Jumping Mr. January by Maggie Wells

Available: Jan 7, 2013

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

When she pitched the idea for The Men and Women of St. Blaise Regional Medical Center fundraising calendar to her Board of Directors, Beth Watkins thought she wrote the perfect prescription for the small town hospital’s budget shortfall.
The moment she got a green light, Beth went after the man she wanted to be her Mr. January and so much more. She had no time to waste. Hunky EMT Robert ‘Spence’ Spencer was leaving for medical school within weeks of the photo shoot she arranged and there was no way on earth Beth was going to miss the chance to sneak a peek at her old high school crush in all his glory.
Focused and dedicated, Spence wants bigger things than his hometown can offer, but when brainy, sexy Beth Watkins breezes back into St. Blaise with a plan that includes getting into his pants, he finds she is the one woman who can offer him something he doesn’t want to refuse.

I wanted to like this short story.  What’s not to like?  The EMT hunk posing sans clothing for a calendar and the lady who secretly lusts after him trying to get him out of his duds again.  Beth came up with the calendar idea to try to raise money for the hospital where she works.  They needed funds and how could sexy naked medical studs not raise funds?  She mainly has Spence in mind because he’s gorgeous, she’s had a crush on him for years, and oh, he’s gorgeous.  She knows he has plans to leave soon for medical school so she rushes the deal through in order to make sure his photo is included.  Spence catches a glimpse of Beth sneaking a peek during his photo shoot and thinks maybe he has a shot at a little something more with a woman who has always seemed out of reach.

It was a decent premise, but for me everything just fell a little flat.  Spence was supposed to be a big shot former jock turned med student, and yet he came across as an “aw shucks” kind of wimpy guy sometimes.  I like my heroes a whole lot of alpha and he was way too insecure.  After noticing Beth noticing him, he invents a reason to put himself in her path again.  He doesn’t like his calendar photo and works out like a madman for weeks so he’ll look better.  He tells Beth, “I look like a cow.”  What man with any amount of testosterone in his body would say that?  He never really could believe that Beth could be interested in him.  He got completely tongue tied with her, even when they were making out.  I want more of a take-charge kind of guy.

I never really got a good feel for Beth.  I can’t even picture what she looks like.  I got the impression that she was supposed to be a shy, bookworm type, and yet she was snarky and sexually confident and a little wishy-washy.  She agrees to line up another photo shoot for Spence, mainly so she can see him in the flesh again.  She knows he’s leaving soon for school, but if he’s taking his clothes off again, she’s there!  Once they are forced into acknowledging their mutual want, the passion heats up.  Despite knowing anything they start would only be temporary, neither of them can resist hitting the sheets.

One of the challenges when writing a short story is trying to fit everything you want into a small amount of pages.  I’m sure it’s not easy and oftentimes some intensity or emotion or description gets left out.  I don’t want the story to get lost amidst pages and pages of filler information, but something a little more than dialogue and “he did this” and “she thought that” would have been an improvement.  The writing was disjointed at times and the characters seemed pretty inconsistent in their behavior throughout.  I get that it’s hard to flesh out a character in just a few chapters, so I tried to take that into account.  On the plus side, some of the scenes were very sexy and the level of heat was on par with an erotic short story.  The storyline was good, but I didn’t love Beth or Spence, which is a must for me when reading romance.

I give Jumping Mr. January by Maggie Wells 3 stars

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