When Harry Met Molly
St. Martin’s, Nov 2 2010, $7.99
In 1808 thirteen year old Molly writes a love rectangle to her beloved Lord Roderick that in spite of changing the names accuses his fiancée her sister Penelope and his brother nineteen year old Harry of a tryst. Their families are outraged with Harry the spare exiled into the army for disloyalty to his family and Molly sent to Yorkshire to learn to behave at the Providence School for Wayward Girls.
In 1816, Harry is back enjoying high society when the Prince Regent names him and others as “Impossible Bachelors” and places a wager on who of these rakes has the most delicious mistress. On her way to Gretna Green to marry milksop Cedric Alliston, Molly meets Harry at a seedy inn with piss poor beer. Both are stunned to watch his lightskirt Aphrodite leave with her fiancé. Desperate as his sure shot win at the Most Impossible Bachelor competition left in a coach, Harry suggests to the enemy whose mouth left him in army for five years that she replace Aphrodite as his pretend mistress. She agrees reluctantly but as remittance he must find her a suitable loving husband. He agrees to her stipulation as he muses let the games begin to see who survives the single the royal contest.
This over the top of Big Ben (even with the clock not constructed for several decades to come) is a wild amusing Regency romance starring two likable protagonists who holds the other culpable for their exile. The story line is ultra fast-paced with the audience laughing at the gender war and the competition. With villains causing further humorous havoc, historical fans will relish this jocular look at who will be the last rake surviving the island.