The Guise of a Gentleman may have landed Donna Hatch straight on my bookshelf of authors to keep an eye on. This story was both tender, amusing, and full of suspense at the same time. From the very first, when Elise and Jared meet in that so unconventional manner, their playful banter and the subtle undercurrents that underlaid every sentence was mesmerizing. The question of just what Jared was hiding and whether he would get away with it kept me flipping pages far past my bedtime.
Under Donna Hatch's pen, every character comes vividly to life -- I especially appreciate how Elise wasn't a virginal young miss waiting to be Jared's saviour. That departure from the usual tropes, combined with her son and her original intent to not remarry again made for a charming introduction to her. Colin, contrary to what I though, wasn't a throwaway character. He and his relationship with his mother formed the basis of much of the story and it was a joy to read.
My only quibble with the story might only be that Jared seemed to have an overwhelming sense of self-lack when it came to Elise. Not that one could truly blame him, but sometimes that pedestal got to be just a wee bit annoying. Sometimes I almost wanted Elise to come down with a terrible case of acne or a fit of shrewishness so he could stop idolizing her. Not too large a complaint, as far as such ones go.
Now that I've picked this story up, I can't wait to see if Jared's brothers will find wives of their own in upcoming books. Grant, for example, I positively await his fall into love with evil glee.