If a Man Answers
Grade : B+

I’m so happy! Merline Lovelace’s new SIM, If a Man Answers, lived up to my expectations. If it hadn’t, I would have been disappointed because If a Man Answers is one of my all-time favorite movies (starring Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee and Caesar Romero to boot!). This book lives up to the good connotations of the name with just the right blend of romance, suspense and humor.

Molly Duncan moved to Las Vegas six months ago. Suddenly she has a neighbor – major Sam Henderson, a hunky air force man who stays up all night listening to country music. One night when Molly can no longer stand it, she calls Sam to tell him to turn it down. She gets the wrong number and hears someone murdered. Not realizing it’s the wrong number, she calls 911 to check on her neighbor. When the doorbell rings later, a cop and her very angry neighbor are at the door. Sam thinks it’s a joke on Molly’s part because they have a minor feud going.

Once Molly convinces Sam that she thought she was telling the truth, he calls a grudging truce. He’s even more convinced after Molly thinks someone has been in her house and she then recognizes the killer’s voice in a TV ad (Molly is a translator/linguist).

The situation forces Sam to protect Molly. She stays at his house for a few days and gets to know the major better. The attraction between them builds to the point where they can’t resist. I usually ignore love scenes (okay, I don’t ignore them, but they are not the most important part of the book for me), but this one has a particularly delicious scene on some home workout equipment. Talk about motivation!

Molly’s best friend and boss Davinia and Davinia’s candidate for husband number 4 make up the secondary cast. They are the perfect secondary cast – not too much of them and they don’t steal the scenes. Then there’s the murderer and even he is pretty low-key. The focus here is on Sam and Molly, just where it should be. The end to this book is really good, and solves one of Sam’s problems – blinding headaches that have grounded him). Sam’s brothers appear at the end of the book, and I must say I’m glad to learn Merline plans to write their stories as well.

Most of Merline Lovelace’s books are, if not keepers, highly entertaining reads that I’ll read more than once. For those of you interested, my all-time favorites (all involving military or spies) are SIM #’s 669 and 692, Undercover Man and Perfect Double, the last two of a four-book series, and her latest single title contemporary, Call of Duty (all desert isle keepers for me). If a Man Answers may eventually become such a favorite for me. I’ll let you know after the 3rd or 4th read!

Reviewed by Andrea Pool

Grade: B+

Book Type: Series Romance

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : August 12, 1998

Publication Date: 1998/08

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