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Say "Ahhh"

Temperature’s Rising
by Donna Sterling
(Harl. Tempt. #738, $3.75, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-25838-0
July must be a great month for reunions in Florida. Temperature’s Rising is the third Temptation romance I’ve read that features second-chance romances set in that state. (The others are by Lori Foster and Elda Minger in the romance duo, Sizzle.) One would think reading novels with similar themes would become tiring. Rest assured, all three romances are as bright, hot and steamy as summer in the Sunshine State.

Temperature’s Rising is the second book in Donna Sterling’s Bedside Manners series. It is the story of orthopedic surgeon and general practitioner Jack Forrester, a minor character in the first novel in the series, Say “Ahhh....”

Jack is being sued for medical malpractice by his nemesis and next-door neighbor. Private investigator Callie Marshall is dispatched by her older sister who is also the attorney handling the lawsuit. Callie’s mission is to return to her hometown of Moccasin Point, Florida, to “dig up the dirt” on Dr. Forrester.

The sisters Marshall each have a history with the good doctor. Callie had “been his friend. His right hand man. His best bud. He’d taught her how to gut a fish, how to throw a football, how to spit and hit her target. She’d taught him how to whistle between two fingers loud enough to hear at the other end of the Point.”

Jack and Callie’s close friendship was betrayed by adolescence. As each became sexually aware of the other, they were mortified by having such feelings about their “buddy.” Their rift was caused by a big internal misunderstanding. Jack’s solution was to find a girlfriend . . . Callie’s older sister Meg. The romance did not end well.

Even positions on opposite sides of a lawsuit can’t diminish the strong sexual tension between Jack and Callie. It literally rises from the pages. Despite Callie’s attempts at professionalism, Jack is determined to win her by reverting to the essence of their friendship - trust, fun and games. Callie is a worthy adversary, but even she realizes she’s outmatched when Jack takes her up on an updated version of “Mother May I?” that’s definitely not child’s play.

The strong relationship and sexual tension between Callie and Jack is augmented by a complimentary cast of secondary characters that includes the entire town of Moccasin Point, a dog and a toothless alligator.

Temperature’s Rising has earned a spot on my keeper shelf. One of those nights when the wind chill in Chicago gets down into negative numbers, I’m going to pull it out and warm up the room!

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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