Have a tall drink of water handy to put out the fire when you read Smolder, Sammie Jo Morescaís poignant story of the after effects of September 11th.

Johnny Newman is one of New York Cityís finest; the Fire Department's most eligible bachelor. Heís been in love with his best friendís widow for years. In fact, Johnny was the one to introduce them. When September 11th made her a widow, who was it she turned to for strength? Johnny was always there, fixing things in her home, helping her through her grief, finishing all the projects in the house that Susan and Brandon had planned to finish. Now, after two years, itís time to let her know how much she means to him. Johnny feels he has given her enough time to get over Brandon, but will his playboy reputation ruin his chances?

Susan Cervini is caught up in trying to locate a missing cousin through a website for an aging pop star. When Susan begins to have irrational feelings for her best friend, Johnny, she is afraid she will ruin their friendship, but she canít seem to stop feeling an overpowering need for his touch. Can they have a smoldering affair and go back to being friends, or will the feelings they have for each other change Susanís mind about love and marriage again?

Johnny Newman is a real American hero; strong in his beliefs, dedicated to helping others, and loyal to the woman he loves above all others. He is sexy but unaware of his appeal, chivalrous without being conscious of it, and a wonderful friend; the way he unselfishly dedicates himself to Susanís needs, even the times she took him for granted, brought tears to this readerís eyes a time or two. Susan was a little tougher for this reader to warm up to, but once her secret misgivings came to light it was a pleasant turn-around. She is a very caring woman who is afraid of losing again. Her restoration of faith was a long and hard journey but was well worth the wait. Her love for Johnny is a beautiful thing to behold, culminating in a climactic coming together. For fans of a sultry and emotional love story, Smolder is a good choice. Bravo, Sammie Jo Moresca, a brilliant way to tell a poignant story of the day that changed many of our lives. Smolder is another keeper to add to my ever growing library.

Reviewed by: Scarlet