Stubborn, determined, and bossy, describes both Rafe Kincaid and Julia Gilliland. Rafe, determined to protect Julia and her family and Julia, with an indomitable spirit, refusing his assistance. Boy do the sparks fly!
Set in the wilds of Colorado in times long past, Mary's story line will keep you guessing with each turn of the page. Her characters have plenty of challenges from the past that come back with stark reality.
This is a great story for an afternoon read. So saddle up, bring your guns, and off we'll ride!
Mary has a natural flair when it comes to writing western romantic comedy. Crisp dialogue kept me turning the pages as fast as I could gallop from one to the other.
The characters in Out of Control are flawed and funny, annoying and adorable! I laughed & laughed, and really did wonder how Julia and Rafe were going to end up a happy couple. Talk about two people being total opposites! But, Mary skillfully brings them together in a satisfying and big-sigh ending :)
Even though I didn't really feel connected to Julia, I did admire the tenacity and strength that she developed over the years due to her not-so-great home life. While wholeheartedly embracing what she believes to be God's calling (and it certainly wouldn't have been an easy one in her day) she survives seemingly insurmountable circumstances!
Rafe is the oldest of three brothers, therefore he has the typical oldest child syndrome happening. He's bossy and thinks he knows what's best for everyone, even Julia. His heart is always in the right place even if his attitude isn't. I like him!
This novel took me deep into the heart of some fascinating cave exploring, making me wonder if Mary's done a little of that. I was very interested in that aspect of the book.
I'm choosing not to discuss the secondary characters since we'll be meeting them more fully in their own stories. I can't wait to learn more about Seth and Ethan, the younger Kincaid Brothers, and their future brides. Mary has successfully roped me in to this series. Be careful! You just might get roped, too ;)
Bethany House provided the book in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive one, just express my opinion of the book. No other compensation has been received.
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.