This ain't Love Story and I ain't got no lingering disease."" So snarls Torrie Hansen, ""a lady with dreams,"" but Torrie does wind up near death in the hospital, and this novel does wind up being as artificially contrived, cute, and treacly as anything Erich Segal ever churned out. Torrie's a N.Y. waitress, an ex-druggie with a kid, whose psychotic ex-husband keeps following her and stealing anything she saves enough to buy. Ned Webster is an about-to-be-divorced stockbroker who has coffee at Torrie's luncheonette and confides his credo to his standard, smart-alecky, in-love-with-the-boss secretary: ""I grew up believing in fidelity and kindness and duty and real love."" Can square Ned and bitter Torrie (""You can take your macho number, mack, and stuff it somewhere else!"") find love in the city? More to the point, can author Neufeld keep them going for a whole book? He can, but only by having Torrie idiotically try to keep her son and ex-husband a secret from Ned, and by having Ned idiotically say tactless things to Torrie in bed. Then the ex-husband appears with a knife, kidnaps the kid, and Torrie gets slashed and is near death in the hospital. . . ah, but that's where you came in. And where, if you're wise, you checked out.