<B>Grown-ups who don't act that way</B> Smart, spunky, 29-year-old Holly Appleton is the owner of the London dating service, Boy Meets Girl, where her mission is to link singles who are "beautiful inside and out." But her own romantic prospects are less than rosy. Crushed by the recent break-up of a long-term relationship, Appleton dips into the pile of Boy Meets Girl applications and arranges a match for herself. On the heels of bestsellers <I>Getting Over It</I> and <I>Running In Heels</I>, British novelist Anna Maxted's <B>Behaving Like Adults</B> reminds us that being a grown-up is daunting on the best of days. When her date with handsome barrister Stuart Marshal turns into date rape, the once happy-go-lucky Holly falls into a desperate funk. How can she orchestrate the romances of others with her own heart so battered and bruised? Holly tells ex-fiance Nick Mortimer she's pregnant with his child, the result of the pair's single post break-up transgression. Though it turns out to be a false alarm, Holly herself is unsure whether it was an honest error or a subconscious strategy to win back her former beau. Woven into the plot of this tender, funny novel are a cadre of colorful characters, including blue-blooded Rachel, who calls everyone "babes," Manjit, a martial-arts maven who gossips for kicks, and aspiring thespian Nige, who trades his days in the dating service trenches for 15 minutes of (understudy) fame. Alas, Holly isn't the only one whose world is thrust into turmoil. Kid sister Claudia has decided to come out of the closet, while older sister Isabella suspects her husband of having an affair. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Maxted's latest offering is an engaging tale of a woman who rediscovers the joy of friendship, the bond of family and the power of romantic love. In <B>Behaving Like Adults</B>, Holly Appleton learns to trust herself, a behavior that's very adult indeed. <I>Allison Block is a writer and editor in La Jolla, California.</I>

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