Two teens are set on a collision course with sexy results.
Nicolette Holland is on the run. She’s changed her name and her hair and fully intends to disappear as fast as possible. Jack Manx, son of a mob big shot, is blackmailed into finding Nicolette and making sure no one else does. The circumstances revolving around Nicolette’s importance are a bit blurry: Jack is told she murdered a girl connected to a powerful crime boss, but Nicolette doesn’t act like a murderer, and the police aren’t on her tail. The story unfolds with alternating chapters switching between Jack’s and Nicolette’s present-tense accounts, but the different perspectives offer little to the narrative. There are no tense cat-and-mouse sequences here; Jack just finds his mark with little trouble. When the pair cross paths there’s a sexual attraction that promises to give emotional texture to the mob drama, but each character is so guarded that little genuine heat arises. Jack and Nicolette are manic in their moods, going from loving to hating and back to loving each other, sometimes within the span of one or two pages. Neither character is particularly engaging: Jack is a stereotypical bad boy with a heart of gold, and the mysterious nature of Nicolette’s past crime keeps her at arm’s length.
It’s hard to get invested in a love story when one of the partners is an unknowable black hole. (Thriller. 14-16)