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Love is on the Air (2010)

Hairdresser Cam is feeling dissatisfied with her boyfriend of six years, Dean. Everything's gotten all too predictable, especially Dean's impression of a couch potato during the football season. Cam heads off to Tenerife for a girly break with her friends Ella, who keeps getting phone calls from her married boyfriend, and Saira, who as the mother of a young child just wants to catch up on some sleep. When Cam meets fellow Brit and single dad Tom, she feels an instant spark. Back home her holiday fling is exposed when Tom puts out a message to her over the radio - overheard by Dean. Cam's turmoil over whether to end it with Dean is deftly handled by the author - her dilemma is heightened by what is happening in the relationships of those around her.

Perfect Match (2008)

Karen and Joe's young son Ben has a life-threatening illness, which requires him to have daily injections and blood transfusions. With no matches on the bone marrow donor list - and neither being compatible - their only hope is to have a designer baby through IVF and hope he or she will be Ben's perfect match. But tests reveal that Joe is not the father and ambitious Health Secretary Nick Bright, whose wife Stella has been trying for a baby for years, enters the picture. Perhaps not as moving a story as expected but still a worthy read about a marriage under strain amid political spin doctoring.

The Second Wives Club (2006)

When Alison's wedding is gatecrashed by her groom's ex-wive, she is introduced to the Second Wives Club, where they get together to vent about what happens when you marry someone else's husband. The other members include Susan who is living in the shadow of a dead wife, Fiona, who is battling with a teenage stepson, and Julia, the trophy wife of a merchant banker who remains too close to his former wife.

Dot.Homme (2004)

aka Love at First Site

For Jess Monroe's 34th birthday, her frenemy Kara buys her an ad on an internet dating site. And so begins Jess' descent into the murky work of online dating where the men in real life often don't live up to their cyberspace hype. Jess is also dissatisfied with her job on a daytime TV talk show but at least it enables her to highlight the good work being done by a hospice for dying children - run by the delightful Ben. But all her dating and work woes fade into the background when a real crisis hits home.

Fourplay (2003)

Jo's foundation of trust is shaken when her husband tells her he wants a divorce and is in love with someone else. The book illustrates her journey of starting over, dealing with betrayal and learning to find love and being able to trust again. This story and the lead character drew me in quickly. Anyone who has had a long-term relationship end unexpectedly and badly can see themselves in this story. Anyone who has had their trust betrayed by their spouse and has to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and start over will easily connect to this story. One of the things I liked about Jo was her determination to move forward through her husband's adultery. She allowed herself to shatter and fall apart, but she didn't stay there. She got up and began rebuilding her life. She restarts her career, takes care of her children, and takes her life back. I loved that she is receptive to new relationships but that she doesn't rebound commit to the first man who crosses her path. I had a lot of anticipation reading the book trying to figure out who she would ultimately end up with. A very interesting aspect of this story was Jeff, Jo's ex-husband. I found his character defects and flaws interesting and witnessing his behaviour and treatment of Jo, which was typical of a man who is weak and selfish. As Jo's life seems to shine as she becomes stronger and more self-confident, Jeff's seems to become the opposite. I enjoyed seeing Jeff eating some karma pie, but I also pitied him. I also enjoyed all of the other supporting characters. Jo's brother was entertaining and her best friend was a godsend. Jo depends on them a lot and I loved that they were there for her. I empathised with Jo about her relationship with her parents. Her mother was overbearing and hard to tolerate and Jo struggles with it for most of the book. Towards the end, we get a wonderful twist that gives Jo a whole new outlook on her relationship with her parents. I liked each of the men Jo dates, some more than others. They were all unique and being with each of them brings Jo a wonderful opportunity to figure out who she is once again. I recommend this for readers who enjoy strong female characters who refuse to let life's roadblocks keep them from pursuing happiness. (SH)

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