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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes

***** The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart. Contemporary paranormal romance.

How on earth could I resist this novel (it's not an anthology!) when two of the collaborators are favorite authors? And even if they hadn't been, their joint blog about the book would have convinced me.

Let me repeat: this is a novel, not an anthology. It's one story, written by three authors. Three heroines, three heroes, one villain.

The three Fortune sisters have magical gifts, but it hasn't made their lives easier. Ever since the death of their parents, they've only had each other, and they never stay in one place for very long because their aunt Xantippe keeps catching up with them.

And why not? It's not like Dee, Lizzie, and Mare are using their powers. Heck, those powers are making them miserable. If Xan takes those powers, she'd be doing them a favor, really. And if doing so keeps her young and beautiful, well, she deserves to be paid for that favor, right?

So Xan has cast a spell to send her nieces their true loves, giving them a reason to give up their powers. For Dee, there's Danny, who's writing a book about their parents; sorcerer Elric is for Lizzie; and for Mare, there's Jude, a VP at Value Video! where she works, who's offering her a dream job. Except that Mare's ex, Crash, shows up too.

The sisters are all individuals, each with her own niche in the family, and their powers reflect their personalities, or vice versa. The heroes likewise are perfect for each of them. And it's loads of fun watching how Xan's plan backfires when finding true love doesn't make her nieces want to surrender their powers.

Xan is a great villain, too, because she's just so reasonable. She's not evil, she just sticks up for herself, and everything would be just fine if people would only listen to her. And when things go wrong, it's not her fault. Much fun. It's really a shame this isn't the start of a series (it's not--the authors have said unequivocally that there'll be no sequel), because I'd love to see more of Xan.

As with the Crusie/Mayer partnership, each author wrote the scenes that are in her character's POV: Dreyer writing Dee, Stuart writing Lizzie, and Crusie writing Mare and Xan. Since the author shifts coincide with POV shifts, the collaboration was very smooth, and without the three names on the cover, I wouldn't have been able to tell it wasn't written by a single author.

Unsurprisingly, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes was featured in the Cherry Forums Book Club. You can find that discussion archived here.


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It always impresses me when authors who usually write solo manage to get together for a collaboration. How do they not end up at each other's throats? Or perhaps these three did?

Sounds like a treat, though!
Well, the joint blog sounds pretty amicable, but then they are all professionals. You'll notice they're not doing a sequel. ;-)
Anne Stuart and Jenny Crusie are obviously still talking to each other because they're collaborating on Dogs and Goddesses. Eileen Dreyer hasn't joined them this time (so Lani Diane Rich makes up the threesome for this collaboration), but she did write a blog post for them on collaboration.
wait...what? Anne Stuart and Jennifer are doing another collaborating? I didn't know this. I think this should be interesting.!

I never read book by Lani before, but am sure Darla going to scold me for that..*duck head* hehehe
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