Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters, 4
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hero: Ken “Wild Card” Karmody
Heroine: Savannah Von Hopf
Date of Publication: September 27, 2005
Started On: February 18, 2011
Finished On: February 21, 2011
I have always heard good things about Suzanne Brockmann. My first attempt at reading anything by hers was to read her novel Bodyguard which certainly didn’t make me turn away from her books though it didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me either. However as everyone knows I tend to get a little crazy about jungle-trek themed romances and this one was recommended as such a read, I have now forgotten on which forum. Regardless of the fact that I have never attempted to read the Troubleshooters series before, I bought myself a copy and did manage to read a couple of pages then and never managed to make it past the prologue before I was distracted by some other title that I just HAD to read. And then last week my emotions decided to play the i-am-not-pleased-with-any-of-the-stuff-you-are-reading game & so I decided to pick this one up where I left off, hoping that the magic that had had earned this book rave reviews would work on me and my totally wayward emotions as well.
Book 4 in the Troubleshooter series stars Navy SEAL Ken Karmody, who gets nicknamed as “Wild Card” because of his ability to think out of the box and come out winning however difficult a problem might be. Ken had certainly not led a charming childhood with an emotionally and physically abusive father, which had in the end toughened him up and made Ken determined to do what he wanted in life. Ken is a genius when it comes to computers and whatnot and beneath his tough SEAL facade lies a heart that yearns to love and claim a woman as his forever. His ex-girlfriend Adele had certainly done a number on him with a continuous on and off relationship with Ken which had gone on for around 10 years until Ken had finally seen the light and refused to bend to her every whim which had pretty much ended things on the relationship front.
Savannah Van Hopf couldn’t be any more different from Ken even if she tried. A rich heiress who works as an appellate attorney, Savannah is the granddaughter of the famous Rose Van Hopf who worked as a double agent for the US and the Nazi during World War II. Savannah had always had a huge crush on Ken even though he hadn’t noticed her much, and it is through Adele that Savannah finds out Ken’s address and travels to San Diego to find him and ask his assistance in locating her uncle Alex who had disappeared in Indonesia without a trace.
From the moment Ken comes across the beautiful and utterly feminine Savannah, he is smitten something fierce and before Savannah can muster up the courage to bring up why she is actually in the neighborhood, these two light up the sheets with intense passion and red hot desire that practically leaps out of the very pages. To say that both fall completely in lust and a little bit in love with one another during that night would not be a lie. However with the morning, the truth comes out completely walloping Ken with intense feelings of betrayal which makes him pissed off at Savannah to no end. However, even with all the intense feelings of dislike churning within him for a woman who still has the ability to make him go a little bit weak at the knees, Ken is not willing to let Savannah travel all the way to Indonesia alone to find her uncle.
It is in Indonesia that the real adventure begins when Ken and Savannah are kidnapped by Russian goons at gun point right from the airport itself. Barely managing to escape them, Savannah and Ken are forced to survive in the jungle that grows densely throughout the Parwati island of Indonesia. To survive and outmaneuver everyone who is after them, Savannah and Ken are forced to endure each other’s company which in turn makes each of them discover why they had fallen for each other so hard in such a short span of time.
This book was so frigging good that I believe I have dug myself into a hole from which I won’t be able to escape anytime soon. Since I haven’t read books 1 – 3 in the Troubleshooter series and jumped straight into book 4, I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least when characters kept leaping right into the pages from left and right. However, a couple of chapters in, I was totally captivated by the ease with which Ms. Brockmann makes each and every character count, how she makes them come alive and how effectively she makes each and every one of their stories matter.
What I loved most about Out of Control was the rich banter between Ken and Savannah. Ken has the quirky character of coming out and saying whatever leaps to his mind without thinking much about it and Savannah’s responses to his remarks totally made my day. Ken is sexy, witty, a little bit of a nerd and has such a big heart that you can’t help but fall completely in love with him. The way he seriously asks his friends about women’s ability to have multiple orgasms had me cracking up so hard that I was laughing all throughout that conversation.
And Savannah is not an unforgettable character either. Though she has been brought up by a snotty mother who would rather see her married off to some royalty than see her happy, Savannah is tough beneath her picture perfect exterior and loyal to a fault. And I loved every single thing about her character from the way she interacts with Ken to her vulnerable nature which she strives so hard to hide.
And that takes me to my favorite couple from the series – yes, though I have not read the series in order, I have discovered that I have a strange fascination for Molly and John, whose characters complement each other perfectly. John is totally the kind of alpha male that slightly borders on being gamma, which makes him just the perfect kind of hero to base all my dreams upon. And his reluctant fascination with Molly which ends up being one of the best parts of the story is one worth savoring. Their happily ever after finally comes in book 9 of the series and this alone is the reason why I am determined to make my way through the rest of the books, because I am that much fascinated with their story.
And that brings me to Rose’s character. Her adventures in the form of a memoir which continue throughout the story makes for a fascinating read. Her work as a double agent and the story of how she meets up and falls in love with Mr. Van Hopf who is an Austrian prince adds something delightful to an already 5 star read.
Needless to say, highly recommended for romantic suspense fans because I just flat-out loved this one.
It was only after I sat down to write the review that I saw that this book has received around 7 AAR awards between 2002 and 2007. Definitely deserves them all!
He pulled off his shirt – Savannah helped.
He pulled off her shirt – she helped him with that, too.
God, he loved everything about women, but he especially loved breasts. Savannah was not voluptuous in any sense of the word, but she was so perfectly feminine, he briefly considered weeping with joy at the sight of her, lying there, bare-breasted in his bed. But that would’ve taken way too much time.
Instead he kissed her, caressed her, licked her, touched her. She smelled like his soap, like the chlorine from his pool, like his clean laundry on top of her fancy perfume. She smelled like he’d already, at least partially, claimed her as his own.
“What have you got in there?” he asked. “Maybe we should take a minute and do a quick inventory, see what we’ve got, see if we can somehow lighten our load.” He went through his pockets, pulling everything out and dumping it in a relatively dry spot in front of her. “Knife, keys, wallet, passport, a couple squashed power bars – that’s good, we;re bound to get hungry – and … oops.”
He was carrying around a half a dozen. He stuffed them back into his pocket, but not before she saw them.
He gave her a weak smile. “I just, you know, always carry ’em.”
That was a lie and she knew it.
“If we get bored, we can use them to make balloon animals,” he added.
She was not at all amused.
That caught his (John’s) attention. “If I can’t see you tonight, when can I see you again?”
“You can certainly come to tea, but the tent flaps will be up.” (Molly says)
“I’ll come to tea. But let me rephrase the question – when can I make love to you again?”
“I don’t know. I’ll try to find some other excuse for taking out the boat and —”
“Now,” he said, his breath hot in her ear. “How about right now?”
“I have to get back,” she said, but she sounded far less convincing than she had the first time, particularly when he unzipped her shorts and pushed both them and her panties down to her knees. And then God, he was inside of her, and all she could say was yes.
Rose watched Savannah and Ken slip into an elevator. They were in each other’s arms again before the doors had fully closed.
Her granddaughter was infinitely lucky. Rose knew this firsthand. She’d had a husband who had loved her an eleven, too.