Virgin Promise by Kara Lennox
(Harl. American Rom. #840, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-16840-3
***
Over lunch at their favorite deli, Angela Capria's three friends and coworkers share the stories of how they lost their virginity. When it is Angela's turn, she surprises them when she admits that she is a twenty-six-year-old virgin. Angela is a very organized, steady person who plans to have a long relationship with the "right" man before the two of them take that step. She knows just the traits she wants in a man; someone mature, responsible, stable, etc.

Unbeknownst to Angela, her coworkers decide that she needs someone exciting in her life and set a trap for her. They slightly disable her car in the parking lot of the clinic where they all work and arrange for Phoebe's cousin, Bobby, to drive by and give Angela that chance to meet a dangerous man. The one hitch is that Bobby, who is a cop, is in a slight accident and cons his partner, Vic Steadman, into meeting Angela. The deal is that he helps her and, if he likes her, can take it from there.

Angela is slightly frightened, but intrigued by the handsome man on the motorcycle who offers her help. She lets him take her home on his motorcycle and ends up in a passionate kiss on her front door. He leaves without even giving his name. The next day, he shows up, fixes her car and asks her to dinner. The surprise romantic dinner that Vic arranges is perfect and before the evening is over, Angela is no longer a virgin and Vic is surprised that she was to begin with. Angela is surprised and her loss of control and tells Vic she would like to be alone. He leaves her with a long kiss.

The next day, she discovers from her friends that the whole date was a setup. When she sees Vic again, she lashes out at him for his part in the trick. She decides to forget him and get her organized, methodical life back on the right track, but thoughts of Vic continue to get in the way.

The situations throughout the rest of the story are filled with humor. The two of them try to start over as if they had just met and go for a date. They problem is they can't keep their hands off of each other. During each encounter, something unfortunate happens and sends Angela back to her shell to try and get back into control. Vic is up for a promotion at work and doesn't feel it is the right time to make any long term commitments, but he can't stay away from her.

Angela and Vic's friends add to the story but steering them together when they try to stay apart. We get a glimpse of several of these people, including the playboy Bobby, sad Sarah with unfaithful husband problems, and activist Sylvia, partner in the clinic where Angela and her friends work.

Virgin Promise is a quick, light read with nothing particularly serious to say. It is the kind of book to take to the beach or the pool on a hot summer's day.

--B. Kathy Leitle


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