Daring Miss December by Maggie Wells

DECEMBER
Daring Miss December by Maggie Wells
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

It’s never too late to learn the truth about love…if you dare.

Straight-laced hospital administrator Oliver Watkins has the heart of a rebel.

Coming of age in the freewheeling seventies meant that Oliver’s rebellion manifested itself in always doing precisely what he was expected to do.

With his wife gone and his daughter grown, the survival of St. Blaise Regional Medical Center has become his main focus in life. That is, until the results of a routine blood test give him the nudge he needs to indulge in forbidden fruit.

Dietician Anne Silverstein has enjoyed a smorgasbord of experiences, but none shaped her life more dramatically than finding a lump in her breast at the ripe old age of twenty-six. In the years since she triumphed over death, Anne has learned to embrace life by taking each new day as it comes.

When Ollie Watkins, stumbles into her office looking for more than a few tips on lowering his cholesterol, throwing caution to the wind is a no-brainer for free-spirited Anne. But the home remedies Anne and Oliver cook up together leave them both ravenous for more. Suddenly one finds one day at a time is not enough and the other fears it’s way too much.

Dr. Oliver Watkins can’t stop glancing at his watch, wishing away the hours until 2pm arrives. For it’s after two that Anne Silverstein – the small hospital’s part time dietician – starts work. Oliver had worked up the courage to consult with Anne, but decades of being a straight-arrow, and a perfect, pristine gentleman just like his late wife desired him to be couldn’t come crumbling down all at once. Oliver had a battery of tests run and discovered his cholesterol was slightly above the average. Using this thin excuse, he sets himself purposely in Anne’s path, hoping to get to know her better and start a relationship with her. Even though they are carrying hurts from the past, the sizzling attraction can’t be denied, and all too soon Anne wonders just how two such different people can build a future together.

I loved the concept of a nudie calendar to link together all the characters. Miss December is a firecracker. Long past her first blush of youth, Anne is a saucy, no holds barred character that just leapt off the page at me. Comfortable in her own skin, proud of her wrinkles, extra pounds of flesh and grey hair, Anne is a woman who knows herself and knows exactly what she wants. Although she’s fantasised about Oliver, he’s never given her the slightest inclination that he’s interested. So when she sees through his platonic request for a consultation things get heated very quickly. The author does an awesome job of making Oliver and Anne three dimensional characters. They’re not just cookie cut outs, or a doctor and a dietician with a few quirks thrown in. I feel like the author really spent time and effort to flesh them both out. We learn a lot about Oliver and his history, on how he became the man he is now. And the same thing is done with Anne. They’re well drawn characters with complex personalities and their own set of baggage. Yet I still found their coming together romantic, funny and hot, it was a delightful mixture of realistic and romantic fun.

I also really enjoyed how neither Anne nor Oliver are the traditional twenty or thirty something characters. It’s refreshing to read about middle-aged heroes and heroines, about how love can come a second time around to people. And while Anne might not be swinging from the chandeliers and Oliver mightn’t be going six times in a row each night – they can certainly still get hot and dirty, steamy and expressive in their sex! Both Anne and Oliver have issues from their past, and together they work them through. While there isn’t much plot outside their characters, coming together and working on their relationship, this is a heartwarming story with a healthy dose of sizzling sex.

I found the erotic scenes tastefully written, something I’d share with good friends and maybe even female relatives. There’s nothing outside the box, nothing to hide or blush over reading – though the scenes are graphic in nature. I would have enjoyed a bit more plot, but for a character-based, erotic book I felt this ticked most of the boxes for me. I’m pleased to have read a number of this series and can strongly recommend both the author and this calendar based series.

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