by Deirdre Martin

March 2005
ISBN: 0-425-20152-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

When Gemma Dante casts a love spell, she never expects it to work, or to bring firefighter Sean Kennealy into her life. He’s not like anyone she has ever met in her life, but then, sometimes the saying that opposites attract is all too true. Gemma and Sean are very attracted to each other.

Sean isn’t sure why he finds Gemma so fascinating. She’s totally different from him. She’s a witch, she owns her own store, and she has an eccentric personality that most definitely clashes with his down-to-earth character.

Despite the differences though, there are many qualities that Sean admires about Gemma, not the least of which is the fact that she is the most open and caring person he has met in a long time, a fact which draws him to her like a moth to the flame.

Unfortunately, fate, or their friends, seems to be conspiring to point out all the reasons why they shouldn’t be together…a fact, which Sean listens to. It doesn’t help that he’s closed off about his job, unwilling to talk to Gemma about the devastation the fires wreck on his subconscious. Gemma is starting to get the feeling that maybe her love spell went wacky because her relationship with Sean is anything but the perfect, loving bond she had envisioned.

Total Rush features a quirky and fun loving heroine who is determined to take on the world. Her responsibilities include not only running a business but soon, she becomes entangled in her Grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimers. The only plus in her life seems to be her relationship with Sean, but even that seems to be failing. For this plucky heroine, Sean is proving to be more hurtful than loving.

Sean is not quite up to the other heroes of Ms. Martin’s previous works. He’s somewhat diffident and at times, cares too much for what his friends think. Nevertheless, in the end, he proves that it is Gemma he is most concerned about. I have to say, I wasn’t really thrilled with his character, and especially that he didn’t seem quite up to par with what a great heroine Gemma was.

Overall, this is a pleasant read that reintroduces the reader to Gemma, who is first introduced in Ms. Martin’s Fair Play. The plot line is first rate and even the secondary characters provide lots of laughs and a closer look at who the hero and heroine are as people, but the flawed Sean tends to make this story somewhat of a letdown due to his unwillingness to really let Gemma into his life until the very end of the story.

Reviewed in February 2005 by Sarah.

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