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3.8 out of 5 stars
The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have been putting off reading this story for a while now thinking it was an anthology. I ASSumed (you know what they say about assumptions) this based on the three authors listed on the title. I have to be in a special mood to dive into an anthology so yesterday in the anthology mood I opened the book and to my surprise discovered it's not an anthology. It's a novel written jointly by three authors. YAY! This is a magical tale about three witch sisters, each with their own talent, who have been on the run from their dangerous aunt Xan for more than a decade.

The oldest sister, Dee, has been the little mother since she was 16. She is the one who grabbed her sisters and ran after their parent's untimely death. She is the straight laced responsible sister with a hidden wild side. Her power is shape shifting.

The middle sister, Lizzie, hates conflict and accidentally produces bunnies when she is upset or nervous. She appears extremely vulnerable but ends up having a powerful side. Her power is transmutation.

The youngest sister, Mare, walks around claiming she is Queen of the Universe, when really she is probably the most vulnerable. She is equal parts Bravado and tender hearted. Her power is psychokinetic.

When the sisters discover that the aunt may have found out where they are, and sent them a few unexpected, but certainly welcome men, things in their small town of Salem's Fork will never be the same.

There are wonderful one-liners like the one I used for my review title. Humorous situations that had me laughing out loud throughout the book. There were a few heart breaking scenes that had me reaching for the Kleenex. A fair share of these pages were sizzling with the sexual chemistry and escapades of the sisters and their men.

I don't know which author wrote which part, but I enjoyed every character immensely. Each character brought a unique spin and zest to this story. The writing style and story flowed extremely well and I never found myself thinking about who was writing what... it just didn't matter, I just didn't care. This was a fun, exciting, magical tale and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a hard time putting it down and when it came to the end, I was a little bummed. Enjoy!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of the magical Fortune sisters, each with a gift. Dee, the eldest, is a shapeshifter. Lizzie, the middle sister, transmutes things, and Mare, the youngest, can move things with her mind. For the past 12 years, they have lived a nomadic life, fleeing when their powers drew attention, or when their aunt Xantippe found them. After Xan murdered their parents, Dee took her sisters and fled, hiding out in small towns. Now, their aunt has found them again, only she has also sent each sister the love of her life as part of her evil plans. For Dee, it's Danny James, in town to research the Fortune family for a book. Elric is a powerful wizard who is sent to Lizzie to stop her from destroying the fabric of the universe with her experiments. Xan sends Jude Green to Mare, only at the same time, Mare's old love Crash returns after having left town five years before. Mare should be falling for Jude, a vice president for her employer, Value Video!!, but he leaves her cold. Instead, it's Crash who stirs things up again, rekindling old memories while making her want him anew.

Unbeknownst to the Fortune sisters, Xan has a plan to strip them of their powers and take them for herself. They slowly uncover her plotting and scheming, only Dee and Lizzie are so crazy in love they don't care where their men came from. Mare can't quite get over the fact that Crash left her for five years, and his feelings for her may not be real; they may just be the result of Xan's love spell, which isn't enough for her. As the sisters fall deeply in love, they suddenly attain some control over the powers that had so long controlled them. It's a good thing, because they're going to need everything they've got to put a stop to Xan.

Unfortunately, Jennifer Crusie seems to be another victim of the current publishing craze of having a new book on the shelves every few months. She has the integrity not to let her writing suffer by choosing to collaborate and share the burden, spreading herself thin in a high quality way. The parts of this book that Crusie wrote are engaging, even featuring a few laugh-out-loud moments. Her co-authors, however much they may have attempted to mimic her writing style, do not have her chops. Those parts of the book are noticeably inferior, at times even boring. The book dragged in the middle and, because each author wrote from the perspective of a different sister, everything that happened occurred three times. First Dee met her match, then Lizzie, then Mare. Then Dee discovered burgeoning feelings for her man, then Lizzie, then Mare. This got repetitive when each phase of their new relationships was experienced three times in a row. Three first kisses, three detailed sex scenes, three confessions of their secret powers. They didn't even bother to mix up the order of events from sister to sister. The only departure from the formula was the fact that Mare had a preexisting relationship with Crash. Actually, everything about Mare was good because it was written by Jennifer Crusie. It was the rest of the book that wasn't up to par.

Collaborations are a fun idea, but they'd be more fun for readers if the authors involved were all of the same quality. Jennifer Crusie is a wonderful writer with excellent books to her credit, so I have to wonder why she keeps sharing her skills with others. I'm all for experiments and trying new things, and I admire her for helping her friends get some recognition by coauthoring this novel. Unfortunately, they just don't have her skills. I'll always look forward to a new Crusie novel, but I wish she'd go back to working alone.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was too convoluted, erratic, and the different styles of the writers didn't work together.

The stories would have been better if written separately, like the Linda Howard, Linda Winstead, and Beverly Barton Raintree trilogy.

Not worth my time and effort to locate and read, or the money I spent to purchase it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
I purchased this book because I'm a huge Crusie fan, and the website for the book won me over, reading how much the writer's had enjoyed their characters. As a Crusie fan, I was not disappointed. And I'll be checking out the backlists for Dreyer and Stuart because their storylines were written so well.

A collaborative effort, the effect is seamless. Three romances, packed into a weekend. I know, a weekend? But these writer's know what they're doing because it's believable and you root for the characters to defeat Xan (an entertaining--twisted, but entertaining--villain) and find their happy-ever-afters.

The pacing is flawless, and how could it not be? Three days to resolve a lifetime of conflict, and they make every scene count.

But after the last page, my favorite part of the book was how fun it was. Sure, the dialogue was hillarious, and the situations magic-gone-wrong causes are imaginative and engaging. But, it's a fun read. You'll enjoy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was full of repetitive conversations as if the authors needed filler material. Dee kept saying "we must leave." Mare repeatedly gets mad at Crash saying "you've been gone for five years." I did not like the way Lizzie told Elric to leave her forever. Then as soon as he was gone she cried because she missed him and didn't want him to leave. The plot was stupid. I can't think of anything nice to say about this book. Story brief: Aunt Xan wants to steal the witch powers from 3 sisters. She finds 3 men who will be their true loves and sends those men to the 3 sisters.

CAUTION SPOILER: I don't know why this will help Xan get the powers, because in the end, the 3 sisters gang up on her and also fight her separately and win without her taking their powers. The 3 sisters also stay with the 3 men at the end. Therefore, being with the men did not weaken the 3 sisters.

Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: six. Setting: current day Salem's Fork, Virginia. Copyright: 2007. Genre: fantasy and paranormal romance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...Kind of "Blah" myself.

Although there were several funny moments...I loved the scene where Mare reminds the guys of why chick flicks are worth watching! On the whole, I found it rather boring. There wasn't enough back story and I never came to care about, or identify with, any of the female characters. The men were so unrealistic, just typical female fantasy stereotypes made flesh (or paper as it were) and, as far as personality, BORING!

The video store scenes and the butterfly tattoos were the only memorable parts as far as I am concerned.

I agree with the reviewer that this seemed like a bad attempt to copy the Feehan "Drake Sisters" series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story represents the strengths of all three authors. The three sisters each have their own magical power, their own personalities, and their own love interests, but it is one story that takes place over three days.
The elements I associate with each of these authors are clearly present in the book - there is great wit and strong, sassy heroines. The three sisters and their men are great fun. They are distinct without being extreme in the way that some books with trios can be as the author(s) try too hard to demonstrate their distinctness. Oh, and did I mention the guys are hot - yeah, they are.
It was a great read, taking me just over twenty four hours to complete. And it ended with me feeling a bit sad, since I had enjoyed hanging out with Dee, Lizzie and Mare.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When you get three romance authors of the caliber of Crusie, Dreyer, and Stuart together in one book the results are indeed magical! "The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes" is a sassy tale of wit, whimsy, and magic. Each author brings her own style of romance and heroes to the page as they introduce the reader to Dee, Lizzie, and Mare--sisters with a little something extra. Throw in an evil witch of an aunt named Xan and three of the sexiest heroes to grace the pages of a novel in a long while and you have definite sparks! Together the girls have to learn how to control their considerable powers while fighting off their aunt's efforts to steal their powers and make them her own. Add to that the discovery of each of their One True Love and you have a decidedly potent mixture of sex, fun, and some pretty dramatic face offs. A definite "must-read" for romance and paranormal fans alike.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Books written by committee often suffer from a certain disconnected feeling. This book avoids that and instead provides a cohesive and delightful novel of three magical sisters who find their true loves while humorously grappling with their own dreams and duties. The three authors have similar styles, and seamlessly blend their storylines. The characters are light and fun, with whimsical touches. The romance is hot and steamy, and the relationships between sisters, boyfriends, relatives, townsfolk and minions are intriguing and entertaining. This is a great summer read, with the flavor of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic or tv's guilty pleasure "Charmed".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this story for many reasons. One it was a collaboration from three well-known and highly accomplished authors, not an anthology of three authors work, but a novel incorporating the three voices. I've read many of their prior individually written books, so looked forward to seeing how three giant egos could pull off this very interesting concept. They did it with aplomb! The one thing for me as a reader that denotes a successful collaboration, is the smoothness in transition from one author's voice to the other. It must be seamless. In TUMF it was.

There was nothing not to like in this novel, fabulous descriptive setting and mood, fun witty dialogue, great developing relationships between all of the sisters and their new found love interests, hot, hot, hot sex and magic galore. And those three guys, all different and all yummy! And the antagonist, I loved her. Xan was evil with a heart.

I put this book down with a smile and thought about different scenes for days. I'll definitely read this one again. It's the type of story you don't have to rush through, you can take your time and savor it. In fact I think it is better read slowly because it does have three women's seperate stories going on, even though the overall story is intertwined. If I could sum it up in one word it would be "fun" and I suspect the authors had a ton of fun in writing it because it shows.
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