Two brothers who fled after tragedy, one brother determined to stay put, a mystery man living in caves, and a chance for family healing. So much about this book appealed to me, and I’d seen the name Mary Connealy so many times I was confident Out of Control would be a good read.

Until there’s more we can do, we’ll do what we can.

Book Description from Amazon

out-of-control_lrgJulia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe–until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch–and Rafe’s controlling ways–as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels–or to be forced to kiss her! 

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?

What I Thought

Since reading the book, I’ve taken a look at other reviews, and this book has garnered some strong opinions. Many said that this is not Mary Connealy’s best. As this is the first book I’ve read by her, I have no comparison to make. But I do have mixed feelings about Out of Control.

First of all, I enjoyed the basic storyline. Lots of sub plots and half-information was shared throughout the story, which lays the foundation for future books. But at times, the fact that it wasn’t more fully explained could be distracting or confusing.

The hero and heroine have lots of rough edges, and I swayed between liking them a lot and really not wanting much to do with either of them. But then I considered that both are deeply scarred from tragedies in their childhoods. Additionally, the hero hasn’t spent much time around women, and the heroine hasn’t spent much time around people. That lends great credence to how the author created their personalities and had them interacting with fellow characters.

Some information was repeated, which bothered me a couple of times. A different character would be asking a question that had already been asked and answered, or a character would be repeating information that they had already discussed.

The book is written with viewpoints coming from several characters, and a couple of times I had to go back to figure out who was “speaking”. But it was also nice to know more intimately where the characters were making progress and what they saw as their own shortcomings.

In the end, I really did want to know if Rafe and Julia were going to get over themselves and be able to move forward together, and I finished the book wanting to know more of the stories of the remaining characters.

The Bottom Line – 4 stars

Even considering the parts that bothered me, this was a good book and I do want to continue reading book 2 of this series: In Too Deep. For that reason, I think 4 stars is appropriate. If you like fiction stories surrounding the American west or novels with smart-mouthed heroines, then you should consider Out of Control.

About the Author

74df8a5e943d0ad8986cb1.L._V142787161_SX200_Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy . . . with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita and Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.

To read more about Mary Connealy and her books, click here.


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DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book on my own and was not asked by the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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