Harlequin, Aug 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
When their parents died in a plane crash in the Andes, the three preadolescent Jordan sisters (Annabelle, Sophie, and Michelle) moved in with their only living relative, Uncle Yank Morgan, who had spent an hour every few months with his nieces. The world of the girls changed from dresses and panties with bows to that of used jock straps, semi-naked athletes, and gambling as Uncle Yank is a sports lawyer. Though seemingly a misfit, the female trio raises their uncle to the best of their ability. Years later the three little orphans work as publicists in their uncle's business, The Hot Zone though along with his assistant the women run the firm in spite Yank's Judge Judy gavel.
The oldest Annabelle was and still is the frilliest of the threesome. She finds herself attracted to client former football great, businessman Brandon Vaughn. He feels the same way though she avoids his passes. Soon, Annabelle realizes that Brandon has intercepted her heart, but fears the heartbreak of a bachelor who would simply prefer a touchback than a touchdown so she tries to hide her feelings and her still frilly panties from the hunk. Brandon sees time running out with no timeouts left, so he tries a Hail Mary pass to catch Annabelle in a permanent relationship
The first contemporary sports romance in the Hot Zone trilogy is a terrific tale due to a delightful lead couple, who may seem like opposites, but have more in common besides love. The secondary characters add depth from the moment the three little ones move in to live with their “slob” of an uncle. Carly Phillips' opening period is a Superbowl victory for readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner