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PLAIN JANE by Fern Michaels

PLAIN JANE

By Fern Michaels

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-57566-673-1
Publisher: Kensington

Another formula romance from ever-popular Michaels (What You Wish For, 2000, etc.), this time featuring a talk-show psychologist and the men who wronged her college chum.

Dr. Jane Lewis is lovely, self-assured, successful, and popular—the exact opposite of the plump, shy frump she used to be. Her radio call-in show boasts thousands of listeners, and she sees patients privately as well. One case particularly troubles her: a man who blames his wife for the rape that shattered their marriage. Jane can't help remembering her friend Connie Bryan, homecoming queen at Louisiana State and fiancée of the football team's star quarterback, Todd Prentice. Connie was waylaid and gang-raped by four unknown men (who spurned the unattractive Jane), then killed herself when Todd broke off their engagement. Connie had sworn her friend to secrecy, not even telling her own parents of the rape before she committed suicide. Jane is now determined to find out more, and she does so with the help of another psychologist, hunky Dr. Michael Sorenson, her erstwhile high-school crush. The pair host Jane's show together and rekindle their long-ago romance as she begins investigating the circumstances of Connie's rape and subsequent death. Jane also grapples with her mixed feelings about her own looks, reaching the departed spirit of her cold-hearted beauty-queen mother through a resident ghost. (Mom finally apologizes!) Michael and Jane eventually figure everything out, of course. Aided by a crack team of K-9 dogs, Jane corrals the likely suspects and reveals that she has kept Connie's semen-stained clothing in a bag for all these years, somehow knowing that DNA testing would incriminate someone eventually. The rapists get their just deserts—and Jane gets Michael.

Not exactly the first time this author has featured noble dogs, convenient ghosts, and plucky gals.