cover image LIKE A KNIFE


Annie Solomon, . . Warner Forever, $5.99 (366pp) ISBN 978-0-446-61230-2

A bad boy with a shady past and a Goody Two-Shoes with an equally sad history come together to bring down a nasty villain in Solomon's debut romantic suspense novel. Handyman Nick Raine, an orphan who was adopted by an illegal arms dealer, lives with the painful knowledge that he could have saved a boy's life during a deal gone wrong. The past catches up with Nick when his former father figure summons him to find a boy of mysterious parentage. Nick balks at returning to the life he renounced and the man he loathes, but when Rachel Goodman, a friend and previous employer, shows up beaten at his doorstep, he realizes he has no choice. An abundance of explosions and shootings keep the suspense alive, but Nick and Rachel never fully transcend the pat, familiar roles assigned to them. Readers looking for a few thrills wrapped up with an explosive conclusion will be pleased, but those seeking more substance and character development should look elsewhere. (Mar.)