The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes
Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, Eileen Dreyer, . . St. Martin's, $7.99 (410pp) ISBN 978-0-312-94098-0
For years, the three orphaned Fortune sisters, each endowed with a different magical ability, have been on the run from their evil aunt Xan. Dee, the oldest, is their shape-shifting protector; sullen middle child Lizzie has transmutative abilities (her latest aim is turning straw into gold); and self-satisfied Mare can move things with her mind. Aunt Xan, up to old tricks, uses a spell to send each girl her one true love—but if the sisters fall for these paramours, Xan will get her hands on their powers. What Xan doesn't count on is that the girls are wise to the plot and determined to beat their aunt at her own game. Unfortunately, the three novellas that spring from this solid premise are hobbled by too many characters (three sisters, three love interests, one freaky aunt) and too little space. As a result, exposition crowds out the story, giving each a rushed feel and a jarring conclusion. Despite the book's faults, it makes an enjoyable read; one hopes the authors' next collaboration will be on a single, full-length novel—or better yet, three of them.
Reviewed on: 06/04/2007