Type: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Dutton Adult
My Copy: Sent
Attorney and IRS agent Olivia Mackenzie is the kind of tough, wise-cracking, powerful woman fans expect from a Garwood protagonist—but this time she has outdone herself. Olivia is not just any woman, she is every woman; flawed in the familiar ways so many of us are.
On the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, one that threatens to ruin the lives of naïve and unsuspecting victims, Olivia suddenly finds her own life is in danger after she asks questions of the wrong people. She is accustomed to fighting for the underdog, but being vulnerable herself is a very different story. Smart enough to know when enough is enough, Olivia calls for reinforcements.
When she meets FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid there is an immediate and obvious attraction, palpable on both sides. Together they make an excellent team to fight corruption but Olivia is also fighting the immediate and intense attraction she feels for Agent Kincaid, and that may be a battle she is bound to lose.
Love love love love love! Do I need to really tell you more? I do? *sigh*, ok fine. Ahem…..this is my first Julie Garwood book. Yes, I’m hanging my head in shame because I adored this book from the moment I picked it up. I literally sat for HOURS and finished it the very next day at work. Yes, I even took it to work. There was just something so engrossing about Sweet Talk and I’m not even sure what it is. It’s a step away from the smexy goodness I normally read, focusing more on a great story then drawl of the hero. Not to say Agent Kincaid isn’t hot. He is. In this stoic kind of way that fills a room to capacity when he enters it. If you like Nora Roberts, you’ll like Julie Garwood.
Olivia has spent her entire life doing two things. Battling cancer and trying to expose her father for the crook that he is. Now that her cancer is in remission she is focusing on looking for the evidence she needs to go after her father. As a IRS agent she can’t just look into his files but she can go digging on the side, which is what she’s been trying to do for years. With only the help of her aunt because her own sister and mother have written her off as delusional, selfish and under handed.
Olivia inadvertently interrupts a FBI sting when she punches a unruly potential employer in the face and she ends up meeting Agent Grayson Kincaid. One of the agents that was working on the operation. Sparks instantly fly between them but due to Grayson’s personal life, cool instantly. The time jumps a bit at that point and you go ahead a few months to when a attempt on Olivia’s life is made. I liked the jump because it didn’t leave room for a bloated word count. It got straight to the heart of things. I often find myself bored with the story line of some FBI/cop stories but Sweet Talk was having none of that.
There is no clear villain in this one, save for Olivia’s own father. You’re constantly guessing who did what because there are several players in this game…each with their own agenda but all tied together. It’s intricate and very consuming. The ponzi scheme Olivia’s father is running is complex and at times I’m not even sure he believed everything he had done. He has this scary facade that very rarely cracks but when it does, the sure evilness that lurks under the surface is shown. He’d put his own daughter down to save his fortunes. From the lawyer, bodyguard and potential employer to the shadowy connections each has made, corruption is everywhere and everyone has a motive to want Olivia out of the picture.
Grayson’s ability to break through Olivia’s no relationship rule played a huge part in the love story aspect. He’s a strong character with high moral ground. He chips away at her fear of letting someone in and putting them through the anguish cancer can bring upon loved ones. He slowly shows her that even though she never experienced love in her young adult life, that adult love can withstand the scary ups and downs of life. Even without the abundance of sex, I felt their connection as if it were my own. The story Garwood weaves in Sweet Talk is a abundantly perfect combination of romance, action and intrigue.
Since Olivia grew up in a hospital her three roommates while there are still strong influencers in her life. They each have their own side stories and I hope more books are wrote in conjunction with this book. I’d love to read more about them and where life has taken them now that they are in remission and learning to live life fully and follow their individual dreams.
I give Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood 4.75 stars!