, but it's hard.

FYI, you can follow Whiskey's buddy read updates, here: I am not a fan of male characters being abusive to the heroines and it all just getting wiped away. There of course is HEA that honestly I don't see is remotely believable, but hey at that point I just wanted to be done with this. Aug 26, boogenhagen rated it liked it Shelves: Loved Zach. Hated Julie the betraying, preachy cow and was massively disappointed that she did not die by a toilet seat to the head.

She was utterly useless and I hated her with a passion.

But the writing was good and the story fun. Except for Julie. View 1 comment. Jul 29, Mei rated it it was amazing Shelves: The title says it all: I loved everything in this book: Julie, Zach, the story, the simplicity of the words used to tell it, the way it was written, the witty dialogue, the secondary characters, tehir stories, the immense love Julie and Zach had for each other The way Ms.

McNaught writes is simply WOW!!! It just touches something in me and I simply melt! Every part of this book is so interesting that I don't know where to start! The part of Zach's life before meeting Julie The title says it all: The part of Zach's life before meeting Julie with the descriptions of the movie world; the part of Julie's life when she's an illiterate and orphaned street urchin; the part of Julie's strife to help the less fortunate being them illiterate women or handicapped children; the kidnapping part, the falling in love part; Zach's usless fight to do the right thing for Julie; Julie's defence of Zach's innocence; the friendship between Zach and Matt There're so many beautiful things in this book that it is very difficult to choose the best or the more touching one!

It's rather long, but as I read I was wishing that it were even longer, just to be able to stay with everybody and keep reading and reading and reading! This is a wonderful, wonderful book and every romance reader should read it. It is even better if you read the previous book in the series, so you can get to know Matt and his story! View all 20 comments. Nov 16, Esther rated it it was amazing Shelves: This was fantastic and wonderful and, poignant, moving, touching, affecting, powerful, stirring, emotive, heart-rending, heartwarming, impassioned, etc I think you get the picture.

I love this book and it deserves a ten star rating that's what this book deserves!!! I'll never get tired of reading Zack and Julie's story. Absolute Perfection!!! View all 4 comments. Jan 02, Barbara rated it it was amazing Shelves: And I just loved how McNaught wove a piece of "Paradise" in with it. It was nice to catch up with Matt and Meredith and their little girl! So ladies this is a MUST read I've never steered you wrong before, and I'm not gonna start now! Apr 06, Mou rated it it was amazing Shelves: Five perfect Stars.

It was a very good read. Julie was a small town sweetheart. Zack was a charmer, a black sheep, and a social outcast. Julie - a School Teacher and Zack - a film Actor and Director Two very different people came together and create a beautiful story.

The chemistry between Julie and Zack was just Amazing. I liked every turn of the story. Some people will say that the author was dragging the story or there was no need to explain Julie and Zack past life Blah Blah blah. But with Five perfect Stars. I liked Ted and Katharine little love story also. They were cute together. I liked the other characters- Dominic, Matt, Meredith, Mr. Mathison, every one of them. And that simple but perfect poem, Oh!!!!! The world once was black And now it is bright.

I used to walk head bent And now I stand up tall. I used to have dreams But now I have hope. View all 7 comments. Sep 10, Karen rated it it was amazing.

Loved this book. Hay libros a los que siempre vuelvo, y este es uno de ellos. Jun 20, [Aengell] rated it it was amazing Shelves: It felt really natural to read it without those influences, and the same story set in wouldn't have worked the same way, with the same suspense level and the same sense of adventure. After enjoying it immensely the first time reading it with my favourite BR ladies , I got the sudden urge to do so again, just because I knew what I could expect.

Sounding lik 4. Sounding like a broken record, I can only repeat what in my opinion applies to all novels by Judith McNaught: She writes satisfyingly emotional novels, may they be Historical or Contemporaries, and she succeeds in creating a roller coaster ride for her readers to take, leaving them emotionally drenched, but still totally happy to have taken that journey.

Perfect is about a former superstar actor turned convict, and how he kidnaps a demure and innocent Texan girl while escaping from prison. It's about Zack and Julie, two people who could not be more different in every sense of the word, yet develop deep, deep feelings for each other. I love their relationship and how it develops. They forge a close bond, not necessarily a trust filled one, but still a close one.

They have chemistry like few other couples I've read about in Romance, and there's a fine balanced sway of the physical attraction and the emotional and rational attraction. In some parts, especially towards the end, the emotions tended to be nearly, but only nearly , overdone, but all in all it was a delight and a change to the meh-reads this year to be so involved with the main characters. The side characters all were realistic and were fully formed characters, not only there to fill Zack's and Julie's plot, so it got never boring.

Boring isn't a word that applies to this story at all. The part where Zack, escaping from prison after being judged guilty of murdering his wife, kind of spontaneously kidnaps Julie? That's only the beginning. There comes much more action and suspense, until the mystery is solved rather quietly and not dramatically towards the end. View all 19 comments. Oct 31, TJ rated it really liked it. No one writes relationships better than McNaught! She is one of - if not the- best in the genre.

With each new book, she takes situations, responses and the emotions behind them and makes them absolutely real and intrinsic to the reader. Her gift is in understanding exactly how a person would respond to a given circumstance, then drawing out the perfect emotion one would feel in that situation. It is because of the improbable storyline that I realized just how great McNaught's writing really is.

When one doesn't even care that the events are outlandish, they are enjoying the experience so thoroughly, one must acknowledge greatness. I especially appreciate the fact that Ms. McNaught never allows herself to run out of room before she gives a thorough and acceptable conclusion. SO many authors spend so long in setting up the plot, background, tension etc.

In this particular story, that conclusion actually covers bases we didn't even think of! How rare is that?!? View all 6 comments. Apr 30, Kim rated it it was ok Shelves: I have read 3 of McNaught's books and I think it is time for me to move on to a new author.

And full of empty drama. For Paradise, this was not the case. To a certain extent, yes, Meredith got onto my nerves at the second half of the book for every reason Matt listed but she kinda redeemed herself a little bit. I'm a nice person feel free to disagree , I have forgiven her.

What I meant to say was, second opportunity was provided for McNaught; she redeemed herself with Paradise, but in Perfect, the same problem I had with KOD resurfaces in my opinion. No spoilers here, but after that Julie makes terrible and cringe-worthy mistakes, making Zack suffer the consequences. THe mistake is worse than infidelity maybe, maybe not , view spoiler [not that Julie doesn't commit this sin anyway hide spoiler ] , it is mistrust.

Right when Zack's balance and love for her lies in this sole quality.

Of course, when he is proven innocent after all, Julie acts as if she deserves to be forgiven?! Oh ho ho, you are lucky you aren't living in the real world, honey. Even if you were forgiven, you really don't deserve it, I wish you had the balls to keep reminding yourself that. But no, being wrongly dubbed as the sweetheart of the town makes you think you have privilege over bossing everyone else around, making others superior to you obey your every whim?

I don't think so. And gosh, nobody in the book seems to think so either. Everyone goes "Damn you Zack, despite her wrongfully turning you in and making you suffer a blow in the kidney and ribs, being tortured and made a public humiliation and joke of society, how dare you make Julie suffer because she loves you and can't be with you though she doesn't want to be in prison because it's too dirty for her precious toes?!

Nobody cuts ZAck some slack for being wronged for 5 years and surviving the horrors of being incarcerated, and being horribly betrayed by the one person that supposedly mattered, but everyone goes gaga for some small town naive village girl?! Where is the justice in that? Worse, Zack's friend Matt who is also the love of my life manages to faithfully believe in Zack when Julie can't, so it just shows how pathetic and lousy Julie's character is by comparison. In the end, this book seemed like another goddamned chick-flick novel, catered to women as a mode of escapism where in that unrealistic world, men should and are expected to bend and contort their principles, dignity and self-worth for their very, very fortunate other half, no matter how embarrassing and whiny these females are.

Jul 02, Piper rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 16 comments. Jun 08, Eni rated it it was amazing. The title says it.

Loved it. Sep 17, Jo rated it it was amazing Shelves: Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day— And now that dream is here before me. Long the skies were overcast, but now the clouds are passed— You're here at last. Chills run up and down my spine. Aladdin's lamp is mine. The dream I dreamed was not denied me.

Just one look and then I knew— That all I longed for long ago was you. I loved that the story spanned over years, that we got to see an 11 Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day— And now that dream is here before me. Those tomorrows waiting deep in your eyes— In the world of love you keep in your eyes— I'll awaken what's asleep in your eyes.

It may take a kiss or two. Through all of my life… Summer, winter, spring, and fall of my life… All I ever will recall of my life, is all of my life. With you. After the humiliation of his trial and the dehumanizing effects of prison, it was heady merely to be looked at like a man, not an animal. But to have her look at him as if he were brave and fine and decent was a gift more precious to him than anything he'd ever been given.

He wanted to crush her in his arms, to lose himself in her sweetness, to wrap her around him like a blanket and bury himself in her, he wanted to be the best lover she'd ever had and to make this night as memorable for her as it was going to be for him. Aug 19, Shana rated it it was amazing. So this was my first Judith McNaught novel and I loved every page of it Judith is a pro at character development; she writes in such a way that you find yourself becoming deeply rooted and believing in each of So this was my first Judith McNaught novel and I loved every page of it Judith is a pro at character development; she writes in such a way that you find yourself becoming deeply rooted and believing in each of the character's motivation for making the choices they do even if their circumstances are uber outlandish.

I found Judith's style of writing in this novel completely engaging, filled with humor, plenty of juicy unexpected twists, and yes, at times, the main female character's "wholesomeness" made me want to gag So I give it five stars for the genre it's meant to be in Now THIS is how you write a convict on the run falling for his kidnapped hostage.

Authors take notes! P I don't even know where to start with this. A roller coaster of emotions. My gaaaawd. I love how I can rip a book apart to shreds when I'm not happy with it and can't seem to shut up but when it's a 5 star book I'm tongue tied and can never do the book justice.

I'll give it a try My very first Judith McNaught book. It was love at first sitting. I seriously could not put this down 10 pages i Now THIS is how you write a convict on the run falling for his kidnapped hostage. I seriously could not put this down 10 pages in. And it's funny because I picked this up very hesitant and kinda dreading it after inadvertenly finding out that the hero and heroine don't meet until pages in. Wut wut waaaahut? What cray cray author would do such a thing like that?

So of course I was prepared for a whole lot of foot shuffling, stalling, dragged out summarizing, painfully slow plot. McNaught beautifully introduces readers to both the hero and heroine and their difficult heartbreaking pasts, their family background and how they come to be where they are in life before running into each other. I'm a big fan of details and she doesn't hold back with the details which I really liked. A perennial favorite, Judith McNaught adds a new layer of suspense to her latest romantic release.

Her unique voice and talent shine through in this exciting tale of loyalty, love and danger. Judith McNaught not only spins dreams, but she makes them come true She makes you laugh, cry and fall in love again. This book is a cherished treasure. Well-developed main characters with a compelling mutual attraction give strength and charm to this romance set in 19th-century Great Britain. Judith McNaught is a magical dreamspinner, a sensitive writer who draws on our childhood hopes and reminds us of loves power.

By clicking 'Sign me up' I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the privacy policy and terms of use. Must redeem within 90 days. See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love. Sign up and get a free eBook! Perfect By Judith McNaught. Mass Market Paperback. Price may vary by retailer. Add to Cart Add to Cart. About The Book. Chapter 1 "I'm Mrs. Borowski from the LaSalle Foster Care facility," the middle-aged woman announced as she marched across the Oriental carpet toward the receptionist, a shopping bag from Woolworth's over her arm.

Gesturing toward the petite eleven-year-old who trailed along behind her, she added coldly, "And this is Julie Smith. She's here to see Dr. Theresa Wilmer. I'll come back for her after I finish my shopping.

Wilmer will be with you in a little while, Julie. In the meantime, you can sit over there and fill out as much of this card as you can.

I forgot to give it to you when you were here before. Giving the table with its fragile knick-knacks a wide berth, she headed for a chair beside a huge aquarium where exotic goldfish with flowing fins swam leisurely among lacy greenery. Behind her, Mrs. Borowski poked her head back into the room and warned the receptionist, "Julie will steal anything that isn't nailed down.

She's sneaky and quick, so you better watch her like a hawk. Borowski's horrible remarks, but her effect was spoiled by the bright red flags of embarrassed color that stained her cheeks and the fact that her legs couldn't reach the floor. After a moment she wriggled up from the uncomfortable position and looked with dread at the card the receptionist had given her to complete.

Knowing she'd not be able to figure out the words, she gave it a try anyway. Her tongue clenched between her teeth, she concentrated fiercely on the printing on the card.

The next letter on the card was an a, like the one in cat, but the word wasn't cat. Her hand tightened on the yellow pencil as she fought back the familiar feelings of frustration and angry despair that swamped her whenever she was expected to read something.

She'd learned the word cat in first grade, but nobody ever wrote that word anywhere! Glowering at the incomprehensible words on the card, she wondered furiously why teachers taught kids to read dumb words like cat when nobody ever wrote cat anywhere except in stupid books for first graders. But the books weren't stupid, Julie reminded herself, and neither were the teachers. Other kids her age could probably have read this dumb card in a blink! She was the one who couldn't read a word on it, she was the one who was stupid.

On the other hand, Julie told herself, she knew a whole lot about things that other kids knew nothing about, because she made a point of noticing things. And one of the things she'd noticed was that when people handed you something to fill out, they almost always expected you to write your name on it With painstaking neatness, she printed J-u-l-i-e-S-m-i-t-h across the top half of the card, then she stopped, unable to fill out any more of the spaces.

She felt herself getting angry again and rather than feeling bad about this silly piece of paper, she decided to think of something nice, like the feeling of wind on her face in springtime. She was conjuring a vision of herself stretched out beneath a big leafy tree, watching squirrels scampering in the branches overhead, when the receptionist's pleasant voice made her head snap up in guilty alarm.

And I have to go to the bathroom. Where is it? Wilmer will be ready to see you pretty soon. Don't be gone too long. After closing the office door behind her, she turned to look up at the name on it and carefully studied the first few letters so she'd be able to recognize this particular door when she came back. She was almost positive these were the bathrooms because, among the bits of knowledge she'd carefully stored away was the fact that bathroom doors in big buildings usually had a different kind of handle than ordinary office doors.

The problem was that neither of these doors said BOYS or GIRLS -- two words she could recognize, nor did they have those nice stick figures of a man and woman that told people like her which bathroom to use. Very cautiously, Julie put her hand on one of the doors, eased it open a crack, and peeked inside. She backed up in a hurry when she spotted those funny-looking toilets on the wall because there were two other things she knew that she doubted other girls knew: Men used weird-looking toilets.

And they went a little crazy if a girl opened the door while they were doing it. Julie opened the other door and trooped into the right bathroom. Conscious of time passing, she left the bathroom and hurriedly retraced her steps until she neared the part of the corridor where Dr. Wilmer's office should have been, then she began laboriously studying the names on the doors. Wilmer's name began with a P-S-Y.

She spied a P-E-T on the next door, decided she'd remembered the letters wrong, and quickly shoved it open. An unfamiliar, gray-haired woman looked up from her typewriter. Wilmer's office is? Oh, you must mean Psychological Associates! That's suite twenty-five-sixteen, down the hall. Say it that way. After an irritated sigh, the woman said, "Dr. Wilmer is in suite two -- five -- one -- six.

Wilmer's receptionist looked up when Julie walked in. No way! Unaware that she was being observed through what looked like an ordinary mirror, she turned her attention to the aquarium beside her chair.

The first thing she noticed was that one of the beautiful fish had died and that two others were swimming around it as if contemplating eating it. Automatically, she tapped her finger on the glass to scare them away, but a moment later they returned. It wasn't right for anything so wonderfully beautiful and so helpless to be left in there like that. Picking up a magazine from the coffee table, she pretended to look at it, but from the corner of her eye she kept up her surveillance of the two predatory fish.

Each time they returned to prod and poke their deceased comrade, she stole a glance at the receptionist to make sure she wasn't watching, then Julie reached out as casually as possible and tapped the glass to scare them off. A few feet away, in her office on the other side of the two-way mirror, Dr. Theresa Wilmer watched the entire little scenario, her eyes alight with a knowing smile as she watched Julie's gallant attempt to protect a dead fish while maintaining a facade of indifference for the sake of the receptionist.

Glancing at the man beside her, another psychiatrist who'd recently begun donating some of his time to her special project, Dr. Wilmer said wryly, "There she is, 'Julie the terrible,' the adolescent terror who some foster care officials have judged to be not only 'learning-disabled,' but unmanageable, a bad influence on her peers, and also 'a troublemaker bound for juvenile delinquency.

She talked forty-five children, most of whom were older than she, into going along with her to demand better food. John Frazier peered through the two-way mirror at the little girl. Wilmer replied dryly, "she did it because she had an underlying need for better food.

The food at LaSalle is nutritious but tasteless. I sampled some. You can't ignore that problem so easily. Julie can filch the gold right out of your teeth without your knowing it, she's that quick.

Wilmer shrugged. She gives her booty to the younger kids at LaSalle. I've checked it out. She's not at all what I expected, based on her file. Wilmer admitted. According to Julie's file, the director of the LaSalle Foster Care Facility, where she now resided, had deemed her to be "a discipline problem with a predilection for truancy, trouble making, theft, and hanging around with unsavory mate companions.

Wilmer had fully expected Julie Smith to be a belligerent, hardened girl whose constant association with young males probably indicated early physical development and even sexual activity. For that reason, she'd nearly gaped at Julie when the child sauntered into her office two months ago, looking like a grubby little pixie in jeans and a tattered sweatshirt, with short-cropped dark, curly hair.

Instead of the budding femme fatale Dr. Wilmer had expected, Julie Smith had a beguiling gamin face that was dominated by an enormous pair of thick-lashed eyes the startling color of dark blue pansies.

In contrast to that piquant little face and innocently beguiling eyes, there was a boyish bravado in the way she'd stood in front of Dr. Wilmer's desk that first day with her small chin thrust out and her hands jammed into the back pockets of her jeans. Theresa had been captivated at that first meeting, but her fascination with Julie had begun even before that -- almost from the moment she'd opened her file at home one night and began reading her responses to the battery of tests that was part of the evaluating process that Theresa herself had recently developed.

By the time she was finished, Theresa had a firm grasp of the workings of the child's facile mind as well as the depth of her pain and the details of her current plight: Abandoned by her birth parents and rejected by two sets of adoptive parents, Julie had been reduced to spending her childhood on the fringes of the Chicago slums in a succession of overcrowded foster homes.

As a result, throughout her life, her only source of real human warmth and support came from her companions -- grubby, unkempt kids like herself whom she philosophically regarded as "her own kind," kids who taught her to filch goods from stores and, later, to cut school with them. Her quick mind and quicker fingers had made Julie so good at both that no matter how often she was shuffled off to a new foster home, she almost immediately achieved a certain popularity and respect among her peers, so much so that a few months ago, a group of boys had condescended to demonstrate to her the various techniques they used for breaking into cars and hot-wiring them -- a demonstration that resulted in the entire group of them being busted by an alert Chicago cop, including Julie, who was merely an observer.

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