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An Ex to Grind
by Jane Heller

Category: Fiction / General
384 pages; ISBN: 0060599251

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


An Ex to Grind
Jane Heller
Morrow, Jul 2005, $24.95, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0060599251

In Manhattan financial planner Melanie Banks and football hero Dan Swain seemed like the model married couple until he blew out his knee ending his sports career. Dan becomes a sponge living off his wife’s income, but doing nothing with his life. Disappointed and disgusted with her "bumbo" husband, Melanie divorces Dan, but New York forces her to provide him with alimony and joint custody of Buster the dog.

Melanie detests paying this slacker any money so she hires matchmaker Desiree Klein Heart Hunting to find Dan a woman to live with for ninety days, which will end her payments to him. Instead Buster introduces Dan to his veterinarian, they fall in love and he now has a cause to better himself and get past the self pity. However, Machiavellian Melanie sees in the new Dan the old Dan that she loved and married; she wants him back so she revises her plan not caring who is hurt in the process even Evan who offers kibble to Buster as a way to Melanie’s heart.

Though Melanie rationalizes why she throws ethics out the window, fans will not feel empathy towards the wicked witch of the east. On the other hand, the transformation of Dan from superstar to super slacker to superman seems real as Melanie gives no support emotionally when he most needs her while his new love encourages him to get back in the playing field as a coach. Fans of Jane Heller will see her trademark humor underlying the serious plot, but the star Melanie fumbles the ball as she is too callous about others for the audience to care about her.

Harriet Klausner


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