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Showing 1-10 of 61 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 99 reviews
on August 24, 2010
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)
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on December 23, 2013
The first two entries in this series were "love the writing style, BUT..." books for me. This one, though, had very few of those pesky 'buts'; much to my delighted surprise, this was among my personal favorites of all the historical romances I've read this year. And, as some of you know, I read an absurd number of historical romances ;)

As with the other books in this series, there's an element of intrigue and mystery that, while not exactly the intricate plotting and pacing of which Dame Agatha Christie would approve, for me provides a welcome layer of suspense and adventure to the usual romance 'yeah, so, when will they finally and inevitably get together?!' storylines. Evie, our heroine, received a death threat that she has reason to believe is a hoax. Only it really ISN'T a hoax, so she and our hero go into hiding and...*cue suspenseful music* ;)

As alluded to above, this author's writing style is a favorite of mine: crisp, witty, clever, and neither stiffly antiquated in an attempt to be slavishly 'historical' nor uncomfortably contemporary. Those who have slogged through my reviews that prose matters to me far more than plot, and I just adore how Alissa Johnson writes even when I don't love every single element of the specific plot and storyline.

What really elevated this one above her other books for me was how drawn I felt to the characters and how effortlessly I believed in their 'meant to be'-ish connection with each other, which is certainly not a given for me. Our heroine, Evie, suffers from a limp and a stutter---yet she's not withdrawn, self-pitying or insecure. Instead, she's spirited, determined and stubborn---maybe a touch TOO stubborn, but, hey, characters are dull and unrealistic when they don't possess flaws, right?! I realize this description could apply to a many other romance heroines, but something about Evie was just very believable and root-worthy to me.
Her hero, though, stole the show for me. James McAlistair is a taciturn, gruff, hermit-y (let's pretend that's an adjective, shall we?!) yet brave hero who believes himself unworthy of our heroine. What's interesting is that this isn't the 'type' of hero with whom I'm normally the most enamored, but I just adored our titular McAlistair. He's guilt-ridden and tortured, yet doesn't use his pain as an excuse to be a dismissive jerk to the heroine for the majority of the novel or to wallow in booze-soaked, whiny angst. As a fellow reviewer mentioned, it's refreshing that he knows from the outset that he cares for the heroine based on an intense though admittedly brief interaction from another book---and that we, the reader, know that as well. We're not waiting around impatiently for him to finally realize he has feelings for the heroine; he knows those feelings are there, but just doesn't feel he can act on them.
McCalistair is courageous, strong, honorable and passionately intense underneath his amusingly dry stoicism. He's nowhere near perfect (and nor would I have wanted him to be!), but he's a hero who I found genuinely...well, heroic. Even those who, like me, don't usually gravitate towards the gruffly quiet brooders may find themselves enjoying him far more than expected.

Overall, the book is extremely engaging with more wit and suspense than I'd expected. It's genuinely sweet without being sappy. I adored the dialogue and the characters who utter it. Highly recommended, especially given its relatively wallet-friendly price!
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on February 26, 2013
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone old enough to appreciate it. It is the story of two wounded people: one physically and one emotionally, both thinking that no one would ever be able to love them as they are. The story starts out with a threat that is immediately discounted by our heroine, because she previously overheard part of a conversation about that same threat. Turns out that the threat is real. She begins to take it seriously about three quarters of the way through the story.

I loved the way the two main characters grow into friendship then love. Their growth is fun to watch. And I love the way their wounded hearts resonate with the reader. We have all been wounded, so that makes these characters more believable than characters who are too perfect.

When I bought this book, I didn't realize it was part of a series. This is actually number 3 in the series. I plan to read the others in this series. It was a satisfying story even though I hadn't read the others, but several references were made to things that I had no knowledge of. I would have preferred to read them in order, but got involved in the story before I knew that.

This author was new to me, and I am glad to have found her. I will be looking for more of her work.
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on January 5, 2014
Wow! This book is awesome! I absolutely loved it. The plot is interesting and kept me enthralled from the very beginning, the characters are all well drawn and relatable, and the story that unfolds is sweet, romantic, and LOL funny! This is the third book in the series, the first two being "As Luck Would Have It" and "Tempting Fate". The fourth and final book in the series, and the one that follows this one, is "Destined to Last". The entire series centers around a deathbed promise to the Duke of Rockeforte by Mr. Fletcher. The promise was to ensure that each of five young people were happily matched and wed. These five young people include the late duke's own son; the current duke, and four other individuals, whom the late duke considered to be the children of his heart. Since the duke's death, Mr. Fletcher has worked hard to fulfill his promise. This is Evie's story. If you haven't read any of the other books in the series, not to worry. This is the first book of the series that I have read, and I was easily able to follow the story. I loved it so much, however, that I've decided to read all the others. I just purchased the second book "Tempting Fate" because Amazon has it on sale for .99 cents this month! In any event, Evie overhears a plot to see her matched and wed. The plot includes sending her a threatening letter and having her fall in love with her rescuer. When Evie receives said letter a few days later she, naturally, assumes this is all part of the matchmaking ruse. Evie is removed from Haldon Hall (the family estate) for her own safety, in the care of McAlistair and others. It is decided to send Evie to a friend's home, secluded on the coast, until the perpetrator of the threat can be uncovered and apprehended. Events unfold in such a way that Evie and McAlistair get to spend several days alone together while traveling to the coast. The romance between Evie and McAlistair is very sweet. Evie is cheerful, stubborn, loyal, and quite talkative. McAlistair, on the other hand, is reticent, aloof, and, for the most part, nonverbal. LOL. They make quite the pair! The reader gets to watch as this unlikely couple get to know each other and fall in love. It was wonderful to see how Evie was able to get past McAlistairs defenses and draw him out. Poor McAlistair is such a tortured soul, and I was sublimely happy that he found someone as wonderful as Evie, to love and share his life with. Intrigue is provided to the plot in the form of the mystery as to who is trying to hurt Evie. As a matter of fact, for a large part of the story I wasn't sure anyone was actually trying to hurt her. I was almost as convinced as Evie that this was all an elaborate matchmaking ruse, even though it didn't really seem likely. LOL. In any event, the book came to a satisfying conclusion with Evie and McAlistair achieving their well deserved HEA. This is a wonderful Regency novel. A sigh worthy read. BTW, over all this is a "clean" novel. There are a few scorching kissing scenes and one love scene. But that was not graphic nor was it described in any real detail. I highly recommend this book!
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on November 8, 2013
This was a fantastic read. Set more or less in the regency era - no dates or specific period-defining details were listed - this lovely book takes its readers on a cross-country journey to hide the heroine from a possibly-non-existent threat to her life. Along for the ride is a very reluctant hero who was absolutely delicious. Tortured, damaged, brooding, panther-like... my favorite kind of hero. I probably would have rated this book a 5 on his character alone. But thankfully for everyone else, the rest of the cast was delightful and held their own. This was a character driven book. A lot of inner monologues, a lot of thoughts in mind-voice, not a lot of scenery, dress descriptions, or etiquette lessons. Some books do well with the latter three, and I do enjoy reading about them, when it is appropriate to and helpful for the story. This story could have been set in any time period and remained the same. The story completely revolved around the two main characters and it was marvelous. This is not a clean book, but it almost might as well have been. The single intimate scene was well-done, but not absolutely necessary to the plot. This book is certainly not a bodice-ripper by any means. I merely mention it as a point of interest for people who seek to avoid that sort of thing. In my opinion, an excellent read. Very highly recommended for all Regency Romance lovers.
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on March 2, 2013
Miss Evie Cole is an unlikely heroine, an orphan with a marred face and a definite limp, but McAlistair has loved her for eight years, from the moment the depressed assassin heard her wonderful laugh. Now her safety is threatened and McAlistair is willing to do anything to protect her, knowing that he will never be worthy of her.
The action is fun, though a little anti-climactic at the end; the villain's reasons for choosing her specifically are a little vague. Evie and McAlistair are good foils for one another: she brings him laughter and he gives her confidence in love. There is one sex scene, which is easily skipped over if you are so inclined. Overall, a quick, engaging read that I would probably pick up again . . . and maybe seek out more in the series.
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on March 7, 2014
My 3rd book in a row by Alissa Johnson. Love her writing and stories!! McAllistar being a hermit for the past 8 years and Evie a girl he has been in love with since the first time he heard her laugh. McAllistar who is a retired assassin and Evie who helps battered women and children escape their lives for a new one, set out on their own adventure when Evie's life is threaten. Evie thinking that it is a rouse to get her married, not knowing the threat is real. She falls in love but does not want to be a kept women, she needs her independence and her work she does. McAllistar realizing she's more important to him than anything makes a compromise. To me this was a beautifully written story. Now off to read book #4 by Ms. Johnson and see how Kate fairs in her story!!!
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on June 14, 2013
I was enchanted by the story of Evie and MacAlistair. Evie always felt lacking due to a scar on her face and a limp from a carriage accident in her childhood, but MacAlistair heard her laugh eight years before and fell in love. MacAlistair was a hermit and he liked the outdoors. Evie was a society lady and a woman who helped women and their children escape from men who abused them. She did her work anonymously, until a threatening letter was sent. At that time, her cousin, a friend of theirs and MacAlistair, the hermit decided Evie needed to be moved to a location where she could be more easily guarded. The ensuing adventure is quite an adventure for Evie and keeps the reader wanting to continue the story.
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on March 23, 2014
This was a very enjoyable book. I loved McAlistair. I really liked both the main characters. The story and plot were good. There was great sexual tension and the sex scene was very well written, not graphic in detail, just well written. There was not as much dialogue in this book as the previous two in the series, but that is because of the hero not full of words being a hermit for so long after his assassin days.
I am a fan of Alissa Johnson's writing. I totally recommend this book as well as the previous two book. I am totally going to read the last book in this series.
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on May 10, 2013
This is a sequel in a series of stories of three girls who were ahead of their time and dared to live out their convictions.Evie has survived a childhood carriage accident to carry out a family mission to rescue battered women and children. Her work puts her in danger. A threatening.letter sends her in the country with a hermit,McAlister.She has admired him from afar for eight years.He has loved her from the first time he heard her laugh. His past has dark secrets which lead to a culmination replete with intrigue from the War department, and steamy scenes in the kitchen of a country cottage. McAlister is a fascinating character.
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