- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books (Dec 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743403347
- ISBN-13: 978-0743403344
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.9 x 2 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,981,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Turned out by a sleazy cousin who inherited her family's properties, Lady Alyssa Porter is trying to support herself and her younger sister, Calla (who is a riot!). To make ends meet--just barely at that--Alyssa has become Madam Zora, a gypsy fortune teller whose tarot readings and crystal ball predictions are taking the ton by storm.
Ian Fortune, a titled nobleman who'd rather strike out on his own than accept his disapproving grandfather's charity, is not so taken with the lovely "gypsy." He has made a career of spotting con artists and Madam Zora seems to be just that. While attending a party where she is doling out psychic advice to the gentry, Ian attempts to discredit her. Later on he feels guilty for his actions, when a friend reminds him that the lady is likely only trying to do what he's done: be responsible for her own well-being.
Ian tries to make up to her more than once, but complications ensue--not the least of which being his fierce attraction to pretty, spunky Alyssa. With one amusing obstacle after another tossed in their path, it isn't long before Ian and Alyssa are completely and hopelessly head over heels in love.
I had a great time following Alyssa's antics, and Ian was her perfect foil. Alyssa's little sister, Calla, is an added bonus to an already charming book. I look forward to seeing Calla meet her match, perhaps in a future book? (I hope!)
Thanks for another great read, Victoria!
One reason is the lack of detail provided. Almost 90% of the book is dialogue, and what is described tends to be couched a value judgment by the character. We are told the heroine looks dashing in her new ball gown, but never is the actual dress described. Although this makes it difficult to envision the scenes of the book, it is almost a relief, for these "descriptions" are sometime all we have to see into the mind of a character beyond what the character says to others.
Another reason this novel disappointed me is that the plot failed to excite me and the conflicts always seemed silly. The biggest hurdle the couple needed to overcome on their way to wedded bliss was the need to make the choice to wed themselves and not be pushed into it by their friends and family who knew they were perfect for each other. Perhaps this is a valid problem, but not exciting to read about.
In all, this novel has much potential to amuse, but fails to satisfy. The banter between characters (not the least of which the hero and heroine) had me laughing outloud on several occasions. If only the plot hadn't been so dry and unimaginative.
Lucy's profession begins to unravel when Ian Fortune cynically insults her fortune telling abilities. He appears wherever the gypsy performs, ultimately planning to expose her as a fraud. Lucy and Ian begin to fall in love, but outside forces including his estrange grandfather, her odious cousin, and a wannabe lover threaten their relationship.
FORTUNE'S BRIDE is an entertaining historical romance that will please fans of Regency and Victorian tales as it bridges both sub-genres. The well-written plot is fun, but the story belongs to Lucy, whose bravery under fire turns her into a heroine. Ian is a strong lead character. Readers will want Victoria Malvey to follow up with a Victorian romance starring the precocious Calla, whose antics often steal the show from the dynamic lead couple.
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