Review of AN EX TO GRIND by Jane Heller (see her website)
William Morrow, July 2005
When the court orders financial planner Melanie Banks to pay alimony to her ex-husband, she is furious. Ex-football star Dan Swain is intelligent and able-bodied, but after his career-ending injury, he refused to even try to get a job. He sat around the house, partied with his buddies, and seemed content to spend Melanie's paycheck. But what really galls her is that, once they're divorced, he continues to live the high life on her money and rubs her nose in it, while she's living in a rat hole.
So Melanie gets an idea. If Dan lives 90 continuous days with another woman, the alimony order is null and void. So she goes to a high-priced matchmaker to find the perfect woman for Dan and secretly sets them up. Leah is absolutely perfect--beautiful, smart, kind. And when Melanie's scheme succeeds far too easily, she must reassess what she really wants, what's important in her life.
I find any book about divorce a bit of a downer. And while I sympathized with the heroine over the raw deal she got from her ex, I did not find her behavior any more admirable. Yes, she grows and changes and becomes a better person by the end of the book, but I was frustrated with her in the meantime. Still, Ms. Heller is such a skilled and humorous writer that I found myself turning the pages. It's a quick read, and funny, and there's a plus if you like pugs. (As in pug dogs.)
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