Friday, November 26, 2010

When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer - A Review

When Harry Met Sally is a light romance, a fun and fluffy romp through Regency England.  I really enjoyed it, although I haven't been "into" romances for a year or so. 

Harry is the younger son of a duke, sent from home in disgrace and forced to join the army at the age of 18 after Molly, the second daughter of an earl whose estate neighbors the duke's, tattles on him for kissing her older sister who happens to be the fiance of Harry's older brother. Molly, who was 13 at the time, is also sent away in disgrace to a school in the north of England for her bad behavior. Harry and Molly meet again when she is around 20 and on the verge of spinsterhood, which is the reason she is at an inn on the way to Gretna Green with a vacuous but oh-so-handsome friend of her father's. Harry, named one of the Impossible Bachelors by the Prince Regent, is at the same inn with his mistress, an equally vacuous but oh-so-beautiful woman, on the way to his hunting box for a week's debauchery. Molly's reluctant suitor and Harry's petulant mistress elope together, leaving Molly stranded alone far from home and Harry in a lot of trouble. The Impossible Bachelors have been ordered by Prinny to engage in a competition, and if Harry doesn't show up at the hunting box with the Most Delectible Mistress in tow, he will be forced to marry a woman chosen by the other Impossible Bachelors.

You can see where this is going.

There was a problem or two, mostly with believability, and many of the scenes at the hunting box with the bachelors and the mistresses were plain silly, but overall it was funny, touching (it even brought tears to my eyes in one place), and multi-dimensional. Even the villain had a redeeming quality. At first I disliked Molly ~ she started out acting like a real twit ~ and Harry wasn't all that appealing either. But during the course of the adventure, as layers of guilt and wrong-headedness were peeled from them, they became completely loveable, and by the end I liked both a lot and was rooting for them.

The ending? Well, it was one of the improbable scenes I mentioned above, and a bit too facile in my opinion, but, once I managed to turn the "suspension of my disbelief" up a notch, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of how things worked out.

There was, as you can imagine, quite a bit of sex, but I found I wasn't skimming those scenes as I usually do; they actually had substance to them, as well as humor. And some of the scenes with Molly and the mistresses were as amusing as they were touching.

Recommended for fans of Regency romances.

DISCLAIMER: I got the paperback copy free from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for a review.  Neither my opinion nor my review were influenced thereby.


Teresa Thomas Bohannon said...

I love light and fluffy...that is one of the reasons that Regency Romance novels are my favorites. You can pick one up read, enjoy, forget all the demands of the real world for a few minutes or a couple of hours--and even put it easily down and go back to it later knowing that a happy ending awaits whenever you are in the mood. For me, with Regencies, it's all about the language and the witty repartee...the more the merrier.

Mary K. from L.A. said...

Hi, Teresa! Thanks for your comment! Well said and so true ~ Regency romances when done well make for wonderful moments of escape.

This one might not have been all that realistic, but, as you pointed out, that's the point ~ to get away from reality. It took me right out of my currently not-so-fun everyday life for awhile, made me laugh and even cry just a bit, and I went back to reality with a lighter heart.

Alyssa from Hunger Games Summary said...

The initial premise sounds so much like a cliché... but the book itself is pretty good I think.