The Biological Bond

Breaking the Rules

Duets 43

Flirting With Danger

Rules of Engagment

Sleeping With the Enemy

Under the Covers

Heatwave by Jamie Denton
(Harl. Tempt. #946, $4.25, PG-13) 0-373-69146-7
Emily Dugan had hoped for a relaxing month's vacation after many long weeks of work on an important ad campaign and several weeks of fighting both a cold and the flu.  Instead, as soon as the campaign was finished, she was let go in a corporate downsizing.  She continued with her plans to visit Grandy, her grandmother, but is again surprised when her live-in boy friend delivers her to the airport and tells her that he has been having an affair with another woman and wants to end their relationship.  He tells her that he will have her belongings taken to a storage facility. 

When Emily arrives in California, she is feeling nauseous and dizzy.  Instead of finding Grandy at home, she is greeted by a gorgeous fire inspector who tells her that Grandy is in the hospital after being slightly burned in a small fire.  She faints at his feet. 

Drew Perry does not consider himself a rescuing white knight, but something makes him promise Grandy that he will wait for her granddaughter and get her to the hospital.  He rides in the ambulance with her and waits for her despite his hatred of hospitals.  When the doctor announces that the fainting is from pregnancy and assumes that Drew is the father, his fear of commitment nearly sends him into a panic.

Emily is concerned about the pregnancy, but more worried about the rash of unexplained fires at her grandmother's culinary school.  Drew is the fire cop in charge of investigating the suspicious events, so he will be around and the attraction between Drew and Emily sizzles.

Jamie Denton's second book in her “Some Like it Hot” trilogy requires some suspension of disbelief.  After having that many disasters thrown at her in such a short period of time, her instant attraction to Drew is surprisingly quick.  Drew has such a history of never dating anyone for very long that his quick reactions are also surprising.  While the limited page count of the story dictated the quick reactions, I was not quite convinced.

Emily is a good character.  She has the ability to see the humor in her bad luck.  Her descriptions of her previous relationships certainly are black comedy.  Drew's commitment phobia is rooted in the deaths of his parents when he was very young, but Emily does not mince words when she gives him her view of his resistance to a relationship. 

The mystery of the numerous small fires is not very successful.  The clues are very secondary to the relationship and the motivation of the perpetrator is stated so quickly at the end without enough earlier hints that I didn't particularly care. 

All in all, the story has its attraction.  Emily is a strong enough heroine to pull it along and to make readers care about her as well as Drew and Grandy.  I will probably read the other two books in the series just to follow the story of the Perry brothers to the end.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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