Cecelia is horrified when her sister, dressed in a gypsy outfit and stuffing everything not nailed down into her purse, shows up at her engagement party and tells her she needs to call off her wedding. Cecelia's sister, Amy, can hear the name of a person's One True Love when she touches them, and she says that Cecelia's One True Love is not Jack, the handsome and successful lawyer Cecelia is engaged to, but rather someone named Finn Concord, who, according to Amy, is dying. Cecelia, who has always believed that Amy's ability ruined her life, refuses to listen to her, but Amy eventually wears her down. Cecelia decides to find any guy named Finn Concord in town and tell him, in a letter, that he should go get a check up because he might be dying. Things don't go quite like how she hoped they would, and Cecelia ends up accidentally meeting, talking to, being attracted to, and really liking one of the Finns she finds, a widower who's recently come to town with his young daughter to meet her "rent-a-Granny."
The two have a bit of an uphill battle. Finn doesn't know at first that Cecelia is engaged. He also doesn't like that Cecelia, a doctor, works in a practice that will only treat those with good private health insurance - his wife died because they didn't have the right connections and couldn't get her the treatment that could've saved her life. Cecelia is determined to stay with Jack, but that has its problems as well - she hasn't told Jack that she and her sister Amy used to steal things and run cons when they were younger. Eventually, more and more lies get unraveled. Amy hasn't told Cecelia everything, Finn's young daughter is hiding things and is beginning to make a pretty good con artist herself, and the "rent-a-Granny" is also involved. Although Amy has said that she's just trying to make sure that Cecelia ends up with the right guy, she really wants to make sure that Cecelia is so grateful to her that she decides to let Amy stay with her - Amy has realized that her powers are fading and are only strong when she's around Cecelia. With Finn's daughter's help, she hatches a plan to get Cecelia and Finn together, but the two aren't very cooperative. Will everything work out? Will Cecelia want Amy to stay, despite all the lies? Is Finn really going to die?
I expected this to be a story about a straight-laced doctor who is horrified when her kooky but lovable family butt into her life and unravel all the perfection. Although her fiance wouldn't love her family, Finn would. However, that wasn't the case - Cecelia's family is eccentric, but a good chunk of it's not really lovable. Amy is horrible, and we never actually get to meet her mom and dad. Her other sister will turn up in another book - which I bought, because the sneak peek at the end of this book indicated that her story would be the kind of thing I usually enjoy (awkward heroine who inexplicably ends up with famous/rich guy - it's embarrassing that I love these kinds of stories, but I do).
It's been way, way too long since I read this book, so it's kind of hard to write this commentary - I need to get a lot better about writing these right after I finish the books. Anyway, I remember disliking Amy (a lot - I can't imagine enjoying whatever book she gets, and I don't plan on buying it, since I'm not a fan of characters who will use their own family members). The rent-a-Granny was a bit...quirky and unfortunately turned out to be part of Amy's scheming. Again, a reason to dislike Amy.
As far as I can remember, I liked Cecelia and Finn well enough, but the thing I remember the most was that, once I finished this book, I really wanted to read the book starring Cecelia's other sister. On the one hand, it's good that Holquist's writing appealed to me enough that I wanted to read another book by her. On the other hand, it's not so good that a book of hers I hadn't even read at the time made more of an impression on me than the book I did read. You have to admit, though, the cover is fun-looking. I think it's why I picked this book up. That, and I found this on the $1 clearance pile.
Well, that's it then. I know, I know, not the best commentary. What can I say, it's been a whole year since I last read this book (yeah, that long - I'm sooo behind on finishing posts). If I ever read it again, I'll try to remember to write another commentary and just skip the synopsis part.
I honestly don't know how good my read-alikes list is, but I did my best. I know I've read more romance novels with fortune-telling in them, but I can't for the life of me remember them.
- Night Pleasures (book) by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Want another romance novel starring a straight-laced, practical heroine who just wants a normal life, who just happens to have a not-so-normal sister? Amanda Devereaux is the one normal person in a family of oddballs. After being mistaken for her twin sister, who hunts vampires (which Amanda had never really believed existed), Amanda ends up chained to a guy named Kyrian. Kyrian is a Dark Hunter, an immortal warrior who hunts Daimons (which are a bit like vampires, only they eat souls) for the goddess Artemis. Somewhere along the way, Amanda and Kyrian end up falling in love, but, if they want to have a life together, Amanda will have to figure out how to get Kyrian's soul back from Artemis.
- You Don't Know Jack (book) by Erin McCarthy - Another romance novel with lies that need to be unraveled and a psychic who predicts that the heroine will meet her "one true love." In this case, the heroine is Jamie Peters, a social worker and free spirit who has been burned by love one too many times. A cross-dressing psychic predicts that she'll meet her soul mate - and then she meets Jack, who seems perfect. Unfortunately, "Jack" has a lot of things he hasn't told Jamie. When Jamie finds everything out, will she be able to trust that not everything between them was a lie?
- Fools Rush In (book) by Kristan Higgins - Another romance novel in which the heroine, who has a plan for the way she wants her life to go, remakes herself and then ends up falling for someone who doesn't fit the plan. In high school, Millie Barnes had a huge crush on Joe Carpenter. Back then, she was brainy and plain, but, over a decade later, she's got a hot new look and a good job (plus, a whole decade's worth of experience stalking the guy, figuring out what he likes and doesn't like). She gets the guy, but is he really what she wants, or could Sam, her former brother-in-law, really be the better guy for her?