Latest tale in romance series is not perfect

Lezlie Patterson / McClatchy-Tribune News Service /

Published Feb 17, 2013 at 04:00AM

“A Date With Fortune” by Susan Crosby (Harlequin, 224 pgs., $5.25)

This long-running series can get stale, at times.

This is one of those times.

Michael is another Atlanta Fortune to venture into Red Rock, Texas, and find love.

The ice-veined business man comes to town to convince his cousins to return to Atlanta, and the family business. He also scoffs at the idea of finding love in the small town that seems to lure his siblings and cousins into matrimony faster than Yogi to a picnic basket, and is determined to avoid that.

He fails in both instances.

Michael is barely in town when he meets Felicity, friend and roommate of Sarah Jane who is blissfully in love with Wyatt Fortune. Felicity is the opposite of Michael in most ways: She’s an innocent, small-town girl who works hard as a candy maker and loves her small-town life and its small-town ways. She wants to find love, and is a huge fan of the emotion.

Michael doesn’t believe in love. (And boy have we heard that before!) He loves the city, his high-powered job, wearing designer suits, and he’s definitely not innocent.

But he’s drawn to her immediately. Despite his anti-love mantra, Michael does a good job wooing Felicity. Until he doesn’t.

There have been too many Fortune books to count, spanning generations, family branches and geography. So it’s only logical that they’re hit-or-miss. This one falls somewhere in between. Felicity is sweet, familiar characters reappear, and Michael is adequate if not predictable with his epiphany that “love really does exist, and I found it with Felicity.”

Of course, that’s one thing that really never does get stale.