Out of Control was a great, page-turning read. Julia Gilliland is a book-smart young woman, and not nearly as helpless as independent rancher Rafe Kincaid thinks. They work together to solve the mystery surrounding a menacing, shadowy cave dweller. However, they both have a stubborn streak a mile wide _ which hinders their progress and threatens to put both of them in danger.
I liked that it wasn't a sappy romance, but rather a romance with a hefty dose of adventure, suspense and mystery woven into the story. I also really enjoyed the time period of the story, as well as the author's descriptive portrayal of the rugged beauty of Colorado.
The author injected a few gender stereotypes into the characters' thinking, which added some humorous moments to the story. The main characters' perception of each other - a slightly nutty young woman fascinated with old dinner remnants and a bossy, uncultured rancher - are quite funny. Both think the other just doesn't get it.
Although, when you think about it, the stereotypes seem old-fashioned, but it probably wasn't uncommon in that time period for a man to think of a woman as delicate like a "hothouse flower" or prone to "leaking saltwater" from her eyes.
Part of the mystery was solved at the end of the book and part was not. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see how the story continues to unfold!
Note: I received a copy of this book at no charge from Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review.
Stranded in the caverns when someone removes the rope she uses to climb in and out, Julia Gilliland begins to hear cackling voices. Is it any wonder she's screaming hysterically when a local rancher happens to ride by?
Rafe Kincaid has been running the Colorado family ranch alone since his parents died and his brothers left. He avoids the cavern where his youngest brother nearly lost his life years before until the day he is scouting nearby and hears a woman screaming for help from its depths. The rollup ladder the Kincaid boys used is still hidden under a rock. Rafe descends into utter blackness, feeling the old panic welling up, only to discover the woman has lost her senses. He kisses her to make her stop fighting him...and it works. He kinda likes it, then he's horrified to think she might be sixty and ugly.
She's not. But she's just as stubborn and controlling as he is, determined to go back into the caverns she'd grown to love to more closely examine fossils she's found. She's certain she can get articles printed in scientific journals back east, thereby providing some income to free herself from her father, who leaves Julia and her young stepmother (pregnant and with a toddler) to fend for themselves in a wilderness shack for days on end.
Rafe sees he needs to protect headstrong Julia from her mystery enemy, whether she wants him to or not, and probably the only way is to marry her, whether she wants him to or not. Julia doesn't want protection, and she certainly doesn't want to marry a controller like Rafe-not when she likes to be the one calling the shots. Instead, she has dreams of being loved someday. Could she be falling for the bossy rancher?
Mary Connealy has a humorous voice that truly comes into its own in this historical western romance pitting two controlling characters against each other. She's rapidly become one of my favorite authors of this genre because she can pull off all this snark while telling a suspenseful story. Anything by Mary Connealy is on my highly recommended list, and Out of Control, the first in a new trilogy about the Kincaid brothers, is no exception. I look forward to the continuing tales of Ethan and Seth.
In exchange for a review, Bethany House Publishers sent me a free copy of this book. It is Book 1 of the Kincaid Brides Series. Rafe Kincaid is the eldest of 3 brothers. He is used to being in control and giving the orders. When he finds Julia Gilliland trapped in a cavern near his ranch, his life changes. She is fiesty and independent, and enjoys exploring caves for fossils while her father runs a saloon in town. When her father dies, and the Kincaid brothers realize there is someone after Julia, Rafe aims to keep her safe and catch the tracker. He has always been in control of his feelings, but around Julia he can't think straight. There was alot of adventure in this book and I liked the time period of the mid-to-late 1800's. For someone interested in the exploration of caves this has many descriptions of the inside of caves. The men and women alike are strong and hard-working characters. There wasn't really any mention of having a personal relationship with God. They talk about a curcuit riding preacher, but other than that, nothing about the importance of God in your life. It was one of those so-so books that I may read the other books to come in the series, but if I don't, it's okay too.
I loved this book and can't wait to read the series. It was suspenseful, romantic, historical, and more!!! I have never read a Mary Connealy book before, but with Bethany House review program, I received it free and LOVED reading it.