REVIEW: The Importance of Being Alice by Katie MacAlister
Nothing about Alice Wood’s life is normal right now. Her fiancé, Patrick, called off their wedding and relationship only days before their nonrefundable wedding trip. And though a luxurious European river cruise for one is just what she needs, it’s not what she gets….
Due to a horrible misunderstanding, Alice is now cramped in her “romantic” suite with one of Patrick’s friends. Instead of cruising along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers sipping champagne with the love of her life, she’s navigating the waters with a strange—yet mysteriously handsome—British aristocrat.
A baron of dubious wealth—and not-so-dubious debt—Elliot Ainslie is just looking forsome alone time to write the books that keep his large family afloat. But his stodgy, serious self is about to be sidetracked by a woman who seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale, one who is determined to shake up his life…and include him in her own happily ever after.
Dear Ms. Macalister,
Since this book is the first of this series, there is more backdrop and set up than in the third one I read earlier this summer “Daring in a Blue Dress. Whereas that one only briefly dealt with the Ainslie family as a whole then went on to a plot that while frenetic was also a bit more believable, this one purposelessly trotted out more family and ended up barely taking the corners on two wheels.
Others have described this book as fun, silly and improbable. Yet even despite the 0->60 romance, some time is taken to ensure that Alice and Elliott actually feel something for each other beyond sexual attraction. Still as they openly acknowledge to everyone and themselves, the time between “Hello, my name is …” and “I do” is lightning fast. Elliott’s kooky family, the basis for upcoming books, is also a stretch to believe and comes complete with an outspoken and oblivious mother who bulldozes her way through her children’s lives and heaps too much responsibility on her eldest son.
I was enjoying the European river boat cruise setting complete with Alice discovering the joys and charms of Amsterdam coffeehouses and kinky German sex clubs. The souvenirs she and Elliott amass along the way are hilarious. They begin to fall for each other aside from the “full on” wonderful sexy times. Then suddenly we get way fast “I love yous” and a “whoa that was fast” marriage of sorts. Then the cruise gets abandoned and Alice proves her “I’m in this for the long haul” chops in a quest for Elliott. I’m wondering about the legality of her stay in the UK but I guess the (second and this time legitimate) marriage squares that.
Once the mutual love is established and everyone’s back together in England, the plot kind of slips a gear and resorts to a little misunderstanding – which is quickly dealt with – before veering towards (boring) castle refurbs and finishes up by heading improbably back to the main and never cleared up Big Mis for an OTT wedding night that is in no way believable. The sexy and funny banter is great and very enjoyable. The romance is extremely fast and needs some reader tolerance of almost insta-love but the resolution of the other plot point is absolutely out of control even for a comedy romance. B-/C+