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Romance titan Deveraux (Someone to Love , etc.) packs her latest with jagged surprises, but the pieces fail to fall together satisfyingly. At age 12, Cassandra Madden has been in love with also 'tween Jefferson Ames, whom she meets on a business trip with her mother. After college, Cassie moves to Jeff's hometown of Williamsburg, Va., and eventually becomes nanny to widower Jeff's daughter, Elsbeth. Jeff treats Cassie as part of the family, but reserves his romantic feelings for gorgeous Skylar, who despises Cassie and ignores Elsbeth. When she hears gunshots next door and finds aging film star Althea Fairmont lying prone but unharmed, she and the famous Althea become friends. As Cassie begins to archive Althea's Hollywood memorabilia, she uncovers Althea's hidden history and is drawn, with Jeff, into a dangerous web of secrets, lies and murder. The story has moments of humor and romantic chemistry, but they do little to salvage the unruly plot. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.