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Sex, Lies, and Online Dating    by Rachel Gibson order for
Sex, Lies, and Online Dating
by Rachel Gibson
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2006 (2006)
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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Successful mystery writer Lucy Rothschild prides herself on creating realism in her novels. Her current work in progress involves a female serial killer who lures men to their doom via online dating. Like her protagonist, Lucy mistrusts men who meet women online, certain there has to be 'something wrong with them'. To prove her theory she goes on the prowl to discover just what makes online daters tick. She agrees to meet Hardluvnman at Starbucks, and from the moment the dark, brooding plumber walks through the door, Lucy's hooked. Not only very easy on the eyes, he also appears sensitive, and more important, honest. Can she trust Hardluvnman or is he as adept at spinning fiction as she is?

Detective Quinn McIntyre is working undercover to nab a real life serial killer whose modus operandi is shockingly similar to Lucy's current novel plot. His suspicions grow once he discovers she isn't a nurse and that she knows a heck of a lot about murder and police procedure, revelations that move her right to the top of his suspect list. At first their attraction is a case of mutual lust, but as their dating continues, their feelings become more complicated. Quinn realizes that Lucy might just be the woman to break through his dark cynicism about true love. And Lucy is sure that she's finally met the elusive Mr. Right. But when the real serial killer targets Lucy, their road to happiness takes a few dangerous turns.

Though Gibson offers up a rather generic plot that fizzles out by story's end, her strength has always been in character development. Lucy and Quinn are no exception - the dedicated cop burned badly by love and the savvy professional who's had to deal with her share of 'real jerks'. It's fun to watch the pair fall in lust and eventually, love. There's also plenty of Gibson's trademark humor, especially when Lucy and her cabal of close female friends (all writers) get together to discuss their work, their lives and the foibles of love, both on and offline. Though not one of Gibson's best efforts, Sex, Lies, and Online Dating is a fun, fast-paced and breezy read.

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