Danger Zone

Danger Zone by Dee J. Adams has all of the high-octane excitement of a hot Hollywood car chase movie. And so it should. But Adams’ story is much, much better, because Danger Zone is terrific romantic suspense, and more than satisfies on both the romantic and the suspenseful sides.

Quinn Reynolds has flown all the way from London to Hollywood to deliver an ultimatum to his older brother, Mac. Two years ago, Mac dropped the running of their business, Formula One Design, in Quinn’s lap, while Mac returned to the U.S. to lead the pit crew for his wife’s racing team.

Trace Bradshaw, Mac’s wife, is a top racer on the Formula Circuit in the U.S. Mac and Trace are in Hollywood filming her life story, which includes not just a horrific and nearly life-ending accident, but also a crazed and murderous stalker. The movie (and Adams’ first book – Trace’s and Mac’s story) is titled Dangerous Race (reviewed here).

Mac is busy when Quinn shows up on the set. Mac is always busy. It’s the story of their lives. Mac has acted more as Quinn’s father than his brother. While waiting around for Mac and watching the movie sets, Quinn literally bumps into Ellie Morgan, the stuntwoman playing the role of Trace in all the racing (and fighting and nearly dying) scenes of the movie.

Ellie is the first woman Quinn has felt attracted to since his own car accident six months previously. Ellie’s the first person who has made him feel anything good since that accident. Even though Quinn is only going to be in L.A. for two weeks, he pursues Ellie relentlessly, just like the playboy he used to be.

Ellie doesn’t want a playboy. And she doesn’t do casual relationships. Even though she is very attracted to Quinn, she knows she isn’t capable of giving her body to a man without letting him into her heart. And since Quinn will only be around for a couple of weeks, any relationship they might have is doomed from the start.

But Ellie’s roommate Ashley thinks that Ellie should let herself have a good time, just for once. Even more than that, Ashley thinks that Quinn is “the One”. The real one for Ellie, in spite of his playboy manners and his seeming wealth. Quinn has a limo and a driver, while Ellie and Ashley share an apartment. Ellie and Quinn couldn’t be more different.

But Ellie has a secret. Ashley is her lifeline. Ashley allows her to function. Because Ellie is dyslexic.

Quinn’s never made a secret of why he is in L.A. He wants, no he demands that Mac let him sell their company. They each own half, so they have to agree. Mac was a Formula racer before he had an accident. Then he ran the company until he met Trace and dropped it on Quinn. Mac loves cars and racing. Quinn’s made the company a success, but he doesn’t love it and never has. He wants out. But big brother won’t discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, someone is in L.A. stalking Quinn, because he wants to make sure the “right” company buys that company. That stalker starts staging “accidents” in order to take Quinn out of the picture. But he keeps missing Quinn and gets Ellie’s roommate Ashley instead. Without her lifeline, with her best friend in the hospital in a coma, Ellie turns to Quinn.

But can they survive long enough to learn each others secrets?

Escape Rating A: What makes Danger Zone so good are the people and their relationships. Quinn and Ellie are folks you would like to know in real life, you feel for them and the issues they deal with. Their romance is plenty hot and steamy, and it’s fun to watch them court and spark, but the author also made them easy to empathize with.

Dyslexia is a difficult problem for many people. Ellie fear of revealing her secret and the ridicule she will potentially face is made real for the reader. And there’s irony in that. If I suffered from dyslexia, how difficult would it be for me to read Ellie’s story?

I hope the next book in this series (Dangerously Close) is Ashley’s book. I really like that girl, and she so deserves her own happily ever after!