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When Harry Met Molly (Impossible Bachelors) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Kramer's debut Regency manages an impressive recovery from a ludicrous premise. Lady Molly Fairbanks's fiancé ditches her for Lord Harry Traemore's mistress on the eve of the Most Impossible Bachelor competition, so the rakish Harry suggests that bluestocking Molly take his lost lightskirt's place. If she is voted by the other bachelors as the Most Delectable Companion, he wins the competition and gets a year's reprieve from the "shameless pursuit" of the marriage-minded. Molly hesitatingly agrees, but makes Harry promise that if they win, he will find her a handsome, loving husband. Skeptical readers should relax and enjoy the light and frothy ride. At times the humor leans too far toward the zany, and notions of historical accuracy must be set aside, but these concerns fade away as Kramer's engaging writing turns stock characters into a vivid and loving couple. (Nov.) (c)
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*Starred Review* Cedric Alliston might be a spineless fop, but he is Molly Fairbanks’ spineless fop, and Molly’s soon-to-be new husband. Until Molly spots Cedric driving away in his carriage with Harry Traemore’s latest mistress, the lovely Fiona, leaving Molly stranded in a remote inn. When Fiona abandons him for another man, Harry begins to think his hope of winning “The Most Delectable Companion” wager set up by the Prince Regent is shot to hell. Unless, of course, Harry can find another mistress pronto. Despite the fact that they have been nemeses ever since they met years ago, both Harry and Molly realize working together might have some advantages. Unless, of course, one of them kills the other one first. In her exceptionally entertaining literary debut, Kramer deftly sifts deliciously humorous writing, a cast of exceptionally entertaining characters, a outrageously inventive yet convincing plot, and a splendidly sexy love story into a delectable literary confection that will have Regency historical readers begging for seconds. --John Charles
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First, I must start-off by saying that the premise is absolutely ridiculous. I really don't care about that when it comes to historical romances: pirates, frequent cases of amnesia, long lost daughters and sons, heretofore unknown titles and fortunes - doesn't matter to me. If I want reality, I'll pick up my non-fiction books or the newspaper. However, I know that some readers will be put off by this and so I wanted to say that upfront. (Personally, I could have done without the Prinny component - don't really like when authors bring in real-life historical people).
Most of the book (aside from the beginning and ending - see below) was very enjoyable. I liked Harry (29) and Molly (21) and I think the evolution of their relationship was fun to watch. You can tell from the beginning that they dislike one another and while they started to change their opinions and became aware of one another's physical attractions a little too early for me, it still felt authentic and believable. The chemistry between them was good (very sizzling tent scene), though I thought most of the romance scenes seemed a little rushed and glazed-over.
Harry and Molly were sweet together, funny, and seemed to really "get" one another. I loved the idea of them being the "misfits" in their families - and thus fitting together perfectly - and actually thought more could have been done with this. They did have some serious talks about their families, their roles, etc., but I think this could have been further developed, thereby adding even more depth to their relationship. The families themselves remain an unknown even at the end really, as we're just barely introduced to them. I thought this was odd, since so much about these characters, their lives, and the plot, is defined by their family members.
I *very much* appreciated the fact that Molly remained Molly. So many times in romances, the used-to-be-different heroine is thrown into a situation in which she, surprise surprise, all of a sudden becomes a sensual goddess and oh how can the hero resist?! That did not happen here and I found myself rooting for Molly and cheering her on every time she told someone what she actually thought or won someone over by just being herself.
I also liked that the other mistresses were actual three-dimensional characters (for the most part ... Hildur?!). At the beginning, I thought they were going to be flat, boring, and the typical catty witches that we see all too often in these books. Surprisingly enough, they all had distinct personalities and ended up really adding to the story.
The men, in comparison to their mistresses, were somewhat lackluster - surprising, since this is a series of four books, so one can assume the three friends will be the heroes in the other stories. The "bad guy" was kind of all over the place and somewhat confusing - he's mean, yet maybe he's not, yet he really is ...? I didn't understand the point of his back story and thought it just made his role in the plot - other than providing menace and bringing everything to a head - unclear to me.
The book started off on a mediocre note. I liked the characters, have a fondness for enemies-turned-lovers books, and prefer stories where the hero and heroine have known each other for awhile, as it makes the romance more believable for me. However, certain passages and exchanges felt very forced. It was like the book was trying to be of the historical romance genre, instead of actually just being one ... don't know if that makes sense, but best way I know how to explain it.
As previously said, the story improved and the majority of it was actually entertaining, enjoyable, fun, and light. ... Then the ending ruined everything. Seriously! It wasn't the last chapter, but right before that when you have the climax and everything is resolved. Honestly, every plot line and their grandmother were brought out, paraded around, and dealt with. At a grand ball, no less. In front of everyone. All speaking in very loud voices. Across a huuuuuge ballroom. (Why would it NOT occur to some of those characters that whatever was going to be said should be said in private??) It honestly was ridiculous and really brought the book down for me. It just made the whole thing seem like a farce, stretched the resolutions out way too long, made me feel like I was at a tennis match, and was very unnecessary.
Is it worth a read? Yes. How you get it - through the library or bookstore - is your call. Kramer has talent and I'm looking forward to her next book - I just can't get the ending of this one out of my head!!! (P.S. That Harry would make Molly go into the "kissing closet" with one of the other men for three minutes on that first night, knowing that she's never really been kissed, *bugged* me a lot! Note: She uses her wits to get out of the kissing, but still!)
Book 1 - WHEN HARRY MET MOLLY
Book 2 - Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right
Book 3 - Cloudy With A Chance Of Marriage
Book 4 - ?
If you like the enemies-to-friends historical romances, check out the following books ...
(1) Tempting Fate (Providence Series, Book 2) by Alissa Johnson - 4.5 stars
(2) A Woman of Virtue (Lorimer Family, Book 1) by Liz Carlyle - 5 stars
(3) The Rake (Lessons in Love, Book 1) by Suzanne Enoch - 4 stars
(4) The Matchmaker (Maker Series, Book 1) by Rexanne Becnel - 5 stars
(5) His Wicked Ways by Samantha James - 5 stars
(6) A Notorious Love (Swanlea Spinsters, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries - 4 stars
(1) Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James - 4.5 stars
(2) Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie - 5 stars
This book has just the right mix of silliness, playfulness and heartbreak and despair. Throughout the book I really came to care for both Harry and Molly and their relationship felt believable.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next installment in the series.
Kindle formatting is excellent.
Most recent customer reviews
Molly and Harry had a run in when they were younger they despised each other...Read more