FOR LOVE OR HONOR by William Saxon (Putnam’s: $17.95). Beautiful attorney Elizabeth Langley is in love with her current employer, ruthless business tycoon Jonathan (Black Jack) van Damm. Van Damm has a secret (from Elizabeth) compulsion to avenge himself, his suicide father and his dead, deranged mother on his cousin, Peter Voorhis, whose father, he feels, stole his family business. Peter Voorhis, now chairman of that megacorporation, is Elizabeth’s adored foster brother--her own parents died, martyrs in the Czech struggle against communism. Sound complicated? Sound like there might be a little conflict of interest? Well, just wait until Elizabeth accepts the President’s offer to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sound like fun? It is, if you like your plots pure, without the distraction of complex characters to wreck your page-turning rhythm. It is, if you have a couple of hours to kill and you like to think about money and corporate takeovers by merciless men whose women are undistinguished lumps of morality, financial wizardry and raven-haired beauty. It isn’t, if you read the language for insight, for subtlety, or to be stirred up.