My love of Suzanne Brockmann’s books is known far and wide among my friends and family. I don’t think she could write a bad book, even if she tried. To date, Out Of Control is the book I use as a high standard for all other books I read. While many books I have read have come close, Ken and Savannah still hold the top spot in my reader heart. It’s been a few years since we were last in the Troubleshooters universe, and, boy, am I a very happy reader! I want to mention; if you have never read this series or if you only read some, this book can stand alone. Please don’t pass up this wonderful book because it’s Book 19. I promise you won’t be lost. While previous characters do make an appearance, it has no bearing on the story itself.
Lieutenant Peter Greene is having a really bad day. Pete’s teenage daughter Maddie just lost her mother and she is now living with a father she doesn’t know or trust. Maddie takes off in a car, and Pete is out of his mind with worry. Pete happens to flag down his neighbor, Shayla Whitman, who is driving toward her house. She immediately jumps into mommy mode, having two sons of her own, and takes off after the car with the extremely handsome Navy SEAL. Shay has been eyeing him since he moved onto her block. For Shay, she’s a single divorced mother and a bit older than Pete and she’s not looking for love. She has enough issues with writer’s block. Shayla is a Romantic Suspense author who has some very funny conversations in her head with her fictional character Harry.
“Bow chicka bow bow! Harry Parker’s irreverent voice-in-her-head now sang a riff that was supposed to imitate the porn-worthy wah-wah of an electric guitar. ‘Shut it,’ she told him silently since he was invisible, and she wasn’t quite crazy enough to start talking to herself out loud. At least not yet.”
Pete and Shay follow the car to a parking lot and Pete catches up to the two guys that are in the car. He makes them open up, but there is no Maddie. He gets back in Shay’s car and they circle back, but Maddie is nowhere to be found. That’s because she hid herself in the trunk of the car. Maddie is in big trouble. Unfortunately for her, she befriended the wrong crowd and the girl she thought was her friend stole drugs and money and pinned it on her. She doesn’t have the courage to come clean with her dad, so she runs.
Meanwhile, Shay will not leave Pete to find his daughter alone. She’s smart and knows a thing or two about teenagers. Pete is very appreciative and he also calls in reinforcements. While everyone is doing their part to help find Maddie, she still refuses to answer her phone. Shay uses her phone and pleads with her to just let her know that she’s okay. Maddie answers her and Shay holds on to that very fragile lifeline. Pete explains the situation to Shay and Shay, being the writer she is, decides to send Maddie emails from her father about how he met her mom and how they fell in love and how she was conceived, along with the fallout. These emails occur throughout the book. They are so beautifully written and extremely emotional. As Maddie reads each email, it helps both Pete and Shayla.
Shayla and Pete are also kinda flirting with each other, but Shay is giving a hot/cold vibe that’s throwing Pete off. He’s very interested. With the help of Harry in her head, which is just Shay working her thoughts out, you, the reader, really know how she’s feeling. Things between Pete and Shay move forward, and I just love how things progress at a slow pace. While the novel is a very edge-of-your-seat book, knowing how much Maddie is in trouble, the inclusion that she is half Japanese and her grandmother’s story about being in an interment camp, there are moments of laughter. Especially when Pete wants to test out a sex scene in one of her books. That is very hot!
“She cracked up. ‘You want hello to be our let’s go have sex signal?’ He kissed her lips. ‘I very much do,’ he said. And for a moment, Shayla lost herself as she let him kiss her. She might’ve kissed him forever if he hadn’t suddenly lifted his head.
‘Did you hear that?’ he asked.
‘You mean, the sound of my vagina applauding?’ she asked.
Peter laughed. ‘Jesus, I love …your sense of humor. But no, that’s not what I meant.’
The introduction of some new characters is intriguing, I love that Shayla has a great relationship with her ex and his new wife. I just really love coming back to this world that Suzanne Brockmann created. I feel like we’re family. There is a tremendous buildup of tension and Brockmann does not disappoint when we reach the last page. I read this book a few months ago and it was a very emotional read for me. The struggle that Shay is dealing with rang a bell for me regarding the author herself. I just know that Suzanne Brockmann opened up a few veins for this book. I want you all to know, I love this author and this book is a 10.
P.S. The first book in this series is on sale. The Unsung Hero
Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Pete can’t relate to an angsty teen, but at least he can keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though he’s lacking in fatherly intuition, Pete’s instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.
Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes —and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.
Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like the heat between them rising out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: