Today’s If You Like is about improbable plots.
I realize that this is a loaded category. One can argue that pretty much any plot is to a greater or lesser degree probable or improbable. For example, my beloved “heroine inherits a castle from an unknown relative” sort of books. I put those in the probable category. (Wishful thinking?) Others might shelve them in improbable.
But we all have those books that fall into the “really?” category. What’s even more impressive is when, despite pushing that button, the author manages to pull the story off.
Here are some of my personal “it’s so improbable… but it works!” books:
— Susan Elizabeth Philips’s Nobody’s Baby But Mine, in which a physicist, hoping for a child with a lower IQ, disguises herself as a hooker to seduce a football player– who then insists that they marry for the sake of the baby.
— Helena Dela’s The Count, in which an Austrian count lumbered with a family curse proposes to a total stranger, an English book restorer with a death wish– because the mothers of the heirs in his family always die and his high maintenance French girlfriend doesn’t want to be the one to go.
— Georgette Heyer’s The Reluctant Widow, in which the heroine gets into the wrong carriage and finds herself speedily married to a dying spendthrift and the heir to his estate.
What are your favorite “it shouldn’t work– but it does!” books?