True-life gothic romance: young woman meets dark, handsome stranger, gets drawn into dangerous doings, escapes at the last minute through pluck and luck. A hundred years ago, it might have been the white-slave trade; now, it's cocaine smuggling. In the late 60's, Kay Wolff (a pseudonym), ""a tawny California beauty,"" tries her hand at carrying powder from Bogota to the US. She has a knack for it, and before long falls in with Ricardo Alvarez (""so handsome it was almost ridiculous, like a cartoon hero""), son of Roberto Alvarez (the ""Padrino""), one of Colombia's chief drug lords. Soon enough, Wolff is working for the Alvarez family as a ""concealer""--artfully stashing bags of coke in furniture, suitcases, etc., prior to shipment north. She earns wads of money, acquires a devastating coke habit (her weight drops to 95 lbs.), and, in what seems an act of desperate redemption, adopts two of the penniless Indian urchins who fill Colombia's streets. Conditions worsen as Wolff shoots and kills a mysterious intruder, and watches the Padrino murder his own son-in-law at a family powpow (and break three of her ribs when she screams). Finally, her two illegal adoptees in tow, she makes it back to the US after a perilous flight involving doctored papers and a plane crash. As a cautionary tale, too unusual to carry much clout. As a heroine-in-peril romance, convincing and fairly restrained. Wolff will reportedly do an eight-to-ten city author tour with her voice and appearance electronically altered: the impact of those interviews may be enough to push this near the best-seller lists.