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Not Another Bad Date    by Rachel Gibson order for
Not Another Bad Date
by Rachel Gibson
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2008 (2008)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

After three harrowing years of nothing but bad dates, Adele Harris has come to an inescapable conclusion: she's cursed. Nothing else makes sense. She's doomed to attract the worst of the human male species when all she wants is a nice dinner and a little companionship. And if the long string of terrible dates isn't enough to make her feel like a failure, she also feels she's competing with her perfect sister Sherilyn, who has everything - a husband, a wonderful daughter, and another baby on the way.

That is, until Sherilyn calls in a panic, begging for Adele's help. It seems her sister's perfect life isn't so perfect after all. Her husband left her for his twenty-one year old assistant, and now she's alone, pregnant, and panicking. Soon, Adele finds herself back home in Cedar Creek, taking care of her niece, Kendra, and trying desperately to avoid running into her old flame, high school football coach Zach Zemaitis. If she thought bad dates were awful, running into the ex who left her to marry his former girlfriend is even worse. As it happens, Zach is now a widower ... and even more handsome than Adele remembered. To make matters even worse, someone's watching over Adele from above. Someone who doesn't quite trust Adele to lift her bad date curse on her own.

Not Another Bad Date is an immensely readable book. Adele is funny, quirky and realistic. She could be anyone's sister, next-door-neighbor, or best friend. Her troubles with men are engaging and believable, and her reaction to the flame-who-did-her-wrong rings true. Likewise, the hero is easy to like, and the secondary characters add depth and warmth to the developing relationship that takes center-stage throughout the story.

Unfortunately, the plot is rather predictable and unfolds in an unsurprising manner. A light sprinkling of the paranormal enhances what would otherwise be a flat contemporary romance, and the genuine humor also helps alleviate some of the tedious pages (such as the never-ending descriptions of a football game). Still, this is a pleasant read with a somewhat whimsical feel. Who hasn't wished for a second chance to win over an old flame?

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