Signet, Jan 2009, $14.00
In Statlerville, Tennessee Jane Norman has always wanted her former best friend Ethan Oldham, but he never displayed any inclination of caring for her that way. Their friendship forged as the two tallest kids in junior high school ended four years when Ethan became engaged to a gold-digging pariah. Although Jane sort of moved on, her love for Ethan remains strong.
Deciding he will never take the first step, thirty-two year old Jane decides on an anonymous inane HOT MAIL campaign to win his heart or at least intimate time with him in his bed. She begins sending him love letters so graphic he fears his hands will burn by touching them; once a week they arrive and he finds himself anxiously waiting for the next one even as he wonders who is sending them. When someone burglarizes Jane’s stationary store, Assistant Chief of Police Ethan investigates. As they renew their friendship ironically the erotic letter writer causes a triangle that leaves Jane looking on with desire while her shadow self wins his heart.
HOT MAIL is an amusing contemporary romance that contains underlying issues which strengthens the story line. The lead couple is a terrific pairing even if Ethan is ignorant to the facts while the support cast especially his older sister facing empty nest syndrome with her ex in Florida and her daughter about to attend college at U of South Florida deepens the plot. The letter campaign proves too successful opening up more problems for the heroine whose New Year’s Resolution looks dead with Valentine’s Day approaching. Janice Maynard provides a delightful humorous charmer.