Sweet Tempest by Patricia Werner
(Zebra Bouquet #02, $3.99, PG) ISBN# 0-8217-6279-6
If the weather channel is one of your favorite viewing pleasures, then you will absolutely adore this book. Set in the Gulf Coast Hurricane Center in Florida, the author's incredible meteorological research shows on every page, well…almost every page, since there is an ancillary romance plot.

Kelly Tucker is following in the footsteps of her famous meteorologist father as she joins the elite stormchasing team in Florida. Years ago, her father died while chasing a storm in the Midwest. With him on that fatal day was his research assistant, Ross King, who Kelly unhappily finds working next to her at the center. Kelly blames Ross for failing to prevent the accident.

Kelly soon receives a blunt message for her to go back to her home in Boulder. As if that alone were not dangerous enough, this is punctuated by a life-threatening incident to her on a team airflight into the center of a hurricane. Additionally, the equipment in her care malfunctions spewing out erroneous data.

Naturally, she feels she is the target of someone evil. What she doesn't know is that the Center has been identified as one making too many mistakes, and Ross King is working undercover to figure out what is causing the costly erroneous weather reports. Not too undercover since the boss Wilson Quindry knows why he is there.

Kelly's teammates are introduced as each weather crisis develops. They drift through the story line with about as much substance as the clouds they investigate. This book is heavy into detail about the responsibilities and challenges of meteorology and the author struggles to maintain the tension one would expect with death-like threats spinning around.

This reviewer has complained often of romances that are burdened by the angst of old unresolved misunderstandings. I should be careful what I wish for. Although the potential for that is here, may I be quick to assure you, no angst! In fact the old antipathy Kelly had toward Ross just sort of evaporates, too quickly…leaving no steam between them.

To stay in the omnipresent weather theme of the book, the love story moves slowly with little storm activity.

--Thea Davis

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