Tuesday, December 28, 2010
When Harry Met Molly
Lady Molly Fiarbanks and Lord Harry Traemore have been enemies since they were young and Molly revealed that Harry had kissed his brother's fiance, Molly's sister Penelope, during a large Christmas party. Molly had been sent to a strict boarding school to rusticate and Harry to the army and while their siblings forgave each other and had a happy marriage, they never got along at any family functions. After years in the country and no real hope of making a good match Molly decides to elope with her father's assistant, Cedric, but while stopped at an inn they run into Harry and his ladylove, Fiona. Harry is competing in The Impossible Bachelor wager proposed by the Prince Regent; whoever of the five bachelors has the most Delectable Companion will win a year free of matchmaking and the four losers will draw straws to decide who will have to marry within two months. When Cedric takes off with Harry's mistress, Molly has no means of transportation and Harry risks forfeiting the wager and being forced to marry quickly
Molly agrees to pretend to be Harry's mistress at the party at his hunting cabin in exchange for Harry helping her find a husband during the season. With a lot of makeup and some new dresses Molly is almost ready, but Harry knows that there is more to being a mistress than looking the part. He starts Molly's tutelage with some kissing lessons that she is more than happy to participate in. Unfortunately the competition doesn't go as well as practice and all the other bachelor's seem to realize that something is not quite right with Harry's new mistress. Nonetheless Harry is an awe of the way that Molly manages to befriend the other mistresses and maintain her upbeat attitude about the competition even while participating in "bouncy" competitions. But Sir Richard Bell, another competitor, has harbored a hatred of Harry for years and he will not leave Molly alone and the two of them worry that he will blow Molly's cover. Neither knows how they will be able to leave the other when their time together is at an end, but Harry believes Molly deserves someone better and she believes that he does not want to marry. Both of their families and an enemy will stir the pot before they can have their happily ever after.
I was really looking forward to reading the book as it seemed like a very fun romp and I always like discovering new authors and luckily I was not disappointed. Molly was incredibly fun and lighthearted and even though it did sometimes come across as immature or a little too romantic, it made sense given her upbringing and it worked so well with her character. She was so upbeat and her befriending the other mistresses was so in character and showed how friendly and really just how great she was. It was made even better because Kramer's writing style showcased perfectly what Molly was thinking and was very in keeping with how she behaved throughout the novel. It was really the perfect style for this novel. Harry was also great because he was noble and cared so much about Molly and yet he did not believe that he was and tried to pretend that he was not head over heels in love. I liked their past as enemies and some of their fights were truly hilarious and yet it did not stop either of them from being able to move on and find themselves happy in the others' company. Every interaction these two had was interesting, fun, well written, and just wonderful to read.
The wager itself was a little ridiculous but one thing I have learned from these romance novels is that the Prince Regent was apparently quite capable of creating such a contest and requiring his poor subjects to subject themselves to it. The contests in the competition were really quite embarrassing and I loved that Molly threw herself into them whole heartedly and made sure the others were doing so as well. I wish there had been more of these competitions in the novel because they showcased how independent Molly was and how much Harry was coming to care for her as he worried about her feelings about losing and if they were embarrassing. There were quite a few sexy scenes that were very well done but no sex until the very very end and while that normally frustrates me it was really in keeping with the book and how their relationship progressed so I didn't quite mind it so much. The ending got a little crazy though as the evil Richard tried to ruin both of their lives and then both Molly and Harry were "forced" into doing things they didn't really want to do and it took of a lot of craziness for everything to work itself out and it was just a little too nuts for me at the end.
Rating: Amazing characters and a really fun read, but there could have been more sex and a less crazy ending and perhaps some more seriousness all around.