It's obvious by this book's title that this is a light, fluffy read. I would definitely call it a romantic comedy and as such, there needs to be a suspension of belief of historical societal rules in order for this book to work. Otherwise, how would an innocent, naive miss possibly pass as a mistress and that the two main characters would actually think they could get away with it all?
When Harry Met Molly begins with a 13 year old Molly reciting a poem at a family friend's ball. The family is the Traemores, and Molly is in love with the eldest brother Roderick. In her poem, Molly describes her love for Roderick and how he should not marry her sister, Penelope, because she caught her kissing Roderick's younger brother, Harry. As a result of her poem, Molly is banished to a girls' school in Yorkshire and Harry is forced to enlist in the army.
A few years later, Molly is eloping with her father's assistant and they run into Harry and his mistress at a pub. Harry's mistress runs off with Molly's "fiancé" and Harry talks Molly into being his false mistress for a wager he wishes to win in order to remain single for another year. Molly cannot stand Harry, but he is charming and persuasive and so she agrees. So these two childhood enemies team up.
All right then. I wish the childhood antics and the animosity had been built up a bit better between these two. I didn't feel like they truly couldn't stand each other but then on the flip side, I thought they put aside their seemingly hateful feelings pretty quickly. Other than that, I really enjoyed the "courtship" between Harry and Molly. They knew each other already, they become supportive of the other and Harry wanted Molly, and Molly eagerly embraced the kissing lessons Harry gave her (to pass herself off as a mistress). That stuff was cute. I also enjoyed how Molly befriended the other mistresses (there was a competition).
Harry also was a good character. He always saw himself as the "spare." His older brother would inherit the dukedom and so Harry wasn't given as much attention. This sets Harry up to see himself as nothing to get excited about and with Molly's poem and a subsequent scandal while he was in the army, Harry embraces his ne'er-do-well status. But Molly makes him want more for himself, and I like how his character grew.
As I said earlier, you need to suspend some belief in order for this book to work. I thought the author was asking a wee bit too much from the reader at times, but because of the characters, I was willing to forgive her for this. I do look forward to reading Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right when it comes out later this month.