Author: Debra Webb
Series: Colby Agency #19
Published by Harlequin Intrigue on September 24, 2004
Genres: Romantic Suspense
The newest addition to the Colby Agency team was assigned the most difficult mission: use all means necessary to eliminate a ruthless mercenary who'd infiltrated the firm, starting with the man's daughter Jayne Stephens. But Heath Murphy did the unthinkable and got involved with his target--a woman off-limits, a woman he had to protect from her own flesh and blood.
As the snow swirled in the remote Colorado mountains, Heath and Jayne had become unlikely partners and lovers. But who would be left standing once dawn broke?
I purchased this book over three years now and I have finally gotten around to reading I. I didn’t realise it was part of series until I picked it up for reading. Now there are fifty-six books in the series and unfortunately I ended up purchasing books 19 and 20 without knowing they were part of a series much less such a long one. Fortunately for me I could follow the story. The book can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I believe reading the earlier books would provide pertinent information regarding some of the events, which took place in this installment. Situation Out of Control is book number 19.
This installment introduces Heath Murphy and Jayne Stephens. Heath, a former police officer, is a recent recruit for the Colby Agency. This makes him the perfect candidate for his current assignment, which involves tracking and capturing the elusive Howard Stephens whom it was believed wanted to destroy the agency. Under normal circumstances, Heath would look forward to the challenge of his new assignment. However, the fact he had to get close to his target’s daughter and deceive her in the process did not sit well with him. To further add insult to injury being on this assignment would force him to relive a tragedy from his past, which may put the assignment in jeopardy.
Jayne Stephens lives in Colorado and is a mountain and search rescuer. When not involved in search and rescue she works as a back country trail guide. Jayne and relationships do not go hand in hand. She felt that the men she became involved with could not handle her success and thirst for adventure and so they ended up leaving her. She did not believe in love and she felt she did not need a husband to make her complete. The appearance of Heath Murphy, however, would have her rethinking her stance on love and relationships.
An easy read which had my attention from the first page. From the moment I began reading I figured I would enjoy this story. The irony of it is it that the suspense factor did not occur until near the end of the story, but what kept my interest was the developing relationship between the protagonists and the actions of the supporting cast.
I enjoyed their interactions. The attraction between them sizzled, and I liked that they were not quick to jump into the carnal aspect of the relationship. Heath had a hard time with his attraction to Jayne, which came has no surprise. His struggles where this was concerned leapt off the pages. Throughout my reading experience I was curious about what Jayne’s reaction would be when the real reason behind Heath’s presence in Colorado came to light. I admired his determination to conquer his fears.
I admired Jayne’s independent streak and her success in what one would consider a man’s world. However, beneath that tough exterior lay a little girl at heart. This was demonstrated in her behavior, when she connected with her father, which was a rare occurrence. Despite her attraction to Heath she was determined to give him a hard time, which did not go has planned.
I emphatised with Jayne when she was faced with the hard cold facts. Especially, with the scene at the end. I was not shocked but Jayne would have been devastated.
Although I enjoyed the story, there were moments of disappointment. The book ended on an abrupt note. After all the buildup which had my anticipation meter going wild, the end was mediocre. Everything happened so quickly and it was over in the blink of an eye leaving me with a lot of questions.
1. What happened to Howard Stephens?
2. The person responsible for Heath being on this case, what is his agenda? It is evident he has one but, the real reason he was so invested in capturing Howard Stephens was not revealed.
3. It would have been nice to see how Jayne coped with the aftermath.
Despite the disappointing ending, this was not a bad read.