When Harry Met Molly [NOOK Book]

Overview

Dashing Lord Harry Traemore is perfectly content to live out his days in the pursuit of pleasure. But when he?s named by the Prince Regent as one of society?s ?Impossible Bachelors,? Harry is drafted into a ribald romantic wager. The rules of engagement are scandalously simple: The bachelor whose mistress wins the title of ?Most Delectable Companion? gets to remain unmarried. Harry is utterly unconcerned about his status...until his latest ...

See more details below
When Harry Met Molly

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

Dashing Lord Harry Traemore is perfectly content to live out his days in the pursuit of pleasure. But when he’s named by the Prince Regent as one of society’s “Impossible Bachelors,” Harry is drafted into a ribald romantic wager. The rules of engagement are scandalously simple: The bachelor whose mistress wins the title of “Most Delectable Companion” gets to remain unmarried. Harry is utterly unconcerned about his status...until his latest lightskirt abandons him.

Enter Lady Molly Fairbanks. Harry’s childhood friend— actually, “foe” is more like it—is the most unlikely companion of all. She’s attractive but hot-headed, and in no mood for games. Besides, what could the self-indulgent Harry possibly know about what makes a woman delectable? It’s time for Molly to teach him a lesson once and for all...but will it lead to “happily ever after”?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kramer's debut Regency manages an impressive recovery from a ludicrous premise. Lady Molly Fairbanks's fiancé ditches her for Lord Harry Traemore's mistress on the eve of the Most Impossible Bachelor competition, so the rakish Harry suggests that bluestocking Molly take his lost lightskirt's place. If she is voted by the other bachelors as the Most Delectable Companion, he wins the competition and gets a year's reprieve from the "shameless pursuit" of the marriage-minded. Molly hesitatingly agrees, but makes Harry promise that if they win, he will find her a handsome, loving husband. Skeptical readers should relax and enjoy the light and frothy ride. At times the humor leans too far toward the zany, and notions of historical accuracy must be set aside, but these concerns fade away as Kramer's engaging writing turns stock characters into a vivid and loving couple. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"In her exceptionally entertaining literary debut, Kramer deftly sifts deliciously humorous writing, a cast of exceptionallyentertaining characters, a outrageously inventive yet convincing plot, and a splendidly sexy love story into a delectable literary confection that will have Regency historical readers begging for seconds." — Book List, starred review

 

"Clever banter, stellar pacing, and appealing, exceptionally well-drawn characters make this fresh, sexy, and gloriously funny debut a knockout and a perfect start to Kramer's Regency-set quartet." —Library Journal, starred review

 

"You’ll smile and even laugh out loud reading Kramer’s delectable debut—even the title’s nod to the famous film elicits a grin. With her perfect sense of pacing, comic timing, poignancy and marvelous characterization, this utterly enchanting new voice will have you eager for more. " RT BOOKreviews

 

“This book is better than dessert!”—Celeste Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of Rogue in My Arms

“Kieran Kramer pens a delightful Regency confection...a wonderfully bright debut.”—Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of A Courtesan’s Scandal

 

"A delectable debut...I simply adored it!"- New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn

Library Journal
Lady Molly Fairbanks and Lord Harry Traemore have hated each other ever since she was 13 and her ill-advised poem scandalized his family and sent Harry off to the army and herself to Yorkshire. Eight years later, they are thrown together when bizarre circumstances force Molly into playing the part of Harry's "false mistress" at a weeklong country house party and competing for the title of "Most Delectable Companion" in order to save her reputation—and Harry's bachelor status. VERDICT Clever banter, stellar pacing, and appealing, exceptionally well-drawn characters make this fresh, sexy, and gloriously funny debut a knockout and a perfect start to Kramer's Regency-set quartet. She lives in South Carolina.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429947015
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Series: Impossible Bachelors , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 156,123
  • File size: 476 KB

Meet the Author



USA Today best-selling author and double-Rita finalist Kieran Kramer writes Regency historical romances for St. Martin's Press. IF YOU GIVE A GIRL A VISCOUNT, the fourth and last book in her Impossible Bachelors series, is on sale now. Her new series, House of Brady, premiers in August 2012. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran's also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at kierankramerbooks.com.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
June 1816
Lord Harry Traemore knew the man next to him in the private room at his club in London—Lord Wray, who’d slithered to the floor and begun snoring—might appear to most passersby to be passive, even sleeping. But Harry and his old schoolmates from Eton, their reasoning skills gently manipulated by rather copious amounts of brandy, realized this prone position of Wray’s was actually his attempt to bravely endure his fate.
After all, Wray was to be married in the morning. And everyone knew his future wife was . . .
Exactly like his mother.
“I’m sad,” Harry’s friend Charles Thorpe, Viscount Lumley, said, an empty snifter dangling from his hand. “A good friend’s freedom is being taken away.”
Lumley was rich as Croesus, with the most twinkling blue eyes Harry had ever seen and a grin that could light up Vauxhall Gardens at midnight better than any fireworks.
“It’s not right,” said Captain Stephen Arrow. His naval uniform, crisp and distinguished with its gold braid and buttons, offset the casual manner in which he sprawled in his chair. “He put up a good fight, didn’t he?”
Harry sloshed some brandy into his mouth. He couldn’t even taste its flavor anymore. His tongue . . . it felt numb. And his lips, for that matter. It wasn’t often he drank this much—contrary to the stories told about him, which he did nothing to deny.
But tonight was different. Tonight he felt the brush of the nuptial guillotine close to his own neck. He didn’t want to marry. Not for a long, long time, not until he was truly cornered by familial obligation. And as far as he knew, that would likely never happen.
Harry was simply a spare. Only if his robust older brother Roderick somehow stuck his spoon in the wall before his wife Penelope produced a son—the next heir to the House of Mallan—would Harry’s potential as a bridegroom begin to matter. Penelope had already produced four daughters—his splendid little nieces Helen, Cassandra, Juliet, and Imogen—so it couldn’t be long now before she gifted Roderick with the son the whole family craved, even prayed for.
Because it wouldn’t do, Harry knew from whispers in the servants’ hall and the perpetually disappointed expressions on his parents’ faces, for disgraced Harry—the returning war hero who was not a hero but should have been—to be merely one person away from inheriting the ducal title.
No, that wouldn’t do at all.
Which was why Harry was so averse to marriage in the first place. Why take on yet another person in his life who would only disdain him?
Wray smacked his lips and shifted on the floor.
“At least he’s out of his pain,” said Nicholas Staunton, Lord Maxwell, in that unruffled tone of his. Cool, mysterious, and rather unconventional despite his strong aristocratic lineage, Maxwell, Harry was well aware, was unlikely to voice an observation unless he were truly moved to do so. He raised a quizzing glass and observed Wray further. “I understand he’s had a hell of a year. Dozens of debutantes and their mothers chasing him without cease.”
“Poor sod,” said Harry, looking down at Wray. “He was even thrown into a carriage by two masked thugs and almost forced to elope with the Barnwell girl, but he leaped out on the London Bridge and nearly got run over by a coach-and-four instead.”
A loud popping noise—followed by another pop and a creak—sounded from the logs burning in the fireplace.
The sound even woke Wray. He opened his eyes, gazed at nothing, and said, “No. I won’t eat my porridge. Please don’t make me,” before he went back to his snoring.
“God save his tormented soul,” Arrow entreated with great solemnity.
And then the bookcase opened. The one near the fire.
Yes, opened.
Harry rubbed his eyes.
“What the hell?” said Arrow.
Harry knew, of course, that every great house had a secret door to somewhere, but he’d no idea his own club did.
A buxom female—rather matronly in dress and age, actually—stumbled out from a dark passageway, a spitting candle in her hand. The curls at her temples had gone to gray beneath the half-handkerchief pinned to her hair, and her gown, while a pleasing midnight blue, couldn’t disguise her spreading hips. She placed the candle on the mantel, turned to the men, and curtsied.
“You’re a woman,” Lumley said slowly.
Considering the fact that women weren’t allowed on the club premises, Harry could forgive Lumley’s stating the obvious.
But before she or anyone else could respond, a man emerged from the opening behind the bookcase, as well—a portly man with a merry grin and a bottle of cheap gin in his hand.
“I’m dreaming,” said Lumley, shaking his head.
“Au contraire,” the man said, and proceeded to belch. “You most certainly are not dreaming, Viscount.” He patted his stomach, lifted the bottle to his mouth, drank, and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.
Then he swayed.
“Oho!” he said, and chuckled when the woman grabbed his elbow.
“No dancing, Your Highness.” She giggled and took the bottle from him. “We need music for that.”
Long before she’d even set the bottle on a side table, every man in the room had stood—except for Wray, who was still fighting his battle against cruel Fate on the floor.
“Your Royal Highness!” Captain Arrow said, and saluted the swaying man. “Captain Stephen Arrow, at your service.”
By God, it was him. The Prince Regent himself. Harry almost saluted, too, but then he remembered he wasn’t a sailor, so he bowed deeply, right near Wray’s snuffling mouth.
Prinny rubbed his chin. “Yes, it is I,” he said. “My delectable companion and I were on our way to the secret bedchamber—”
There was a secret bedchamber at the club?
Harry and Lumley exchanged looks of shock. Maxwell ran his narrowed gaze over the bookshelf. Arrow remained standing at attention.
“Captain Arrow,” Prinny said with a huff of laughter. “At ease. Please. I can’t think when you look as though you’re about to call out orders to fire a hundred cannon at the Spanish fleet.”
Arrow’s shoulders relaxed.
And there followed a general lessening of tension in every man, Harry noted. Maxwell took a puff from his cheroot. Lumley grinned, and Harry uncurled his fingers, which he’d balled into fists at his sides.
Yes, Prinny was in his cups, but he was also in a good mood.
“As I was saying,” His Royal Highness went on, “Liza and I were passing through, and we couldn’t help overhearing your conversation, gentlemen.” He opened his snuffbox with a grand flourish, pretended to inhale some—everyone knew he really despised the stuff—and returned it to his pocket. “And I’m shocked—nay, dismayed,” he went on, “at the state of affairs in this room. Can’t be good for the Empire when its best and brightest are gloomy.”
He leveled an eye at Harry. “Yes, I include even you in that description, young man. Despite everything I’ve heard about your bedding the captain’s wife while your unit suffered an ambush, of all things”—Liza gasped—”you can’t be a complete disgrace if the Duke of Mallan is your father.”
Harry’s chest knotted. “Thank you, Your Highness,” he gritted out.
But inside, his heart grew harder. And smaller.
Prinny looked around assessingly. “We must correct this situation. What you need is hope—hope that you may avoid legshackles. And not just a vague hope.” His expression brightened and he raised his right index finger. “You’ll need a surety!”
“Yes!” Liza clapped her hands.
“We need to make it impossible,” Prinny said, “for any matchmaking mamas, silly debutantes, and conniving bettors to rob your bachelor days of their necessary frivolity. Who’s got a quill and paper?”
No one did. Harry wondered what the Prince was about.
A coach-and-four rattled by the window, and through the door, there were the regular sounds of club life: voices rising and falling, the scrape of forks and knives against plates, the clink of bottle against glass.
Life was going on as usual, Harry thought, except for here in this room. He wished he could talk to the other bachelors, but no one dared look at anyone but Prinny.
Prinny nodded his head at Arrow. “Captain, please see to it that paper and quill and writing desk are brought immediately. I have a decree to prepare and sign. Here. And now.”
Captain Arrow saluted. “Of course, Your Highness.”
Not thirty seconds later, he was back with Prinny’s requested materials, which he handed off to Liza with a swooping bow.
Liza blushed, Harry wasn’t surprised to see. Women always fell apart around Arrow.
“Take this down,” Prinny said to Liza, who settled into a chair, the quill poised above the blank paper, prepared to write.
“Please begin, Your Highness,” she said.
Prinny adjusted his cravat. “By order of the Prince Regent,” he said, “let it be known that the annual Impossible Bachelors wager shall commence the first week of August in the year 1816 and every August thereafter. The participants shall be conscripted by the Prince Regent and his advisors, who shall have sole control over the circumstances of the bet.”
Harry’s neck muscles tensed, and the sound of Liza’s quill scratching across the paper only made it worse. He craved nothing more than to get up and leave.
But, of course, he couldn’t.
After a bit more scribbling, Liza looked up, her quill at the ready.
“The winner of the wager,” Prinny continued, “shall be granted an entire year of freedom from the trials, tribulations, and, ahem, joys of marriage. As well as from the dreary events leading up to the eventual acquisition of a wife.”
His grin was decidedly saucy. “He shall not be chased after by matchmaking mamas at social events.” A twinkle gleamed in his eyes. “He shall not be forced to attend tedious balls at Almack’s”—he paused and grinned—“although if he cares to attend to observe and flirt with the newest crop of debutantes, he shall not be denied entrance by the patronesses.”
Liza’s mouth curved up in a smile, and she continued to write furiously.
“And he most certainly shall not,” Prinny said, his eyes stormy, “be trapped into marriage by a young lady’s relatives—or by bettors seeking to make their fortunes.”
Almost as one, the gentlemen in the room looked down at Wray, snoring on the rug.
“Pity this comes too late for him,” Prinny murmured.
Liza made a small tsking noise and inclined her head in sympathy.
But then Prinny gripped his lapels, threw back his shoulders, and resumed his speech. “Those who cross the Prince Regent in his wish to see at least one of his bachelor subjects free from shameless pursuit for the period of one year”—he paused and narrowed his eyes—“shall forever be given the cut direct by His Royal Highness and his loyal subjects.”
Harry met Maxwell’s eyes, which reflected back his own gut feeling. Prinny meant business, obviously. And since he meant business, they must follow suit.
The Prince Regent released a long-suffering sigh. “The price of pursuing seemingly impossible freedom and privilege is always high, is it not?” He arched a brow. “Therefore, the losing bachelors shall be required to draw straws.”
He looked first at Lumley, then Arrow, then Maxwell, then at Harry. “The recipient of the shortest straw,” he said grimly, “shall propose marriage within two months to a woman of his club board’s choosing.”
He leaned back on his heels and crossed his arms over his expansive belly. “That is all.”
Liza laid her quill down and blew on the paper holding Prinny’s latest decree.
A cold stone boulder rested in the pit of Harry’s stomach. He most certainly didn’t want to marry. But he’d prefer to avoid the altar his way—as Prinny’s way involved a hefty measure of diabolical risk.
Prinny sauntered to the desk and signed the decree, hiccupping as he handed the quill to Liza. “I’m amazed at my own genius,” he said with a chuckle.
“I’m not, Your Highness.” Liza cast him an adoring glance.
Prinny curled his chubby hand around hers. “The first year’s wager shall be in your honor, my dear. I shall call it the Most Delectable Companion contest. The ladies shall be rigorously tested according to my exacting if unscrupulous standards—and the lucky bachelor who brings the finest mistress shall win a cherished year of freedom.” He looked up. “Are you ready, gentlemen?”
Harry swallowed hard. Follow Prinny’s orders, and any one of them might very well be legshackled by Christmas if they lost the wager!
“Your Highness,” Arrow said in his authoritative naval captain’s voice. “According to my ship’s sailing schedule, I shall be rounding Cape Horn at that time.”
“No, you shall not,” Prinny insisted. “I shall see to it that you’re reassigned, Captain Arrow.”
Harry caught the slightest hesitation before Arrow spoke. “Very good, sir,” he said.
But Harry could see the red creeping up his friend’s well-tanned neck. He wasn’t happy about this wager, either.
Dear God was written all over Maxwell’s usually implacable face.
Lumley exclaimed something like “Wha’?” before remembering to shut his mouth.
“I shall send each of you details of the circumstances of the bet imminently,” Prinny said sternly. “You’ll follow it to the letter.” He snorted. “I’m quite sure I’ll be entertained.”
Harry’s spirits sank even lower. Prinny and his compulsive need to be entertained! Couldn’t he simply reinstitute the tradition of the court jester?
Prinny’s gaze narrowed. “Harry, you’re to host. Maxwell, record. Arrow and Lumley, you shall form the arbitration committee. Keep me informed as the wager progresses, gentlemen. And that’s an order.”
“As you wish, Your Highness.” Harry forced himself to sound amenable, although he’d no desire to be under the strict watch of His Royal Highness in a caper over which he had no control. He’d already undergone five years of imposed military service, courtesy of his father, and then he’d stayed in long enough to do his damnedest to help Wellington win at Waterloo.
He’d been home only a year, hardly long enough to enjoy his freedom.
Liza stood and handed the decree to Prinny, who immediately passed it off to Harry. “See that it’s hung to the right of the fireplace in the front room of the club.” He chuckled and took the candle from the mantel. “Congratulations. You’re all the Prince Regent’s Impossible Bachelors now. Except Wray, of course.”
He nudged Wray with his foot. Wray flung out an arm and snorted.
“I believe I shall name one more Impossible Bachelor,” Prinny said. “To fill the vacant spot Wray would have occupied had he not been vanquished by feminine forces already.” His brow creased in thought. “Possibly that rat Sir Richard Bell. He’s seduced so many virgins that it’s time he sweated a bit, eh?”
And before anyone could respond, he swooped into the hidden passageway, pulling Liza by the hand.
The bookcase shut upon them both.
There was total silence in the room until the creeping footsteps of Prinny and his lady were no longer audible.
“Dammit all to hell,” Lord Maxwell said, his voice dangerously low.
Arrow ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t want to be reassigned! And I most certainly don’t want to be called an Impossible Bachelor. It doesn’t have nearly the ring to it admiral has.”
Lumley threw himself into a chair. “I’ve nothing to do except oversee my estates. And perhaps acquire a few more. So I think I shall quite enjoy this wager. Especially if Sir Richard shows up. I’d like to pound his face for ruining the Glasbury girl last year. She’s a nun now, did you know that?”
“Yes, I knew that,” Harry spluttered, “and I agree with you about Bell. But really, Lumley. Enjoy the wager? What are you thinking? One of us will wind up married at the end of it!”
“I forgot about that part.” Lumley sighed. “I don’t even have a mistress at the moment, much less a delectable one. Which means, right now, I’m favored to get legshackled!”
“You and I both,” said Arrow. “We must get cracking. Maxwell’s Athena is sublime, and Harry’s girl is—who is she now, Harry? The blonde, or have you moved on to that redhead you met at the Cyprian Ball?”
“That’s beside the point at the moment.” Harry had difficulty keeping up with all the women in his life. He’d rather not think of them unless he had to, which was usually right before he saw them—when he’d open a drawer near his bed table and pull out a little bauble from a collection of baubles his jeweler had put together for him to save him the tedium of selecting little gifts himself. “We’re Prinny’s puppets. He’s shrewd when he wants to be, but the only thing that interests his addled brain these days is mindless entertainment.”

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

When Harry Met Molly


By Kieran Kramer

St. Martin's Paperbacks

Copyright © 2010 Kieran Kramer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312611644

CHAPTER 1
June 1816
Lord Harry Traemore knew the man next to him in the private room at his club in London—Lord Wray, who’d slithered to the floor and begun snoring—might appear to most passersby to be passive, even sleeping. But Harry and his old schoolmates from Eton, their reasoning skills gently manipulated by rather copious amounts of brandy, realized this prone position of Wray’s was actually his attempt to bravely endure his fate.
After all, Wray was to be married in the morning. And everyone knew his future wife was . . .
Exactly like his mother.
“I’m sad,” Harry’s friend Charles Thorpe, Viscount Lumley, said, an empty snifter dangling from his hand. “A good friend’s freedom is being taken away.”
Lumley was rich as Croesus, with the most twinkling blue eyes Harry had ever seen and a grin that could light up Vauxhall Gardens at midnight better than any fireworks.
“It’s not right,” said Captain Stephen Arrow. His naval uniform, crisp and distinguished with its gold braid and buttons, offset the casual manner in which he sprawled in his chair. “He put up a good fight, didn’t he?”
Harry sloshed some brandy into his mouth. He couldn’t even taste its flavor anymore. His tongue . . . it felt numb. And his lips, for that matter. It wasn’t often he drank this much—contrary to the stories told about him, which he did nothing to deny.
But tonight was different. Tonight he felt the brush of the nuptial guillotine close to his own neck. He didn’t want to marry. Not for a long, long time, not until he was truly cornered by familial obligation. And as far as he knew, that would likely never happen.
Harry was simply a spare. Only if his robust older brother Roderick somehow stuck his spoon in the wall before his wife Penelope produced a son—the next heir to the House of Mallan—would Harry’s potential as a bridegroom begin to matter. Penelope had already produced four daughters—his splendid little nieces Helen, Cassandra, Juliet, and Imogen—so it couldn’t be long now before she gifted Roderick with the son the whole family craved, even prayed for.
Because it wouldn’t do, Harry knew from whispers in the servants’ hall and the perpetually disappointed expressions on his parents’ faces, for disgraced Harry—the returning war hero who was not a hero but should have been—to be merely one person away from inheriting the ducal title.
No, that wouldn’t do at all.
Which was why Harry was so averse to marriage in the first place. Why take on yet another person in his life who would only disdain him?
Wray smacked his lips and shifted on the floor.
“At least he’s out of his pain,” said Nicholas Staunton, Lord Maxwell, in that unruffled tone of his. Cool, mysterious, and rather unconventional despite his strong aristocratic lineage, Maxwell, Harry was well aware, was unlikely to voice an observation unless he were truly moved to do so. He raised a quizzing glass and observed Wray further. “I understand he’s had a hell of a year. Dozens of debutantes and their mothers chasing him without cease.”
“Poor sod,” said Harry, looking down at Wray. “He was even thrown into a carriage by two masked thugs and almost forced to elope with the Barnwell girl, but he leaped out on the London Bridge and nearly got run over by a coach-and-four instead.”
A loud popping noise—followed by another pop and a creak—sounded from the logs burning in the fireplace.
The sound even woke Wray. He opened his eyes, gazed at nothing, and said, “No. I won’t eat my porridge. Please don’t make me,” before he went back to his snoring.
“God save his tormented soul,” Arrow entreated with great solemnity.
And then the bookcase opened. The one near the fire.
Yes, opened.
Harry rubbed his eyes.
“What the hell?” said Arrow.
Harry knew, of course, that every great house had a secret door to somewhere, but he’d no idea his own club did.
A buxom female—rather matronly in dress and age, actually—stumbled out from a dark passageway, a spitting candle in her hand. The curls at her temples had gone to gray beneath the half-handkerchief pinned to her hair, and her gown, while a pleasing midnight blue, couldn’t disguise her spreading hips. She placed the candle on the mantel, turned to the men, and curtsied.
“You’re a woman,” Lumley said slowly.
Considering the fact that women weren’t allowed on the club premises, Harry could forgive Lumley’s stating the obvious.
But before she or anyone else could respond, a man emerged from the opening behind the bookcase, as well—a portly man with a merry grin and a bottle of cheap gin in his hand.
“I’m dreaming,” said Lumley, shaking his head.
“Au contraire,” the man said, and proceeded to belch. “You most certainly are not dreaming, Viscount.” He patted his stomach, lifted the bottle to his mouth, drank, and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.
Then he swayed.
“Oho!” he said, and chuckled when the woman grabbed his elbow.
“No dancing, Your Highness.” She giggled and took the bottle from him. “We need music for that.”
Long before she’d even set the bottle on a side table, every man in the room had stood—except for Wray, who was still fighting his battle against cruel Fate on the floor.
“Your Royal Highness!” Captain Arrow said, and saluted the swaying man. “Captain Stephen Arrow, at your service.”
By God, it was him. The Prince Regent himself. Harry almost saluted, too, but then he remembered he wasn’t a sailor, so he bowed deeply, right near Wray’s snuffling mouth.
Prinny rubbed his chin. “Yes, it is I,” he said. “My delectable companion and I were on our way to the secret bedchamber—”
There was a secret bedchamber at the club?
Harry and Lumley exchanged looks of shock. Maxwell ran his narrowed gaze over the bookshelf. Arrow remained standing at attention.
“Captain Arrow,” Prinny said with a huff of laughter. “At ease. Please. I can’t think when you look as though you’re about to call out orders to fire a hundred cannon at the Spanish fleet.”
Arrow’s shoulders relaxed.
And there followed a general lessening of tension in every man, Harry noted. Maxwell took a puff from his cheroot. Lumley grinned, and Harry uncurled his fingers, which he’d balled into fists at his sides.
Yes, Prinny was in his cups, but he was also in a good mood.
“As I was saying,” His Royal Highness went on, “Liza and I were passing through, and we couldn’t help overhearing your conversation, gentlemen.” He opened his snuffbox with a grand flourish, pretended to inhale some—everyone knew he really despised the stuff—and returned it to his pocket. “And I’m shocked—nay, dismayed,” he went on, “at the state of affairs in this room. Can’t be good for the Empire when its best and brightest are gloomy.”
He leveled an eye at Harry. “Yes, I include even you in that description, young man. Despite everything I’ve heard about your bedding the captain’s wife while your unit suffered an ambush, of all things”—Liza gasped—”you can’t be a complete disgrace if the Duke of Mallan is your father.”
Harry’s chest knotted. “Thank you, Your Highness,” he gritted out.
But inside, his heart grew harder. And smaller.
Prinny looked around assessingly. “We must correct this situation. What you need is hope—hope that you may avoid legshackles. And not just a vague hope.” His expression brightened and he raised his right index finger. “You’ll need a surety!”
“Yes!” Liza clapped her hands.
“We need to make it impossible,” Prinny said, “for any matchmaking mamas, silly debutantes, and conniving bettors to rob your bachelor days of their necessary frivolity. Who’s got a quill and paper?”
No one did. Harry wondered what the Prince was about.
A coach-and-four rattled by the window, and through the door, there were the regular sounds of club life: voices rising and falling, the scrape of forks and knives against plates, the clink of bottle against glass.
Life was going on as usual, Harry thought, except for here in this room. He wished he could talk to the other bachelors, but no one dared look at anyone but Prinny.
Prinny nodded his head at Arrow. “Captain, please see to it that paper and quill and writing desk are brought immediately. I have a decree to prepare and sign. Here. And now.”
Captain Arrow saluted. “Of course, Your Highness.”
Not thirty seconds later, he was back with Prinny’s requested materials, which he handed off to Liza with a swooping bow.
Liza blushed, Harry wasn’t surprised to see. Women always fell apart around Arrow.
“Take this down,” Prinny said to Liza, who settled into a chair, the quill poised above the blank paper, prepared to write.
“Please begin, Your Highness,” she said.
Prinny adjusted his cravat. “By order of the Prince Regent,” he said, “let it be known that the annual Impossible Bachelors wager shall commence the first week of August in the year 1816 and every August thereafter. The participants shall be conscripted by the Prince Regent and his advisors, who shall have sole control over the circumstances of the bet.”
Harry’s neck muscles tensed, and the sound of Liza’s quill scratching across the paper only made it worse. He craved nothing more than to get up and leave.
But, of course, he couldn’t.
After a bit more scribbling, Liza looked up, her quill at the ready.
“The winner of the wager,” Prinny continued, “shall be granted an entire year of freedom from the trials, tribulations, and, ahem, joys of marriage. As well as from the dreary events leading up to the eventual acquisition of a wife.”
His grin was decidedly saucy. “He shall not be chased after by matchmaking mamas at social events.” A twinkle gleamed in his eyes. “He shall not be forced to attend tedious balls at Almack’s”—he paused and grinned—“although if he cares to attend to observe and flirt with the newest crop of debutantes, he shall not be denied entrance by the patronesses.”
Liza’s mouth curved up in a smile, and she continued to write furiously.
“And he most certainly shall not,” Prinny said, his eyes stormy, “be trapped into marriage by a young lady’s relatives—or by bettors seeking to make their fortunes.”
Almost as one, the gentlemen in the room looked down at Wray, snoring on the rug.
“Pity this comes too late for him,” Prinny murmured.
Liza made a small tsking noise and inclined her head in sympathy.
But then Prinny gripped his lapels, threw back his shoulders, and resumed his speech. “Those who cross the Prince Regent in his wish to see at least one of his bachelor subjects free from shameless pursuit for the period of one year”—he paused and narrowed his eyes—“shall forever be given the cut direct by His Royal Highness and his loyal subjects.”
Harry met Maxwell’s eyes, which reflected back his own gut feeling. Prinny meant business, obviously. And since he meant business, they must follow suit.
The Prince Regent released a long-suffering sigh. “The price of pursuing seemingly impossible freedom and privilege is always high, is it not?” He arched a brow. “Therefore, the losing bachelors shall be required to draw straws.”
He looked first at Lumley, then Arrow, then Maxwell, then at Harry. “The recipient of the shortest straw,” he said grimly, “shall propose marriage within two months to a woman of his club board’s choosing.”
He leaned back on his heels and crossed his arms over his expansive belly. “That is all.”
Liza laid her quill down and blew on the paper holding Prinny’s latest decree.
A cold stone boulder rested in the pit of Harry’s stomach. He most certainly didn’t want to marry. But he’d prefer to avoid the altar his way—as Prinny’s way involved a hefty measure of diabolical risk.
Prinny sauntered to the desk and signed the decree, hiccupping as he handed the quill to Liza. “I’m amazed at my own genius,” he said with a chuckle.
“I’m not, Your Highness.” Liza cast him an adoring glance.
Prinny curled his chubby hand around hers. “The first year’s wager shall be in your honor, my dear. I shall call it the Most Delectable Companion contest. The ladies shall be rigorously tested according to my exacting if unscrupulous standards—and the lucky bachelor who brings the finest mistress shall win a cherished year of freedom.” He looked up. “Are you ready, gentlemen?”
Harry swallowed hard. Follow Prinny’s orders, and any one of them might very well be legshackled by Christmas if they lost the wager!
“Your Highness,” Arrow said in his authoritative naval captain’s voice. “According to my ship’s sailing schedule, I shall be rounding Cape Horn at that time.”
“No, you shall not,” Prinny insisted. “I shall see to it that you’re reassigned, Captain Arrow.”
Harry caught the slightest hesitation before Arrow spoke. “Very good, sir,” he said.
But Harry could see the red creeping up his friend’s well-tanned neck. He wasn’t happy about this wager, either.
Dear God was written all over Maxwell’s usually implacable face.
Lumley exclaimed something like “Wha’?” before remembering to shut his mouth.
“I shall send each of you details of the circumstances of the bet imminently,” Prinny said sternly. “You’ll follow it to the letter.” He snorted. “I’m quite sure I’ll be entertained.”
Harry’s spirits sank even lower. Prinny and his compulsive need to be entertained! Couldn’t he simply reinstitute the tradition of the court jester?
Prinny’s gaze narrowed. “Harry, you’re to host. Maxwell, record. Arrow and Lumley, you shall form the arbitration committee. Keep me informed as the wager progresses, gentlemen. And that’s an order.”
“As you wish, Your Highness.” Harry forced himself to sound amenable, although he’d no desire to be under the strict watch of His Royal Highness in a caper over which he had no control. He’d already undergone five years of imposed military service, courtesy of his father, and then he’d stayed in long enough to do his damnedest to help Wellington win at Waterloo.
He’d been home only a year, hardly long enough to enjoy his freedom.
Liza stood and handed the decree to Prinny, who immediately passed it off to Harry. “See that it’s hung to the right of the fireplace in the front room of the club.” He chuckled and took the candle from the mantel. “Congratulations. You’re all the Prince Regent’s Impossible Bachelors now. Except Wray, of course.”
He nudged Wray with his foot. Wray flung out an arm and snorted.
“I believe I shall name one more Impossible Bachelor,” Prinny said. “To fill the vacant spot Wray would have occupied had he not been vanquished by feminine forces already.” His brow creased in thought. “Possibly that rat Sir Richard Bell. He’s seduced so many virgins that it’s time he sweated a bit, eh?”
And before anyone could respond, he swooped into the hidden passageway, pulling Liza by the hand.
The bookcase shut upon them both.
There was total silence in the room until the creeping footsteps of Prinny and his lady were no longer audible.
“Dammit all to hell,” Lord Maxwell said, his voice dangerously low.
Arrow ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t want to be reassigned! And I most certainly don’t want to be called an Impossible Bachelor. It doesn’t have nearly the ring to it admiral has.”
Lumley threw himself into a chair. “I’ve nothing to do except oversee my estates. And perhaps acquire a few more. So I think I shall quite enjoy this wager. Especially if Sir Richard shows up. I’d like to pound his face for ruining the Glasbury girl last year. She’s a nun now, did you know that?”
“Yes, I knew that,” Harry spluttered, “and I agree with you about Bell. But really, Lumley. Enjoy the wager? What are you thinking? One of us will wind up married at the end of it!”
“I forgot about that part.” Lumley sighed. “I don’t even have a mistress at the moment, much less a delectable one. Which means, right now, I’m favored to get legshackled!”
“You and I both,” said Arrow. “We must get cracking. Maxwell’s Athena is sublime, and Harry’s girl is—who is she now, Harry? The blonde, or have you moved on to that redhead you met at the Cyprian Ball?”
“That’s beside the point at the moment.” Harry had difficulty keeping up with all the women in his life. He’d rather not think of them unless he had to, which was usually right before he saw them—when he’d open a drawer near his bed table and pull out a little bauble from a collection of baubles his jeweler had put together for him to save him the tedium of selecting little gifts himself. “We’re Prinny’s puppets. He’s shrewd when he wants to be, but the only thing that interests his addled brain these days is mindless entertainment.”

Continues...

Excerpted from When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer Copyright © 2010 by Kieran Kramer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 190 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(61)

3 Star

(39)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 192 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Not my cup of tea

    This is a profoundly silly book, set firmly in Romancelandia. The plot unfolds like high school summer camp (only in costume): silly contests, talent shows, practical jokes, unconvincing angst, skinny dipping, fumbly heavy petting, tortuously theatrical confrontations, and lots and lots of exclamation points. Not my cup of tea.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 16, 2010

    WOW... awesome book!!

    I prefer historical romance and have read just about every author. This was a very pleasant surprise!! My first time reading Kramer and I enjoyed this book very much!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2010

    Great Read

    I read 3-5 Historical Romances a week and this one is definitely in a league of its own. Loved it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2014

    When Harry Met Molly was not only an excellent book, but it was

    When Harry Met Molly was not only an excellent book, but it was hilarious as well. Molly was a smart and witty character that didn't pull
    punches and called everything as she saw them. I also admired her character because although she was a "member of the Ton" she
    did not look down of group of individuals most of them would have. Harry was a man that never saw what was in front of him, until it was
    almost too late.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2013

    The title is catchy, but somewhat inaccurate. Lord Harry Traemo

    The title is catchy, but somewhat inaccurate. Lord Harry Traemore has known Lady Mary "Molly" Fairbanks since birth. Harry is the second son of a Duke. His older brother and Molly's older sister marry when Molly is 13. Molly had a crush on Harry's brother and at A Christmas dinner prior to the marriage Molly recites a poem accusing Harry of kissing her sister (using other names, of course). Chaos ensues. The Duke sends Harry off to the army (where he ends up in disgrace over an officer's wife) and Molly is sent to the finishing school from hell. Fast forward many years. Poor Molly has been her aunt's companion and never had a season. She is eloping to Gretna Green with her father's assistant when Harry and his mistress enter the inn where they are eating. Harry is on the way to host a week long party at his hinting box for Prinny's Impossible Bachelors. They are having a mistress contest.m the Bachelor whose mistress wins doesn't have to get married and can not have mach making mammas throw their daughters at them for a year. The looser has to marry the woman their club chooses. Molly's fiancée runs away with Harry's mistress and Harry needs a replacement. He convinces Molly to be his pretend mistress. If Molly wins, Harry will find her a husband. In this book we meet the other "Impossible Bachelors".

    This is the first book in a series of three. I had read "Dukes to The Left, Princes to The Right" (book 2) and "Cloudy With a Chance of Marriage" (book 3) previously. Of the three, "When Harry Met Molly" is my favorite. Molly's adventures as a fake mistress are funny and heart warming. I give it five out of five stars.

    In my opinion, it was the best of the three books. Each book can be read on its own (as I read the second one first because my library does a bad job linking series.). The third book was just blah and I couldn't finish it. I have re read "Dukes" several times and still like it. I may go back and give "Cloudy" another chance now.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Fun easy read.

    This book was light and fun. It's a great book to end the day and sneak away with.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Great Book

    Easy read with some humor in it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Great read!

    This book was great. The characters were funny and engaging. I read it all in one evening.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    OK read

    There were funny moments, but it was an OK read. I felt the two main characters didn't have strong chemistry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    very cute

    smart and sassy romance

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Funny, funny, funny

    I love the wittiness and fun in the writing. Very entertaining series!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Good light read

    When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer (9780312611644)-Lord Harry Traemore and Lady Molly Fairbanks have been neighbors, and enemies, all their lives. An accidental encounter at a traveling inn has unexpected consequences when Molly ends up posing as Harry's mistress in a Most Delectable Companion contest, a contest to determine who will be free of husband-hunting women for a year and who must make a marriage proposal by decree of the Prince Regent. Molly has a hard time fitting in and the pair has a hard time keeping their hands off of each over. The scenarios and outcomes are unlikely but the reading is mostly enjoyable. Only for those who are ready to suspend disbelief for a light hearted battle of wills romance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Lots of fun

    Nice quick read. Fun book to read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Loved it!!!

    Such a fun feel good read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 16, 2011

    Great read , highly Recommend it!

    Harry and Molly have disliked each other since childhood. A sometimes comical situation occurs freqently. This is my first time reading work by Ms. Kramer and i enjoyed it. i would have liked to know something about their furture, such as how many children they had also if his older brother Roderick ever had a son.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    Fun read with engaging characters

    Enjoyed the story; the characters are interesting and there is some laugh out loud parts as well as some steamy parts. Well worth buying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    Quick read

    Loved this book! I plucked it off the shelf at the library. I didn't eVen know what it was about. Great book! I couldn't put it down! Read it in less than a day. I started it last night and finished it today!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2011

    I adored it!

    The characters were great! They were funny, lovable, and complex! I could not put this book down and I would urge anyone to read it! I love the plot and the fact that this book was so funny and yet romantic in the best of ways!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Highly Recommended! Sequel any time soon?!

    This story was perfect, especially being snowed in this past weekend. It was two 'enemies' becoming friends, and then finally finding love. The journey is to love is funny, witty and no two characters were ever written so perfectly and so perfect for each other. Harry and Molly were definitely soul mates. This is one book I am really hoping becomes a sequel!! PLEASE

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    WITTY ROMANCE : D

    I finished this book in one day. All the characters are full and rich and who doesn't wish they could have their own Harry and be Molly! Strongly recommend this book~~!!!! Go and Buy it! You won't be disappointed : )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 192 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)