Sizzle and Burn
by Alexis Grant
(St. Martin's, $7.99, R) ISBN978-0-312-94303-5
***
A decade of pining can leave a lot of regret. Mia Austin and Ryan Mason met as young college students in Washington, D.C.and spent a blissful summer together. After their handful of weeks together, however, Mia accepted a scholarship for grad school and Ryan went into the military. With just a few letters in the adjoining years, Ryan and Mia both think longingly (and too frequently for responsible adults) of that time.

Sizzle and Burn by Alexis Grant brings Mia and Ryan together in a reunion that is explosive in a literal sense if not terribly hot in a romantic one. The sex scenes really do sizzle, but the romance itself seems to pick up right where the two main characters left off ... and ten years is a long time.

In the ensuing years, Mia has become the darling of the Smithsonian's Natural Sciences Museum. Soon, she will be making a presentation in New York at a conference centered around 9/11. Mia is a weapons technology specialist, and her views, though not radical, have garnered a lot of interest, and her research is drawing attention.

Ryan has just learned where Mia is, what she's doing, and that he's supposed to guard her and the group she's with at the conference because there are terrorists planning to infiltrate and/or attack. Though given the opportunity to bow out, Ryan not thinking with his brain but his, er, heart decides he can manage his cover just fine. Of course, Mia has no idea what became of Ryan once his letters stopped, and she wouldn't know what Delta Force, the special ops team to which he belongs, was anyway.

Ryan isn't surprised when he notices Mia being followed, though it is a bit disconcerting that they're on a date when it happens. Mia's life becomes more endangered by the minute, but even that can't distract Mia and Ryan from their goal: to be together this time, no matter the consequences.

Explosives aside, Sizzle and Burn is a slow starter. Until the second half of the book, when the steamier aspects kicked in, it was pretty squarely a boring-old-two-hearter. For a good light read, Sizzle and Burn will keep you entertained for a bit, but don't expect any real fireworks.

--Sarrah Knight


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