Saturday, September 8, 2012

SWEET TALK by Julie Garwood

Publisher: Penguin
Date published: August 7, 2012
ISBN: 978-0525952862
Romantic Suspense
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by Gina

Olivia MacKenzie is a woman on a mission. In recovery from childhood cancer she made her way through law school and now works for the IRS. With rumors of pending layoffs Olivia covers her bases by getting her resume out and lands herself a few decent interviews. Methodical in her approach she carefully checks out each potential employer until she gets a last minute call from Eric Jorguson, the CEO of one of the largest investment firms in the company. The interview quickly goes out of control when Eric not only makes inappropriate comments to Olivia but threatens her life. Before Olivia knows what is happening Jorguson’s bodyguard is advancing toward her with his gun at the ready.

But someone is looking out for Olivia—in a way. FBI Special Agent Grayson Kincaid is on a detail at the same restaurant where Olivia has met Jorguson. In nothing flat Kincaid takes the bodyguard down, but not before Jorguson threatens Olivia’s life.

Olivia’s problems go beyond Jorguson. Way beyond and in a personal way—she is investigating her father and his various investment endeavors. Her family stands behind her father, so much so they engage in the same rumors and innuendo about Olivia’s mental stability. But Olivia has some solid back up both in the IRS and in her private life. Just when she and Kincaid seem to be making the love connection someone tries to kill Olivia. Can Kincaid protect her as well as his heart?

I’ve been a fan of Julie Garwood’s from her first book, LION’S LADY, followed by THE BRIDE. I have to admit I read those books over and over again, at least a couple of dozen times. Ms. Garwood’s writing voice captive me. What I still feel is her crowning glory in books is SHADOW MUSIC. Her writing voice, the passion that comes through in Colm and Gabrielle in that story lingers in my mind years after reading it. I read it again after finishing SWEET TALK looking for the author I love to read. I couldn’t find her in SWEET TALK. I have not read any of Ms. Garwood’s other contemporaries—and remain hooked on her historicals—so I do not know if SWEET TALK is her contemporary voice or an aberration. I do need to read a few of the contemporaries to see.

I felt there were too many stories tied inside Olivia. Three stand out: Her childhood illness, her work at the IRS and her work with at risk youth. Each one of these would have made an amazing story on their own rather than wrapped up in one person. It felt disorganized. I didn’t find Olivia to be all that likeable. I admired her determination to put an end to her father’s criminal activities but it didn’t make her likable. I wasn’t too impressed with Grayson either. Some of the threads surrounding Olivia’s IRS and Grayson’s FBI work just didn’t ring true. The red herrings in the story, particularly around Logan, didn’t work for me and made more for distraction than thrilling.

There were some moments that made me smile and I do look forward to Ms. Garwood’s next book be it historical or contemporary.


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