Hannah Frost is a tightly wound private school headmistress whose carefully crafted world is turned upside down by Michael Sawyer and his precocious 9-year-old son. Hannah doesn't know why Michael unsettles her, but the fact that he's a reluctant secret agent doesn't help matters. The two join forces to hunt down a criminal and, consequently, get to know one another better than either intended.

Due to the nature of Hannah's character, it takes a few chapters to warm to her, although the hero is sexy and intriguing from the start. Likewise, opening with back story slows the narrative, but once the romance and suspense elements get going, the novel proves to be a compelling read.

Especially charming is the subplot involving two characters who meet at night school and discover they have nothing and everything in common. (Jan., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Weigel