Narrated by Angela Dawe
Julie Garwood writes two different genres of romance novels: funny, quirky historicals, and heart-pounding contemporary romantic suspense. It’s almost as if there were 2 different authors, the writing is so dissimilar. Generally, I like both.
Sweet Talk is of the latter variety and takes place in Washington, D.C., where Olivia Mackenzie is a lawyer for the IRS. Olivia has a hard past – she’s a survivor of childhood cancer whose father appears to be swindling the world (including old ladies and babies). Now she’s on a mission to bring Daddy down. Unfortunately, he knows a lot of influential people, so her quest is thwarted time after time. When she’s attacked during a job interview – by the man interviewing her! – the FBI steps in, mainly because she’s unknowingly just stepped ankle deep in one of their investigations. FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid is the Sweet Talker of this story, although it’s also a skill her deceptive father uses to sell his Ponzi scheme. Grayson takes on the assignment of keeping tabs on Olivia because his inner caveman just won’t let her out of his sight.
Also, generally I really enjoy Angela Dawe’s narrations. She’s done a bang-up job with historical romance with British and Scots accents; she gave Jennifer Crusie’s Maybe This Time a wonderful and youthful interpretation; she’s a pro with a long list of titles under her belt. One thing I do notice: she does have a vocal pattern. By that I mean, you can take away the words and plot her narration on a music staff as pitches with duration and see a pattern evolve. This isn’t always a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t become sing-songy. It can give the feel of urgency, or of moving forward with speed. She doesn’t do it quite as noticeably with dialog. Her Olivia and Grayson characters are wonderfully done, very distinct, and she manages to differentiate all the other characters well.
This is a story that I enjoyed as a brief entertainment but won’t be going back for seconds. The plot seemed a little out there – I started to wonder if maybe her father wasn’t actually the swindler she kept saying he was. I mean, maybe Olivia was just paranoid? Grayson was one of those millionaire alpha heroes that seemed almost old-skool – a cross between a Judith McNaught playboy and a Linda Howard asshat. But you had to love him because he is raising his 9-year-old kinda klutzy nephew! (Teddy Beaudine, anyone?)
A nod to series – this is (somehow?) a continuation of or at least related to the Buchanan series, which includes The Ideal Man, Heartbreaker, Killjoy and several others. (Her website calls them “books with connecting characters” so I guess it’s so!) I’m looking forward to using the new Amazon/Audible Whispersync to get both the eBook and the audiobook, partly because then I can follow the names of secondary and bit characters that go by so quickly in audio! Maybe if I had the eBook I could see where those connected characters popped in. Also as a nod to series, it’s clear that we, the readers, meet the characters in the next few books – the heroines being the women who went through chemotherapy with Olivia as a child, the heroes being Grayson’s FBI buddies.
Book Content: C+
Steam Factor: Glad I had my ear buds in
Violence: Fighting – gun shot wounds, blood, hospital scenes
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Brilliance Audio