Danger Zone… 2012 Grand Prize and Readers Choice Winner of the JABBIC Contest
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Blurb: In her ten-year career as a stuntwoman, Ellie Morgan has experienced her share of thrills. None compares to the rush of being behind the wheel of a race car for her latest movie shoot. Certain she was born to race, Ellie’s ready to shift gears—but a secret from her past holds her back.
Quinn Reynolds is tired of being in the driver’s seat of his family’s company, Formula Racing Design. He’s ready to sell—if he can get his co-owner and brother, Mac, to agree. Quinn’s not sure what he wants to do with his future, but almost as soon as he meets Ellie, he knows he wants her to be part of it.
Though Ellie tries to resist her attraction to the charming businessman, she’s quickly in danger of losing her heart. But after narrowly escaping “accidents” both on and off the set, it becomes clear that getting involved with Quinn could be downright deadly…
Excerpt from the book:
Way to go, Ellie. She’d sure as hell walked right into that one. Quinn had baited her perfectly and she had no way out. Of course, she could slam the door in his face. But that seemed exceptionally rude. It wasn’t as though he could really win this contest. And he didn’t have that many places to touch. “Fine. Three touches. Only on skin you can see. Go.”
He laughed and the relaxed playboy in him seemed to take over. “It’s three and a half touches,” he clarified.
“What’s with the half?”
“Sometimes the half isn’t necessary.”
So he’d done this before. Which meant she was just another in a long line of women. But hadn’t she expected that? Still, it sort of…made her mad. And also made resisting him easier.
“Then why bother with it?”
“It’s my prerogative.” He studied her for a second and his eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong? A little nervous?”
She leveled him with her best bored stare. “No.” But she was. Only the skin showing. If she kept telling herself that, she’d be fine. All of the important parts were covered so he couldn’t do that much damage.
Victory already lurked in his eyes. Man, this guy was cocky. And so damn cute.
Crap. Why did he have to be so damn good- looking? She wanted a guy for the long haul. All the handsome ones wanted was a quick screw on the spread.
“Put your arm out,” he ordered quietly. “Bend it at the elbow. Like this.” He showed her what he meant. Then with his left hand, he gently supported her right arm while keeping it bent in front of her with his thumb just above the bend in her elbow, the other fingers behind her arm.
“Now…I touch you.” His words were so soft, so confident, that a wave of uncertainty swelled over her. His light gray eyes burned into hers. A stupid flutter of anticipation washed through her. She pushed it back with iron will.
Never taking his gaze from hers, Quinn moved his right thumb down, so slowly, so tenderly, to the hollow of her elbow. It wouldn’t have been that bad except that he stayed in the same place and circled maddeningly slow. Around and around the rough pad of his thumb circled the sensitive area. Goose bumps rose on her flesh, the hair stood up on her arms and nape.
The tiniest of grins curved his lips, but he didn’t stop eye contact…as if he knew without seeing what effect he had on her. His thumb continued down her arm. Slowly, inch by inch. All the way to her wrist where he circled again.
Ellie swallowed. And blinked. Damn it. Steeling herself against the sensations hitting her body, she clenched her jaw and worked to even out her breathing.
Almost done. He didn’t have anywhere else to go. One down, two and a—
Quinn’s thumb traveled to the middle of her palm and Ellie nearly jumped out of her skin. Her thumb grazed the inside of his hand and the urge to touch him shot through her like a cannon.
Thankfully, he pulled away. “That was one,” he breathed.
Mayday! Red Alert! She was in serious trouble.
“Next is number two.” His devastating right hand moved toward her chin, but he stopped and reconsidered. His fingers grazed her hairline and moved through her hair, against her scalp. Again, so slowly.
His pupils dilated, his breathing grew heavier. The man was definitely affected. If the bet had been the other way around, she would’ve won.
But…maybe not. Because the tingles running up and down her spine and radiating through her limbs all met at the same spot between her legs. Not a good sign. She desperately fought the urge to lean into his palm, feel more of his heat against her head. It was getting tougher to control her heartbeat and her breath came uneven.
“That was number two.” His low voice sent her heart pounding harder.
“One more,” she said. Only the words barely came out.
“One and a half,” he corrected. “This is the half.” With one hand still against her scalp, he lifted her chin a fraction. Using the pad of his thumb, he traced her bottom lip. From the middle to the end. Not a long way, but enough to send her through the roof. Enough to want to suck his thumb into her mouth and taste him.
Make him beg.
All this time, they kept eye contact. He never once looked down at the path his thumb had taken. But now, his intense gaze focused on her mouth before moving back to her eyes. He bent closer, his fingers still under her chin, his lips closing the gap with hers. “There’s just one more,” he whispered and moved even closer, his mouth just a fraction from hers, his breath warm over her lips.
Ellie could barely keep her eyes open. Desire left her lids heavy, her breath lodged somewhere in her throat. Somehow, someway, a fraction of her brain still worked. “I thought you only got to touch me with the pads of your fingers,” she murmured.
“I lied.” His lips brushed hers and Ellie’s whole system went into meltdown. She should’ve been mad, but she really wanted to laugh. Really wanted to forget everything she’d ever thought about the man and jump him here and now in her trailer.
This was nothing like she expected. Not a blatant sexual assault, but the most tender and gentle kiss she’d ever experienced. So simple. Sweet. Absolutely innocent in the taking. Those lethal lips continued to caress hers. Smoothing across just as maddeningly slow as his thumb had done.
At some point, she’d grabbed his wrists. Not to push him away, but to keep him steady. Keep him connected to her. Not that he seemed to be going anywhere. And still he kissed her. Just lips. Softly. A nibble, a caress. Brushing so sweetly against her mouth she didn’t want it to end.
Ellie had no idea how long they stayed that way and Quinn pulled back a fraction, his lips still dangerously close to hers.
“I win,” he whispered. And kissed her again.
“Dee J. Adams delivers it all in DANGER ZONE: romance, intrigue, and a cast of characters to fall in love with, authentically set in the gritty and entertaining world of movie-making. This one’s on my keeper shelf!”
– New York Times Bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann, on Danger Zone.