“South Beach Cinderella,” by Sharon Potts. CreateSpace. 338 pages. $12.99 (paper), Kindle edition $2.99.
Although she is an established author of suspenseful mysteries, Sharon Potts decided that the best way to switch genre tracks was to publish her latest, a comedy-romance, through e-book and print on demand publishing. Let us hope she brings her fans along to enjoy her work in a different mode.
Frankie Wunder, real estate agent and wife of super-dentist Warren Wunder, is an earnest but misguided character whom Ms. Potts portrays with empathy and wry satiric strokes. When her childless marriage to her cheating husband falls apart, Frankie works herself up into a campaign frenzy to find true love and motherhood. Naively optimistic, she projects her versions of the ideal mate on a series of men whom she hardly knows, inevitably finding disappointment and slowly beginning to share the opinion of many of her friends that there just aren’t any good men out there.
Why the frenzy? Well, she’s desperate to have children, she’s thirty-five, and she hears that clock ticking. This panic, in part, makes her a bit delusional about the true merits of the men she meets.
Sharon Potts captures the humorous and awkward aspects of entering the dating game after more than a decade of married life. Frankie makes hilarious missteps, and the detached reader can often predict that things will turn out badly given Frankie’s sense of urgency and her blindness to obvious clues. Though Frankie is highly intelligent, her antennae are muddled. She builds dream men out of spoiled goods. And she is a bit scary in pushing her happy family agenda.
Frankie’s background, which includes a father she never knew and a hippie mother whose parenting style she has rejected, partially explains her needs and her confused state. Slowly, she gains greater insight and a more balanced perspective.
Crucial to the novel’s success and vision is her friend Neil, a lawyer turned free-lance accountant and unpublished author. Neil’s life is a battle against conventionality. His peculiarities make him seem like a lone wolf. Often unkempt, comfortably ignorant about fashion, oscillating between shyness and outspokenness, Neil is nobody’s Prince Charming. He’s a guy who makes do with the necessities of life and values repairing above replacing. He has a kind of earthy know-how, and he is loyal to his friends. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the October 26, 2011 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly and in the October 27 issue of the Naples edition, click here: Florida Weekly – Sharon Potts pdf