cover image MY SPY


Christina Skye, . . Dell, $6.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-440-80404-8

"To have sex or not to have sex"—that is the question hotel-spa owner and physical therapist Annie O'Toole must ponder when Sam McKade, a wounded Navy SEAL suffering amnesia, is sent under strict security to her for rehabilitation. Among the memories locked in his brain are a traitor's name and the tender affair Sam had with Annie before he set off on his final mission. Skye (Going Overboard) delves deep into the details of a spa owner's responsibilities but skims over creating a credible romantic conflict. At the same time, Sam's relentless, heavy-handed propositions to Annie, whom he doesn't remember, cast him more as a lecher than a hero, and the novel's focus on Annie's fear of intimacy fails to take into account the couple's recent affair. Nevertheless, the action and emotional turmoil heat to a rolling, and more convincing, boil toward the finale when the unmasked traitor tracks Sam to Annie's spa. Less a romance or thriller than a hotelier's handbook, this frothy tale misses its mark, spurring more interest in Annie's various spa remedies than in whether she and Sam will live long enough to make a future together. (Feb. 5)

Forecast:Dell is launching this title with a spa gift-certificate sweepstakes, which should prompt luxury-loving readers to pick up the book. A Romantic Times cover ad as well as print advertising in First for Women, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dallas Morning News, etc. will also draw readers in, but her fans may find themselves longing for a story with a little more depth.