The Harder They Fall
Humor is so subjective. What’s funny to me might not be funny to you. I have read several Harlequin Love and Laughter titles that for me, just weren’t funny. So was The Harder They Fall funny? Well I laughed so hard I fell off the couch.
I read an article once that tried to analyze humor. The author said that women don’t like slapstick comedy. Sez who? I love slapstick and will take this opportunity to confess that I am a Three Stooges fan which is one reason I loved this book so much. It is full of physical comedy.
Darcy Welham is heir to a chain of successful restaurants. Her parents started the chain and now her father wants to sell out, retire and enjoy himself. Darcy considers the business a legacy and does not want to sell.
When we meet Darcy, she is working in one of the restaurants, trying her hand at being a waitress. Darcy is a total klutz. Accidents wait for her to come by before they happen. While I don’t like dumb heroines, I do like ones who can’t help being clumsy when they get nervous. I’m like that myself and have the bruises to prove it.
The company that wants to buy the restaurants has sent Michael Davidson to negotiate the deal. Michael is a stuffed shirt and when he first meets Darcy, she spills a tray of food in his lap. He is appalled by her clumsiness and tries to have her fired, but then he realizes that she is the one he’s going to have to negotiate with. Their relationship starts out antagonistic, but when Michael discovers that Darcy has a talent for creating new and tasty dishes, plus she looks like Grace Kelly, he begins to warm up to her.
I was reading along and came to one scene that made me laugh so hard I thought I’d hurt myself. Michael has tracked Darcy to the YMCA pool and watches in amazement as she executes some graceful dives. He swims over and talks to her in the pool, but when he puts his arms around her to kiss her, her knee-jerk reaction sends him to the bottom of the pool in deep pain.
Darcy decides that Michael was not born wearing a suit and Michael realizes that Darcy’s clumsiness is a result of her low opinion of herself. They become closer and fall in love. Naturally, the course of true love is marked by several accidents including the time when Michael and Darcy are kissing on her balcony and he is hit on the head by a dropped beer bottle from Darcy’s partying upstairs neighbors. When Michael and Darcy finally do make love, the scene is a wonderful mix of sensuality and humor.
Don’t read this book while eating or drinking, you might snarf something down the wrong way and hurt yourself. The Harder They Fall is Trish Jensen’s first book, and on behalf of all fans of screwball comedies and Three Stooges flicks, I’d like to thank you Trish. More please.