Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Just when I think that Jolie Vines can’t make me fall in love with one of her heroes, she proves me wrong. Hunted, Vines’s newest book, features a hero in her Wild Mountain Scots series, the next-gen of her wildly popular Marry the Scots series, who is hands-down one of my favorites overall. I was intrigued with Cameron in the first book of this newest series, Obsessed. There has always been a steady quietude to Cameron, the son of William “Wasp” and Taylor whose story is featured in Picture This. Interestingly enough, Wasp was also one of my favorites in that series for the same qualities. As Hunted progresses, Cameron’s surety of spirit seen in Vines’s earlier books makes him more and more attractive. He isn’t flashy; he is dependable, trustworthy, and capable. Even more, he adores his heroine, Elise, a film actress ensconced in the poisonous world of Hollywood. While their chemistry isn’t entirely clear in the first eighth of Vines’s book, one of my criticisms of her book, Vines deftly crafts it over the course of their edge-of-your seat story.
After the first quarter of Hunted, you find a story that captivates you. One of the main reasons I adore Jolie Vines is her ability to create heroes like Cameron who absolutely adore their heroines to the point of bodily sacrifice. Each of her heroes would lay their life down for the woman they love. They don’t even need to know their heroine for long, and their dedication becomes otherworldly. Cameron and Elise are much of this. And this reader never tires of reading Vines’s heroes because they make me believe in this soulful love.
Underlying this foundation is Hunted’s story, one that is so familiar to anyone who reads the headlines. I love that Vines decided to tackle sexual harassment and the struggles of the #metoo movement through the scope of Elise’s character. Even more, she highlights the difficulties of anyone who has started in the business of Hollywood at a young age.
Besides heroes who adore their heroines, another trait that I adore about Vines’s romances is the steadiness of family. As you read story after story, the foundation of family is core to her series. Whether it’s the Marry the Scot, Wild Scot, or Wild Mountain Scot series, the McRae family provides a place for people who have been isolated to find a home. As Elise’s drama evolves in Hunted, it’s clear that she needs the home that is Cameron as her steadying force. It’s that realization that allows Vines’s readers to fall more deeply in love with the McRae family. It also underscores her message about the power of family to overcome the world.
Beyond Hunted’s delectable romance lies a story, revealed in small moments. With the exception of her beginning, Vines’s pacing for this story is key to keeping her reader engrossed. She reveals Elise and Cameron’s story in such a way that you feel compelled to turn the page to gain access to the sordid details of Elise’s story. Once I moved beyond the very beginning of Hunted, I couldn’t put this book down.
As I’ve mentioned before, my only issue with Hunted is its beginning. Elise and Cameron’s chemistry came from out of nowhere, instantly fiery without a more developed connection between the two. Additionally, Vines hints at some details in each of their stories that stop the reader to question why Vines isn’t revealing it immediately. It makes sense over the course of the story, but I found the foreshadowing too direct. I think she could have avoided it by staying silent until later in the story.
Honestly, in the grand scope of Hunted’s exceptional characterization and story, that is a minor detail. As I stated earlier, Cameron is now tied with his father for my favorite Vines hero. His love for Elise will make you swoon hard for him, and the happily-ever-after is the stuff that movies are made of.
In love and romance,