Sweet Talk - A Novel. Julie Garwood. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. August 2012. 368 pages hardback. ISBN #: 9780525952862.
Olivia McKenzie belongs to a group called the Pips. Olivia, Samantha Pearson, Jane Weston and Collins Davenport meet while being treated for a serious medical condition that could be fatal, but these are not, for the most part, fragile creatures. They're feisty characters who find strength and a fighting voice in the pranks they pull on doctors and nurses alike. They vow to stay friends forever - until death does part them.
Twelve years later, Olivia is on a job interview that goes all bad when her interviewer turns out to be a seedy, lustful guy who attempts to pull a pass on her and winds up getting punched out senseless for his efforts. The readers will cheer here but even more so as the pages turn and Olivia meets FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid. It turns out that Olivia has unwittingly interfered with a sting operation and now the guy she floored is out for revenge because he thinks she's part of the FBI plot. Add to that Grayson's partner is FBI but a fool who talks and acts before he thinks, which ticks off both Olivia and Kincaid.
But Olivia has her own problem to think about, plotting a strategy to discover what Ponzi scheme her own father is operating. As an IRS employee and a strongly intuitive gal, she knows her own family members and hundreds of other are being taken in by her father and she wants it to stop. No, it's not hard for her to do this because her absent father has always been a smooth talker and using her past illness to indicate she is mentally unstable and still not completely healthy, even attempting to commit her to a mental institution.
The plots thicken and the action is fast and furious as is the passion beginning to ignite between heroine and hero. In the process, her friend Jane becomes involved and what is being done to her will horrify and then infuriate the reader when the mystery is revealed.
Sweet Talk is both hot romantic fiction and a great mystery read for all who love these genres of great storytelling! Very, very well done, Ms. Garwood!!!