Julia Gilliland and Rafe Kincaid clash.  She is annoying.  He is less annoying.

They are fighting an unknown enemy within the caves that Julia loves more than life and that Rafe would do anything to avoid.

The Bad:

I really wanted to enjoy this novel.  Truly, I did.  But I just couldn’t get into it.  I struggled with the characters and their personalities.  Julia drove me nuts.  I wanted to smack her in the face as I read.  Hello, lady!  Give up your quest for fossils before someone kills you!  The guy in the cave?  Yeah, he’s coming for you and you make it so much easier when you won’t stay out of the cave!

Okay, that sounds a lot worse than I really mean for it to because I did enjoy pieces of Out of Control by Mary Connealy.  I really struggled to get into it until just before the halfway point.  Then I fell out of it at the three-quarter point.  Never to return again.  I am not always a huge historical fiction fan, so that was definitely a part of my issue with this novel.  Also, I struggle with novels with the extreme cheese factor as well as novels with annoying characters.

The Good:

Out of Control had some good points that I enjoyed.  I appreciated that Julia (annoying as she was) was independent and would not bow her will to Rafe’s just because he was the man.  I find that so much Christian historical fiction plays into the stereotypical gender roles.  I was thankful that Julia held her own.  Connealy’s novel was well-written and well-edited (something I seem to see less and less) so that’s always a plus.

The subplot following Audra and Ethan was interesting, and I look forward to reading their story in the second of this series.  Even more interesting though, was the youngest brother, Seth.  His entrance was a surprise and good for its comedic element as well.


All in all, I was not too impressed with Out of Control, but I would still give it 3/5 stars.  Thank you, Bethany House, for the complimentary copy of Connealy’s novel.  My opinions are my own.