Daring in a Blue Dress is the third in Katie MacAlister’s fanciful A Matchmaker in Wonderland series. Set in England amid a modern-day festival of sword-wielding knights and ladies-in-waiting, this fast-paced story delights the armchair tourist with new places, adventure and romance.
Handsome, curly-haired Alden Ainslie is displeased. His sister-in-law intends to find him the perfect girl, and once we see how tongue-tied and bookish he is, it’s clear he’ll need plenty of help. Alden has sunk his inheritance into Bestwood Hall, a wreck of a property from the 1500s, which he plans to flip despite the fact that the former owner of the manse, the eccentric Lady Sybilla, has claimed the right to live there for the remainder of her life. Alden is optimistic, however, that renovating Bestwood Hall will turn his sorry life around.
Mercy Starling’s trusting nature has left her penniless in England, heading for a summer job tutoring several “spoiled kids”—and she’s not the maternal type. A chance meeting on the train redirects her to a job with a medieval reenactment company at Bestwood Hall, where, unbeknownst to Alden, a medieval festival is about to be held.
When Mercy meets Alden, she assumes he is her new boss, and Alden assumes Mercy was sent by his sister-in-law. Though both assumptions are wrong, they are not displeased by the attraction sparkling between them. However, Alden is so remote and awkward, Mercy assumes he doesn’t truly like her. She’s been unattached for two long years, and though she doesn’t want to be charmed by a pretty face, she can’t help but be dazzled by Alden’s blue, blue eyes.
Like the helpful mice in Cinderella, rodents play a role in getting Alden and Mercy into the same bedroom. With Alden’s social ineptitude and Mercy’s mistrust of her own feelings, both doubt their relationship could be more than a brief fling. The medieval fair only lasts three weeks—and then, poof! Will that be the end of their romance? Mercy’s spunky, outgoing personality and Alden’s introversion make for a match that is sure to ignite some sparks.