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Once Upon a Blind Date    by Wendy Markham order for
Once Upon a Blind Date
by Wendy Markham
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

Wendy Markham's Once Upon a Blind Date follows The Nine Month Plan with a story of yet another member of the Chickalini family. This time, the star is Dominic, whose control freak friend Maggie O'Mulligan has a need to find him a wife.

Dominic and his best friend Maggie work together at the same ad agency. The man in Maggie's life, Jason Hendrix, works and lives in South America, providing medical care to poor native children. In the meantime, Maggie is planning her wedding, just waiting for Jason to come home. Maggie decides that Dominic needs to get married, and the two friends end up at a matchmaking coffee house called Match Moca Match Moca, where they go online to find the match of their dreams. Unfortunately, Maggie decides what Dominic's match should be, and she fills out his questionnaire to find that perfect woman for him. At the same time, Charlie is at the coffee house, helping his friend Julie find her Mr. Perfect, using similar techniques.

Charlie helps Julie select that lucky guy, and advises her on where to go on the first date. She ends up picking Dominic, whom she invites to a basketball game, per Charlie's advice, hence giving Dominic the impression she's a sports fan. The two bring along their friends, Charlie and Maggie, and this is where the fun begins. Maggie immediately dislikes Charlie. They rub each other the wrong way, while at the same time they try their best to make sure their friends impress each other. Dominic gives Julie the impression that he's a romantic at heart, sending her poetry that Maggie has picked out. Charlie keeps telling Julie to cater to Dominic, with disastrous results. What no one expects, happens - Charlie and Maggie fall for each other.

Though I enjoyed both Chickalini books, I prefered Once Upon a Blind Date. These are lightweight romances with stereotypical yet funny characters - meant to be read, enjoyed, and taken just at face value.

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