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The Princess & the P.I.

Say "Ahhh..." by Donna Sterling
(Harl. Tempt. #726, $3.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-25826-7
Say "Ahhh..." has a stethoscope on the front, the first book in the Bedside Manners series. Being the literal person that I am (I'm trying to overcome it), I visualized a doctor asking a patient to stick out her tongue and say, "Ahhh." Well, yes, that's one way of interpreting this title. Stretch your imagination for a minute. Imagine what you say when you taste a bite of delicious cheesecake. Or you take off your uncomfortable shoes after a hard day at work. Or the best...imagine what you say when a gorgeous, sexy darn-near-perfect specimen of manhood kisses your neck and proceeds in a southerly direction.

Sarah Flowers is hiding out in Sugar Falls, Colorado. She was involved in an accident a few weeks ago and has amnesia. All she remembers is a vague shadowy fear. Ever her name is one she's invented. She's so bothered by her one vague memory that she's reluctant to tell anyone that she even has amnesia. What if she's being sought? What if there's a concrete reason for her fear?

Suffering from dizziness, she makes an appointment with a local doctor, only to become dizzy from loss of breath when Dr. Connor Wade walks in. He's gorgeous, and she's so overwhelmed by her attraction to his masculinity that she leaves before she even gets any medical answers. He's far from unaffected himself.

Connor Wade has moved from Boston's fast pace to Colorado for a quieter life. He wants an uncomplicated woman. Who does he find himself falling for? Sarah, a woman who's secretive and is reluctant to answer any questions. Even the answers on her medical records are fictitious.

Sarah realizes that she has to trust someone, and Connor has proven over and over that he is absolutely trustworthy. Together they begin to seek answers to Sarah's identity and begin to confront her fears.

Oh, my goodness, this story is hot and exciting and sexy and soooo good. We non-medical people fantasize about doctors having expertise regarding lovemaking, using their superior knowledge of a woman's anatomy. This is one fantasy that's fully realized. To use a cliché, he plays her body like a finely tuned instrument. Double wow!

The resolution is a little too pat, too simplistic, with all the puzzle pieces fitting together a bit too easily. The heroine for a brief time is TSTL . . . too stupid to live – as she attempts on her own to confront her demons. But heck, I didn't care. I liked these characters. I cared about them. Connor is wonderful, but he's found his equal in Sarah. They're both unsure enough of the other that their uncertainty is poignant, touching and quite realistic.

I've never made it a secret that I prefer categories to any of the other sub-genres and when a really good one comes along, I feel like shouting. This is one of those times. While Say "Ahhh..." is a good blend of external and internal conflict, its emphasis on sexuality, with a credible hero, makes for a sizzling story. There are scenes of intimacy that push the envelope for category romances. I for one loved it because I really cared for the characters.

With Sarah having such luck finding Dr. Right, even with her amnesia, I'm tempted to clunk myself on the head, to see if I can be as lucky with my amnesia. But then I might forget that I want to read the second book in the Bedside Manners series, Temperature's Rising, available in July.

Some things are too important to forget.

--Linda Mowery

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