Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: On the Loose by Tara Janzen

Dear Ms. Janzen:

Book CoverI admit that I had fallen off the Tara Janzen wagon. I loved the first three books in the Crazy series and then it all kind of fell apart for me and I didn’t even read the book about Red and the Angel imprinter or whatever he was. So I never asked for the ARC to On the Loose but the book showed up on my doorstep one day. I picked it to just see what it was all about and I found I couldn’t put it back down.

Honey York is a socialite who disguises her “advanced degree from Harvard” brain behind big sunglasses and a to die for body. Her “dating pool started on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and ended at the State Department in Washington, D.C.” Her sister is a trust fund baby turned sister of mercy serving the Lord in El Salvador. Sister Julia is in trouble according to a guerilla in the Morazan Province, El Salvador and the State Department sends Honey in with five huge Louis Vuitton suitcases, one briefcase, and one hired muscle in the form of C. Rydell Smith.

Smith and Honey have a little backstory. A few months earlier they shared an explosive one night stand but Smith never called Honey and Honey never called Smith and ostensibly they forgot all about each other. Except Smith keeps her silk underwear in his pocket everywhere he goes and Honey can’t forget him. These two are forced to battle secret assassins, double agents, and crazy guerillas in order to save themselves and Honey’s sister.

All that I loved about the first three Crazy books was back in On the Loose. There was a super sexy heroine who was smart, capable, fiercely loyal to her family, and one who knows how to get what she wants matched with a super sexy hero who wants to forget the best night of his life but can’t once she’s standing right in front of him with only a few threads of cloth separating her body from being kissed by the sun in total.

The book has action, subplots, nuns, crazy guerillas with guns, and it somehow never loses sight that the reader wants to know about the two main characters. While the sex in the car feature is still a strong part of the series, it’s more playful than overplayed. Honey and Rydell are well matched and their couplings are steamy hot.

The drawback is that this action adventure story takes place in a compressed time frame and much of the story requires a suspension of disbelief. If you aren’t on for the ride, it’s not going to be enjoyable. There isn’t great depth to the story and I don’t know if I could re-read it because of the superficiality but for the period I was entertained, the time sped by. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and it’s revived my interest in the Steele Street Gang which I thought had been killed off. That’s no small thing. B

Best regards,


This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Random House says that this book is available in ebook format but I can’t find it for sale anywhere. Maybe one of the sharp eyed commenters might help us readers out. I want to buy the ebook too!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keishon
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 07:15:31

    I just couldn’t get into it. The writing style/voice, not for me.

  2. Shiloh Walker
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 08:42:18

    I just started reading Tara Janzen this year. So far, I’m hooked. And I definitely want to read Smith’s story.

  3. vanessa jaye
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 09:52:08

    There’s been lots of buzz about her previous Crazy books and they’ve been on my radar, but I just never got around to reading one. Now I’m on a bit of a Contemporary Romance kick since reading Kristin Higgan’s Catch of the Day (more of a woman’s fic with romance subplot, but still a really good read).

    So, should I start at the begin with this series, or should i jump in with this one? What’s the strongest/most enjoyable entry in this series?

  4. Jane
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 10:56:34

    I probably liked the first one the best, Crazy Hot, but that was because it was new to me. You could definitely pick up this one and not be lost, though.

  5. Kristie(J)
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 11:06:46

    This series started out with a bang for me and helped get through some terrible times. But by the time I got to the last couple something just seemed a bit off with them and i didn’t enjoy them quite as much. I’m thrilled by the review and the fact that the author is going back to what made the first books such a success!

  6. jmc
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 11:52:07

    Your review makes me almost willing to try another Janzen book. But the awfulness of Crazy Love (along with everyone having car-sex) have scarred me for life. Can’t do it.

  7. vanessa jaye
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 18:02:46

    Yanno, I don’t recalled ever reading a book with lots of car-sex. Think it’s about time to bust out. *g* I’m going to the library on Saturday, See if I can get my hands on one of these books.

  8. Laura
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 02:47:11

    Yeah, the Crazy series crashed and burned towards the end there…. but the first couple of books were great fun. I liked this one the same way-it’s like an action movie. No way is it real, but the boy is cute, the clothes are great, and the fight sequences are timed really well. I guess Janzen must see the car sex thing as her trademark, or something. At least the Land Cruiser didn’t have a name.

  9. Jane
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 22:14:03

    I am thinking that she sees sex in the car as her trademark. The next book is about Campos and I’m excited to read it.

  10. Janine B
    Nov 02, 2007 @ 16:15:01

    I loved this book. Trademark Janzen thrillride type… which she rather lost as the Crazy series progressed. I never did read Red Dog either. But this new series sounds promising… and I’m definately buying the next one.

  11. Rachelle G
    Aug 03, 2008 @ 23:39:39

    eh this book was good, but it’s not the best. too much crap going on. i skipped a lot of it. i wanna read the next one though. if you haven’t read crazy sweet (with red dog and angel) don’t waste your life, it’s the lamest of her books (except for the parts about honey and smith). the first three crazy books were definitely the awesomest!!

  12. Keisha
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 16:40:56

    Note to everyone that skipped Crazy Sweet:
    Just read the chapters that have C. Smith Rydell and Honey. Trust me, that alone is worth the read! That’s what I do when I reread the Crazy books. I just skip the parts with the bad guys or subplot that I’m not interested in and focus on the main characters. Makes it way more enjoyable.

    I highly suggest reading this before the next book in the series, Cutting Loose. On The Loose was a very good book and got things back on track. I almost went crazy waiting for my friend to return the book to me so I could read it again after Cutting Loose.

%d bloggers like this: