Kramer, Kieran. When Harry Met Molly. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2010.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0312611644 | 420 pages | Regency Romance
Kieran Kramer is another new-to-me author, and despite some of the weird elements of the story, this was a book I enjoyed, and I will be reading more from her. One of Kramer’s strengths is developing likable characters. Molly has a lot of gumption, especially considering she is essentially a fish out of water as a sheltered young lady thrust into the position of false mistress. I liked that she challenged the men’s treatment of their mistresses, especially when it came to demeaning competitions like a sack race where the deciding factor in who won was who had the bounciest breasts, or when she was instrumental in helping one of the other women sneak out for a few hours to visit her child, who was staying nearby at her sister’s house.
Harry took a bit longer to like, considering at first he is the epitome of the boorish rake. But over time, he does evolve into someone who not only cares for Molly’s well-being, but for the other women’s as well, defending one of the other women when her protector is being abusive. And by the end of the book, there are more revelations that prove him to be much more honorable than I initially thought.
However, the entire premise of this novel requires an extreme suspension of disbelief. When the truth about the scheme came out, I found myself asking, “What did Harry and Molly think would happen?,” even if the exact circumstances of how it was all revealed was still something of a surprise. I found Molly in particular to be incredibly naive, as she contemplates at one point becoming Harry’s real mistress, although nothing comes of this.