The Importance of Being Alice
Ainslie Brothers, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld, Brian Hutchison
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Abridged or Unabridged: Unabridged
Length of Production: 9 hrs and 58 mins
Nothing about Alice Wood’s life is normal right now. Her fiance, 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.
Katie MacAlister was one of my first introductions to the Vampire Romance Genre, way back in the day with A Girl's Guide to Vampires, the first book in her Dark Ones series. Those led me to her contemporary and historical romance. I quickly discovered that I enjoyed her witty dialogue and the way each of her characters has a quirky piece that makes them unique and very relatable no matter the genre. So whenever I see that Ms. MacAlister has a new book, it is an auto add to my TBR pile.
The book starts with the introduction of Elliot, and some of his - let's call them - "interesting" extended family. Including his mother, the Baroness Ainslie. He is trying to manage his family, falling down castle and it's repairs around his writing schedule. You know, the thing that pays for everything else, when Elliot gets a call from an old pal Patrick offering him his ticket on a European River Cruise. Patrick tells Elliot that he wasn't going to be using it since he had broken it off with Alice after his 2 year relationship limit had expired. He assured Elliot that Alice wouldn't be going, so he could use the quiet to get some writing done.
True, Alice hadn't planned on using the tickets after Patrick dumped her. And by dumped, she meant firing her from her job as his assistant, kicking her out of the condo they shared and telling her they would not longer be needing the information about getting married in Budapest at the end of the river cruise. So there she is - jobless, in a cramped rundown apartment feeling sorry for her self, when her best friend convinces her to go ahead and use the non-refundable ticket that she had already paid for. Both Alice and Elliot get a surprise when neither one will back down. Enforced proximity and an unwanted attraction get the best of both of them.
I really liked that the characters had some great communication going. Plus, the romantic side of things had some incredibly funny, yet realistic moments. They were self aware about how they each complimented the other, and though they hadn't known each other long, they just seemed to click. There were several times I was pleasantly surprised with the direction the book would go.
I'm not normally a fan of multiple voices. But as each chapter was alternately told by Alice and Elliot, having different narrator's really helped to get me in the correct person's headspace. Both narrator's did a good job with the emotional side of things and really bringing their character to life.
Overall, this was an easy listen. I found myself smiling and laughing, even wiping away a few tears during some particularly emotionally scary moments. I will be adding book 2, A Midsummer's Night Romp to my TBR pile and hope the same narrators return. This was a 4 star read.
Thanks to Audiobook Jukebox and Recorded Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.