I Shocked the Sheriff
by Mara Fox
(Harl. Tempt. #982, $4.50, R) ISBN 0-373-69182-3
**
This authorís debut is more than ďjust a little bit naughtyĒ, as the Temptation line advertises; it is hot sex, pure and simple. The two main characters make it on a dinner table, in a motel swimming pool and in the back of a pickup truck. Beyond that, there is little substance to their relationship, yet we are to believe they fall in love in just 3 days. At least I am smarter than that.

Roxy Adams is an alcoholic who hasnít had a drink in three years. But one of her best friends just tried to commit suicide and she hurriedly left Dallas to drive and try to get her head together. Her slight diabetic condition catches up to her and she is found on the side of the road in the middle of West Texas by a gorgeous looking sheriff, Luke Hermann. Luke is the sheriff of Red Wing, Texas. Not sure if she is telling the truth about the diabetes or just recovering from a hangover, he takes her to the local clinic and has her bright yellow Porsche towed to town. Roxy has no money, no ID and no purse Ė when she left in a panic she forgot all those things. But she didnít forget how to flirt and this sheriff is worth flirting with. It isnít long until they are fighting their lustful feelings.

They have their first fight when Roxy finds herself introduced to a lady who the sheriff told her was his fiancťe, only to discover that no marriage offer had been made yet. Now Luke is angry at Roxy for spilling the beans, after all, he only told her he was engaged so she would back off from him when he dropped her off at the local motel. Now he suddenly realizes that he doesnít want to marry local girl Carla, he has just been settling because there was nothing better. Roxy changed his mind, so they have sex - Roxy telling herself it is a fling and Luke trying to prove there is something to their relationship

I just cannot embrace a hero who thinks with his pants and assumes that it is his heart talking. And he doesnít even know Roxy Ė a spoiled rich girl who turned to booze and sank as low as she could go before fighting her way back. On the one hand, I could admire her spunk and give her a second chance, but frankly the only thing we really see of her is fighting her inclinations to go to bed with Luke over and over. And she generally loses this battle. She even forgets her friend who is fighting for his life until his brother (also a man fighting the demon alcohol) tracks her down. The only redeeming value that Roxy seems to have is when she helps out at the local diner because the only waitress is eight months pregnant and appears like she is ready to drop. But then she has sex with the sheriff when she is supposed to be closing up shop, so really, how much of a sacrifice is she making?

Meanwhile the town rallies around Luke, warning Roxy that she could be ruining his chance for reelection. Yet these same stereotypical busybodies really notice that the sheriff must be in love, cause he looks at Roxy differently than he did Carla. AHHHH. It has only been three days and they donít even know each other beyond the hot sex.

Needless to say, they end up with their happy ever after, and to the authorís credit she even hints that Carla has found something better too. But overall, there is little story development and little character development, leaving us with hot sex that goes on for pages. I like a little more in my romances, and I Shocked the Sheriff didnít offer it.

--Shirley Lyons


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