This is the sequel to Coming In From The Cold. I am posting this review at a very awkward time--the book was available only in a pack with several Harlequin e-books that I bought last month, but said pack is no longer available to buy online and I can't find you a link to buy it at the moment. (Seriously, Internet?) According to Goodreads, the book's coming out again (as a solo, presumably) on December 1. So hopefully, you will be able to purchase it in the future.
This book starts about a year later, as Willow's best friend Callie joins Willow, Dean and the baby at a sporting event. She's briefly introduced to hot punk-looking Olympic silver medalist snowboarder Hank "Hazardous" Lazarus.* He kinda skims over her and Callie thinks about how hot he is, but he'd never go for a boring good girl doctor like her.
* Which is um, totally fun to say over and over again. HAZARDOUS LAZARUS!
And then Hank takes a career-ending fall that leaves him partially paralyzed. Eventually Callie ends up dealing with him at the hospital, and at one point she essentially tells his rich parents to back off in a way that they take well and that Hank is super impressed with. Almost a year later, Hank's parents are bugging him to try a new technique, which Hank isn't feeling super motivated about doing. They agree to fund a scientific study on how well the method works at Callie's hospital, and Hank agrees to do it if Callie is hired to run the project. Mutual crushing ensues, though Callie has a fair amount of "why would an awesome guy like that go for boring old nerd me?" and Hank has the ol' "what if my willy won't work?" fears going on. (Which is addressed in a locker room scene that is pretty dang charming.) And that's most of the plot, with the occasional dash of "what's going on with Hank's sister Stella**" and Callie debating whether or not to just move to California.
** In other news, this series is a trilogy and the third book is mentioned on the author's website. It promises the story of Hank's best friend and sister--but there's heavy duty spoiler warning regarding this book on the mention. Like hoooooo boy.
The plot's pretty simple, but enjoyable. I did get a little bit burned out on Callie being all "I'm not cool enough for this guy, except maybe now he's settling now that he's handicapped or something"--and I say that as someone who is also a freaking NERD and gets that, albeit I am not up to med school "must follow the rules" levels. But it seems pretty clear to the reader that Hank would appreciate Callie regardless, and he may be punk, but he's not a scary badass. And a darned good cook and violin player. This book does feel a wee bit like the flipside of The Year We Fell Down, Guy Version, but I like that about it. And the ending is very sweet and adventurous-- I'll leave a bit of commentary below the spoiler cut, but damn, dude! Damn!
So, four stars.