REVIEW: Out of Control by Julie Miller
Dear Ms. Miller,
Well, this one certainly lives up to the “Blaze” standards of sex, more sex and ultimately true love. And the heroine has a cool profession/trade as well as there being a hot cop hero.
Jack Riley is just looking for someone to arrest to take the edge off his anger at almost blowing a drug king pin take down. Being called “grandpa” by a hotshot new officer on the Nashville Police Department didn’t help matters either. When he sees a young woman being harassed by two college boys, he dives in to help.
Alex Morgan hasn’t had many romantic interactions with men since a disastrous event in her teens. Now these two drunk guys as well as the cop thinks she’s a hooker. Once they get run off, she and the cop get a chance to check each other out and quickly satisfy the explosive heat between them.
Months later, Jack finds himself in the small town of Dahlia, looking to avenge his fallen partner by busting the drug ring who’ve been smuggling drugs into the area and discovers the young woman he’s had hot nights of fantasies about. Alex hopes Jack is there to discover what really happened to her brother the night he was murdered. And she wouldn’t mind a second, or third, encounter like the one she remembers well.
From “hello” to “how was it doesn’t have to take long.” Wow, did they even say hello before that truck scene in Nashville? Which was some scene, by the way. Talk about fogged windows… Good job for including dialogue from Jack making sure that he and Alex were on the same page as far as both wanting this encounter. And for having Jack admit that what he and Alex had done was against lots of police procedures. And for him making sure that Alex will have a way home once she refuses his escort.
But parts of the opening scene are a bit hard to swallow. Would Alex really not realize that she looks like a cheap hooker? Makes me think of something Dolly Parton once said, that she always admired a woman from her small hometown who had the men’s attention. It wasn’t until she grew up that Dolly realized that the reason men liked this woman and paid her attention is because she was the town hooker and dressed accordingly.
I’ve come across a plethora of unusual employment for heroines lately. First a tattoo artist and now a female mechanic. Not that I’d know much of what she’s talking about but you’ve done a great job in making me think Alex knows what she’s talking about.
Jack quickly picks up on the fact that Alex is hiding behind her clothes and her tough talk and it breaks his heart once he discovers what is at the heart of the matter. His first thought, to pummel somebody, is all guy reaction. Even though Jack’s a police officer, he heartily approves of what George Mason did to punish Hank Buell.
Jack unknowingly gets an express entry to Alex’s heart by actually listening to her fears and intuition about her brother’s death unlike the other men in her life who shushed her or closed themselves up in their own grief.
Good job that Alex isn’t shy about seeing to her own needs since she hasn’t had a man in her life. Jack doesn’t have any slick sex moves. What he does have is open, honest communication about it and a willingness to see to her needs as well as his own thereby slowly building Alex’s confidence in her own feminine power. Up til then, she’s only experienced men out for their own gains who’ve used her appearance against her.
These two get beyond fantasies and down to the nitty gritty of a relationship. Alex tells Jack that he far exceeds Fantasy Jack – the character she’d used in between first meeting him and their actual reunion and Jack warns her that real men have trouble living up to women’s fantasies and romance novel dream. I needed this bit of real life since this relationship goes from 0-60 so quickly.
She’s got an amazing amount of courage to stay in this small town with all the rumors and innuendo in addition to facing the very men who so badly and publicly hurt her as a young woman. The scene in which she is harassed and almost assaulted was written well. Well, enough that I could feel her fear as the situation raced out of control.
What impressed me in the story is that, by the end, Alex is still the same basically the same person with the same interests – cars and drag racing over baking and home making. Though she does have more confidence in herself, her instincts and her femininity. I’m kind of amazed that a town as small as Dahlia would have lingerie in her size beyond the basic white, over the shoulder boulder holders. I also gulped when I read her cup size. EE? A woman that short would risk tipping over! She’s Dolly Parton on steroids.
Also brava that by the end of the story, George Mason has come to accept and appreciate his daughter for who she is – not as who he wants her to be. Though he might not understand Alex all that well, George does love her, supports her, defends her and believes in her. I did feel for poor Jack having to answer to an ex-Marine father with a loaded gun. After that, I know he really loves Alex. B