Monday, August 13, 2012

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression.
The beautiful, tough, young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and has reduced it to chaos.  Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid's partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she's ticked off the wrong guy.  After all, he's FBI.
Olivia isn't intimidated by his partner's bullying because she's something even scarier...she's IRS.  And working for the IRS isn't for the faint of heart.  She's on the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, one that threatens to ruin the lives of naive and unsuspecting victims, and one she has personal reasons to be angry about.  But after she asks questions of the wrong people, her life is suddenly endangered.  She's accustomed to fighting for the underdog but being vulnerable herself is a very different story.  Smart enough to know when she need reinforcements, she looks to Grayson Kincaid.
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. ( synopsis from

Hardcover, Dutton, 368 pages

Every one of Julie Garwood’s FBI themed books has been a great read and this one continues the streak. The book opens with a look back at the Four Pips, young girls all undergoing a highly experimental treatment for a life threatening illness. The girls, Samantha, Jane, Collins and Olivia, have banded together to survive the grueling treatment and Olivia is the ringleader of this band of pranksters.
Twelve years later, Olivia is having lunch with smarmy CEO, Eric Jorguson ostensibly to talk about a position with his accounting firm. She is worried about her current position as there is talk of cutbacks and she is the new kid on the block. When she tries to steer the conversation away from her famous financier father, she triggers Eric’s suspicions and he rips her blouse thinking she is wearing a wire and trying to trap him. Olivia responds by punching him and breaking his nose, only to be set upon by his thug bodyguard. Keep in mind this is all happening in full view of the other diners in the restaurant but when other people try to help the thug pulls a gun and then backhands her. All of a sudden the man is on the ground being cuffed by an FBI agent. Apparently Olivia has accidentally gotten into the middle of an FBI operation and disputed months of planning.  The best line of the book occurs when the Agent in charge threatens “I could make your life a nightmare.” He put his hand in front of her face and unfolded three fingers as he said. “I’m F...B…I.”   She smiled. It wasn’t the reaction he expected. “You want to talk nightmares?” she said. She put her hand up to his face and unfolded her three fingers.  “I’m I…R…S.”
Olivia meets FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid at this lunch debacle and the chemistry sizzles right off the page. Unfortunately, Olivia is up to her neck trying to get evidence to prove her father is a crook and it is consuming her life. Her family is distant and disapproving with the exception of her maternal aunt.  She is also getting death threats. Grayson has problems of his own.  He is raising his nephew and watching out for his ailing father.  He is also still trying to connect Jorguson to a serious crime.
Circumstances throw the two together and romance blooms. There is a lot going on in this book with death threats, attempted murder, recurring illness of one of the Pips, and lots of other mayhem.  This book cannot be put down once you start it!  The story is fast paced and the relationship between Olivia and Grayson makes your heart beat faster.  There is the sense that some of the other Pips might be featured in future books, I really hope so.   Write fast Ms. Garwood, please!

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