cover image Daring in a Blue Dress

Daring in a Blue Dress

Katie MacAlister. Signet, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-1-101-99066-7

Two adorably matched leads come together in MacAlister's flawed contemporary romance, third in her Matchmaker in Wonderland series (after A Midsummer Night's Romp) . Mercy Starling takes a summer job working for a medieval combat troupe scheduled to spend three weeks at Bestwood Hall, the ramshackle estate Alden Ainslie bought with his last shilling and hopes to flip for a profit. There's a brief case of mistaken identity when he assumes his meddling sister-in-law's tried to set Mercy up with him. Alden and Mercy complement each other wonderfully; both are perpetual students, she draws him out of his shell, and their chemistry is funny and sexy. Broad humor%E2%80%94including a running gag about birds called hairy tits%E2%80%94avoids slapstick territory. Unfortunately, the machinations of the sister-in-law create some plot inconsistencies, and Lisa, Mercy's irritating foil, is all the more grating because of her illogical motivations. Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary. (June)