AFTERNOON DELIGHT Anne Calhoun
An Irresistible Novel
Berkley Intermix,  eBook Only (Novella)
ISBN-13:  978-0-698-17075-9
Mid September 2014
Erotic Contemporary Romance

New York City, New York Present Day

Sarah Naylor has just relocated to New York City from San Francisco to start her life anew.  Two years taking care of her aunt who was dying from uterine cancer has left her with a longing to change her life.  Her aunt told her to not feel sad, and go back to the person she once was, and moving across the country and starting up a food truck called SYMBOWL with her friend Trish is certainly changing her life.  They specialize in rice bowls with different and interesting sauces, more vegetarian or vegan than anything, and business is just picking up.  One afternoon at noon she sees a paramedic sit down in the park and inhale two hot dogs, a pretzel and a soda in four minutes.  Something makes her put together a bowl and take it to him, with a request that he tell her how he likes her sauce.  No one ever called Sarah timid.

Lieutenant Tim Cannon is an experienced paramedic, and right now he is training Casey, who's only been in training for a couple of months.  Tim has seen a lot of the sad part of life such as accidents and elderly people who need help, and he rushes through life trying to keep above the horrors he sometimes sees.  Tim lives for the moment; he never thinks of the past, and heaven forbid he ever thinks of the future.  When the perky lady brings him a bowl of maybe the greatest food he's ever eaten, he talks to her and eventually they return to his apartment.  Despite himself, he finds himself looking forward to Sarah's unique view of life and her lively personality.  She certainly puts him through his paces, and from the beginning everything is a bet between them.  First one: can she get him to stop leaning on his elbows to watch her as she rocks his world.  (She wins).

Tim and Sarah start meeting in the afternoons when he gets off work and the food truck closes up.  Tim thinks this is just a summer fling, and tries desperately to keep Sarah at a distance, but Sarah is special, and it's hard to stop being with someone as quirky and easy to be with as she is.

Anne Calhoun has penned an intriguing yet sensitive tale about a woman trying to recover from the death of a beloved aunt and trying to find a new place in life; whether it will be in New York City or not she doesn't know, she has to get a feel for the city.  Tim was raised in New York and loves every inch of it, and also loves every bet Sarah throws at him, even if she usually wins.  He takes her around New York and helps her see it through his eyes, yet is afraid to even admit that he feels anything for her; remember, he doesn't believe in the future.  Tim figures it's just a summer fling he'll soon get over.

Secondary characters are Sarah's friend Trish, who quit her high powered job to follow a dream that makes her happy.  Casey is Tim's partner, and Tim is the perfect teacher for a young man learning the ropes of even getting an IV in place properly.

AFTERNOON DELIGHT is a perfect and fun tale of two people who find each other and take tentative steps toward each other.  Tim fights the attraction and tries to think it's just temporary, until he realizes that sometimes one must consider the future to keep that special someone in your life.  A perfect afternoon delight of reading, pick this story up this month for an enjoyable time.

Carolyn Crisher