Thursday, November 20, 2014



Sugarland Blue #1
Signet, May 2013
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN:  0451415000 (ISBN13: 9780451415004)
Contemporary Romance
** ½

The first of Jo Davis’ Sugarland Blue books, SWORN TO PROTECT, is a sugary sweet story of how a blended family formed out of tragedy.

Sugarland’s finest cop, Detective Shane Ford, is blindsided when his best friend, NFL star Brad Cooper, suddenly dies of a drug overdose and leaves the raising of his teenage son, Drew, to Shane.  Luckily for him, Shane has the help of fellow juvenile Detective Daisy Callahan, a women Shane had a brief affair with before getting cold feet and dumping her.  And while Daisy hasn’t given up on love with Shane, she isn’t willing to simply fall back into it when Shane crooks his finger her way.  But when Drew gets into dangerous trouble, it is time for the two lovers to pull together and save their newly forming family.

Jo Davis’ first foray into her new Sugarland Blue series, SWORN TO PROTECT, simply fell flat in every way.  This reader has really enjoyed prior Davis books, but no matter how much I wanted to like this book, it just never got the blood running.  While most police procedurals are full of action and suspense, SWORN TO PROTECT, only hinted at both.  The romance between Daisy and Shane was lackluster and lacking.  The sex scenes failed to ignite.  Shane’s complete turnaround toward a deep relationship came out of left field and seemed born of his sudden parenthood rather than a deep need to be with Daisy. 

Drew, who was first to discover his father dead and is suddenly torn from his home, thrown into a new family dynamic and a new school, seems to be the most well-adjusted teenager ever.  Though his choice of friends certainly could have been better, we should all have such troubled children.  But then if he didn’t make poor friendship choices, the mystery surrounding Drew’s father’s death might never have been solved.  All the detective work seemed to take place at the end of the book after the two boys had figured everything out.

A lukewarm romance and predictable storyline make Jo Davis’ SWORN TO PROTECT a nice but somewhat lackluster love story that for this reader was quite frankly difficult to finish without falling asleep.  Hopefully, Ms. Davis will pick up the heat level and excitement of the chase in future Sugarland Blue books.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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