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Romance fans will best appreciate the third near-future political thriller (after Checkmate and Gambit) from Bodman, a former Reagan deputy press secretary and NSC senior director. When a natural-gas pipeline explosion in Oklahoma kills one and leaves thousands without heat during a cold snap, Samantha Reid, the attractive "Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security," gets on the case. More pipeline explosions follow. In the course of her investigations, Reid falls hard and fast for Tripp Adams, a vice president of GeoGlobal Oil & Gas, the pipelines' owner. After Adams disappears in Venezuela, Reid abandons her post without permission to move heaven and earth to find him, earning the dubious distinction of being the first senior White House staff member to become "completely unreachable." That Samantha tends to rely on her physical charms in her rescue efforts may dismay those who believe such tactics are unworthy of a high U.S. government official. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.