Love Spell, Dec 2003, 6.99, 384 pp.
Ashley and Michael Kavanagh divorced two years ago over her mistrust of him but both insist to themselves and to his sister and her best friend Kim that they are over the other. Each one plans to marry someone else and Kim is sad because she knows they still love one another.
Realtor Ashley has had a terrible day when her car broke down as she was to meet a client and subsequently learns that her furnace caused a fire in her home. Her only hope for salvation is the lottery draw that she has faithfully played using the anniversary of her first date with Michael and her wedding day as her lucky numbers. Her bad day turns around when she hears the winning ticket is one of her lucky numbers. Michael happens to be the other winner.
Kim arranges a cruise vacation for Ashley and Michael, but fails to tell either that they will share a ship let alone a cabin. Though they squabble, both realize they still love the other, but obstinately neither wants to admit it for fear of rejection and ridicule. Kim's blatant matchmaking looks doomed to failure.
HOT NUMBER is an amusing contemporary romance that leaves the audience chuckling at some of the antics of the lead couple and Kim. However, Ashley comes across as spoiled as she never takes the time to find out what really happened, but instead J'accuse Michael and walked. Though Kim is a female Machiavellian, fans will understand her tactics and applaud them as a last ditch desperate Hail Mary pass.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner