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    Review of THE GIRLFRIEND CURSE by Valerie Frankel (see her website)

    Avon Trade, March 2005

    When Peg Silver's ex-boyfriend asks her to join him for a drink, she expects a night of wild sex--not a sincere thanks for helping him get to the point where he was ready to get married--to another woman. Worse, when Peg looks into her history, she discovers that every one of the last seven men she dated ended up married--to the next woman they met. Peg is cursed to be the ultimate girlfriend--the one before her men turn into charming and married princes. Rather than continue, Peg decides to make radical changes. She sells her Manhatten apartment and buys a small farm in Vermont.

    Vermont starts with a bang. On the train, she meets a handsome man with the same problem she's had. All of his girlfriends marry the man after him. Could Peg have found the antidote to her curse so easily. It certainly seems so when a plague of mice drive her from her new home and into the 'Inward Bound' retreat where Ray is learning to deal with his issues. Peg signs up for Inward Bound, resolving to spend the time her home is being de-pested doing Ray.

    To her surprise, Inward Bound holds some surprises--and learning. Peg enjoys the yoga, hates the female co-counselor, and has mixed feelings about the director, Linus. Fortunately, Ray is there--ready for hot sex. Only, is Ray really the answer to her problem, or might he be just another symptom of the difficulties she's been having?

    Author Valerie Frankel (see more reviews of novels by Frankel) mixes chick-lit with pure romance in an intriguing and very funny tale of growth. Peg makes an interesting character. She's strong, determined, intelligent, yet willing to settle for just about any attractive male who comes her way. Even when she knows she's been chasing men away by her determined behavior, she has a hard time breaking old patterns. And handsome Ray only wants to perpetuate those old patterns.

    If you're looking for some good laughs, accompanied by a really thoughtful look at romance and moving toward romantic success, THE GIRLFRIEND CURSE is a great place to start. I recommend it highly.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 4/17/05

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