Finding Frazer by kc dyer (Berkley Books, May, 2016) is a fast, fun read. Imagine a young divorcee selling everything and giving up a good-paying job (well, she was fired and the job didn’t pay all that great anyway) to travel to Europe where she hopes to find her dream lover. Every woman has their ideal man, and Emma’s dream man is a fictional character—Jamie Fraser—from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels.
Emma Sheridan’s sister, Sofia, is a doer, not a day-dreamer like Emma. Sophia and Emma are as different as night and day. Sofia has to put Emma down every chance she gets, and it is their sibling rivalry that spurs Emma on despite financial and emotional setbacks.
Working writers who do the convention circuit will certainly identify with the hilarious scene at the Philadelphia romance writers convention where fen (plural of fan) wait in line for an author’s autographs. We’ve all been there as fans or as pros, depending on which side of the table we’re on at any one time. Emma is, after all, a writer of sorts (she writes a blog about her search for Jamie Fraser), and she even has printed business cards to prove it.
The debacle in the hotel bar is funny as hell. But she does meet Jack, a real writer from Scotland, there and shares a taxi ride with him.
Emma manages to survive, though she has doubts on the way, the plane ride to Scotland. She meets Susan who robs her of all her cash, her backpack, her laptop, and her debit cards. She tours castles and cairns, runs into Jack Findlay again, and works briefly as a fish monger and a door-to-door subscription agent before becoming a waitress and renting living space in a converted barn.
And then she meets Hamish Lewis. He’s everything she had looked for in a man: handsome, rugged, an automobile and truck mechanic, and a Scot’s Highlander. His kisses arouse her passion. Emma is certain he’s the one, her very own Jamie, and she falls head over heels in lust with Hamish and his six-pack abs.
Spoiler alert: We know from the moment Emma meets Jack that he’s the perfect man for her. But Emma, of course, does not know that, can’t see the forest for the trees, and mistakenly believes Jack is married or in a relationship. She has to go through a series of misadventures before she’s matured (grown, wised up) enough to recognize Jack as handsome, intelligent, caring, a reader and researcher like Emma, and someone who’s actually been madly in love with Emma since the moment he saw her.
Emma does find Fraser, but Fraser is neither who nor what Emma thought he would be.
Very highly recommended because of the superb character development, the twists and turns along the way, and the vicarious tour of the Scottish Highlands that’s almost as good as actually being there.