What there is of this story is good, but Ridgway spends too much time on the inner angst of the hero and heroine and on sexual tension and sex than on plot and characters. The secondary romance is more entertaining than the primary one, and the knitting group adds a nice touch.

When Nikki leaves her job as a sous-chef because of a bum knee, she ends up working as a private chef to Jay Buchanan, the editor for a hip men's magazine.

Jay hires Nikki mainly because he needs a fake girlfriend to keep Shanna, the girl next door, at bay. Shanna, meanwhile, is getting help with her lack of direction in life from Jorge, who owns the landscaping company she uses. Then there's Jay's 17-year-old niece and her attraction to a possibly controlling 19-year-old boy. Nikki gets unwittingly involved with all of them while fighting her attraction to Jay. (Berkley, Jun., 304 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley