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!

Dangerous Race

When I think of “Formula racing,” images of the Grand Prix flash through my mind; fast cars, European cities, and “the beautiful people”. Dee J. Adams’ first book, Dangerous Race, is certainly about Formula racing, and there are definitely fast cars, but the location is in the U.S. The people in this terrific romantic suspense story may be beautiful on the outside, but the race to the finish line has left them with some pretty terrible scars, not all of them visible.

Dangerous Race is Tracey Bradshaw’s story. Four years before our story opens, she was the hottest thing to hit the circuit, then she nearly lost her life in a crash caused by a crazed attacker who threw oil on the track during her practice run. The perpetrator was never found.

That accident cost Trace nearly four years of her life, put a metal rod in her leg where her femur should be, forced her through years of rehab, and broke her engagement.

Now Trace is back at the same track, to prove to everyone that she still has what it takes to race, and win.

When the the chief mechanic of her racing team dies, at first it seems like Joe died of the heart attack that he had been courting for years. Trace and the rest of her team are bereft but ready to soldier on. But the autopsy tells a different tale–Joe’s medication was switched: he was poisoned by pills that were meant for Trace. Her attacker is back. Someone doesn’t want Trace to race again.

But Trace’s team still needs a chief mechanic. Ed Grayling, the owner of her race car, calls in a favor from a friend. Mac Reynolds, one of Grayling’s former drivers, flies in from London to lead the pit crew so Trace can continue to race.

Mac and Trace argue from the very first moment they meet. Trace thinks Mac is trying to control her every move. Mac thinks she’s reckless beyond belief. They throw sparks off of each other to the point of combustion.

But Trace thinks that her scars make her unlovable. And Mac stopped driving for a reason that he refuses to reveal. The killer may not give them long enough to figure out what they really feel.

Escape Rating B+: This was just a terrific story. I raced through it because I wanted to see how it ended. Mac and Trace were made for each other. They are both so messed up at the beginning of the story, you really want them to find a happy ending. And you want them to find it with each other.

There is a secondary story line involving Trace’s long-lost twin sister who has been hunting for Trace and a member of Trace’s crew. While the romance was fun and was also resolved very nicely, there was a dangling plot line about why Trace’s mother put Trace up for adoption but kept Chelsea. Inquiring minds really want to know, because this issue isn’t resolved in Danger Zone (book 2 of Adams’ series Adrenaline Highs)