Nothing would make broke Alison consider working as a nanny—unless it's the opportunity to break up the marriage of her first boyfriend, Spence, and his wife, Pepper, the woman he dumped her for. What follows is a witty exploration of why revenge is not always the best option.

Veteran author Ireland turns a contrived storyline on its head. Is Alison in love with Spence or her idea of him? Is Pepper a villain or a wronged wife? Is it wrong to take what you want? Alison considers all of these questions while juggling a 3-year-old and the amorous intentions of a suitor, Finn.

Despite the humorous setup, Ireland makes some serious points about fidelity and the effects of divorce on children. And Alison is an engaging, imperfect and self-aware heroine. Great pacing, characters and some nifty twists make this a winner. (Mar., 368 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Donna Carter