Title: The Importance of Being Alice
Series: Ainslie Brothers #1
Author: Katie MacAlister
Format: eBook/Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published: January 6th 2015 by Signet
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
From New York Times bestselling author Katie MacAlister comes a series about finding your own wonderland—through one roadblock at a time...
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.
An author, Elliot is just looking for some alone time to write. 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.
Elliot - Elliot waved absently, making a decision right then and there. He'd take the trip that Patrick offered. A cruise down Europe's most famous rivers couldn't be any more disruptive than home, after all.
Alice -I stood up shaking the laptop at nothing. "He made me think we were going to get married at the end of this trip! He had me look up the laws for Americans getting married in Budapest!"
"Ball-hanging is too good for him. He serves something worse. Off with his head!"
"I will take that trip!" I yelled at the small living room filled with boxes that I had yet to unpack. "And I will enjoy myself! A lot!"
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ALICE by Katie Macalister is the first book in her brand new Ainslie Brothers series. Katie is one of my long-time favorite authors. I can still remember the day I happily picked up Katie's first book in her Dark Ones series, A GIRLS GUIDE TO VAMPIRES, many years ago. I now consider it a classic in the vampire genre and I confess to having read it multiple times - each time has been a treat as that story never grows stale. Since then, I've read every one of her DARK ONES books; Each one has been a treasure. When I saw Katie was starting a new series, it was a no-brainer; I had to read it!
First of all, be aware that there is a discrepancy in the name of the series. Goodreads has it listed as The Ainslie Brothers and Amazon and Barnes and Noble list it as A Matchmaker in Wonderland. I have since found out that both series' names are correct. Whatever it is called, if you crave some playful levity in your reading, you will want to check out this series!
This book is the tale of Alice Wood and Elliot Edmund Richard Ainslie, the eighth Baron Ainslie. As the book opens, we meet stodgy Elliot. The man has the weight of the world on his shoulders in the form of an intriguing, badgering family of moochers. We learn that Elliot is a successful author of spy thrillers and he desperately needs some alone time to get some writing done - as his books pay the bills which support his extended family and keeps up their castle home. An old college friend, Patrick, calls Elliot opportunely with an offer that he cannot refuse. Patrick offers him a ticket on a cruise that will go unused if Elliot doesn't take it. Patrick explains that he was originally supposed to take it with his then fiance, Alice, but he'd broken off their engagement and neither he nor Alice would be using their tickets. Elliot could have a cabin on the ship all to himself! It's the perfect solution for Elliot; How can he say no?
Quirky, effervescent Alice is still reeling from her her ex-fiance's rejection. One minute they were set to be married at the end of their European river cruise and the next she found herself bereft on the street. Back home in America, she keeps thinking about the cruise they were scheduled to take together and how she'd paid for half of it. Even though she had vehemently informed Patrick that her ticket would go unused, she changes her mind at the last minute as a cruise is just what she needs to help her escape the left-at-the-altar blues. Little did she know that her ex-fiance had given his ticket to a staid English lord and that she'd have an unexpected roomie.
I loved both the characters! They were the epitome of opposites attract. The story is told in their alternating points of view - and that helped me quickly connect to both characters. Their chemistry just clicked and their sex scenes were sexy and hilarious at the same time. Elliot's British accent was a huge turn-on for Alice and her innocent, spirited appreciation for life was a big attraction for Elliot. I know one thing! I want to take the same cruise that they were on!
I have to mention two favorite scenes. The first occurred in a German sex club when the couple rented a pirate's boat room complete with parrot nipple clamps. There's complications, of course, as something doesn't work right. It was absolutely comical...
"It could have been quite worse," he agreed magnanimously.
"And those two guys who felt up your butt while the maintenance dude was working on that hinge were kicked out because they violated the 'must have fondler's consent' rule, or so that pink-haired woman who spoke English said, so at least they won't do that to the next guy trapped in the stocks."
"I will sleep easier knowing that."
The second is a scene in their cabin on the boat. Alice has gone to take a shower and, while waiting for her return, Elliott has a conversation with his genitals for the first time in his life. Here's just one snipped from that very funny scene:
"Hell," he said, looking down his body. "I shouldn't have thought about that just yet. Now Alice is going to come out of the bathroom and see you standing there being demanding. That's not very gentlemanly...."
This just made him even harder.
With a sigh, he snatched up her pirate hat and slapped it over his crotch. "There. Now we can at least present the semblance of a man who doesn't have a single track mind."
Following please find two more favorite quotes. I have to say that I had never heard of knitted willy-warmers until I read this book. LOL! I certainly appreciate books that educate me without my knowledge.:
"I have a hat for it, actually." Elliott made a vague gesture with one hand. "Well, it's more of a full-body suit, really."
"Is that a euphemism for a condom?"
"No." He marched past me and lay down on the bed. "My mother knitted me a willy-warmer a few years back when we were having a cold stretch. She felt I wasn't like to produce the grandchildren she desires if I had as she put it, frost-shriveled parts."
"Are you going to last if I start nibbling at your ankles and work my way up?"
"No. You might make it to my knee, but only if I think about starving children and venereal warts."
I really enjoy Katie's witty writing style and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ALICE is a treat. It's a fun book - and is not meant to be taken seriously. The perfectly satisfying ending had a surprising twist that I totally didn't see coming. If you are looking for a book with lots of laughs (LOTS!), some quickie sex scenes, with a wee bit of entertaining suspense, I highly recommend THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ALICE!
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S ROMP, the second book in this series, featuring Gunner Ainslie's story (one of Elliot's brothers) was published early this month. I can't wait to read it!