August 1, 2016
A visit with an old friend.
While looking for something to read, I stumbled across a review at AAR for the book And
Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke. I read the review and decided to pull out my old copy and do a reread. Well, my old copy was yellow and there is just something about yellow pages which disturb me. What's a girl to do? Why buy an electronic copy even when one has a paper copy and one has already read this book. I bet I'm not the only one out there who is rebuying books they already have. Anyway, I purchased the electronic copy of And Then He Kissed Her and I'm glad I did. It was a pure joy to reread one of Ms. Guhrke's older books. And Then He Kissed Her is part of Ms. Guhrke's Girl-Bachelor series and was published in 2007. What a fun read!
This story reminded me a lot of some of the old screw ball comedies that came out of Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. The over efficient 30-year-old spinster who does everything for her oblivious boss, even buys gifts for his family because he doesn't remember their birthdays. Even if he did remember their birthdays, he wouldn't know what to get them, but Emmaline Dove does. She even buys his parting gifts for his mistresses. She listens, she remembers, and she's very very organized. She's a perfect secretary. Emmaline has a dream - she wants to be a writer, an advice column writer. She has been submitting her writing to her boss for years and he's always turned her down. He tells her she needs to do this or that or no one would really be interested in her writing. Her boss is Harry, Viscount Marlowe.
Harry is a very successful publisher and over the years he has sort of ignored Emmaline. Oh sure, he finds her very efficient and he relies on her for tons of stuff, but he doesn't really see her. Even though he is a successful publisher, he doesn't see the need for advice columns. Not to be deterred, Emmaline gives him the latest writing she has done. He once again turns it down and she is very disappointed. Then Harry unknowingly slips up and she finds out that he hasn't read one single word of her writing. To say that Emmaline is mad is an understatement. She quits her job, leaves a note and goes to Harry's competitor. The competitor publishes her work.
When oblivious Harry returns to work, his office is in total chaos; everything is falling apart. He goes to find Emmaline and bring her back to her job, where she should be. But Emmaline has changed. She is no longer willing to be a doormat. She tells Harry just where he can stick his publishing business. Suddenly Harry's eyes are open and he sees Emmaline as something other than a boring person. The fun begins.
There is so much to love with this story. Both Harry and Emmaline are well-developed people. Watching these two come to an understanding had me smiling through almost the whole book. While Harry makes a great hero, Emmaline makes an even greater heroine. Because of Ms. Guhrke's outstanding skill as a writer we get to watch Emmaline as she emerges out of her cocoon into a lovely strong butterfly.
I highly recommend this story! What a great reread and a nice visit with an old friend. And, not that they need me, but I concur with AAR's review.
Time/Place: 1890s England