Friday, January 12, 2007

Spotlight Review on...SIZZLING by Susan Mallery

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SIZZLING - Susan Mallery
Buchanan Family, Book 3
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77176-9
ISBN-10: 0-373-77176-2
January 2007
Contemporary Romance

Seattle, Washington - Present Day

Reid Buchanan thought he had trouble when his grandmother Gloria broke her hip and had a heart attack. Because Gloria spent her life being as hateful to her family as possible, Reid was the only one to volunteer to see that Gloria was taken care of when she got out of the hospital. Reid is feeling pretty good about himself until the morning he reads an article in the newspaper written by a female reporter he had once slept with. She says he is lousy in bed. Not good in bed? He was better than good, he was a god! Women have always said so; he has the scratch marks on his back and the memory of their screams ringing in his ears to prove it. Since blowing out his pitching arm and retiring from baseball, Reid has been manager of the family's sports bar, but, mainly, he bedded women. How can he hold his head up high after the newspaper article, when everyone from Seattle to entertainment news programs is sure to have read those scurrilous lies?

Lori Johnston is the private duty nurse hired to rehabilitate Gloria Buchanan's hip after surgery. Lori is a total take-charge nurse, and nobody toys with her, not even her patients. Everyone warns Lori about Gloria, but Lori firmly believes she's merely old and scared of her mortality. If not, Gloria needs to hear a few home truths, and Lori is just the one to tell her. If only the gorgeous and tempting Reid Buchanan hadn't moved into Gloria's house, she could have tried to ignore him. But as much as Lori would love a relationship with Reid, he will never even look at someone like her. After all, the women he's had still keep coming out of the woodwork saying he was lousy in bed or offering to write a letter telling everyone he was great. But Lori needs this job; her sister Madeline is sick with hepatitis and has only a year left to live. Lori needs to save money so she can be with Madeline during the last weeks of her life.

SIZZLING is book three in the Buchanan family series, and I can't understand how each book keeps getting better than the last. In SIZZLING, Reid and Lori are two headstrong people who strike sparks off each other, and the road to romance is hard going. Lori has lived her life with her sister being the perfect person, beautiful, sweet, charming, and loved by their drunken mother. Lori has spent years coming to terms with the jealousy of her sister and, finally, accepting and loving her, yet still uncertain whether she herself is worthy of love too.

All his life Reid has been the ultimate ladies man; with his wealth and high profile career there are literally hundreds of women he's slept with and yet now he can hardly remember any of them. Even he is unsure whether his attraction to Lori is real. But more important to Reid is what he is going to do with the rest of his life to make it count for something. Everybody has warned Lori off Reid, but aren't we always attracted to the bad boy? And Dani, Reid's sister, has yet another run-in with a man that finally persuades her that men are off limits to her. She is on a quest to find a restaurant she can work in that isn't connected to the family; she no longer totally feels a part of the Buchanan family because of what she learned from Gloria. Despite everybody's dislike of Gloria, all roads lead back to her.

DELICIOUS (February 2006) and IRRESISTIBLE (July 2006), Susan Mallery's two previous books in this series, are spectacular, but once again she comes up with another one to top them. With writing that totally draws us into the story, a fast pace and interesting characters coming from her fertile imagination, SIZZLING burns our fingers with its excellence. Even characters that aren't major have charisma and create a longing to learn their stories. Each person is distinct and sympathetic, and each comes alive in our imaginations.

Secondary characters add so much to SIZZLING even though they truly aren't needed. First is Gloria Buchanan, grandmother and matriarch of the Buchanan family, and hated by everyone. Brothers Cal and Walker make an appearance along with their families, and also sister Dani has the beginning bits of her own story to tempt us. Mmmm, it looks fabulous, too!

SIZZLING will tug at your heartstrings, bring a tear to your eye, and take you into a fantastic journey of family relationships and their ups and downs. It doesn't get better than SIZZLING, but if I know Susan Mallery, her next book, TEMPTING (coming in July 2007), will be just as enthralling and exciting. Romance doesn't get better than SIZZLING this month.

Carolyn Crisher

For more reviews, be sure to check out Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic!


Mimmi said...

I love Susan Mallery, and can't wait to read this one. I have to admit that I just discovered her this year, when I read The Sparkling One, then I had to glom her backlist. And Irresistible was awesome!!

kim h said...

love susan and her books. hi susan and pat

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Susan's entire Buchanan series has been wonderful. Sizzling was no exception, I loved it and so far it's my favorite!

Wouldn't this series make a great TV series?