Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen
(Bantam, $5.99, R) ISBN 0-553-58610-6
Crazy Hot is the first in Tara Janzen’s new series about the men of “Steele Street.”  Steele Street is a top secret undercover government Special Defense Force outfit.  Steele Street is so top secret that officially it doesn’t exist.  The team was assembled eight years ago by General Buck Grant.  The guys chosen – Dylan Hart, Christian Hawkins, Staff Sgt. J.T. Chronopolous (USMC), Sgt Creed Rivera (USMC), and Captain Quinn Younger (USAF) – were all busted together as teenagers during the take down of a chop shop.  Since then several new guys have been added to the team – Kid Chronopolous and Johnny Ramos.

After the auto theft bust at sixteen, Quinn Younger was sent to work at Dr. Wilson McKinney’s dinosaur dig rather than juvenile detention.  Now Quinn is an ex-Air Force pilot and an American hero.  After being shot down in an Iraq no-fly zone, he survived behind enemy lines until Marines rescued him.  His story got him nationwide fame and the cover of Time magazine.

Regan McKinney has led a careful and controlled life.  When she was a child, her parents died in Peru.  Her parents spent all their time flitting to and from adventure outside of the country.  Regan goes out of her way to stay out of trouble.  That is until she goes to Cisco, Utah, looking for Quinn Younger’s help.  Her grandfather Wilson is missing.  Having met Quinn at her grandfather’s dig those years ago, she’s hoping he’ll help her find him.  There Regan not only finds Quinn but also finds herself in danger from Roper, the man hunting Quinn.

Quinn and his colleagues stole something from Roper which Roper wants back.  Wilson’s involved because instead of the guns they expected, the Steele Street guys stole dinosaur bones.  Which now has Regan and her sister Nikki in the line of fire.  For the next two days they’re running from danger and trying to stop Roper. 

Quinn and Regan have not forgotten each other from that summer years ago.  They never talked to each other but felt teenage lust they’ve never lost.  Each has dreamed about the other ever since.  As Quinn guards Regan, the heat ignites between them.  A secondary story comes  while Kid guards Nikki, and they feel sparks too.

There are a few holes in this book.  It’s hard to believe that a couple falls in love within one day just because they’ve fantasized about each other forever.  Regan has the magazine’s picture of Quinn taped to back of her closet door.  What real woman does that?  Also, the bad guys plot was thin, especially in relation to the dinosaur bones.  But this book was too much fun to not enjoy it. 

The book practically oozes testosterone and sex.  The men all have extreme, sexy, souped-up muscle cars which they name.  Like Betty who’s a 1967 Dodge Charger with red paint, red leather interior and hot pink piping.  And the sex is hot, hot, hot.  These aren’t the typical love scenes in most books.  Quinn and Regan’s sex on Jeanette’s hood (a Camaro) while the car’s running absolutely sizzled.  (Ok, in reality wouldn’t the heat off that running engine have burned her butt?  But this is fantasy.)  Kid and Nikki’s romance was left unresolved for another book.

  If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief on the holes, then this book is definitely worth your time.  Sure, it’s all fantasy, but that’s more than half the fun. Enjoy.

--Terry Lawrence

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