Katie Macalister is one of the most delightful (and prolific) writers in Romance today. She is not Shakespeare, but then I, for one, thank goodness for that! We already have old Will. When I want the Scottish Play, I blow the dust of my very ancient copies and read it. When I want sheer fun, I look to Lynsay Sands and Katie Macalister. I love British humour (works out nice since I am Scot!), but that dry wit is often missing in the works of a lot of American writers. I am not talking about highbrow humour, but that you-can't-help-but-howl-aloud Benny Hill wacko laughs! The kind that has your erupting with buffos, has people looking at you as if you have gone around the bend one too many times, the kind that has your husband exiling you from the living room while he is trying to watch CASI because you are making too much noise. Many writers can provoke a giggle. Few make me laugh so hard I hurt. There is nothing more special a writer can do for you. They leave you feeling good all over.
And Trouble With Harry is a sheer delight from page one! One of my favourite Hitchcock movies carries this name. It was deadpan humour that was just so on target, so it's not surprising to find this book is the same. It's a delightful Regency - and from the opening scene where beleaguered Harry is trying to explain the facts of "womanhood" to his eldest daughter - you are already laughing out loud!
The Trouble with Harry, 45-years-old- is a father, coming to parenthood late in life. There in little India - no longer the little angel sent to grace her life since she is in urgent need to know about the birds and the bees, the twins trying to "fly" from the barn roof again, Marston - Harry's heir - who thinks he would rather be a blacksmith than the next Marquis Rosse, and MacTavish who presents his father dear with his latest "finds". Harry, left to raise his five hellions...um, precocious darlings on his own, faces the decision he has to remarry, find a good stable woman who can bring some semblance to his chaotic life. Being a smart man, he immediately instructs Templeton, his man of affairs to find him a suitable wife by advertising for one.
He would like a companion suited to him, and one who could bring peace to his herd, so he wants Templeton to move quickly before word gets out Lord Harry needs a wife. He dictates he wants a woman between 35-50, who must like children and be possesses a "certain charm to her appearance", though it's not absolutely necessary. While she might not have to be toothsome, he would like to look at her and not think of a bulldog!
Enters Plum. She desperately wants a family, would love children, but no man in all of Dorset would accept her "after the scandal" - well, no man except Harry. She was married once, well almost married. Charles her husband, forgot to mention one little thing before their marriage - that he already had a wife! But Plum is understanding and does not judge all men by Charles. Also, she is an author of "The Guide to Connubial Calisthenics" - a book deemed so obscene to be banned by the government. Plum answers the ad in the paper and is shocked to find after answering three questions that Harry and she are engaged to be married the day after tomorrow. And the fun begins.
Katie Macalister gives us a wonderful, funny tale of middle-age people who think romance has past them by. Three cheers for Macalister and let's hope she keeps them coming! No one does them quite like her!