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Book Review: 'Out of Uniform'

Out of Uniform
by Amy J. Fetzer
By Karinya Funsett
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 10, 2005
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I picked up "Out of Uniform" by Amy J. Fetzer not just because it looked trashy, but because it looked both trashy and patriotic at the same time.

The setup is this: Marine Rick Wyatt, a sexy "Force Recon" captain, manages to get shot in the arm while fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. The military decides they don't have enough hospital beds or nurses to care for Rick while he recuperates, so they decide to send him home and hire Kate, Rick's estranged wife - who, conveniently enough, is a registered nurse - to care for him.

The sexual tension begins when Kate arrives at Rick's door, where the "lush swells" of her breasts cause an immediate "discomfort" in his jeans. Kate resists temptation by remembering why she walked out of the marriage in the first place - because his "walls were harder to scale than Kilimanjaro" - and decides she will only be his nurse, not his lover.

This proves to be easier said than done. Kate insists on going braless and bouncing around while vacuuming or mowing the yard, and she enjoys "surveying all that Rick owned" as she orders him to strip for his baths. Each time one of these sexy scenarios pop up - which happens to be every few pages - Rick and Kate almost get it on, with Kate always turning away at the last minute, saying that sex won't fix their marriage.

This dance goes on for an agonizing euphemism-filled 121 pages (tender nubs, anyone?). In between the sexual close calls, the author tries to remind the reader that this is a novel (as opposed to literary pornography) by filling in some holes in the very, very shaky plot. Rick and Kate are each assigned a painful secret that they are unable to tell the other, and this secrecy is supposedly what is keeping them from reconnecting and saving their marriage. Rick's secret is that he was an orphan who lived in a lot of foster homes and didn't know his real name until he was six years old. Oh. Kate's secret is that she was pregnant with Rick's child when she left him, and that she miscarried while he was deployed. Oh.

Eventually Kate gives in - and who can blame her when Rick uses invitations like "get sweaty with me!" - and the two finally make some hot, patriotic love. Unfortunately, by this time the author must have run out of sexy euphemisms, because she decides to write the climactic scene by describing Rick's "heavy length pulsing inside her, touching her womb."

Once Kate's womb has been sufficiently touched, the couple can finally share their deep dark secrets with one another, and after a few schmaltzy pages devoted to a subplot involving Kate's desire to have babies, the marriage is back on the fast track to happily ever after. In the middle of this bliss, Rick gets a call from his commanding officer demanding that he and his wife report to the base immediately. When they get there surprise! Rick is awarded a Purple Heart, which he then gives to Kate, which leads to a big mush-fest where Rick tells Kate, "I want to make roots with you. And babies with you." Aww.

All is now well for Rick and Kate, and the publishers of this piece of literary gold want to make sure that the readers have just as much luck in love. To help with this, the back of the book contains a special bonus section: "Hot tips! Create your own evening to remember!" Here, readers are advised to pick snowball or puddle fights, to do something "wild and crazy" like going to an art opening or baseball game, and to eat dinner in the bedroom. While I'm not sure if any of these tips will really get anyone closer to touching a womb or having their womb touched this Valentine's Day, they're worth a shot.

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