This was a 4.5 read for me. A couple unfortunate blips, but all-in-all a really enjoyable read.
We first really got to know Mr. Hunter in McAlistair's Fortune where he was the pragmatic protector among the several bodyguards Evie ended up with. He suggested using her as bait, for instance.
Kate is Whit's younger sister who tends to run into things, smear ink all over herself and find unidentifiable stains on the hems of her gowns. A perfect beauty with an entourage of suitors who avoid her like the plague when she stands anywhere near food.
Hunter (as he's called by those friendly with him) has intended to marry Kate Cole for a long time. She represents the pinnacle of his success. A rags to riches hero, he measures everything in life by their material worth. However, not to be too harsh on the guy, one main reason he chose Kate was because he likes and respects her. He enjoys her company.
Kate doesn't trust him and tries to put him off. He looms
. His persistence pays off, however, and soon they become friends. The attraction between them is unmistakable and I enjoyed every scene where they were together.
The problems came near the end. Hunter has ancient history with another character. Very important (to his development) and poignant history. We barely see any scenes with them together. When they finally talk to each other we don't even get to see it. That conversation was crucial to the story and its absence is noticeable.
The next problem I had was with the culmination of Kate's dream. Again, it was somewhat skipped. We get a hint and then, buh-bye. Not good enough. We've been aware of this since the second book of the series, so we need to see more than just "it's about to happen!" followed by "and they lived happily ever after."
And the next problem is the inclusion of Whit and Mirabelle but the exclusion of any scenes of them together. I think they were in the same room together once. I love that couple! That was very disappointing.
But the chemistry and banter between the hero and heroine was excellent. I adored their love story. I loved Hunter's inner thoughts, how he tried to keep control of the situation and it kept spinning away from him.
And big kudos to Johnson for tackling the misuse of the term "begs the question". Since that's a pet peeve of mine, I actually said "yes!" out loud.
Alissa Johnson is a really enjoyable writer. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.