Daring in a Blue Dress by Katie MacAlister is a contemporary romance that is part of the Matchmaker in Wonderland or Ainsle Brothers series. the first book in the series was The Importance of Being Alice which was great fun. The series is tied together by the family of the main players, but each can also be enjoyed on their own.
Stranded in England without money or a ticket home, Mercy Starling takes a job working for a medieval reenactment company. After all, who wouldn't want to pretend to live in the past, wield swords and long bows, and dress up in armor? And the best part of her summer job is Bestwood Hall, or rather, its intriguing new owner. The painfully shy Alden Ainslie is overwhelmed by the medieval reenactors who invade the Tudor house he's renovating, but he's drawn to the bubbly Mercy. And he valiantly joins in the fun, dodging not just arrows, lances, and the odd sword thrust, but also some pretty suspicious—and potentially deadly—attacks on himself. Someone wants him to give up on the house. But Alden is desperate to prove himself—and win the heart of his lady fair.
Daring in a Blue Dress is a romance with a heaping spoonful of suspense. Mercy is a character with a money problem and a strange solution. Taking a job that was offered on a train by the person backing out at the last minute is a desperate solution, but one that she is willing to take. Alden is a perpetual student with few social skills, but the need to restore Bestwood Hall and keep the former owner, who still lives on premises reasonably happy. When Mercy's job just happens to be working for medieval reenactors that unexpectedly set up camp in Alden's back yard hilarious missteps and compromises ensue. several cases of assumptions, mistaken identity, and social awkwardness keep readers happily reading and enjoying the story. The chemistry between Alden and Mercy have is wonderful, and their banter is highly entertaining. The mystery.. danger, and action of the story are a great bonus- however I was just thrilled to see another book where MacAlister concentrates on fun, quirky characters that engaged me and kept me interested through the entire book. Now I need to go back and read the couple books I missed between Alice's book and this one, especially if MacAlister is back to the awesome characters that originally made me a fan.
Daring in a Blue Dress is a fun and fast read with plenty of laughs and romance, but a significant amount of mystery endanger as well. I think fans of MacAlister’s quirky characters and readers that have never read her light hearted romance will all enjoy this entertaining mix of mystery and sweet romance.