Julia 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?
Mary Connealy is well known for her historical romantic comedies and her latest, Out of Control, is the first in her new Kincaid Brides series. As I have come to expect from Mary, there is humour, sticky situations, contrary characters and plenty of attraction but while it is a cute story, it didn’t sweep me off my feet, so to speak! I had some trouble warming to the main characters, Rafe and Julia, and was more taken with Rafe’s brother, Ethan whose story is hinted at in this book. Julia is a somewhat abrasive character and Rafe is quite ornery. No doubt that was Mary’s intention but it did detract a little from the story for me. That said, Mary’s writing is strong and the fossil and cave exploration angle was a unique one for this time period. There’s plenty of action and danger on many fronts and I’m sure Mary’s fans will be thrilled with this story. I’m still interested to read the remaining books in the series, especially Ethan’s which is up next in, In Too Deep.
With thanks to Bethany for my review copy