St. Martin's, Aug 2003, 6.50, 320 pp.
When they were teens Ava Daniels and Harper Reynolds were best buds. She even befriended his beloved Aunt Flossie. However, Ava wanted more than just friendship as she had a crush that she believed was true love, but her target Harper did not desire going in that direction. Ava timed her play poorly as Harper, reeling from college and girlfriend rejections, rejects his pal's advances. A stunned and hurt Ava, salvaging what is left of her pride, vows to avoid Harper though Aunt Flossie refuses to allow the young lady to ignore her, keeping their relationship alive and well.
Years later, Aunt Flossie passes away, but decided to do a bit of matchmaking between the two young people she loved as she believed they were meant for one another but Ava's timing of her efforts was wrong. After a few failed attempts, she bequests her Victorian mansion to both of them with stipulations. As they share a house and squabble, Ava knows she was right as a teen, but this time Harper reciprocates. However, will they be able to overcome their past to find a future together?
This engaging contemporary romance stars two deeply drawn lead protagonists who share their inner feelings with the audience so that WHAT A GIRL WANTS retains a freshness that enables the novel to seem brisk in spite of a trite theme. The story line most rapidly whether the scene invoke humor or angst due tot he deep cast starting with Ava and Harper, but whoa re heavenly supported by strong secondary characters. Reon Laudat provides a delightful tale that answers what a reader wants.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner