When I picked up A HICKEY FOR HARRIET by Nancy Warren I was unsure what to expect. I was quite pleased to realize I was reading a story that was connected to her February release HOT OFF THE PRESS.
Harriet MacPherson is a twenty-three year old copy editor for the Pasqualie Standard. Steve Ackerman is a sports writer for the same paper. They meet when Steve hears some unusual sounds coming from the woman's restroom. He wrestles with his conscience as to whether or not to enter the mysterious world of the woman's restroom, but finally decides that he can't leave a damsel in distress.
Harriet is astounded to find out that her rescuer is the boy she had a major crush on in her geeky high school days. In those days Harriet had dreams of being one of the popular girls, and even more important to her being a cheerleader. Even as a now grown woman she still suffers from those high school insecurities and is surprised to realize that Steve the boy she had a crush on in her high school might now be thinking of her as more than a co-worker. She enjoys watching the Pasqualie Braves Football Team Cheerleaders as she still harbors a secret passion for being a cheerleader.
Steve is amazed to find out that the prim proper Harriet is actually very athletic. When he finds out that the Braves Cheerleaders have an opening he comes up with the idea of Harriet trying out for the team. He sees it as an opportunity to team up and write a story from the first person perspective of what trying out for the squad is like. He wants to start with the rehearsals, the first cuts, all the way to the winner's victorious moment. Harriet sees the story as her way of being able to fulfill some of those long ago dreams. Therefore agrees to try out for the vacant spot on the squad.
Neither of them expect what evolves as the story comes together. They both however begin to realize more about themselves than they might have thought possible. I as a reader didn't think they would have come to their self realizations without their developing relationship.
This is a quick enjoyable read, with a well thought out and believable plot. I'm glad to see characters from HOT OFF THE PRESS make their appearances, but yet remember that they're secondary characters in this book. I'm looking forward to A CRADLE FOR CAROLINE the second story in this Harlequin Duets.
Sandi Shilhanek, March 2003