Michelle's Review: Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

book coverARC: 366 pages 
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Release Date: August 7, 2012
ISBN: 9780525952862
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: hints of a 2nd book
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In the new contemporary romance from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood, a detective and a lawyer are falling in love— and making a federal case out of it.
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 to call for reinforcements, she contacts 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.

Michelle's Review:
It's been a few years since I've read a Julie Garwood novel. But when I first discovered romance novels at age 14, I devoured her historical novels. So, when I was offered to reviewed Sweet Talk I jumped at the chance.

As epic as her historical romances were, I had high expectations for Sweet Talk. I was expecting a novel that is gripping, action-packed and romantic. Unfortunately, what I got instead was a suspense-lite with two main characters I couldn't really connect with.

The novel started well enough, with four young girls suffering from cancer forming a bond stronger than friendship as they go through chemo together. One of those girls was our heroine, Olivia. Fast forward years later and Olivia is now an adult. She's been in remission for years and currently working for the IRS. But she's also trying to gather evidence against her father who, for years, had been making his millions by deceiving and swindling unsuspecting people taken in by his charm and charisma. Olivia meets the hero, Grayson, when she unwittingly stumbled in the middle of an FBI sting operation. After that Grayson was smitten and Olivia couldn't stop thinking about him.

Olivia and Grayson were good and likable but I just couldn't connect with either them. They (and all the other secondary characters as well) felt two-dimensional to me and after a while I stopped caring whether they succeed in bringing in the bad guys or not. The main plot of trying to bring down Olivia's dad and his Ponzi scheme felt messy, and the subplot about Olivia's friend (who was still sick and in the hospital) and her brother felt tacked on as it didn't relate in any way to the main plot. The romance was just okay--nothing really stood out about it but it was sweet how Olivia and Grayson got together.

Sweet Talk was a just-okay read for me. Nothing stood out about it--maybe my expectations were too high. At the end of Sweet Talk there was a hint that there might be a second book set in the same world... and maybe eventually each of Olivia's friends might get their own books. Sweet Talk was my first contemporary/suspense novel by Julie Garwood and I might pick up future contemporary novels by her. But for now I think I'm just going to stick to her historical romance novels.


  1. I don't usually read romance but the plot of this one sounds really good but i'm not sure suspense-lite is for me. Maybe I'll check out some of Garwoods other novels.

  2. Oh no! I saw this one at the library as I do the hold requests there and since everyone was requesting it I thought it would be a good read. Now I'm sad to see you didn't like this one and that it might not be the Garwood book I should start with.

    Thanks for the great review!


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