Marguerite Butler, |
The Mad Hatterlys #2:
Becoming Mr. Brooking
When Graham Hatterly decides to consider sponsoring Horace Tolliver's botany expedition, it seems like a simple business arrangement. Then his secretary Mr. Brooking takes ill, and light-spirited Mr. Hatterly decides to travel in his stead. Undercover, of course. Hard-pressed to provide for any guest, Edwina Tolliver finds herself saddled with housing and entertaining "Mr. Brooking" throughout a flood. As Graham learns more about the Tollivers, his own expedition grows into much more than Becoming Mr. Brooking.
This book is like strawberry cheesecake. It fulfills all the sweet, cheesy expectations of this type of story, yet somehow makes it seem fruity-fresh and organic. I believe it's the inherent likability of the two leads. They are charismatic characters with chemistry who transcend their roles. Yes, Graham Hatterly is the gadabout playboy, but his issues are treated as real faults, not dramatic allure. Edwina Tolliver's different-from-society behavior highlights a character I'd like to befriend, rather than a stereotype or the folly of normal society. Her temper is particularly admirable. Their interactions include everything you'd want in awkwardly close-environment encounters, while progressing in natural ways and for good reasons.
Basically, this is a light, quick read that made me laugh, while the characters made me smile. I'd like to read it again. Plus, we spend more time with people from Compromising Prudence in a way that builds on the family dynamics of the Mad Hatterlys rather than being simple cameos. So far, this is a fun family to discover.
book review by
20 July 2013
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