cover image NO WAY OUT


Andrea Kane, . . Pocket, $6.99 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-1275-9

Although Kane is better known for her historical romances, she splashed onto the contemporary scene a year ago with her New York Times bestseller Run for Your Life, and she continues to broaden her readership with this tightly woven romantic thriller. When Julia Talbot's second-grade student Brian Stratford becomes withdrawn in class, she suspects that his problems may be related to his father's Senate campaign. Brian's father, Stephen, is the mayor of Leaf Brook, N.Y., and a model citizen, but when Julia expresses her concerns for Brian's welfare to the Stratford family, she finds that her inquiries are unwelcome. To keep Julia from probing further and discovering the mayor's well-hidden compulsion to gamble, Brian's uncle Connor, a jaded venture capitalist, tries to seduce her. Instead, he falls in love with the idealistic young teacher. Their relationship is put on hold, however, when Brian is kidnapped and Julia is injured in a hit and run. Kane's characters are realistically flawed and endearing, and the romance between Connor and Julia is well developed. Although the novel's conclusion is no surprise and a saccharine epilogue ties up loose ends too neatly, this fast-paced tale will appeal to fans of Lisa Gardner and Heather Graham. (Nov. 13)

Forecast:A national radio advertising campaign, print advertising in the Romantic Times and a five-city author tour will help Kane's newest appeal to its target readership.