Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Someone to Watch over Me

Someone to Watch over Me

3.8 94
by Judith McNaught

See All Formats & Editions

When the rich, successful husband of a beautiful New York actress mysteriously disappears, she plunges into a desperate search to find him... and into a menacing web of secrets, deception, and danger. Once again Judith McNaught, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Night Whispers, crafts a thrilling tale filled with unrelenting suspense,


When the rich, successful husband of a beautiful New York actress mysteriously disappears, she plunges into a desperate search to find him... and into a menacing web of secrets, deception, and danger. Once again Judith McNaught, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Night Whispers, crafts a thrilling tale filled with unrelenting suspense, unforgettable characters, and powerful undercurrents of greed, ambition, and desire.

Leigh Kendall reveled in her stellar Broadway acting career and in her marriage to Logan Manning, scion of an old New York family. When her husband finds an old country cottage, he decides to build their dream house and surprise Leigh with her first view of the mountain property. After a Sunday night performance, Leigh heads north to join him, and into a blinding blizzard. Lost and alone, she's deliberately run off the road. When she awakes in the local hospital, seriously injured, she asks for her husband. The police arrive to inform her that he has myteriously disappeared, and Leigh, although obviously distraught, becomes the focus of their suspicions.

The more she discovers about her husband and his business affairs, the less she realizes she knew about Logan Manning, and the more terrified she becomes. Now, with no one to help her, she is heading deeper and deeper into unknown territory... where friends and enemies are impossible to distinguish, and where the truth becomes the most terrifying weapon of all.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
This much-anticipated release by Judith McNaught is a compelling mix of dark desires and unexpected dangers. Everything seems to be wonderful in Leigh Kendall's life. She's happily married to a handsome, wealthy man, and she's starring in a new Broadway play that's receiving rave reviews. The only shadow on her life is the recent spate of anonymous gifts she's been receiving -- sexy, expensive gifts from someone who clearly wants more from Leigh than a stellar theatrical performance. Then her car is run off the road in the midst of a snowstorm, and when she awakens in the hospital, seriously injured, no one can find her husband. At first, the police downplay his absence as a matter of a "misplaced person" who is temporarily out of touch because of the storm. Later, there's speculation that he's the one behind what happened to Leigh…or that Leigh is behind his disappearance. Leigh won't settle for speculation, and she soon discovers frightening things about her husband, as well as secrets that could turn her whole life upside down. This expertly crafted page-turner is sure to reward McNaught's eager fans! Sue Stone
Publishers Weekly
Night Whispers, McNaught's first romantic suspense novel (after a host of historicals), hit the charts hard, and this solid follow-up looks to do the same. Legendary stage actress Leigh Kendall is starring in a Broadway play, lives in a fabulous apartment and adores her husband, Logan Manning, a handsome, rich and virile businessman. After an afternoon performance, she's off to meet Logan in their country cabin, where he's promised an evening of lust and love in front of a roaring fire. Her life changes forever when she drives over an embankment in a snowstorm and barely escapes death. After waking up bruised and battered in the hospital, she finds Logan missing, her rival performing her part in the play, a creepy stalker sending expensive flowers and the evil Michael Valente, a business acquaintance of her husband's, being suspiciously attentive. Leigh checks out of the hospital and begins a frantic search for Logan aided by a team of detectives from the NYPD. As the search intensifies, she begins to learn secrets that expose her golden marriage as a fraud and her husband as a serial cheater. A romantic subplot features two of the cops investigating her case, the chiseled Lt. Mitchell McCord and rookie detective Samantha Littleton, who partner up in more ways than one. Leigh proves to be a stalwart if privileged heroine who finds a knight in shining armor in an unexpected corner of her past. The suspense is not terribly suspenseful, and several plot threads go uncollected, but romance is McNaught's bread and butter and she serves it up in abundance. (Feb.) Forecast: Some of McNaught's fans are not happy with her switch from historical romance to contemporaries, but sales have yet to dip-expect this to move fast. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
USA Today

Judith McNaught is in a class by herself.

From the Publisher
USA Today Judith McNaught is in a class by herself.
RT Book Reviews on REMEMBER WHEN
Judith McNaught once again works her unique magic in this charming, sparkling romance.
Kathe Robin in USA Today on UNTIL YOU
People have been waiting for this book for years... Until You takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
The Chicago Tribune on PARADISE
Judith McNaught comes close to an Edith Wharton edge.
Judith McNaught is in a class by herself.
RT Book Reviews on WHITNEY
The ultimate love story, one you can dream about forever.
New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux on WHITNEY
A wonderful love story...fast-paced and exciting...great dialogue!
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.
Judith McNaught is a magical dreamspinner, a sensitive writer who draws on our childhood hopes and reminds us of loves power. A KINGDOM OF DREAMS will stay in your heart forever and be a classic on your shelves.

Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.40(d)

Read an Excerpt

Someone To Watch Over Me

A Novel
By Judith McNaught

Atria Books

Copyright © 2003 Judith McNaught
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0671525751

Chapter One

"Miss Kendall, can you hear me? I'm Doctor Metcalf, and you're at Good Samaritan Hospital in Mountainside. We're going to take you out of the ambulance now and into the emergency room."

Shivering uncontrollably, Leigh Kendall reacted to the insistent male voice that was calling her back to consciousness, but she couldn't seem to summon the strength to open her eyelids.

"Can you hear me, Miss Kendall?"

With an effort, she finally managed to force her eyes open. The doctor who had spoken was bending over her, examining her head, and beside him, a nurse was holding a clear plastic bag of IV fluid.

"We're going to take you out of the ambulance now," he repeated as he beamed a tiny light at each of her pupils.

"Need...to tell...husband I'm here," Leigh managed in a feeble whisper.

He nodded and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. "The State Highway Patrol will take care of that. In the meantime, you have some very big fans at Good Samaritan, including me, and we're going to take excellent care of you."

Voices and images began to fly at Leigh from every direction as the gurney was lifted from the ambulance. Red and blue lights pulsed frantically against a gray dawn sky. Uniforms flashed past her line of vision-NewYork State Highway Patrol officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses. Doors swung open, the hallway flew by, faces crowded around her, firing urgent questions at her.

Leigh tried to concentrate, but their voices were collapsing into an incomprehensible babble, and their features were sliding off their faces, dissolving into the same blackness that had already devoured the rest of the room.

* * * *

When Leigh awoke again, it was dark outside and a light snow was still falling. Struggling to free herself from the effects of whatever drugs were dripping into her arm from the IV bag above her, she gazed dazedly at what appeared to be a hospital room filled with a riotous display of flowers.

Seated on a chair near the foot of the bed, flanked by a huge basket of purple orchids and a large vase of bright yellow roses, a gray-haired nurse was reading a copy of The New York Times with Leigh's picture on the front page.

Leigh turned her head as much as the brace on her neck would allow, searching for some sign of Logan, but for the time being, she was alone with the nurse. Experimentally, she moved her legs and wiggled her toes, and was relieved to find them still attached to the rest of her and in good working order. Her arms were bandaged and her head was wrapped in something tight, but as long as she didn't move, her discomfort seemed to be limited to a generalized ache throughout her body, a sharper ache in her ribs, and a throat so dry it felt as if it was stuffed with gauze.

She was alive, and that in itself was a miracle! The fact that she was also whole and relatively unharmed filled Leigh with a sense of gratitude and joy that was almost euphoric. She swallowed and forced a croaking whisper from her parched throat. "May I have some water?"

The nurse looked up, a professional smile instantly brightening her face. "You're awake!" she said as she quickly closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and laid it face-down beneath her chair.

The name tag on the nurse's uniform identified her as "Ann Mackey, RN. Private Duty," Leigh noted as she watched the nurse pouring water from a plastic pitcher on the tray beside the bed.

"You should have a straw. I'll go get one."

"Don't bother about that right now. I'm really thirsty."

Smiling sympathetically, the nurse started to hold the glass to Leigh's mouth, but Leigh took it from her. "I can hold it," Leigh assured her, and then was amazed by how much effort it took just to lift her bandaged arm and hold it steady. By the time she handed the glass back to Nurse Mackey, her arm was trembling and her chest hurt terribly. Wondering if perhaps there was more wrong with her than she'd thought, Leigh let her head sink back into the pillows while she gathered the strength to talk. "What sort of condition am I in?"

Nurse Mackey looked eager to share her knowledge, but she hesitated. "You really should ask Dr. Metcalf about that."

"I will, but I'd like to hear it now, from my private duty nurse. I won't tell him you told me anything."

It was all the encouragement the elderly woman needed. "You were in shock when you were brought in," she confided. "You had a concussion, hypothermia, cracked ribs, and suspected injuries to the cervical vertebrae and adjacent tissue-that's whiplash in laymen's terms. You have several deep scalp wounds as well as lacerations on your arms, legs, and torso, but only a few of them are on your face, and they aren't deep, which is a blessing. You also have contusions and abrasions all over your - "

Smiling, Leigh lifted her hand to stop the litany of injuries. "That's too much detail. Is there anything wrong with me now that will need surgery?"

Nurse Mackey looked taken aback by Leigh's dismissive attitude, and then she looked impressed. "No surgery," she said with an approving little pat on Leigh's shoulder.

"Any physical therapy?"

"I wouldn't think so. But you should expect to be very sore for a few weeks, and your ribs will hurt. Your burns and cuts will require close attention, healing and scaring could be a concern - "

Leigh interrupted this new deluge of depressing medical minutia with another smile. "I'll be very careful," she promised, and then she switched to the only other topic on her mind. "Where is my husband?"

Nurse Mackey faltered and then patted Leigh's shoulder again. "I'll go and see about that," she promised, and hurried off, leaving Leigh with the impression that Logan was nearby.

Exhausted from the simple acts of drinking and speaking, Leigh closed her eyes and tried to piece together what had happened to her since yesterday, when Logan kissed her good bye in the morning.

He'd been so excited when he left their East Side apartment, so eager for her to join him in the mountains and spend the night with him there. For nearly two years, he'd been looking for just the right site for their mountain retreat, a secluded setting that would complement the sprawling stone house he'd designed for the two of them. On Thursday, he'd finally found a piece of property that met all his exacting qualifications, and he'd been so eager for her to see it that he insisted they should spend Sunday night - their first available night - in the existing cabin on the land.

"The cabin hasn't been used in years, but I'll clean it up while I'm waiting for you to get there," he promised, displaying an endearing enthusiasm for a task he normally diligently avoided. "There isn't any electricity or heat, but I'll build a roaring fire in the fireplace, and we'll sleep in front of it in sleeping bags. We'll have dinner by candlelight. In the morning, we'll watch the sun rise over the tops of the trees. Our trees. It will be very romantic, you'll see."

His entire plan filled Leigh with amused dread. She was starring in a new play that had opened on Broadway the night before, and she'd only had four hours of sleep. Before she could leave for the mountains, she had a Sunday matinee performance to give, followed by a three-hour drive to a cold, uninhabitable stone cabin, so that she could sleep on the floor...and then get up at dawn the next day.

"I can't wait," she lied with an affectionate smile, but what she really wanted to do was go back to sleep. It was only eight o'clock. She could sleep until ten.

Logan hadn't had any more sleep than she, but he was already dressed and eager to leave for the cabin. "The place isn't easy to find, so I drew you a detailed map with plenty of landmarks," he said, laying a piece of paper on her nightstand. "I've already loaded the car. I think I have everything I need - " he continued, leaning over her in bed and pressing a quick kiss on her cheek. " - house plans, stakes, string, a transom, sleeping bags. I still feel like I'm forgetting something..."

"A broom, a mop, and a bucket?" Leigh joked sleepily as she rolled over onto her stomach. "Scrub brushes? Detergent?"

"Kill-joy," he teased, nuzzling her neck where he knew she was ticklish.

Leigh giggled, pulled the pillow over the back of her head, and continued dictating his shopping list. "Disinfectant...mouse traps..."

"You sound like a spoiled, pampered Broadway star," he chuckled. "Where is your sense of adventure?"

"It stops at a Holiday Inn," she said with a muffled giggle.

With a laugh, he pulled the pillow from her head and rumpled her hair. "Leave straight from the theater. Don't be late." He stood up and headed for the door to their bedroom suite. "I know I'm forgetting something - "

"Drinking water, candles, a tin coffee pot?" Leigh helpfully chanted. "Food for dinner? A pear for my breakfast?"

"No more pears. You're addicted," he teased over his shoulder. "From now on, it's Cream of Wheat and prunes for you."

"Sadist," Leigh mumbled into the pillows, but she was smiling. A moment later she heard the door close behind him, and she rolled onto her back, smiling to herself as she gazed out the bedroom windows overlooking Central Park. They'd both been very young and very poor when they married. Back then, their only assets had been Logan's brand new degree in architecture and Leigh's unproven acting talent-that, and their unflagging faith in each other.

With those tools, they'd built a wonderful life together and strengthened it over the next thirteen years. During the last few months however, they'd both been so busy that their sex life had become almost nonexistent. She'd been immersed in the pre-opening craziness of a new play, and Logan had been consumed with the endless complexities of his latest, and biggest, business venture.

As Leigh lay in bed, gazing out at the clouds gathering in the November sky, she decided she definitely liked the prospect of spending the night by a blazing fire, with nothing to do but make love with her husband.

* * * *

She'd hoped to leave the theater by four o'clock that afternoon, but the play's director and the writer both decided to make minor changes after watching the matinee performance, and then they argued endlessly over which changes to make, trying out first one variation, then another. As a result, it was after six when Leigh and the rest of the cast finally left the theater.

Patchy fog mixed with light snow slowed her progress out of the city. Leigh tried to call Logan twice on his cellular phone to tell him she was going to be late, but he'd either left his phone on the charger in his car or else the cabin was beyond range of his cellular service. She left voice mail messages for him instead.

By the time she reached the mountains, the snow was falling hard and fast, whipped into a frenzy by the wind. Leigh's Mercedes sedan was heavy and handled well, but the snow was deep and coming down so fast, she could only see a few feet beyond her headlights. The driving was treacherous; the visibility so poor that it was difficult to see road signs, let alone spot the little landmarks Logan had noted on his map. Roadside restaurants and gas stations that would normally be open at ten PM were closed up, their parking lots deserted. With nowhere to stop and ask for directions, Leigh kept driving. Twice, she doubled back, certain she'd missed a landmark or a road.

When she should have been within a mile or two of the cabin, she turned into an unmarked driveway with a fence across it and switched on the car's map light to study Logan's map and directions again. She was almost positive she'd missed a turnoff a mile back, the one Logan had described as being "200 feet south of a sharp curve in the road, just beyond a little red barn." With at least six inches of snow blanketing everything, what had seemed like a little barn to her could just as easily have been a large black shed, a short silo, or a pile of frozen cows, but Leigh decided she should go back and find out.

She put the Mercedes into gear and made a cautious U turn. As she rounded the sharp curve she was looking for, she slowed down even more, searching for a gravel drive, but the drop-off was much too steep, the terrain far too rugged, for anyone to have put a driveway there. She'd just taken her foot off the brake and started to accelerate when a pair of headlights on high beam leapt out of the darkness behind her, rounding the curve, closing the distance with terrifying speed. On the snow-covered roads, Leigh couldn't speed up quickly and the other driver couldn't seem to slow down. He swerved into the left lane to avoid plowing into her from the rear, lost control, and smashed into the Mercedes just behind Leigh's door.

The memory of what followed was horrifyingly vivid-the explosion of air bags, the scream of tortured metal and shattering glass as the Mercedes plowed through the guardrail and began cart wheeling down the steep embankment. Tree trunks rammed at the car, metal collapsed, and heavy objects tore at her flesh and slammed into her head. She remembered the explosive jolt as 5,000 pounds of mangled metal finally came to a bone-breaking stop.

Suspended from her seat belt, Leigh hung there, upside down, like a dazed bat in a cave while light began exploding around her. Bright light. Colorful light. Yellow and orange and red. Fire!

Stark terror sharpened her senses. She found the seat belt release, landed hard on the roof of the overturned car and, whimpering, tried to crawl through the hole that had once been the passenger window. Blood, sticky and wet, spread down her arms and legs and dripped into her eyes. Her coat was too bulky for the opening, and she was yanking it off when whatever had stopped the car's descent suddenly gave way. Leigh heard herself screaming as the burning car pitched forward, rolled, and then seemed to fly out over thin air, before it began a downward plunge that ended in a deafening splash and a freezing deluge of icy water.

Lying in her hospital bed with her eyes closed, Leigh relived that plunge into the water, and her heart began to race. Moments after hitting the water, the car began a fast nose-dive for the bottom and in a frenzy of terror, she started pounding on everything she could reach. She found a hole above her, a large one, and with her lungs bursting, she pushed through it and fought with her remaining strength to reach the surface. It seemed an eternity later before a blast of frigid wind hit her face and she gulped in air.

She tried to swim, but pain knifed through her chest with every breath, and her strokes were too feeble and uncoordinated to propel her forward more than a little bit. Leigh kept thrashing about in the water, but her frozen body was going numb, and neither her panic nor her determination could give her the strength to swim. Her head was sliding under the surface, when her flailing hand struck something hard and rough-the limb of a partially submerged fallen tree.


Excerpted from Someone To Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught Copyright © 2003 by Judith McNaught
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Judith McNaught is the New York Times bestselling author who first soared to stardom with her stunning bestseller Whitney, My Love, and went on to win the hearts of millions of readers with Once and Always, Something Wonderful, A Kingdom of Dreams, Almost Heaven, Paradise, Perfect, Until You, Remember When, Someone to Watch Over Me, the #1 bestseller Night Whispers, and other novels. There are more than thirty million copies of her books in print. She lives in Houston.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Someone to Watch Over Me 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many of McNaught's books. I love them all. I have kept everyone including this one. I have purchased this book as gifts for many friends & told them this book is one of my most favorite books - of any author (and I have read over 100 & that is not including the books involved). I read the negative views. I realize that people have different tastes. I loved this book but didn't like "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks (I thought our men overseas deserved more than someone profiting off of their sadness and obstacles). However, many people liked that book. So, you cannot judge a book just by the readers' comments.
CeCeSG More than 1 year ago
Overall I really like Judith McNaught, despite her love of The Big Misunderstanding and The Long Seperation, two of my least favorite plot vehicles. This story by far is my favorite of all of her books that I have read. The character development is great plus you get a bonus romance in the midst of the mystery and the primary romance story. The love scenes have smokin' hot chemistry without being graphic and in the end when close the book you hug it to your chest because you fell a little in love with the characters too. Definately buy and start reading when you have the time to finish it because you won't want to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a 'Romance' reader but was given this book by a friend. The character developement of the male protagonist was excellent. The love scene was probably one of the best I've ever read. It led the reader slowly from the beginning moves to the climax (pun was intended). Thank you Ms. McNaught for reintroducing a 71 yr. old to the fun of reading a well written romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely not Paradise or Perfect but did enjoy the story between Leigh and Michael. Especially enjoyed the chemistry between Sam and Mack.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, and im so suprised that it has such low reviews. Im not sure if this book is part of a series or something but Im definitely gonna find out because if it is then I cant wait to read all of McNaughts other books...Seriously this is a really good book...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read four other books by Judith McNaught, I was looking forward to reading STWOM. This was the first book by her I've had to force myself to finish. I really couldn't stand the lead characters and was especially enraged by the example they were setting for the impressionable teenager that hung around the female lead character. Leigh Manning was supposedly madly in love with her husband, then he turned up missing and as the story progressed she discovered he was not who/what she thought he was. Then within weeks of her husband's disappearance Leigh's madly in love with, having an affair with, and is impregnated by another man (the male lead)! Yeah, great role models aren't they?) I was completely turned off by the main characters. I completed the book only because of the passages featuring the secondary characters. THEY were charming the main characters DREADFUL. In fact, because of this book I was hesitant to pick up her next book, EBYT. Eventually I did, in the hopes there wouldn't be two stinkers in a row. Unfortunately, EBYT was worse than STWOM! Now I'm totally turned off by this author and have put her on my DO NOT READ list. With me it is two strikes in a row and you are out! There are so many wonderful authors out there, why waste time on those who cannot or no longer entertain you?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness I thought I would never finish this book. It was so awful. I have never read this author before and I am hesitant to pick up another one of her books. No big surprises. I was actually routing for the dead guy. He was the only 'life' in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a great story. A little predictable at times, but otherwise had several suprises to make up for the predictable parts. Judith McNaught did a great job seducing the reader with Michael AND Mack! That's a pretty good author when you're attracted to TWO men while reading ONE book. And I felt like I was friends with Leigh & Samantha. There are a WIDE variety of characters, but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. One suspenseful plot, 2 heated romances...all in one book. Great reading! I did however feel Leigh went from widow to bride to mother a little too soon. Should have stuck with the six month time frame on the wedding and waited a while for the baby. I would have rather imagined Michael & Leigh having a couple of romantic years just to themselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading Someone to Watch Over Me yesterday and found that after the opening few chapters, I could not put it down. The beginning part of the book is a bit slow as it is setting up the plot and characters and that is why my rating is only 4 stars. Once you get past that, the story really takes off and you find yourself swept away and going through many different emotions. There are a few twists and turns throughout the book and just enough different events involved to keep you guessing, but not confused. This book has wonderful suspense and a love story that will last for ages. If you are a reader that enjoys deeply involved plots that make you think and characters that are so detailed they could be living...This is a book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her writing style has completely changed. I loved her other books where the stories were so alive and heartfelt. The characters in this book were just plain annoying. This book lacked depth and a decent love story. There was no suspense.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although, it wasnt quite as romantic as her other books it was still great. I couldnt put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a beautiful story. I loved it. Best I've read and I've read a lot of awesome books, but this was my favorite. I would give it a 10 rating if I could. Susan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to disagree with those who gave negative reviews. I have never read a "bad" Judith McNaught book. No one portrays male characters like she does -- a let's face it, ladies, that's the real reason we read these books -- and she did it again here with both Michael and Mack. Of course, the all time best is Mitchell in EBYT. Someone to Watch Over Me is another great book.
oferia More than 1 year ago
love it
Durban More than 1 year ago
Awesome read, could'nt put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books. I have reread it many times over the years. I just recently received a nook and I would love it if it came out for e-readers so I can add it to my collection of books there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago