Unbreakable

Stephanie Tyler. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-41350-5

Tyler pulls back on the action a little but fails to replace it with plot in the second installment of her Section 8 romantic suspense series (after Surrender). She concentrates instead on fleshing out the characters, especially those of on-again, off-again lovers Gunner and Avery. A series of vignettes—a bar fight, Gunner's unexplained disappearance, a brief faceoff with a motorcycle gang, some explosions—are loosely linked by the S8 team attempting to free Gunner from a personal nemesis who threatens the whole group's future. Gunner and Avery generate plenty of heat despite Gunner's desire to keep Avery at a distance for her own safety. Only Tyler's masterful juggling of the will-they-won't-they romance amps up the tension enough to carry the so-so plot. (Nov.)