Desdemona Wainwright of Right Touch Catering is in an extremely uncomfortable position. Not only does she have to deal with a bemused man who has just been left standing at the altar, but she has to convince him to pay the exorbitant bill for the ruined reception.

Unfortunately for Sam Stark, owner of Stark Security Systems, he is getting to be an old hand at being dumped at the altar. This is the second time a woman has gotten cold feet and decided she couldn't sign a prenuptial agreement. What is it with women anyway?

Once the bill is settled Desdemona finds herself worrying about Stark, so she drags him to an experimental theater production featuring one of the Wainwright clan. Most Wainwrights are born with the theater in their blood, but what Desdemona lacks in acting ability, she makes up for in business sense. Which is fortunate for the family, since Right Touch Catering manages to keep most of the Wainwrights gainfully employed while they are "in between" shows.

Still stuck without a wife to help with necessary business entertaining, Stark hires Desdemona to handle all future company functions. Stark Security Systems is on the verge of a technological breakthrough with ARCANE, a security software program based on the chaos theory. During a party, there is an attempt to steal the program, and to Stark's thinking, the most likely suspect is Tony Wainwright, Desdemona's stepbrother. Determined to prove him wrong Desdemona convinces Stark to investigate deeper. Shortly thereafter one her employees is murdered, and Desdemona is nearly killed.

Who is behind the plot to steal ARCANE, and are they desperate enough to make another attempt?

For humorous, sexy and action- packed romance, guaranteed to give you hours of undiluted reading pleasure, no one does it better than Jayne Ann Krentz. (Sept., 384 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith