How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved by Sandra L. Brown, appearing at Laughing Horse Books, 3652 SE Division, Thurs July 28, 5 pm

What woman hasn't had a shitty boyfriend? Like the serial cheating asshole, or the alcoholic drug addict, or like that dude I dated for a year who never stopped talking, or that fucker who made me change my clothes if he didn't like them, or the porn addict--oh, the list goes on... but not if Sandra L. Brown has anything to do with it.

A counselor and human service worker, Brown has extensive experience in dealing with women who get involved with what she labels "dangerous men." Through her research, she's come to put these men in eight categories, like the "permanent clinger," "the parental seeker," and "the emotionally unavailable man." In How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved she helpfully outlines the traits of each of these men, leaving plenty of room for crossover, then explains why you shouldn't date them, and how you'll never change them. Seems obvious enough--but then again, if we girls keep dating losers, maybe it's really not.

While Brown's book isn't going to break the sound barrier or anything, it's a great fundamental reminder course in what not to do when it comes to men. The section on "Red Flags and Red Alerts" explains how women dismantle their "red-alert system" by continually not listening to their instincts. Brown includes testimonials from women about how they walked into an attempted rape, or stayed in a dysfunctional marriage, or even developed an abscess because they suppressed what their gut was telling them. If nothing else, just reading over the list of red flags Brown provides should illuminate insights about your past relationships and help remind you what not to put up with again--like "doesn't help with adult chores."

Dangerous Man also includes a preachy, pretty dorky, but also useful workbook, especially for women who are in a pattern of dating "emotional predators," "addicts," or "abusive or violent men."Brown drives her points home in the workbook, providing a kind of no-nonsense, free therapy for the slightly more vulnerable girl heading back to the dating market for another go-around. How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved