The Dare

The Fling

Rescue Me! By Elda Minger
(Harl. Tempt. #1023, $4.50, R) ISBN 0373-69223-4
I truly enjoyed ready this story of passion and finding love. It is a quick read, with plenty of action and a great romance. Rescue Me! leans on a few clichés, but the characters and story make up for them.

Jennifer Whitney is trying to make a new life for herself. She leaves her wealthy Chicago home and strikes out on her own when she realizes her father wants her to marry a hand-picked man and become a trophy wife. She wants more, but she isn't sure what. She is heading to California to stay with a girlfriend from college when she stops to get gas. While in the convenience store, a man with a shotgun comes in.

Cody Roberts is suffering from a hangover, yet knows he has to get to the set of his new movie if he wants to keep his job. He is trying to make a comeback after a bout of melancholy after both of his parents died. He stops to get some coffee and after watching a beautiful woman go into the store, he sees the man with the shotgun and realizes he has to do something or that woman and the teenage clerk could get hurt.

Thus begins this tale of a real American Hero (series name) and a story of two people who need each other. Cody gets the robber while protecting Jennifer and the clerk. He takes off before he can be recognized so when he sees Jen later, she doesn't recognize him. Jennifer is shaken and Cody wants someone to like him for who he is, not for his movie career. When Cody finds her to check on her, they succumb to the cliché of "finding life through lovemaking after a dangerous situation." But there the cliché ends. Their attraction sparkles and they connect far below the surface. What starts off as heat and lust develops into friendship and ultimately, love. But it never loses the sparkle of sexual tension.

Along the way, they help the young man who was in the store with them. Jennifer finds some interests that may develop into a career, and Cody finds his acting genius again with the help of a great director.

Minger does a good job of developing the characters in just 200 pages. Cody is more than just a pretty face and his history unfolds as the story moves along. Jennifer seems a little shallow at first since she seems to be a little rich girl throwing a temper tantrum and running off. But there is more to her than what one sees at first glance, and it is fun to watch her emerge from her shell.

The story is character driven after the first big action scene but the secondary characters help it move along too. Jennifer's friend Maria owns a café yet is recovering from a failed romance. I would bet there is a story in her future.

Rescue Me! shows surprising depth for a Temptation line story. It is engaging and did save me from boredom for at least one night. Don't hesitate to give it a try.

--Shirley Lyons

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