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We love the woman who is inept in the romance department.  Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, and even Meg Ryan, made major bucks playing girls who can’t get a date, or keep a man, or pick  the loser every time. Books that feature a blurb on the back about some heroine or clever title indicating the heroine is a bad date magnet sell much better than Her Highness’ Royal Lover.

Not a real book, btw, but, please isn’t it enough she is already a royal. How sorry is a reader going to feel for a princess. Who has doubts that a princess can get her pick of men? The only way women might be vaguely interested in this is if it included singing animals and a wicked stepmother who is trying to kill off the royal princess. Oh, and the interested female needs to be under ten.  American girls tend to view themselves as Disneyesque princesses thanks to the wonderful world of marketing.

We grow up and learn by the age of thirteen, that mice don’t make party dresses and princes don’t come to our door. Often boys ignore us in pursuit of Candi, the cheerleader, who later becomes Bette, the office bombshell. Through a series of bad dates and failed relationships, we come to the conclusion that most men have never watched a romantic comedy in their lives or they’d know how to behave better. That’s why we like books that reflect that aspect of our lives.

We, of the bad date sisterhood, enjoy our troubled heroines because they touch a responsive chord. They know they’d had some questionable relationships, yet hope for better. Don’t we all? Our heroine revives our hopes by finding the right guy and the happily ever after.

Peter Todd, in recent article in WIRED magazine used statistics to prove that people can find the right person after twelve wrong people.  My fiancé sat down and did the math to test Todd’s theory. As an engineer, he’d made a spread sheet of the women he dated. I am not kidding about the spread sheet. I am lucky thirteen. I will admit to feeling lucky to have found him. My not so scientific approach was to try to remember. I was unsure if I should count the popular, funny guy I went out with twice in high school and dropped for his shy, socially awkward best friend. If I didn’t count him that meant my sweetie was thirteen! Should we have heroines rushing through men to get to the thirteenth one?  Probably not, in a few years, someone will tell us, the lucky number always was nine, and she has the data to prove it.

All we really want is a romance-challenged heroine who finds love. I have several, but let me introduce you to Theo from PUPPY LOVE who decides to take care of her son’s holy terror of a dog, and ends up meeting a cute vet.




By the time she entered the building, Ollie twisted at the end of the leash doing his best impression of demon possession. The clutch of women encircling a table ignored their dogs. A Yorkie chewed on its leash while a mutt humped a poodle. At the edge of the group, Cujo stood eyeing the group deciding whom he would attack, until Ollie barked. He issued a challenge to the massive dog perhaps feeling safe with Theo by his side. Probably, no thought involved at all, just stupidity. Cujo lunged, yanking the leash out of his owner’s hand.

The snarling dog ran at her. Death, painful death flashed through her mind, and Ollie’s too since he wound his leash around her ankles and whimpered. Theo’s memory failed her as she tried to remember how to avoid a dog attack. She knew it didn’t have anything to do with having her ankles tied up by a whimpering rat dog. Amid the dogs’ barks, women’s gasps registered along with the monster truck woman yelling.

“Bundy, Ted Bundy, stop!”

Did she seriously name her dog after a serial killer? It might be appropriate.

A high-pitched whistle halted her imminent demise in its tracks. The crowd parted to reveal Brent vaulting over a table. In a few running steps, he grabbed Bundy’s collar, jerked back, and commanded the dog to sit, which it did. Amazing.

A swell of mutterings began to build as Theo unwrapped a whimpering Ollie from her ankles. Bundy’s owner had him on a short leash, her mouth pulled in to an obstinate line indicating she didn’t like what she heard when Brent’s voice rang out loud and clear.

“Please leave. Your dog is not socialized enough to participate in a group setting.” He pointed in the direction of the doors as if to emphasize his directive.

Jenny McAbee wandered over to Theo’s side. “Not socialized, my foot. That dog should be put down.”

Nodding her agreement, Theo’s eyes tracked the dog named after the serial killer until the door closed behind him. She didn’t want to take a chance on him turning and catching her off guard as he took another charge at Ollie.

“You okay?” Brent put a hand on her shoulder as he came up behind her.

She recognized Brent before he even touched her, starting the same familiar tinge and accompanying chain reaction.


How many are now mentally counting the also rans to decide if you are now in your lucky thirteen relationship?




Theo decides to give up on love when she catches her sister in bed with her husband. Instead of blaming her sister or her husband, she blames herself, divorces her husband, distances herself from her sister, and shuts her heart to love.

Her son inadvertently pushes her back into the dating game when he drops off his puppy, Ollie, as he heads out to deployment abroad. He fails to inform her that the puppy isn’t even close to being trained or even somewhat obedient.

Ollie brings the dating-phobic Theo into contact with Westvale’s hottest bachelor, Dr. Brent Knight. Despite her best friend Lorna’s urging to go after him, Theo hangs back due to the eleven year age gap and her past romantic history, but it doesn’t stop Ollie from barreling ahead.

When her high school rival Jenny shows up, Theo decides to fight for her man with comic and passionate results.



MKW PictureAbout The Author:

Morgan as a child had to suffer through movies with clueless heroines rescued by smart men. Her mother dutifully read her stories where princesses waited for princes to jumpstart their lives. There were no proactive female role models in the media at that time, with the exception of Wonder Woman. It is for this reason, and that it is fun, Morgan writes about strong women going after what they want, which is often a delectable cub. Those who wonder if the cougar tales have any reality to them should remember that writers often put themselves into every story they pen, even if it is a secondary character.



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Twitter: M. Carole Wyatt–Indy Dating Examiner