Finished it late last night and wanted to just let the story rest, not get out of bed to write a review. Here are the basics: the main characters were great; the romance sooo enjoyable; the mystery subplot somewhat rushed and random at the end, but oh well; and overall a wonderful read!
One thing I appreciated was that both characters were honest about their feelings for the other - if not with one another, than at least with themselves. So often the character is supposedly oblivious to anything besides for lust until the second to last chapter when suddenly, *EPIPHANY*! "I'm in love with her/him! Oh wow!" No really, dumbo?
Don't worry, there are still plenty of complications and resistance and doubts and etc., but they were - for the most part - very well done. From the beginning there is a deep and heady connection between McAlistair and Evie and it only continues to grow as they spend more time with one another. Each has (real) doubts and insecurities, but they only serve to strengthen the relationship in the end. Some of these issues were resolved a little too quickly IMHO, and should have been brought up earlier so that they could be fully discussed and resolved.
HERO, Mr. James McAlistair (? - which was really annoying!):
Wednesday I was in love with Loretta Chase's Alistair, Thursday I was in love with Alissa Johnson's Whit ... and yesterday McAlistair replaced them both!! (Maybe I have something for the name Alistair). Like lonely, silent, mysterious, and tortured heroes? Well go no further! McAlistair is extremely sigh-worthy and his deep love and longing and hunger for Evie will give you goosebumps (and make you extremely jealous, lol). He was an assassin for several years for the War Department, and while he knows that Evie is not for him because of all that he has done in his life, he cannot help but be drawn to this woman who represents all that is good and pure and innocent.
He's just such a sweet hero, while also being deliciously dark and dangerous. You know an author is talented when you're already half in love with the hero, yet he's barely spoken two words out loud and you haven't even reached page 20! As another reviewer mentioned, the fact that McAlistair and Evie have a significant of time alone with one another gives their relationship time to grow and deepen and makes the romance all the more believable and enjoyable. The change that he undergoes with Evie is subtle, but it's significant and you'll find yourself envying Evie for the love she engenders in this man and the power she has over him ... or was that just me ...?
HEROINE, Miss Evie Cole (26):
Evie lives up to her counterpart and is an equally engaging character. She has a healthy sense of humor, is passionate and intelligent, takes everything in stride. She's a strong woman who has had to overcome difficulties: her father was emotionally abusive, though thankfully he died when she was young and he drunkenly crashed their carriage - not so thankfully, that crash left her with a slight limp and a large scar down the side of her face (this last was pretty infrequently mentioned and I often forgot she even had it). Evie is drawn to McAlistair, despite his mysterious and unreadable facade, which tells her so little about his true feelings - or if he even has any at all.
She is part of an underground network that helps abused women escape their abusers, and one thing I will say is that I would have appreciated more detail on this. I found it a very interesting subplot, but although it's mentioned and is (potentially?) directly relevant to the mystery subplot, it's not explored much.
1) As Luck Would Have It - Miss Sophie Everton and Alex Durmant, Duke of Rockeforte
2) Tempting Fate - Miss Mirabelle Browning and Whittaker Cole, Earl of Thurston (4.5 stars)
3) MCALISTAIR'S FORTUNE - Miss Evie Cole and Mr. James McAlistair (4 stars)
4) Destined to Last - Lady Kate Cole and Mr. Andrew Hunter
BOTTOM LINE: Absolutely great - read Tempting Fate first to enjoy it all the more. My overall rating for that book was higher, but the heroes are definitely tied - no question about it!
* Scandalous (Banning Sisters Trilogy, Book 1) by Karen Robards (5 stars)
* A Notorious Love (Swanlea Spinsters, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries (4 stars)