Out of Control

Nina Croft
Out of Control
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Entangled Brazen
Release Date
April 2014
Book 2 of Babysitting a Billionaire Series
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

She's a challenge he can't resist.

Hollywood heartthrob Zachary Hunter loves women—as long as they don't want more than a little fun in the bedroom. When his most recent movie stirs up the wrong kind of attention, the kind that includes an attempt on his life, he hires a friend's company to locate the threat. The pint-sized redhead assigned to protect him isn't what he expects—or wants. Worse, he can't take his eyes off of her.

After ten years in the army, Danielle Sinclair knows how to handle men. With a new security gig to pass the time until she's cleared to return to the military, she's figures her sexy new client will be easy to manage. And then he opens his gorgeous mouth, and she can't decide whether to kiss him or kill him. His sex appeal may tempt her into his bed, but his sexist attitude is unbearable, and she's going to make him eat every single word…

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Aug 14, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
229 people found the following review helpful
Fans of Nina Croft's snappy writing and intriguing pairings will love this second Babysitting a Billionaire novel. Though there are some unbalanced elements in the course of the story, there is no doubt that Ms. Croft has a flair for steamy scenes and lush, dreamy settings.

When famous writer (and notorious ladies' man) Zachary Hunter angers the wrong sort of people with his latest book, he has no choice but to call for some elite bodyguards to keep him safe, despite a heap of misgivings. He never dreamed that he'd be guarded by a woman, and not just any woman. Danielle Sinclair is downright petite, with fiery red hair and an enormous chip on her shoulder. Though Zach objects to the mere thought of this tiny beauty putting herself in harm's way for him, he can't deny that he finds her thoroughly desirable.

Dani has made her career in the Army, but has been forced to stay home and out of action as she recovers from a severe leg injury. Though protecting a womanizing playboy is the last thing she'd normally sign up to do, Zach's Spanish villa will provide the amenities she needs to train for her endurance and fitness tests that will allow her to ship out again. It shouldn't be too hard to avoid the man himself, right?

But from the minute they meet, sparks between Dani and Zach begin to fly, creating complications not only for these two polar opposites, but for Dani's team as well. Zach is determined to win over the angry little spitfire by being her knight in shining armor, but Dani has spent a decade dealing with her own issues, and a man with protective instincts and firm opinions about the role his women should play do not factor into her plans in the least.

One of the most striking aspects of this story is the reverse of a common trope. Dani is portrayed as a marvelously capable, fearless soldier, for whom the army is her life, as well as her career. Despite her diminutive stature, there is never a doubt that she is the most qualified to protect Zach. Despite her tough shell, however, it's stated, rather baldly, that Dani has a number of emotional and psychological issues that not only prevent her from getting involved with someone, but from accepting and embracing the more feminine aspects of her personality. When it comes to a person as sensual and as hedonistic as Zach, those issues all come bubbling to the surface.

For his part, I appreciated the fact that Zach wasn't simply the misogynist that the back cover blurb described. Though his thinking does need a bit of evolving, the truth of the matter is that he's kind and surprisingly considerate, especially when it comes to those around him—and most especially, Dani. That having been said, because Zach is so genuinely kind, it does make the premise of the book a little harder to believe, because there wasn't as much keeping these characters apart.

I have always enjoyed Nina Croft's writing, and her ability to craft a steamy, sensual relationship. In this book, however, I didn't get the sense that there was a great deal of emotion behind the physical desire between these two. In terms of their character, there wasn't enough of a sense that they were willing to put aside the issues that kept them apart, even for a few moments. Dani is perennially angry, not only at her situation but also at her injury, and pins all this frustration on Zach and all that he is—rich, emotionally uninhibited, carefree—and she isn't.

Given Dani's physical description, it was understandable why Zach felt so protective of her, but while I was pleased to see him grow and mature over the course of the story, his inability to sympathize with Dani's issues for so long made it difficult to fall for him, even though his kindness to her in bringing her gifts and introducing her to the world of his books were beautifully touching. I always have issues when character issues are rooted in an unwillingness to communicate, and though the reasons were explained here, they didn't seems a strong a barrier as they were portrayed in the course of the relationship.

Because this isn't the first book in the Babysitting a Billionaire series, there will be some challenges for newcomers. Despite this, the world of this book is colorful, lush, and detailed, and the characters all drawn clearly enough that readers will be able to enjoy the multiple story arcs unfolding in this book. Though the chemistry Dani and Zach shared didn't totally do it for me, I did appreciate Ms. Croft's willingness to bend a familiar trope and take on two characters whose inherent ideologies and life experiences were so wildly different. I will always come back to her books, and look forward to what the next installments has in store.
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