Nowhere on the jacket of One on One (Dutton, $23) does it say that author Tabitha King is the wife of Stephen King-the Stephen King. And while it may be to her credit that she passes up the opportunity to ride on her husband's coat-tails, there's really no need. Tabitha King's fifth novel stands on its own merits.
As a title, "One on One" does double duty. It refers to two popular American contact sports, the aforementioned basketball, and sex. One of King's protagonists, Sam, is a jock with a flaw: he's dyslexic, with a bad stutter. Deanie is "just" a girl, but she can hold her own with the most fiesty boy. Deanie is unpopular, and she'd be the last to figure out that it has anything to do with her tattoos and her legs-one shaved smooth as silk, the other one hairy.
Jennifer Hall, we are told, "is the pseudonymn of a young publishing executive weaned on the novels of Harold Robbins and Jackie Collins." Pediatrically speaking, that sounds like an unhealthy practice. But, in any case, Hall apparently imbibed enough Robbins-Collins to produce Star Quality (Donald I. Fine, $21), a heavy-breathing Hollywood clone of a novel.