What do you do when a distraught bride, unraveling with pre-wedding jitters, sits down at your booth at a psychic fair, stares at you with psychotic intensity, and says she'll put a gun to her head at the altar unless you show her how to back out of the marriage?
If you're Claire, the narrator of this wacky chick-lit novel, you can't pull yourself together sufficiently to refuse. So you lay out a Celtic Cross, and when the World turns up in the near future position, you tell the client the marriage would be the worst disaster of her life.
Actually, the ongoing disaster in this novel is Claire, a professional card reader with pathetically low personal boundaries, a chaotic emotional life, and a complete inability to consider the consequences before blurting out whatever is bubbling to the surface of her scattered brain.
Early in the book, Claire solemnly tells us that she's not one of those poor souls with no psychic gifts who have to memorize card meanings. She only uses the cards as props to quiet her mind so her intuition can speak. Unfortunately, her profound intuitive abilities haven't saved her from three disastrous marriages, or from seeing the stalker standing at her front door. Nor does it save her from a never-ending string of social blunders and surreal disasters.
The book takes on an aura of mystery and magical realism after Claire arrives at the estate where the psycho bride's wedding is about to be celebrated, and finds herself reluctantly impersonating the missing bride. With an overabundance of attractive men to distract her, Claire gets tangled up in hidden agendas, family secrets, and hard-to-explain synchronicities.
If you don't lose your patience with the ditzy narrator, the book is a fun, page-turning beach read.