by Reon Laudat

August 2003
ISBN: 0-312-98303-4
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Things were certainly looking bleak for make-up artist Ava Daniels. First, her wonderful senior friend Ms. Flossie dies and then her roommate decides to move out leaving Ava facing a financial crunch and in urgent need of a roommate. Also, Ava is on the lookout for a more lucrative job so that she can help move her father and younger brother to a better neighborhood which will enable her brainy brother to go to a better school that will challenge his intellect and leave little room for hanging out with unsavory classmates, as he’s currently doing.

On top of all this, she’s extremely irked that Ms. Flossie’s nephew, Harper, never showed up for her funeral. Once Ava and Harper were good friends and Ava even had a deep crush on him; but one fateful night years ago, Harper rejected her tender feelings and hurt her badly, and since then the two always had an uneasy acquaintance. So, both of them are extremely surprised and shocked to discover that Flossie had left her lovely old Victorian house to them jointly.

Circumstances force them both to move in together, and once they start sharing the same roof, they discover a lot about each other, some good and some bad. But most of all, they’re both stunned by the embers of a long forgotten passion that quickly flares into life as if it never died. However, they both have completely different priorities and the past has left them both a bit wary, especially Ava. Will Harper finally discover ‘what a girl wants’?

Reon Laudat has written a beautiful, funny and complex little novel in What a girl wants. This novel, in a light-hearted vein, manages to convey the basic differences in the thinking between a man and a woman. It’s somewhat like ‘Men are Mars and Women are from Venus’, only funnier. Ava is a feisty and forthright modern-day woman who doesn’t hesitate to go after what really matters to her, professionally or personally. If only the man, a.k.a Harper, was equally direct! He tries, but here is where the basic differences kick in and Ms. Laudat has field day with it. There is passion aplenty as well as some very romantic scenes, some of them romantically reminiscent of Pretty Woman. Characters appear very natural and true to life. The book also touches upon some sensitive subjects like teenage runaways as well as teenage delinquency. But most of all, this is book about love and honesty, and manages to convey both in a manner which is extremely touching as well as greatly entertaining.

Reviewed in October 2003 by Rashmi.

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