Can't Resist a Cowboy

Daddy 101

Doctor Darling

Everyday Hero

Hot and Bothered

If Wishes Were....Daddies

One Wicked Night

Quick, Find a Ring

Single Sheriff Seeks...

Tangled Sheets

The Girlfriendsí Guide to . . . Catching His Eye
by Jo Leigh
(Harl. American # 851, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-16851-9
Emily Proctor had been Scott Dillonís high school buddy - but thatís all sheíd been. After all, back then she had been fat and shy. The best things she had going for her in high school were Scottís friendship and her circle of girlfriends. Over the years, though, Emily has lost some weight, kept her girlfriends and now Scott, ex-professional pro football player and still gorgeous, is back in town. Her friends are determined she isnít going to miss her chance to attract Scott this time.

There are some basic problems a book with this plot has and needs to solve. Is Emily a doormat for staying attracted all these years? Is Scott a jerk for never noticing Emily, too shy to mention he was interested before, or stupid for not realizing how important she was to him? And why didnít he stay in touch (pun originally unintended)? Iím not sure this book resolves those questions well.

Emily is very nice, self-aware and bright enough, but sheís still lacking in self-confidence. This makes it hard to get worked up about Emily since she doesnít do a lot to help herself before Scottís arrival. For example, when she realizes she hasnít changed much in her life since Scott was last around she boldly goes and - cuts her hair. Yeah. Thatíll change everything.

Scott is a problem, too. Scott isnít a jerk. But he isnít shy or suffering from some other reason why he couldnít previously tell Emily she was wonderful. Heís a real guy - that is, Scott just isnít too smart about Emily. He isnít any worse than the average guy, but then who wants an average guy in a romance? Of course he does make a really big mistake when he gets drunk, starts fooling around with Emily and then calls her by someone elseís name. Even worse, he doesnít remember anything about it later. At least he is smart enough to ask Emilyís girlfriends for advice when he has problems with her the morning after. That is a big plus.

Thatís because the girlfriends are what makes this book. As a group theyíre loyal and supportive, insightful and funny. Anyone would want to have them on his or her side. When Emily does get her big chance with Scott and Scott blows it, I wasnít really as interested about her as all of her buddies were. I was interested in how they reacted. And I would have loved to have their advice when I had my own boyfriend problems.

I would like to read more books in the series - because of the female friendships, not the man-woman relationship. That can be a drawback for a romance. On the other hand there are a lot of other females in this group that need a man. And a lot of them sound spunkier than Emily. So I have hopes for the next book.

--Irene Williams

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