Avon, Apr 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In Washington DC at Dupont Circle, tabloid reporter Laurel Kane meets Joe who sells gourmet and high octane coffee from a push cart when she and her friend make a java purchase from him. That same day her DC Scene editor-owner Rulinda Mason assigns Laurel to do a Valentine's Day feature on Dr. Cornelius Nadalov's book “Love is not the Answer”. Laurel reads the book and agrees that she wasted much of her adult life seeking someone to love and who would love her as madly in return. As Nadalov claims she accepts that love is impossible past thirty.
Laurel decides to find a companion rather than a passionate lover, but Joe challenges her. Soon they agree to test the waters with dates written up in a public debate over whether love is possible after one is thirty. However, Joe, already attracted to his opponent, knows he cannot afford to lose this contest because he is living proof that love can occur at forty.
Though Joe is more than he seems, the audience will appreciate this battle of the sexes because of the beliefs of the lead female and the antics of her best friend. The story line is fun to follow as Laurel and Joe date others. Especially interesting is the “fast food” dating service that many readers will agree with Joe seems a bit sad. Though there is no tension except inside the head of Laurel, fans of amusing gender skirmishes will enjoy Elaine Fox's DC war zone.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner