08/08/2012 09:46 am ET Updated Oct 08, 2012

Garwood Breaks Her Pattern With Sweet Talk

Julie Garwood has based her writing career on telling stories about beautiful women and handsome men caught up in dramatic circumstances. She has done this in almost thirty novels and her popularity has never been higher than it is now. So why should she change the pattern? She shouldn't, and she doesn't in her latest novel Sweet Talk. Once again we have an almost perfect looking man involved with a simply gorgeous woman. Hey, it could happen.

Olivia MacKenzie is an IRS employee. She is good at her job and is dedicated to it. She is also dedicated to exposing the corrupt practices used by her father to cheat various people out of their money. He has created a Ponzi type scheme that is almost impossible to crack. Still Olivia won't give up, even when her mother and sister beg her to leave him alone.

In pursuing her father's evil ways and trying to expose them, Olivia ends up ruining a sting operation set up by the FBI. This brings her into contact with FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid. There is an instant attraction but neither is willing to admit it. There is also the fact that Olivia's attempts to expose her father's corrupt practices have brought her into jeopardy. Grayson assigns himself to guard Olivia and while he is protecting her, the love affair begins.

Garwood knows how to create soul-stirring characters that are constantly in danger or on the verge of danger. She also knows how to create a plot that holds the readers' interest from start to finish. It is a talent she has used in her past novels and one that she has honed with every book. This is escapist entertainment to be sure and her devoted readers lap it up.

Usually the suspense in Garwood's stories leads up to an explosive conclusion that propels the two lead characters into each other's arms. That doesn't happen in Sweet Talk. The book just comes to a logical conclusion without any histrionics or dynamic event. This makes the story less enjoyable than some of her previous ones. Still those who love the Garwood way with characters will find a lot to enjoy in this book. In this one you just don't get all of the Garwood elements.

Sweet Talk is published by Dutton. It contains 357 pages and sells for $26.95.

Jackie K Cooper