Review: Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

22nd August 2012

*I received this book from the publisher Dutton in exchange for an honest review.

From the back of the book:

Attorney Olivia Mackenzie and FBI agent Grayson Kincaid 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.

Olivia has a somewhat…odd relationship with her family. She wants to put her father in jail. Growing up in a hospital with three other girls, all undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer, Olivia didn’t have a typical childhood. Her parents and sister never visited her and wrote off her disease as weakness. Her father has hopped from one bogus career to another, and Olivia is sure he’s cheating people, running a pyramid scheme. But the further she digs, the more danger she is in, and that’s when Grayson enters. Tall, confident, and dangerously handsome, Grayson is drawn to Olivia and wants to protect her. Olivia, unused to being taken care of, resists his protection.

Ahhh, my brain! I wish I could turn off my critical side when I read something for pure enjoyment. Because Sweet Talk is good. There are female characters who talk about things other than men (a la Bechdel Test). Olivia is strong and intelligent and unwilling to change her life just because she meets Grayson.

But there are also children not talking like children, even mature children. (Trust me. It feels stilted.) Characters are either good or bad, no in between. And the classic “barrier” that I plan to talk more about at some point. (“They had been acting like horny teenagers who couldn’t keep their hands off of each other, and it had to stop…She was getting too emotionally involved, and since the relationship couldn’t go anywhere, separating herself was the only decent thing to do.”) And some funny language that made me laugh out loud in the final pages. (“Grayson only fired one shot. That was all he needed. The bullet sliced into Simmons’ black heart.” [emphasis added]) And the requisite “you’re beautiful without makeup” lie. (“…she wouldn’t believe him if he told her that, no matter how she dressed, she was beautiful to him. Her face scribbed clean and dressed in clothes that could pass for bag lady rejects, Olivia could still grace the cover of any glamour magazine.”) Please.

So the verdict? I still raced through this book. I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It was also a pleasant surprise that Olivia didn’t wilt the minute she realized she loved Grayson.

Check out others’ thoughts or add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

  • heidenkind

    Whaaaaat, are you reading romance novels now? ๐Ÿ™‚

    My grandfather (yes, grandfather) is a HUGE Julie Garwood fan. I’m not sure I’ve ever read one of her books; if I did, I blocked it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I do, on occasion, read them. I’m just…ahem…very picky about which ones.

      That’s so funny because my dad used to read romance novels! (Shhh)

  • steph_h

    I am horribly shallow ( no surprise there!) so I admit, I just CANNOT get past the cover of this one! I mean, seriously! What is up with that?!? So very cheesy! I admit to being slightly disappointed that you did not comment on this in your review… clearly I am a very discerning reader. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Haha! I guess because no one is half naked on the cover, it wasn’t as jolting as many of them are. But it is a bit cartoon-ish, isn’t it? Also, when I’m ultra picky, I try to steer clear of the more obvious issues just because, well, it doesn’t feel quite fair. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love light fluff now and then but the inevitable tropes that have to be thrown in kill me.

  • Senator Brett

    Wait… wait… wait… women talk about things other than being in love with men?! This is news to me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh yeah, I forgot… they have to make time to pillow fight and tickle each other!

  • I just have such a hard time with most romantic suspense – I just want to find out what happens, and all the romance kind of gets in the way for me. But I do love that there are strong women in this book who talk to each other, and about something other then men, too!

  • Charlie

    Oh yes, that barrier to a good plot point, so often it just seems easy and convenient. I like the sound of characters not “having” to talk about men, which is surprising given the cover (even if he has got clothes on!) That you had a lot of bad points to say but still really enjoyed it is pretty good, it actually sounds more interesting for it.