cover image HIDE AND SEEK


Cherry Adair, . . Ivy, $6.50 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-449-00684-9

With its outsize protagonists, super-nasty villains and earthy sex scenes, Adair's second romantic suspense novel (after Kiss and Tell) resembles a half-baked Bond flick. Like 007, antiterrorist agent Kyle Wright's primary weakness is beautiful women, and he's particularly slow witted around Delanie Eastman, the blonde bombshell with whom he shared a passionate weekend affair four years ago. When Kyle, posing as an epidemiologist and assassin employed by Ramón Montera, a drug lord who deals in bioweaponry, visits Montera's South American fort, he's stunned to learn that Delanie is Montera's guest. Under the fitting guise of a bimbo, Delanie has wheedled her way into Montera's outpost to find her sister, who was last seen with the notorious drug lord. Old passions flare up between the two as they brave piranhas, an anaconda and Montera's personal militia to stop the manufacture and dissemination of a deadly virus. Delanie, a kindergarten teacher with ballet training, turns out to have a vicious kick as well as other outlandish fighting skills, but her steadfast mission to save her sister, even if it means endangering Kyle and his operation, is frustrating. Kyle is an equally unappealing character; his opening salvo to Delanie is: "Well, well, Miss Eastman. I'd recognize those tits anywhere." Readers looking for mature protagonists and a credible story line should look elsewhere. (Oct.)