Source- Review copy/ netgalley
Publication date- 22nd August 2012
Synopsis- 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
Review- Sweet Talk is a romantic suspense novel that starts off with a bang from chapter one (after the prologue) where Olivia is attacked by a powerful businessman during a job interview. Agent Kincaid comes to the rescue and their lives cross paths compactly as Olivia’s life is deemed at risk.
Olivia is a beautiful, successful lawyer who provides legal support for disadvantaged children while working for the IRS and trying to find the evidence required to imprison her powerful, greedy father. I was intrigued by Olivia’s motivation to lock up her dad; it’s an unusual storyline and a very brave proposition! Olivia comes from a dysfunctional family and was let down by her parents at a time when she needed them most, as a child battling leukaemia. But, Olivia is a survivor and she formed a close bond with three other girls who were ill and undergoing the same trial treatment, the girls called themselves the ‘Pips.’ To Olivia, the Pips were her family.
Even though Olivia recovered from her ill health, the emotional impact of that experience has interfered with her ability to have an intimate relationship, because Olivia doesn’t feel worthy of being loved nor does she want a loved one to experience grief if she were to become ill again.
Grayson Kincaid is a tough FBI agent who is immediately attracted to Olivia, at first physically and soon after on an intellectual level. He has a protective urge to keep her safe even if it means doing things (like hiring guards) against her will.
There’s great chemistry between Grayson and Olivia and although the external conflict that keeps them apart is believable and adds to the tension, I didn’t feel the conflict within Olivia and her aversion to commitment was strong enough given how well she functions in every other area of her life. She’s a smart, rational woman and for her to be so rigid about not getting involved with anyone just in case she gets sick again just didn’t work for me. Grayson and Olivia were at times a little too perfect as well which made it difficult to relate to them.
The last 20% dragged for me, I felt like the pacing really dropped off here. There was a climax point where part of the problem was solved, but then it went off on tangents with Olivia saving Henry from a problem at school and then saving her friend Jane from a problem with her brother and it just seemed a little too convenient. There was also a phone call Olivia had with her friend about a plane trip that just went on and on and I felt like all this stuff should have happened earlier in the story so that the conflict and pace of the story continued to heighten until the very end.
There were many things about Sweet Talk that I enjoyed- the suspense, the chemistry between Olivia and Grayson and the mystery around who wants Olivia out of the way, but there were also some things that weakened the overall experience of this romantic suspense. If you are a fan of this genre then I’d still recommend giving it a go.
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