Forget what I said about male authors and romance writing. Michael Betcherman had me thinking twice with his new email romantic comedy, Suzanne.
A contemporary story told through a series of emails exchanged between the various key characters of the story, this entertaining tale has drama and catfights to rival any episode of Desperate Housewives, balanced with a healthy dose of the male perspective of romance, or rather, the chase.
In this delightful romp, recently widowed Suzanne Braun has fallen back on hard times when her late husband’s bad investments left her nearly destitute. Recovering from a relationship with an aging suitor which turned sour and landed her in the unenviable situation of being perceived as a gold-digger and therefore unwelcome at any social gatherings, the beautiful heroine decided to accept her brother-in-law’s invitation to spend the summer with the family at their cottage on Lake Joseph.
There’s only a slight snag – her sister-in-law, Catherine, who used to date her husband, is still resentful about her stealing the more desirable brother. How is Suzanne going to sidestep Catherine’s meddling, and accomplish her mission of landing a rich husband who will save her and her teenage daughter from poverty?
Catherine’s brother, Mark, a wealthy businessman, is returning home after 14 years in Japan and spending the summer with them. Fearing that Mark is on the rebound from a failed relationship and therefore very susceptible to Suzanne’s feminine wiles, Catherine would do anything to stop her arch-rival from gaining entrance to the family, even if she has to destroy her brother’s chances at happiness and resort to blackmail. And believe me Suzanne’s got quite a number of skeletons in her closet.
Of course, there were titanic clashes, but there were made all the more entertaining with the witty jibes and sarcasm these two women injected into their emails about each other. There’s also the subtle one-upmanship in the email exchanges between Catherine and rich cronies a la the OC. This story is going to be good TV or movie entertainment.
But you didn’t expect the authors to leave the star-crossed lovers in the lurch, did you? They get their HEA alright, but it was every bit as dramatic, and quite heart-warmingly romantic, although I did want to smack Mark in the head for being for so hung up over an omission of her health condition. (Yeah, I know the guys will tell me it’s a pinciple of trust, but hey a girl’s got a right to her secrets). So even through the verbal sparring and battle of wits among the womenfolk, the reader can’t help rooting for Suzanne.
It was with a lot of impatience and anxiety that I decided to forgo sleep and the usual circuit of daily emails to read the entire story online. Kudos to Michael for a highly entertaining plot and even including interactive goodies such as videos and planted news stories. I won’t be surprised at all if this plot gets turned into a TV drama. It certainly has the ingredients of one.