Fortune's Deception
by Karen Erickson, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-885-2


Charles Manning, a financial consultant, doesn't understand his client Brittney Jones. She has recently won a huge amount of money from the lottery - and by huge, we are talking about huge - but instead of heeding his sensible advice, she's throwing away money left and right in what he perceives to be a frivolous manner. After all, why would a woman buy expensive clothes, diamond earrings, and hair extensions, right? How silly!

Because Brittney seems to like shopping so much, indeed an anomalous behavior from someone who has unexpectedly won more money than she could use, Charles thinks of her as a shallow twit. Imagine his surprise when she shows up in one of her rare appointments with him to ask him on pointers about how much money she should donate to a charity. Naturally, she has no idea what charity she should be donating to - perhaps she would start her own charity instead - so she is proving Charles right in many ways about her being a twit.

The next thing I know, she's acting giggly and coy and asking him about the last he's had sex. Charles, naturally, wants to sleep with her even if he doesn't respect her brain from what I can see. Someone should ask him whether he'd still love Brittney if she stops buying pretty dresses and quits dolling herself up. Does he think that a hot babe is naturally pretty and doesn't need expensive beauty treatments? While we're at it, someone should do an audit on Mr Expensive Suit here to sort out his own spending habit.

And on and on this story goes. There is something about her having a secret and he needing to loosen up, but all in all, this is a bewildering story of silly people doing befuddling things in the name of "romantic comedy".

Still, on the positive side, this story is so short that the pain is quickly over.

Rating: 49


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