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Pity Raye Franklin. All she wants is a nice "old, wrinkled man who wore high waters and a bolo tie" to invest $150,000 in her home health care agency. What she gets is "Mr. Perfect Jeans," Macon Winston -- a green-eyed, blond Adonis who says he wants to invest in high quality care for the elderly.

But Macon also wants Raye. And he comes equipped with some very powerful persuaders in addition to those perfect jeans. Macon's grandmother, Raye's mother, her office manager, even Raye's sister conspire to ensure that Macon's investment in Raye's firm yields matrimonial dividends.

Bright, light and deftly plotted, this Love and Laughter-style romance holds few surprises for lovers of the genre. But the story moves quickly enough to prevent even the veteran reader from losing interest in the plight of its sympathetic leads.

Well-drawn secondary characters, in particular the matchmaking "Gang of Four," add to the fun. Some of the best moments in the book occur when several of the matchmakers' schemes crash headlong into reality and each other. Increasingly pointed barnyard metaphors, all directed at the romantically innocent Raye, likewise bring big comic pay-offs.

All in all, Intimate Investor reminded this reviewer like a glass of Southern iced tea -- a sweet and easy drink for a hot summer's day.  (Intimate Investor can be ordered from its publisher, Hard Shell Word Factory.)

Jean Marie Ward

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