“The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her exfiance’s murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum–Kelsey or his job–Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could . . . but that doesn’t mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences. . . .”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
*mild spoilers ahead*
Scorched is book six in the Tracers series, but Kelsey Quinn and Gage Brewer had their own story in the novella, Unstoppable which is book 2.5 in the series. I liked the two of them from the beginning since they are a couple with all the odds stacked against them. In Unstoppable it looked like they were on the right track to making their relationship work with their respective careers, but in book five, Twisted, we learn that Kelsey gave Gage an ultimatum *gasp* to choose either her or the SEALs. Gage, being as dedicated as he is, chose the SEALs, and they broke up.
Now they’re back in each other’s lives, not that they especially want to be. Gage is being framed for the murder of Kelsey’s ex-fiance, Blake, and there is significant evidence against him. Kelsey, who happened to be there when Blake was murdered, fears for her life and takes off. Only Gage knows where she would go to hide and only he can find her. When he does, they end up going on the run together.
We get some additional storylines with rookie FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc who is working Blake’s murder case, and Gage’s teammate, Derek Vaughn. These two had such great character development that I was already thinking I would read a book about them, and then I found out that they do get their own story in a future book in the series!
Just like all the other books in this series, this was very fast-paced with lots of action and extremely detailed plot lines. The switch that Gage and Derek pull to get the FBI off Gage’s trail was one of my favorite chapters. Most of the Tracers books take place in Texas, so it was fun to see Scorched set in various parts of California: Disneyland, L.A., San Francisco, you name it! I think the crime being investigated in this book and the attempted terrorist attack that they have to stop is going to be the most memorable one for me. Every detail was thought out so perfectly that it seemed so real!
The ending caught me by surprise. For a minute there it really seemed like Kelsey was going to leave the Delphi Center! One part of me thought it was the right move, the other part of me was going to be pretty mad if she just left the series like that! 😉 But Kelsey and Gage ultimately came to a decision as to how to move forward with their relationship and professional careers in a way that made sense for them both. I hope to see Kelsey and Gage make a cameo in a future Tracers book somewhere down the line!