Posted in Reviews 2012

Review: Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

Sweet Talk
Dutton (August 7, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 368 pages
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
ISBN-13: 978-0525952862

Sweet Talk

The “Pips” are a group of four young girls Olivia MacKenzie, Samantha Pearson, Jane Weston, and Collins Davenport, that bonded while locked in a hospital for an experimental program for a disease that so far no drug could conquer. Their veins were pumped with poison and had excruciating pain for days after each infusion.

The story then jumps twelve years into the future where the “Pips” are young women in remission. They have all moved on but are heavily weighed down by the isolation they had endured and the fear the disease will return.

Olivia is an attorney who works for the IRS. She is determined to bring down a Ponzi scheme that has stolen millions from unsuspecting people. This is personal for her and even when she realizes her life is danger she doesn’t back down.

Enter FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid. Together they make an excellent team to uncover the whole story of corruption Olivia has been chasing. The added distraction that they are crazy about each other is a battle they are both trying to set aside until justice is served but is not easy. When they get within a few feet of each other you can just feel the heat. They need to keep themselves in control or they could both get burned.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
It has been awhile since I have escaped into a Julie Garwood novel. When this one arrived I moved it to the top of my reading list. I am glad I did. It is a fantastic story.

The suspense and the romance are blended perfectly. The plot is so relevant today. The romance is steamy and the mystery is masterfully detailed.

I loved the relationship between Olivia and her aunt Emma. Glad that Olivia had someone in her corner. Her immediate family was so dysfunctional. Her mother and sister were just blind to everything happening right in front of them. They were like “Stepford Wives” – absolutely mindless. It makes you understand why Olivia isolated away grew up to be an amazingly smart and independent woman. A woman who spent her spare time fighting for the rights of children and protecting children in dangerous home situations.

Grayson was the typical hunky male you read about in most romance novels but has an interesting back story as well. Assuming care for his ailing father, taking in his young nephew because his brother couldn’t cope with taking care of his own son, comfortable among the rich and famous, FBI Agent Extraordinaire, a Batmobile in his garage. O.K. he drives a “Beemer” but you get the idea.

Together they made an awesome team.

This was Olivia’s story. At the end it looked as if Grayson’s partner Ronan and Collins were going to get together. Is there a sequel in the works with their story? I sure hope so!!!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Dodge the Bullet by Christy Hayes

Dodge the Bullet
This is an e-book
that was offered FREE from Amazon.

As I type this the book is still free.


A.J. Dodge is a man with a past. He recently returned home to Hailey, Colorado, to become a rancher like his dad. He has six sisters so “he knows women”.

Sarah Woodward is trying to put her life back together. Her husband passed away over two years ago and she has decided to leave Atlanta and relocate to Hailey where she and her husband bought a ranch they hoped to move to someday. Her sons are not very happy about moving but she feels the small town is a better place to bring up her sons than the fast paced city of Atlanta.

What Sarah doesn’t understand is why a U.S. Senator is trying so hard to buy her land in Colorado away from her. She doesn’t understand that the Senator has made some promises he can’t fulfill without her land.

Sarah really knows nothing about running a ranch and realizes the place needs a lot of work but she is not going to let anything deter her dream.  She is very surprised when a handsome man shows up at her door offering help, telling her the Senator sent him through a local friend, Tommy Thorton, to help get her off to the right start.  The handsome man is A.J. Dodge and when the Senator finds out that Tommy sent Dodge to help Sarah, he is livid.

The Senator wanted someone he can control, someone that would ensure that Sarah would see that there was no way she could run a ranch. Dodge was the exact opposite of what the Senator had in mind. Now he will have to take drastic measures to get that land and Dodge is the man standing in his way.

Plus Dodge may understand women, but Sarah is unlike any woman he has every known. He finds himself risking everything to keep her and the kids safe.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I love a story with a strong woman and Sarah has been through the wringer but she is still tough as nails. She is stubborn and opinionated and sparks fly immediately between her and Dodge as he tries to treat her as a helpless woman.  

Dodge is a strong man that doesn’t care what anyone think about him. He is in Hailey to put down roots no matter how many people are talking behind his back.

The mystery of Dodge’s past and the suspense of the Senator trying to steal the land added nicely to make this a very enjoyable read. It is very well written and I can see why is was a finalist  in the 2007 Virginia Romance Writers Fool for Love Contest. This is my first Christy Hayes novel but it definitely will not be my last.

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This book was from my personal collection.

Posted in E-Book Challenge Reviews 2012

Almost Perfect by Patricia Rice

I have decided to add a little romance to my blog. Many romances contain an element of mystery and many mysteries have an element of romance so this seems like a natural progression. I won a chance to review this e-book from LibraryThing and it seems like a good way to kick off my return to the world of romance. Don’t worry I promise not to go romance crazy.

Almost Perfect (Carolina Series)

Cleo Alyssum has moved to a small seaside town in South Carolina to try to get her life in order. She has a bit of a checkered past. Cleo is on probation and her sister has custody of her son Matty. She has purchased the local hardware store and her past is a secret to her customers. Cleo has befriended a neighbor woman who has her own problems, if for no other reason to help out the woman’s teenage kids. She just has to keep her nose clean and she will get her son back in time for Christmas. The last thing she needs in her life is a man.

Along comes Jared McCloud wanting to rent the beach house on the property. He even offers to pay for repairs and upgrades to the house. Cleo is an extremely private person, she agrees to let him rent the place as long as he respects her privacy. Their lives quickly become intertwined with her holding back and him trying to push forward. Can they have a future in spite of her past?

Dollycas’s Thoughts
I really enjoyed this story. Cleo is a woman trying to turn her life around and it isn’t easy especially because she has shut everyone out. Jared is the man that just may be able to break through her barriers while knocking down a few of his own. Their interplay is entertaining and captivating.

Cleo is also very unconventional with her “zoo” and her wonderful inventions to keep trespassers off her property.

This is more than love story, it does have romance and a few sexy scenes, but there is also humor, drama and even a bit of mystery. This may be my first Patricia Rice novel but it definitely is not my last. I have added the entire Carolina Series to my wish list.

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To find out more about Patricia and all her books check out her web page.