Tempting Fate by Alissa Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My 2nd read by Ms. Johnson, her 2nd release (she's a relatively new author) and, yay, another winner. :)
Note on the series: You must read As Luck Would Have It before this one, because the 1st book has a plot twist that will be spoiled if you read these books out of order. The secret is out of the bag (for us readers, not the leading characters) in this 2nd book, but I won't mention it here and I'll write my review around it.
Whittaker Cole, Earl of Thurston, and Mirabelle Browning were introduced in the 1st book and it was clear from the start that they were meant to be together. Tempting Fate is their book, one that I grabbed imediately after I finished its predecessor.
When Mira was only 7 years old, her parents died in an outbreak of influenza and she was left in the guard of Lord Eppersly, an uncle she barely knew. It didn't take long until she realized that her guardian was a dissolute, debauched gentleman she should avoid at all cost. Luckily for her, Lady Thurston, one of her uncle's neighbors, decided to take Mira under her wings and basically raised her like she was one of her children. And that's how Mira became an honorary member of the Cole family... and a thorn on Whit's side.
No one knows exactly when Whit and Mira became "enemies for life" - and no one really cares, LOL - but their constant verbal sparring is a source of amusement for his family and friends. However, his mother asks them to put a stop to that - if not forever, at least temporarily. After some pondering, Whit and Mira agree... and, at first, don't know what to do with each other, since all they've done since they met is tease each other mercilessly. Obviously, they find new interesting things to do with each other soon enough... ;) But danger lurks around when William Fletcher, the head of England's War Department and a friend of the Cole family, tells Whit he suspects that Lord Eppersly is involved in forgery and asks him to spy on Mira's uncle. Eventually, Mira joins Whit on that mission and the more time they spend together, the more they realize there's more to their relationship than they thought.
This was a very fun, lovely read. Light but not fluffy, the strength of the story rests on the characters' charm. The witty banter and verbal sparring between Whit and Mira was delightful to read: it was clever, dynamic and humorous, without ever being mean or hurtful - not even when they still thought they "hated" each other. They gave as good as they get, with playfulness and no resentment. I loved them to pieces!
As the previous book in the series, the plot was far-fetched at times, but I was more than OK with it. These books are pure entertainment, and there's nothing wrong with that. Quite the contrary. :D
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