Thin romantic suspense larded with soft-core porn--in a first hardcover from veteran Krentz (aka Amanda Quick). Art collector Max Fortune is 36 and a self-made success, having risen from a poor and loveless childhood to become the protÇgÇ and surrogate son of hotel tycoon Jason Curzon. On his deathbed Jason directs Max to his inheritance: five valuable paintings stored somewhere at Robbins Nest, a country inn on the Washington coast. Upon arriving there, Max meets the proprietress, Cleopatra Robbins, and at first is unimpressed by her bespectacled countenance and careless dress. Cleo doesn't bother to ask his business but puts him right to work unstopping toilets and doing other chores for her shorthanded staff; Max stifles his protest (he wants to find his paintings), but as the days pass he finds himself being drawn into Cleo's ``family'' at the inn: a single mother and her child, several women with celestial names from a nearby commune who come to cook, and a pregnant waitress and her plumber lover. He also finds himself falling for Cleo, and learns about her past. Her parents died in a violent apparent murder/suicide; she's the author of a work of erotic fiction; and she's being stalked by someone who refers to her in anonymous notes as a whore and purveyor of filth. Soon Max has become her lover and is enacting fantasies from her book.... Meanwhile, the stalker has escalated to death threats. The climax reveals the truth about Cleo's parents' death; the not- terribly-startling identity of her stalker; the location of the five paintings; and the existence of realms of feeling within Max that he has never suspected before. High sugar, low fiber.