Too Hot To Sleep
by Stephanie Bond, contemporary (2000)
Harlequin Temptation, $3.99, ISBN 0-373-25887-9


Trust Romantic Times to get their priorities all wrong and get a free publicity blitz out of it in the process. Stephanie Bond's latest entry into the world of ditz and neurotic nutjobs isn't as (thankfully) ditsy or neurotic as its back blurb or the Romantic Times saga make it out to be. Too Hot To Sleep is, actually, a pretty good romance.

Yes, so it has phone sex, but take it from me - the phone sex here is surprisingly tame. There's no outrageous suggestions or rowdy orgasmic cries. Then again, heroine Georgia Adams is a goody-two-shoe nurse, so maybe that's just to be expected. Nurses don't don dominatrix gear and swing their whips around while shrieking "You're my bitch now!", I guess. Georgia is - predictably - caught in a really boring relationship that is more often than not a long-distance one.

So one day, after so many months (or is it years?) of not getting any, she finally succumbs to her friend's suggestion and her own libido and dials her boyfriend's phone number.

Unfortunately, Georgie is a bit of a dunce when it comes to modern thingies, and she has no idea that she has entered the wrong number as her boyfriend's number in her auto dial phone. Ken Medlock, cop stud, wakes up in the middle of the night to hear this woman telling him she is wearing no undies. And like any man would, he gets, er, up for the party.

Phone sex becomes so fun that Ken soon becomes more than a little intrigued by this woman. They do meet one day when Ken brings his injured doggie to the place Georgie works at. He accidentally knows who she is, and he is attracted to her, so what is he to do?

Play along? Well, I have no idea what I would do in his shoes, so heck, I'm okay with that. Any woman who can't see through his act is a doofus anyway. But thankfully, Georgie isn't that big a doofus. Sure, she may be a dunce for not being able to distinguish her boyfriend's voice from Ken's, but I'm so thankful that the dreaded Big Misunderstanding didn't blow up in my face like I dreaded that all is forgiven.

If I have a complaint, it's that I have no idea what makes Ken or Georgie tick. Maybe the length restriction causes this thing to happen, but still, it is quite disappointing to realize that I have no idea why a commitment-shy Ken would fall and marry Georgie after so short a courtship, or why Georgie is such a complete prude at times. Wait, since this is a contemporary romance, I think I know why Georgie is such a prude. It's some sort of divine law for Romance Heroines, right?

Still, it's fun while it lasted. Phone sex and passion ain't such a bad mix. If the characters are a little bit less of the same old sorts, and if the story has a bit more character development, why, I may just like this book so much more. If, that is.

Rating: 83


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