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The Groom's Revenge
by Susan Crosby
(Silh. Desire #1214, $3.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76214-3
****
Your official "Fortune's Children" reviewer here to report on the latest installment of this eternal saga and it's a goody. Another illegitimate child of a former Fortune affair turns up and she marries a guy who has revenge on his mind. Ah, these Fortunes sure lead interesting lives!

We met Molly Shaw a couple of books ago as she became the official wedding planner for the ever-marrying Fortunes. Little did we know that she is in fact the illegitimate daughter of Stuart Fortune, the result of a brief affair when Stuart and Marie Fortune were briefly separated. Now it is her turn to become a Fortune bride.

Molly runs a flower shop in addition to planning weddings. One afternoon a most amazing event occurs. Computer tycoon Gray McGuire walks into her shop. Gray is on a mission; he wants to destroy Stuart Fortune and he's well on his way to achieving his goal. Stuart's company, Knight Star Systems is in trouble, trouble caused by Gray. Gray wants revenge because he blames Stuart for his father's death.

Gray has approached Mollie because he has discovered the secret of her birth. He finds the fact that Mollie and her mother had to struggle to make ends meet all their lives while Stuart Fortune lived in luxury just one more reason to hate the man. And he thinks that Mollie might contribute to Stuart's destruction.

But once he meets Mollie, all his plans for using her go out the window. Instead, he finds himself wanting to protect her. She becomes his "Sunshine," the only bright light in his all too gray world.

For her part, Mollie is amazed that Gray has walked into her life. It turns out that she had developed something of a crush on the handsome businessman,. So when he whisks her off to California to meet his oh so proper parents and then proposes they stop in Las Vegas on their way back to Minneapolis and get married, what can she do but say yes? She recognizes how much Gray needs her love and laughter.

But can their marriage survive if Mollie discovers Gray's plot to destroy Stuart and harm the Fortunes who have been so good to her?

The above plot summary does not begin to capture the charm of this book. Mollie is such a delightful heroine, so winning, so charming, so perfect for a man who has never learned to have fun. Gray quickly realizes how much he needs Mollie, how much she means to him. His growing devotion is touchingly described. Yet the demons from his past are a threat to their future.

In my opinion, The Groom's Revenge is the best of the latest incarnation of the Fortune's Children saga. But you don't need to have read the others to enjoy this book. It is a book that makes me smile just thinking about it. You'll smile too.

--Jean Mason


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