- Title: Sweet Talk
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Romantic Suspense
- Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Adult (August 7, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0525952861
- ISBN-13: 978-0525952862
- Author's Website: http://www.juliegarwood.com/
- To read an excerpt: Click on 'Read an Excerpt' button on top left hand side of screen at Penguin's Sweet Talk Page: http://bit.ly/M9FeXo
Many people claim to have had the worst job interview ever, but no one can hold a candle to Olivia MacKenzie's claim. While interviewing for a position as an attorney for an investment firm she asked the wrong question at the wrong time which lead to the owner ripping her top in search of a nonexistent wire. If that wasn't bad enough, he sent his body guard on her and made death threats. Luckily, the FBI who had been investigating the man, was close at hand or she'd probably have ended up with worse than being backhanded in the face. While at first, the whole incident seemed to be an event that would be written off as an unlucky quirk of fate, it turned out to have one good thing come out of it, Olivia met Agent Grayson Kincaid, a man who reminds Olivia of Bruce Wayne. He's now assigned to protect her in case that death threat becomes something more than a threat.
I just adored this book. While you can't always judge a book by the cover, this one you can. I didn't realize how much I missed the view of a man in a suit till I saw this cover. I swear the testosterone just oozed from the pages every time Gayson made an appearance and an earthy, clean male scent seemed to waft from the pages. *sigh*
Agent Grayson Kincaid is not your typical agent. He loves what he does or he wouldn't do it. He's actually quite wealthy and could do whatever he wanted or nothing at all. He finds his position with the FBI challenging. Perhaps that's what he also finds attractive in Olivia as well. It was fun to see him try to convince her to give their relationship a chance. Plus, the initial struggle he had to try to resist his feelings for her because agents aren't supposed to get involved with the people they are supposed to protect was fun as well.
Olivia is a smart, tough, sweet, strong person who is beautiful inside and out. When Olivia was eleven she came down with an illness that at the time was considered fatal. She was sent to DC for some experimental treatment and never went home. The treatment was a success and she left the hospital with three lifelong friends who'd undergone the treatments with her. They'd all managed to survive, but she lives in constant fear that the illness will one day come back even though blood tests and scans prove otherwise. Perhaps it is that fear that at times makes her a little reckless. It also keeps her from getting into a serious relationships.
Now grown up, Olivia is an attorney working for the IRS. Due to budget cuts she's looking for alternative full time position in case her old one gets the ax. That was the reason she ended up at the worst job interview ever. But working for the IRS is not her only job, she also does side work for a couple of judges for children's advocacy on the weekends and evenings. They say experience in our lives mold us, and in Olivia's case, it is definitely true, and her childhood experiences led her in the direction of helping children. She would have loved to do the work full time, but it was an emotionally demanding job, or perhaps she just allowed it to be because she cares. It was not uncommon for her to put her life in jeopardy to help one of her kids out of a dangerous situation because she cared so much.
No one really expected Eric Jorguson, her once prospective employer, or any of his men to come after Olivia once he realized his error. Grayson's standing watch over her was just standard procedure, a precaution if you will. When an attempt is made on her life, the question becomes was it Jorguson or someone else? Between her two positions, she's made a lot of enemies who wouldn't mind seeing her dead. That includes her father--with whom she's had a strained relationships since the age of 11, when her illness blemished his illusion of being the "perfect" family and whom she suspects of shady business practices.
Why is the title named Sweet Talk? Well, in the book Olivia and Grayson have a discussion about sweet talk at an intimate moment. That, I believe, is where the novel gets its name.
Overall, this was a great read and I gave it 5 out of 5 roses. I thought it had a wonderful blend of romance and drama with a dash of humor mixed in. I enjoyed trying to figure out who exactly was after Olivia. I loved seeing the two fall in love and the fact that Grayson had to basically chase Olivia because she really wasn't looking for a permanent relationship. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
Side Note: If you're a fan of Ms. Garwood's historical romances and haven't yet tried one of her romantic suspense novels (or vice versa), they are quite a bit different. To attempt to compare the two would be a little like trying to compare a nectarine to a peach. While both are a juicy rounded self contained fruit, one can be warm and fuzzy (historical romances) while the other has a slightly tougher interior and less soft exterior (romantic suspense). At the heart or pit, if you will, they are both romances, but some will prefer the sweet flavor of one to the other while others will savor them both. I mention this because if you go in expecting one type, you might be in for a surprise. If I hadn't been told who the author was when I first read Heartbreaker I'm not sure I would have guessed it was Ms. Garwood. I'm guessing this is why some authors use pseudonyms when they change styles, genres, and/or subgenres.