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McAlistair's Fortune (2009)

by Alissa Johnson(Favorite Author)
3.78 of 5 Votes: 5
0843962518 (ISBN13: 9780843962512)
Leisure Historical
review 1: 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 IS... moreN'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 Our heroine, Evie, suffers from a limp and a stutter---yet she's not withdrawn, self-pitying or insecure.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!
review 2: Oh, I so wanted to love this one. I couldn't wait to get my hands on Evie and McAlsiter's story; I loved learning in the previous book, Tempting Fate how he secretly watched and loved Evie for eight years. I hoped for a sweet story of Evie pulling the war harden recluse back into society. What I got was a long, drawn out story with too much internal dialogue and a lot of nothing going on. Saying that, I'm still glad I read the book and there were some great scenes between Evie and McAlister, I just wish there were more. Now I'm off to read Kate's story, Destined to Last. less
Reviews (see all)
This is an enjoyable regency period romance wih engaging characters.
It was good but not as good as the first two books in the series
3.5 stars.
3.5 stars
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