hotshotWARNING: Reading Hotshot by Julie Garwood will cause (a) lack of sleep (b) a burning desire to find hot, hunky FBI men and (c)  the need to book a plane ticket  to Florida. As a longtime fan/reader of Ms. Garwood’s books, I can attest to the fact that they are absorbing, compelling, mind-tickling and utterly fascinating reads. When you pick up Hotshot or any of her other books, block out some time, otherwise you’ll be so lost in the book, you won’t realize that an entire day has flown by.

Hotshot combines intrigue, romance and a healthy dose of humor with a plot line that’s ripped from today’s headlines. The story opens up in a small town in Texas. The MacBain family’s three boys are rambunctious yet well behaved kids who could eat an army supply depot in one sitting. It’s not that they  mean to get into trouble; they just have all this excess energy. Finn, the oldest of the bunch has decided that he’s going to be a lifeguard at the local country club for the summer. Never mind that the hiring age is 16, and he’s just 14, he’s going to do it. His father has other plans for him and the boys. The new local pool has started a swim team and Mr. MacBain feels that getting his sons involved will keep them so busy and exhausted, they won’t have time or strength to create pranks or play baseball on the street at all hours of the day and night.

Playing baseball and errant baseballs converging into glass windows is what got the boys into their latest jam. Not moments after their new neighbors, the Lockharts moved in, their plate glass window was history. This latest stunt has Finn on lock down. Up in his room, he spots a little girl falling into the Lockharts’ pool. Without a thought, he rushes out of his house and rescues her.  The little girl turns out to be Peyton Lockhart. Much like a baby duck, Peyton imprints Finn into her mind. Every year on the anniversary of her rescue, she sends him a thank you note.

Fast forward a few years: Finn’s won gold at the Olympics, Peyton’s graduated college and earned a degree from a French culinary institute. They’re both living far apart, but the thank you notes are a yearly reminder of their bond.

When Peyton accepts a job at a prestigious food magazine, and then stumbles into a hornet’s nest of sexual harassment and trouble, Finn steps in.

What happens with the good guys, the bad guys, Finn, Peyton, and a surprise gift (and responsibility) to Peyton makes up the bulk of this incredibly fast moving plot.

If you like your romance with a healthy dose of on the edge of your seat suspense, Hotshot is your newest companion.

And as for me, well, I started reading it during lunch one day. Reluctantly put it down to go back to work, hurried home, then read the rest in one sitting. It was worth staying up to 3 AM!

PJ Gach is Managing Editor Spa Week Daily.