Regan McKinney, a studious paleontologist, isnýt exactly accustomed to a life of high crime. But when a mysterious note from her missing grandfather leads her to a secret surveillance site maintained by a notorious specialýops task force, and headed by a smoldering exýfighter pilot, even Regan canýt resist the chase.
Like a fireworks display lacking both sound and color, Janzen's debut, a novel of romantic suspense, is distinctly one note despite its overabundance of sexual pyrotechnics. The book strives for a Suzanne Brockmannesque feel-pitting a Denver secret special forces team called SDF against evil doers and throwing sexy distractions in their way-but this over-the-top romp fails in two key areas: believability and characterization. Nearly invincible SDF agent Quinn Younger agrees to help "stacked" blonde Regan McKinney find her missing grandfather, in part because Quinn's been obsessed with her body ever since catching a glimpse of her topless when they were teens. While the two track down Regan's grandfather, whose disappearance seems connected to a sadistic arms dealer, they enjoy sexual interludes on top of a car, in an elevator and in a warehouse just steps from the bad guys. Their horniness never believably translates to love, but the novel's high sexual quotient, combined with Janzen's punchy prose, may lure some readers back for later installments (Crazy Cool, etc.). Agent, Damaris Rowland. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 26, 2005
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Excerpt from Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen
EIGHT YEARS LATER
NOTHING MOVED in the shimmering heat.
Good God, Regan McKinney thought, staring over the top of her steering wheel at the most desolate, dust-blown, fly-bit excuse for a town she'd ever seen. The place looked deserted. She hadn't seen another car since she'd left the interstate near the Utah/Colorado border, and that had been a long, hot hour ago.
CISCO, the sign at the side of the road said, confirming her worst fear: She'd found the place she'd been looking for, and there wasn't a damn thing in it. Unless a person was willing to count a broken-down gas station with ancient, dried-out pumps, five run-down shacks with their windows blown out, and one dilapidated barn as "something."
She wasn't sure if she should or not. Neither was she sure she wanted to meet anybody who might be living in such a place, but that was exactly what she'd come to do: to find a man named Quinn Younger and drag him back to Boulder, Colorado.
Quinn Younger was the only lead she had left in her grandfather's disappearance, and if he knew anything, she was going to make damn sure he told the Boulder Police. The police never had believed that Dr. Wilson McKinney had disappeared. Since his retirement from the University of Colorado in Boulder, he'd made a habit of spending his summers moseying around the badlands of the western United States, and according to the results of their investigation, this year was no different.
But it was different. This year Wilson hadn't checked in with her from Vernal or Grand Junction, the way he always did, and he hadn't arrived in Casper, Wyoming, on schedule. She'd checked. It was true he was a bit absentminded, but he'd never gone two weeks without calling home, and he would never, ever have missed his speaking engagement at the Tate Museum in Casper.
He loved nothing better than to rattle on about dinosaur fossil beds to a captive audience and get paid for doing it. At seventy-two, nothing could have kept Wilson from his moment of gloryýnothing except some kind of trouble.
Quinn Younger, she mused, looking over the collection of broken-down buildings. Sheets of tar paper flapped on every outside wall, loosened by the wind. Half the shingles on the roofs had been blown off. The two vehicles parked in front of the gas station were ancient. Over fifty years old, she'd betýa pickup truck with four flat tires, and some kind of rusted-out black sedan up on blocks.