Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes are a lucky find for your summer reading

One of the fun things about going to a book convention is discovering writers who have been out there in the trenches of Booklandia for awhile now and yet new to you as a reader. With The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes,I was able to sample three authors at once:Jennifer Crusie,
Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart who teamed up to create this novel after a lively chat at a writer's conference.

Our story begins with the three Fortune sisters,Deidre(Dee),Elizabeth(Lizzie) and Moira(Mare),who are trying to live quiet lives in the small town of Salem's Fork. Their neighbors know them as the O'Briens,due to the Dee's determination that their Aunt Xantippe doesn't find them,along with anyone else interested in the offspring of the once famous TV psychic couple,Phil and Fiona Fortune,who died under mysterious circumstances before going being sent to jail for fraud. The Fortune sisters also have another big secret to hide,the fact that they can all do magic.

Their abilities are great but their control over them is not;Dee is a shapeshifter whose bad luck in love is partly due to morphing into the mother of any guy she makes out with. Lizzie can transform items but when she's nervous,the flatware multiplies into bunnies and when aroused,gorgeous shoes appear out of nowhere. Mare is able to move objects with her mind but has to be careful when she gets too hot and bothered or she might literally make the earth move under her feet.

Aunt Xan does know where her nieces are and decides to trick them into giving her their powers by making them an offer they can't refuse,their True Loves. All at once,three strangers come into town and wind up sweeping the Fortunes off their feet. Dee gets Danny James,a researcher for a well known fantasy writer looking to expose the senior Fortunes as fakes for his venture into nonfiction. Lizzie encounters Elfric,a sorceror who wants her to stop disrrupting the balance of the universe with her attempts to change straw into gold.

Mare,however,is not interested in Jude,the VP from Value Video!! who wants to give her a big promotion that would take her to New York. She's more intrigued about her old boyfriend Crash,who has returned to town after getting into a motorcycle accident with Mare five years ago. That puts a spoke into the wheels of Aunt Xan's plot along with Xan's goofy helper Maxine who is as subtle as a brick in spying on the blossoming romances of the sisters.

With the exception of reading a couple of essay collections edited by Crusie,I have not read any of the author's previous fiction so I can't tell you who wrote what character and chapter. I can tell you that this narrative does flow together seamlessly and fits together like a well made puzzle that gives you a lovely yet sexy scene. Yes, there is some hanky panky but those moments are done tastefully and tenderly.

It's also nice to see some paranormal romance that is not mired in angst and revels in the playful aspects of love and lust. There's also plenty of good humor around and some tongue in cheek bits that don't undercut the theme of finding the emotional courage to love and be loved. You might be inclined to think that this book is just a take-off on Charmed but the style is more consistant with Buffy or Angel in their most lighthearted of shows,plus all that talk of bunnies reminded me so much of Anya:

And if I had to choose my favorite Fortune sister,it would be Mare. I identify with Dee quite abit,being an older sister myself and I've been as shy as Lizzie many times in my life but Mare is just so cool. A self proclaimed "Queen of the Universe" who takes no guff,can qoute dozens of movie lines off the top of her head and kick butt while not getting her Corpse Bride wedding dress mussed up is the kind of gal I'd like to hang out with to pick up a few pointers.

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes will be in stores by June 26 and if you're shopping around for a fun summer read,look no further,folks. This novel is just as entertaining as any big budget film and alot more female friendly,that's for sure. An except from Jennifer Crusie' new novel is included as well,Agnes and the Hitman,which she wrote with Bob Mayer. I don't know if I will get to that one any time soon but it certainly sounds like another winner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man oh man was that book AWSOME!!! I love the romance!! If i could be anyone in that book it'd be Lizzie. Elric is just sooooooo hott!!!!! I'd love to be in her place!! And I do have to agree with you that Mare is kick ass. But I would LOVE to be Lizzie :) *sigh*