Written by: Tara Scott
Category: Book Review, Contemporary, Dramatic Romance (with lots of angst), Lesbian Fiction, Romance, Taming The Beast/Thawing The Ice Queen
Tags: Bold Strokes Books, M. Ullrich
Catherine Carter has a successful career as a financial advisor in New York City, a close relationship with her best friend, and has reached all of her goals but one. Her 30th birthday is coming up quick and she still doesn’t have a husband or kids, and the scars from her first relationship aren’t doing her any favours in that department. Despite some heavy skepticism, Catherine meets with a psychic her friend knows only to be told that happiness is coming her way and that the colour blue will have a great impact on her life.
Imogene Harris is having a difficult time. After being a rock for her mother in the time since Imogene’s firefighter father was killed on 9/11, she just doesn’t have the emotional capacity to handle much when her grandfather dies. She doesn’t want to do anything with her inheritance except invest it in her eclectic store, but finally agrees to meet with a financial advisor that comes recommended by a friend of a friend.
Catherine and Imogene are drawn to each other in a way they can’t deny. Can their attraction win out over grief, ghosts from the past, and misunderstanding which blues are the most significant?
Catherine has the greatest arc in the story. She’s not as bitchy as many of the ice queens we know and love, but she’s incredibly guarded, keeping everyone at bay except her best friend, Alice, and Alice’s family. Meeting Catherine’s family and seeing into the past relationship that burned her, it’s easy to see why, making it all the more satisfying when she finally opens up to Imogene.
Imogene is adorable. I don’t know if I want to date her or be best friends with her (oh, right—I’m happily married, so the latter). She has her own arc, especially as she deals with her grief and possibly some associated PTSD, and while it may not be as big as Catherine’s, it’s just as satisfying because she’s so damn lovely. She’s no pushover though, and her grit balances out her sweetness.
We also get to see quite a bit of Alice and Sophia, Imogene’s best friend and the psychic that Catherine visits. M. Ullrich took a risk by shifting perspectives between not only the two leads but also their best friends. It’s one that paid off because their view supports Catherine and Imogene’s as they make their way to their happily ever after.
The Writing Style
The pacing and plotting worked well in Fortunate Sum, and I couldn’t wait to get home so I could keep reading after work.
Everything worked for me, even the psychic angle, which is surprising because I don’t believe in psychics at all.
I don’t know if this is actually a con, but I wanted to throttle Catherine for what she does in the big conflict and I actually found myself yelling at my Kindle. I was glad with how things resolved, however, and I’m sure Catherine spends the rest of her life making things up to Imogene.
Fortunate Sum is a great read that I’m glad I checked it out (I do so love my thawing ice queens!). Between the characters, plot, and unique premise, there’s a lot to like about it and I’m excited to read more from M. Ullrich.
Excerpt from Fortunate Sum by M. Ullrich
Imogene started to make her way around the kitchen, setting out ingredients and utensils on the counter.
Most of her attention was dedicated to the task at hand, but Imogene couldn’t keep her eyes off Catherine on her sofa. She was struck by the vision of such a dark woman engulfed by multicolored throw pillows. Catherine contrasted with her surroundings, but Imogene was surprised by just how welcome the sight was. Suddenly, Vixen meowed, and Catherine jumped in alarm.
“That’s Vixen. Do you like cats?” Before Catherine could answer, Vixen jumped up in her lap and kneaded her expensive slacks. Catherine’s eyes were wide with fear. “My guess would be no. She tends to be drawn to people who prefer to be left alone.” Imogene went back to inexpertly slicing the red bell pepper.
“Can I touch her?”
“I wouldn’t recommend it.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626395305
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
M. Ullrich Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Fortunate Sum by M. Ullrich. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.