Monday, August 5, 2013
Book Review: Out of Control by Mary Connealy
Out of Control by Mary Connealy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I don't mind flawed characters in Christian fiction. What I mind are those supposed spunky heroines who don't have a lick of good sense and run off into danger at the drop of a hat paying no never-mind whatsoever to their sweetheart's words of advice. That's what I hate and that's what describes uppity Miss Julia Gilliland. The thing is, I believe the author intended us to like Julia. I'm sure she must have because no author really sets out intending their readers to dislike their heroine. So, I give Mary Connealy the benefit of the doubt that she didn't want me to dislike Julia. But I do. She comes off as, at best, distracted to the point of recklessness. I like my heroines to be relatively practical and Julie does not fit that requirement.
Then there is the supposed hero of this mixed-up historic romance, the dashing Rafe Kincaid. I disliked him already when he started bossing around a woman he had no right to boss around. He's often thinking about how desperate he is to marry her, but he doesn't know her at all, and what he does know about her, like her obsession with fossils, irritates him. He kisses her just to keep her quiet and that is a bad way to start any relationship. I'm supposed to cheer for Julia and Rafe, but the problem is, I don't like either one of them. Their relationship was a failure for me.
This book gets positive reviews, as does Ms. Connealy. Many readers love her work, and that's fantastic. I just don't find enough substance in the relationships to have enjoyed investing my time in this book. Most Christian fiction is relationship driven so you must, absolutely must, get that part of the story right. On a purely stylistic level, Ms. Connealy feels merely mediocre. Her descriptive vocabulary is extremely limited, often repeating the same descriptive terms in abundance. Let's just say that I expect more out of my fiction because I've invested my time in the story.
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