ARC Review: SWEET TALK by Julie Garwood









by Julie Garwood

Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Pub. Date: August 7, 2012
Length: 366 pgs.
Received by: Publisher for review

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.


SWEET TALK is fabulously gripping from start to end! Being a huge Garwood fan, I have to say that SWEET TALK has become one of my favorites from this author.

Who says money can buy happiness? Well it certainly can’t in this romantic suspense world of Garwood’s. Both the hero and heroine come from affluent families that stand as pinnacle fixtures in high society, but Garwood succeeds in capturing a ‘real world’ quality of these two vulnerable characters that appeal to the everyday person such as myself. Both protagonists hold successful and intelligent positions in their careers that magnify their persona’s and set the stage to drive the fast paced plot in SWEET TALK.

You can’t help but enjoy the strength and perseverance of these characters as they battle external forces that include revenge, embezzlement, betrayal, and murderous plots. When these two characters are forced to work together, not only do they fight their attraction – with little success – but external forces play a hand in making the H/h fight for a relationship that neither can eventually deny they want. It’s with these external forces that, again, Garwood brings a sense of ‘realism’ to the ‘silver spoon’ wealthy lifestyle of the characters.

 As a very strong character-driven reader, I have to say that SWEET TALK had exactly what I look for in a good read: dimensional characters with flaws and strengths – in both the heroine and hero. Garwood captures romance genre characters they way they should be: perfectly flawed, devastatingly sexy, and all facing obstacles that are overcome by internal and external forces. And for readers looking for that all too handsome and swoon worthy hero, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Grayson: collectively calm, patiently seductive, and heart-rendering smexy!

The only aspect that I found taxing while reading was the personal outlook of the heroine. I realize that this was included for story conflict purposes, but after awhile I wanted her to realize that life is indeed short and to take chances/risks when loosing your heart. Readers will understand this statement after reading the book.


Garwood’s writing style demonstrates the power behind writing by showing, not telling. It captivates and creates an emotional investment by the reader. You’re left rooting for the hero and heroine, and anxiously awaiting the downfall of the antagonist(s).

I would definitely recommend this book to romantic suspense fans looking for simmering sexual tension between two strong protagonists that eventually learn that fighting a romantic connection is futile. Where high society is not always silver-coated, and recognizing that money does not always buy the happiness one is looking for. In fact, money can be the downfall of a person – or family. *winks*