I love Diane Alberts'
adult contemporary romances so as soon as I found out she was releasing her first new adult romance under the pen name of Jen McLaughlin
I knew I had to read it. And that was before I found out that the hero Finn was a sexy, tattooed Marine who loves to surf in his spare time! I'm happy to say that Out of Line
lived up to my high expectations and was a fantastic story.
As the daughter of a rich politician Carrie's life has been spent living under a spotlight. She has the best that money can buy but she pays for that with the over the top security measures her father insists on and in the way that she never knows if her friends like her for who she really is or because of her family connections. Going to university is supposed to give her a new start, for the first time she'll be somewhere that nobody knows who she is and where she'll be able to stand on her own two feet. She is happy to be away from having around the clock bodyguards and enjoying the chance to just be a regular student. Carrie was an easy character to like, considering her upbringing I expected her to be a bit of a spoilt brat but she was the complete opposite and was an incredibly down to earth, generous and giving person. She donated not just money but also her time and did so with no expectation of getting anything in return which made me really respect her.
Finn was sexy as hell, I've already mentioned he's a Marine who loves to surf so you won't be surprised to know he has a body to die for but I loved his personality even more. He was very sweet and caring towards Carrie and I loved the way he looked out for her but at the same time encouraged her to take risks and do the things she's always wanted to do. He has a very big secret and I'll admit that I was worried what Carrie's reaction would be when she found out. I can't say too much without spoilers but I did find myself slightly annoyed that he didn't come clean with her sooner than he did. Luckily because the story is told from both of their points of view you can see exactly what's going on in his head and you understand how much he struggles with his conscience.
I loved the way the romance between Carrie and Finn develops so slowly, they are instantly attracted to each other but they take time to get to know each other and become friends before they even hint at falling in love which is something I appreciated. They just fit so well together and I enjoyed seeing them spend time just hanging out and having fun. Carrie's reaction when she finds out Finn's secret was realistic and I'm pleased that she didn't instantly forgive him, he had to work at earning her trust back and I liked her even more for standing her ground after he'd hurt her so much. If you've read any of the author's adult romances you'll know how good she is at writing steamy scenes and creating scorching hot connections between her characters - that is no different with Out of Line
and Carrie and Finn certainly know how to turn up the heat. This is a fabulous start to the series and I can't wait to read more from Jen McLaughlin
(and of course from her Diane Alberts
pen name too!).