Logan's Way by Lisa Ann Verge
(Harl. Tempt. #730, $3.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-25830-5
****
Logan's Way is Lisa Ann Verge's second Temptation story. She tells her readers that she had planned to do her research at the library, but that the birth of her third child made library visits nearly impossible. When she discovered the World Wide Web, her research became much easier and could be accomplished in the dark hours of the early morning. Luckily for us she found time to do her research. This book works.

Logan's Way is a true romance, with no external conflicts to take our attention from the budding relationship. The only internal conflict concerns two mature people doubting that their attraction will blossom into deep, abiding love.

Dr. Logan Macallister is burned out. Until a few months ago he worked for Doctors Without Borders, an international organization which sends medical personnel into the world's hot spots. Logan experienced a doctor's worst nightmare and is just drifting aimlessly for a while, with no job . . . no home . . . no attachments.

He's been staying in a friend's cabin and is annoyed to find out that while he's been out, he's had a woman visitor, one now singing in his shower. The friend, a new father, forgot to tell Logan that he's promised one of his colleagues the use of the cabin for two weeks. Dr. Eugenia Van Saun will be cataloging and testing some new types of plants. Ginny is suffering from the misconception that she's a cold fish. Vindictive lovers can cause deep scars. She's wary of Logan and is determined not to let him rattle her chains, no matter if she is standing stark naked in his bedroom.

Logan and Ginny have some emotional baggage. True, his is a steamer trunk compared to her weekender, but baggage is baggage. Logan feels that his usefulness as a doctor is over. He's been content to vegetate his life away for these last few months. He's almost afraid to consider medicine again. Ginny, a voluptuous woman with a brain, has never truly connected with a man, has never given a man her complete trust. Yes, she's had a relationship, but it left her hurt and afraid to try again. Her trust factor is really low.

These two must find their core of inner courage when Ginny, stung by a bee for the second time in a week, suffers an extreme allergic reaction and goes into anaphylactic shock. Her condition is Logan's nightmare come to life. Logan, a hero in the finest sense of the word, shows his true colors. As Ginny contemplates his actions from her hospital bed, knowing what those actions cost him, she knows that she'll have to find the same kind of courage if their love is to survive.

Can they break down deeply-held barriers in the two short weeks that they'll be in the cabin together?

Watching these two as they went from ignoring each other to becoming lovers and finally to recognizing the rightness of their relationship was time well spent. Not only did I enjoy the characters, grounded in reality and maturity, but occasionally I'd stop and reread a particular passage because of its rightness. When Ginny finally trusts Logan with her body and her heart, Ms. Verge expresses Ginny's joy this way. "She felt as though someone has poured warm honey over her heart."

Truth be told, I also reread many of the steamy sex scenes. Ginny, who's been told once too often that she's an ice queen, is understandably reluctant to accept Logan's advances. Mercy, though, when she does, the intimate scenes are wonderful. It's as though she's making up for a lifetime of deprivation. Even knowing that two weeks may be all she'll have, Ginny never plays games with Logan. When she loves, she loves completely, without reservation. Intimate scenes between characters who are tender, gentle and caring can often be spicier because the element of trust is present, permeating the whole relationship.

When I finished Logan's Way, I realized that I'd read a wonderfully gentle yet amazingly complex story of a man and a woman finding happiness and completion in each other's arms. Isn't that what it's all about?

--Linda Mowery


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