Thursday, July 26, 2007


The theory behind THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES -- three well-known authors (Jenny Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, Anne Stuart) combine talents to create a single novel -- is like opening a menu and finding your three favorite desserts combined into one. (In my case, it would be a honkin’ slice of sour cream lemon meringue-hot fudge sundae-cheesecake, but you’re not here to find out how I flirt with diabetic coma on a weekly basis, so never mind.)

You think, “Wow. All three at once. I wonder how that’ll taste...” And so you order it and you dig in and lo and ain’t bad. In fact, parts of it are downright tasty.

I’ve read a little Dreyer and a little more Stuart, and liked them both. I’m an inveterate Crusie fan, though, so I expected to love the Crusie contribution best. I wasn’t wrong. The characters she created in Mare Fortune, Crash (Mare’s one true love), and a cast of wacky supporting actors are the sour cream lemon meringue pie my grandmother made for every birthday I celebrated between ages five and twenty.

My next favorite was Anne Stuart’s contribution in the character of Lizzie. I guess she’d be the hot fudge sundae with homemade vanilla ice cream drowned in fudge made from real dark chocolate. Maybe some coconut flakes for texture. I found Lizzie loveable, if a little more dim than I generally like my heroines. Her soulmate, Elric, tended toward the typical paranormal alpha male -- inscrutable, arrogant and more than a little annoying at times, but I forgave him eventually. All in all, a solid effort.

Finally, Dreyer’s eldest sister, Dee, was my least favorite of the trio, which is not to say I didn’t like her...because hello? Cheesecake? The really good kind, straight from New York? But she’s a frustrating character for me, forever trapped by her own sense of responsibility and guilt, and carrying secrets alone, and I dunno...cardigan sweaters and her hair in a bun? Really? It made me want to rebel in solidarity with eldest sisters everywhere. Plus, her interactions with her one true love tended to be a little on the repetitive side. But hey...even when every bite of cheesecake is the same as the last, who’s complaining?

Together the three sisters were a delight. With a villainess, Xantippe, who is the perfect cup of espresso -- dark, bitter, and cleansing to the palate between bites of confection -- this book can’t miss. If I were a real reviewer giving it a real grade...hmmm...four and a half maraschino cherries out of five.

I highly recommend THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES. - Romance of Dubious Virtue


Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

I saw this one in the store and hesitated. It's a good read?

7/27/2007 7:40 PM  
Blogger Selah March said...

It's a light read. Distracting enough to entertain for a few hours.

I assume that's what they were going for, and they succeeded.

7/28/2007 2:51 PM  

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