Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: The Perils of Paulie

The Perils of Paulie (Matchmaker in Wonderland - Book 4) by Katie MacAlister

Publication Date: 1/3/2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Jove
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336

(Received for an honest review from Jove)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Katie MacAlister on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, GoodreadsInstagram

Books in the series:

Matchmaker in Wonderland

1. The Importance of Being Alice
2. A Midsummer Night's Romp
3. Daring in a Blue Dress
4. The Perils of Being Paulie

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from The Perils of Paulie, courtesy of 


A fast and furious new Matchmaker in Wonderland novel from the New York Times bestseling author of Daring in a Blue Dress.

Sheltered by a strict father, Paulina Rostakova spends her time working for the family business and yearning for some grand adventure. So when contestants are needed for a reality show reenacting an historic 1908 car race across the US, Asia, Russia, and Europe, Paulie jumps at the chance to get behind the wheel of a vintage car.

Dixon Ainslie has nothing to lose by entering the race, except the rut he’s been in since the death of his girlfriend years ago. But as other racers begin to drop out, the producers want Dixon to join forces with Paulie—on one condition: they have to pretend to fall in love and get married.

And 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...


When I think of Katie MacAlister and her writing the first thing that comes to mind is humor. This chick, oozes wit and sassiness. I'm a sucker for characters with quirks and MacAlister always seems to know just the right idiosyncrasy whether shes writing about vampires, or reality stars. Her madcap adventures always make me smile. Readers looking for a book that has both romance and comedy are sure to love, The Perils of Paulie.  

What I liked:

I love a good love story and I've read a ton. I often think there is very little variety left. Nothing new and different. But, I'm surprised again and again when I pick up a book that might have the same type of characters or setting, but there is just something unique about it. Something that gives the tale a totally different dimension. This book has that something, whatever it is, in spades. 

The humor was one of the best parts. Katie MacAlister has this knack for irreverent and off color comedy. That might not be everybody's cup of tea, I find it refreshing and fun to read. I loved the banter between the hero and heroine, in The Perils of Paulie. A conversation about STD's and unhappy crotches is an example, lol. This book is a take off an old Tony Curtis movie, called "The Great Race" that was totally boisterous and entertaining. MacAlister's book takes a spoiled American heiress who needs a little adventure in her life and pits her against a stoic Brit with an aversion to touch. What a pair! The laughs just kept coming. 

Paulie is both hilarious and erratic, while Dixon is very controlled and somewhat awkward. She's sassy and competitive and he's sweet and smooth. They weren't exactly opposites, but there was that essense of attraction to their relationship that made them good for each other. The banter between them, as they pretend to be falling in love, is rich and vibrant. I loved the way they interacted with each other and the wonderful setting of this novel. There was so much to learn about each other and their surroundings. It was a fun romp!

Dixon doesn't like to be touched. How much more unconventional and wacky can you get for a character flaw? I found that endearing and delightful to read about. His social anxiety was just a really cute and sweet aspect of the story. Paulie gets it. She doesn't have to think it over or get all upset or anything. She just gets him. That's such a perfect thing in a relationship. It made me like these characters so much more. A very prim and proper Brit who doesn't like to be touched put up against a flirtatious and outgoing American... Oh yeah! That hit the spot. 

One of my favorite things about this one was the travelogue slash journal entries from both POV's. That was unusual and gratifying. I sometimes think I miss out on not knowing what the other character was thinking and feeling during a scene and with this one I was able to see all that. I loved the way MacAlister used this technique to enhance the story and bring out things readers might otherwise miss. It was different and I found I really liked the method.

What I didn't like:

I will admit to watching a bit of reality tv. It's not what I would call deep and meaningful television most of the time and I was skeptical that I would not like that part of this book. But I was pleasantly surprised. The scripted aspect of it makes me wonder about some of things I watch, lol! It did make me contemplate the motivations of these characters. I wasn't always sure whether this was a part of the script or real feelings they were expressing. There were a few plot twists that I felt were not really resolved before the end of the novel, but nothing to break the bank. Paulie's dad and his worries about Russian interference was also a bit over the top.

Bottom Line:

I liked this one a lot. I found the balance of humor to romance to be just about right. I loved the take on the old movie and the fact that it was based on 1908 race around the world that actually did happen. I loved the vintage cars, the quirky characters and the fierce and determined competitors. I even loved the old fashioned garb the characters got to wear. There isn't much to make me think you wouldn't like this one. If you've never tried a book with a very comedic approach to love, this is the one.

The Perils of Paulie is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

For as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up in a family where a weekly visit to the library was a given, Katie spent much of her time with her nose buried in a book. Despite her love for novels, she didn't think of writing them until she was contracted to write a non-fiction book about software. Since her editor refused to allow her to include either witty dialogue or love scenes in the software book, Katie swiftly resolved to switch to fiction, where she could indulge in world building, tormenting characters, and falling madly in love with all her heroes.

Two years after she started writing novels, Katie sold her first romance, Noble Intentions. More than fifty books later, her novels have been translated into numerous languages, been recorded as audiobooks, received several awards, and placed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. She also writes for the young adult audience as Katie Maxwell.

Katie lives in the Pacific Northwest with her dogs and cat, and can often be found lurking around online. You are welcome to visit her at


Annette Naish said...

This does sound like a fun read. For me - humor always makes things better.

justpeachy36 said...

Me too, Annette! I like a book that tickles my funny bone.