Perils of Paulie: A Matchmaker in Wonderland Romance (Unabridged)
by Katie MacAlister
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A fast and furious new Matchmaker in Wonderland novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Daring in a Blue Dress. Trying to escape her sheltered life, Paulina Rostakova jumps at the chance to get behind the wheel of a vintage car, as a reality show contestant reenacting an historic 1908 car race across the US, Asia, Russia, and Europe. Dixon Ainslie has nothing to lose by entering the race, except the rut he's been in since the death of his girlfriend. But he never expected to gain a wife. The producers want Dixon to join forces with Paulie - and pretend to fall in love and get married. But as their scripted courtship takes off, Dixon and Paulie will have to take a detour into reality to turn the sparks flying between them into a passion with staying power.
No one quite does madcap fun quite like Katie Macalister
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
No one quite does madcap fun quite like Katie Macalister, and her stories that pair two unknowns into situations where sparks, tempers and occasional revelations fly are the best. Here we have Pauline, a rich and pampered young woman tired of the restrictions she feels are hampering her life. She’s desperate for adventure away from her overprotective and meddlesome father, she’s reaching for her adventure with two hands. On the other side of the coin is Dixon, cajoled in by the producers of this race, as they want his history, his looks and charm to bring them a ‘talking point”. See, he’s to be paired with Pauline (Paulie) and they are to act as if they are in a whirlwind romance, complete with a wedding at the end.
These two are SO cute – both are slightly awkward, good natured and spirited, and while Paulie is quick witted and funny, Dixon’s humor is more sedate and quietly creeps up on you. Smooth and sophisticated, he is always that in every circumstance. But Paulie is like that exuberant puppy finally off-leash: she’s enjoying her time away from the family expectations and business, and a keen competitive sense takes hold, one that she didn’t even know she had. Told from two perspectives, this story has attraction, humor, madcap adventure and a bit of misfortune as vintage vehicles are not always the most reliable. Slowly that instant attraction between the two has them actually enjoying, then looking forward to their moments together, even as threats, weird events and a few (ok – more than a few) head-bangingly embarrassing moments threaten their days.
Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld and Brian Hutchinson, the dual narration that instantly defines these characters works perfectly in telling the story. You can’t help but hear the smiles in the light moments, cringe with them both when their words fail and only embarrassment takes hold, and the frustration both have in not getting the words out ‘just right” in conversations. What stands out is the fun of the story, the heart of both Dixon and Paulie, and the desire for the story to never end.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Recorded Books for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.