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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Too Hot to Handle by Mary Hjerleid

Too Hot to Handle by Mary Hjerleid
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (99 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Female arson investigator Jennifer Valdez and Fire Marshal Mark Edwards are forced to work together to solve a series of arson-related fires. A series of sabotage incidents occurs that place the blame on Jennifer, and while Mark can't deny he attraction he feels to her, he still has to do his job.

Betrayed by Mark's assumption that she is guilty --- Jennifer is deeply hurt when he can't believe in her innocence. While solving the arson, they must both learn to trust before they can truly love.

Lt. Mark Edwards' mission in life was to protect the citizens of his town against fire. When an arsonist played games on his turf his frustration rose exponentially.

This tightly written story carries the reader through several scenarios smoothly and swiftly. It is not a story that’s easy to put down until the last page is turned. In Mark we are introduced to a strong, caring man. A man who’s loved and lost; a man who meets challenge head-on. And when the challenge extends from fighting fires to working with the one woman guaranteed to distract his attention, he’s on red-alert.

When Jennifer Valdez joins Engine Nine, her reputation precedes her. Mary Herjleid takes her heroine, and gifts her a whole pile of problems, both work related and emotional. It doesn’t take the reader long to recognise the fighter in Jennifer. She’s a strong lady who’s at the top of her speciality. She’s a single woman, working in a man’s world and has all the consequential baggage to cope with. She’s a lady any reader will relate to, and go bat for; I certainly did.

Mark and Jennifer are given plenty of conflicts to overcome, and Ms. Hjerland presents them in a steady and attention grabbing scenario. Her writing style kept me riveted from page one. While the HEA is a given, it is how Ms. Hjerleid maps out the journeys of her hero and heroine that will keep you turning the pages.