Series: Kingdom #1
Published by Marie Hall Publishing on July 7, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter's Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate--and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys--throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.
The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland--and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother's mating--or fight for Alice.
My Initial Reaction…
Since Marie is one of my favorite authors, I really wanted to love Her Mad Hatter. I just liked it. The concept was great and I see a lot of potential for the series as a whole, especially in the world, but I didn’t love the Alice or the romance.
Let’s get the bad new out of the way first, shall we? Alice just didn’t do it for me. I wanted to love her and there was just enough there to make me realize that if I’d gotten to know her a lot better I probably would have adored her. But I didn’t. Alice Hu is obsessed with Wonderland and the Mad Hatter and has been her whole life. I never did really fully understand the obsession – it was explained that she felt an affinity to the story because of it bearing her name, but the level of obsession that we’re talking about just didn’t come through. Perhaps I was meant to understand that it was because they were fated for each other, but again, I didn’t get that. The result was that she seemed like a star struck girl who had the chance to make her crush fall in love with her. However, I saw some things about her that I could tell I could have adored. For example, Alice broke away from what the family wanted to pursue her dreams. She’s a baker (and who doesn’t love someone who makes delicious treats?) and when we first meet her, she’s just opened her own bakery. To do that, especially without the support of family, take guts. And every now and again she’d say something that made me think, “Ok, this chic has got spunk.” It just wasn’t enough. I wanted so much more character development.
Okay, but there’s a huge chunk of good here and his name is: The Mad Hatter. I think that to write a character that’s a bit out of his wits and somehow still make sense has got to be HARD. Marie managed to make the Hatter a bit insane and yet his ramblings worked in a pretty great way. And. what can I say, I have a weakness for hot guys, even the semi insane? It’s hard to put my finger on it exactly, because we didn’t get to know him near as much as I would have liked either, but I liked him much more than I liked Alice.
There’s really not much for a supporting cast – this is Alice & Hatter’s story. However, Marie did add this neat aspect of a fairy godmother – Danika – who is responsible for the bad boys (Hatter, Wolf, Hook and there were two more which I’ve forgotten at the moment) and she has to help them find their soulmates within the year or something terrible will happen. (So we know where the series is going, right?) Danika is fun. She made me laugh and her appreciation for the bad boys is something we have in common 🙂 I hope we get to know her a bit better in the other books.
For me, Her Mad Hatter shined in the creative way it told the story. We’re introduced to the scene by Danika, Hatter’s fairy godmother (who knew guys got fairy godmothers? Seems fair.) She’s been trying to match Hatter (and the other bad boys) to their soul mates for a long time and times almost up. She’s known that Hatter’s match would be named Alice, so she’s been bringing him Alices to fall in love with. These Alices stay for 3 days, during which time they will either fall in love with Hatter, him with them, and (and this is important) be accepted by Wonderland, or they will go home and never return. Over the years, Hatter has almost fallen for some, had some try to take Wonderland’s power, and others ignore him for 3 days. One of those Alices was Alice Hu’s great grandmother – whom she’s the spitting image of – and her great grandmother broke Hatter’s heart. So when she shows up looking just like him, they get off to a bad start.
A really brilliant concept and I loved the three days that Alice spent in Wonderland. Marie did a really great job making this crazy place that you can’t help but love. Like with the characters, though, I wanted more. The three days went so fast and I didn’t get to see so many of the things that for me ARE Wonderland. No crazy queen (I mean, come on, what’s Wonderland without “Off with your head?!?”), for example. But the moments that I did get – like the tea party – were just great. And that’s why I wanted MORE.To be perfectly fair, though, my knowledge of Wonderland comes purely from TV and Movie adaptations of the book and I’m no expert. Perhaps what was missing was not in the book and I have no place to talk from?
The love story too, needed more. It was hot and steamy and didn’t need any more of that. I wanted more development – three days is a short time and in those three days they just didn’t spend enough time together to fall in love IMHO. They fell in lust, but I wanted love. A deep connection. I felt like those three days needed to be packed for me to believe in their love story, and they weren’t so I didn’t. But I believed in their lust LOL and it was enjoyable 😉
So I’m a bit disappointed, but ultimately I loved the world and really look forward to seeing more stories set within it. And I’m thrilled that Marie just released THE HUNTSMAN, a full-length novel in this same world. But for a fun quick read, Her Mad Hatter will do the trick.
To hear Michelle @ Because Reading and myself talk about this book, check out our new feature tomorrow called “Was It Good For You?”