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Bombshell (2004)

Grace Noonan is starting to feel her age. She ends her latest relationship when her boyfriend freaks out when the condom breaks, showing how unready he is for babies. Now the cosmetics company where she works, known for targeting mature women, is looking for its new face - and it's a teenage one at that. But she hasn't outgrown her insecurities, as she goes through life dealing with family discoveries, a best friend getting married and a chance meeting with her father's charming colleague.

Confessions Of an Ex-Girlfriend (2002)

This is one woman's journey to find meaning after the end of her two-year relationship when the man she loves accepts a job in LA, leaving New York and her behind. Emma struggles through most of this book living a very dysfunctional life. She is stuck in a boring job at a bridal magazine, writing articles that are intended to sell the institute of marriage and all its glitz and glitter to brides-to-be. Emma's mother is preparing to get married for the third time and wants Emma's help with the planning. Meanwhile her father is lawsuit happy and may or may not have fallen off the wagon (again). Her unwanted single status forces Emma to take a long, hard look in the mirror and acknowledge some facts (no matter how painful) about being single once again. Even though Emma knew from their first date that her boyfriend would move to LA as soon as he sold a screenplay, over time Emma had gotten completely comfortable in the relationship and put it out of her mind. Why do we ignore these glaringly obvious relationship red flags? How do Emma and the rest of us develop relationship amnesia like this and then walk around like the walking wounded wondering what happened? One thing that annoyed me about Emma is that she spends several pages pining for this jerk instead of getting angry. The last thing I wanted to see was Emma feeling sorry for herself, sitting by the phone on the chance that he might call. When Emma finally does get angry and lets him know it, I was cheering. Let him have it, Emma. Rip him a new one. I really liked Emma's best friends, Alyssa and Jade. Where Alyssa is sweet and kind and in a committed relationship, the anti-relationship Jade is the complete opposite. In the early days of Emma's singleness, both friends play a vital role in helping her reinvent herself. I also liked that Emma wasn't afraid to throw herself back in the dating pool, no matter how scary it was or unprepared she was. It was great that Emma does not strike gold right away either - I really enjoy a story that is realistic and having Emma find Mr. Perfect on her first attempt would not have been believable for me as a reader. Fans of chick-lit and romance will appreciate how Emma comes out of her ordeal willing to take chances without losing her romantic side or becoming bitter. (SH)

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