POSTER GIRL: Erotic Musings of an ER Physician – Joni McPherron
A Perfect 10
Sartoris Literary Group
ISBN-13:  978-0-9858-8523-8
February 2013
Erotic Contemporary Romance

Seattle, Washington

CJ Jones is a doctor and the Chief of Emergency Services when the unthinkable happens; a patient attacks her in the emergency room and busts her lip, breaks several ribs and her arm, plus causes a concussion.  Fortunately, CJ's a black belt in karate and has had other defensive training, and she reacted instinctively during the attack and gave as good as she got, even though she doesn't remember a thing.  Dr. Dan Brown, Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff, is taking care of her after the attack, and he is about the best there is, even if he has seemed interested in her in the past.  Despite her injuries, CJ believes she can take care of herself at home, and if she is intent on this crazy idea, then Dan is determined he is going to be there to help her.  How can she prepare food, wash her hair, or even get in the bathtub with broken ribs?  Despite her home being her castle, CJ quickly learns how easily he fits into her life, despite the heat that zaps between them whenever Dan helps her with her bath or changes her clothes.  CJ had a scary incident at the age of twelve with several boys, and since then she has never had a boyfriend, a relationship with a man, or even dated.  Just as she's feeling a little better and things have developed between her and Dan, she finds out the hospital is suspending her because the patient who attacked her is making waves about suing the hospital because of his injuries.

Dan Brown is at the hospital when the attack happens, won't let anyone else take over CJ's care.  When she insists on going home there is no way he'll let her go by herself with her concussion and broken ribs.  The first thing he sees as he walks in CJ's house is her poster with the bright orange fish riding a bicycle saying A WOMAN WITHOUT A MAN IS LIKE A FISH WITHOUT A BICYCLE.  Fears that she's playing for the other side quickly vanish as she states she has never felt as if she had a need for a man in her life.  Dan takes off work, and as they get to know each other in close quarters, the compulsion and pull of attraction between them grows—even growing so much that even CJ acknowledges that she can hardly keep her hands off him.  Just as things are really heating up, Dan is informed by the administrator of the hospital that CJ must be suspended.  He never told her how badly she hurt the man who attacked her, and she takes the news hard, even as he tells her they will fight with every ounce of their beings against the proposed lawsuit for assault.

CJ can't believe the hurt that she feels and immediately returns to where she felt the safest in her life, and must adjust to being by herself again.  Here we must wonder whether Dan is smart enough to find her, and whether she can accept that the feelings she has for him are not superficial, but are now a deep part of her being.

Joni McPherron is a medical professional who has decided to give writing a chance and see whether she can do a good job or should stay with her career.  You will agree after reading POSTER GIRL that she has found the exquisite balance of characters and plot and inventiveness in her story.  Told mostly from CJ's point of view, she is the ultimate ER doctor…bright, fast thinking and yet trying to place herself in others' shoes as she's working on them.  She is convinced men are something she doesn't need; her organized life and house and work are put together just the way she likes it.  It could only be an exceptionally perfect man who could awaken her interest in him.  Dan is another doctor with a great life, but he is looking for the perfect woman to someday marry and have a family with.  Once CJ is injured, Dan steps up and makes her number one in his life.  CJ notices he strives for a professional attitude while helping her in her house and fits into her life seamlessly, while not being pushy.  Since her incident at twelve she has avoided men and come to rely only on herself.  It will truly be an extraordinary man who can break CJ out of her shell.

Secondary characters are few, and yet the novel feels full of people.  There are all the patients and medical professionals CJ works with, and her special friends, Becky and Norm, who help her during her crisis.  CJ's and Dan's parents show up at the end, but CJ's and Dan's personalities fill up the pages with their completeness.

POSTER GIRL is a debut book by Joni McPherron, and while sometimes you're leery of a first time author, you need have no such worries here.  By the end of the first page I can usually tell whether a story has what I think it takes to be a Perfect 10.  The characters must be compelling, the plot must be different from anything else you've read and be gripping in its intensity.  Here POSTER GIRL has everything, and I finished this book in one day, unable to leave CJ, Dan, and Bear the bulldog.  There is laughter, intelligent conversation, and a man who, despite her misgivings, fulfills all of CJ's requirements for a perfect match.  It might have been hard for CJ to lower her walls of fear and let in Dan, but it surely isn't hard for me to give POSTER GIRL a richly deserved Perfect 10.  Ms. McPherron will follow up with POSTER CHILD, and please, don't give up the writing I beg you; you have found the perfect combination of writing and saving the world.  Sartoris Literary Group is a new, independent publisher, and you might have to look hard to find the book, but it will be worth it.

Cece Johns