As a huge fan of Julie Garwood I always race out to get her books as soon as they are released and this one was no exception. While much, much better than her last attempt, I still felt it could have been just a little bit more romantic.
Sophie Rose is the daughter of a career criminal, Chicago's own Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and corrupt and giving to the poor. She is has developed an aversion to the FBI, CIA and any other law enforcement agency over the years due to their constant interference in her life. She is also no stranger to threats over the phone, every time her father is mentioned in the news as being involved in something criminal she gets a new string of threats on his life. When she receives a call at work (she's a news reporter for a local paper) threatening her life instead of her father's she doesn't take it all that seriously, but it leaves her spooked. During this she meets Jack McCallister, a handsome FBI agent and partner to Alec Buchanen, her best friend Regan's husband (from the novel "Murder List".) On forced leave he is very attracted to Sophie, until he learns who her father is. Her finds out about the death threats and is torn between wanting to protect Sophie and clinging to his bad boy/independent ways. Investigating the threats on Sophie's life brings them closer together and each character fights their growing attraction until it becomes overwhelming.
I liked the plot, the murder mystery was interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down. It was pretty believable and I liked the characters of Sophie and Jack, but I felt like she didn't spend enough time developing them and their relationship. They seemed to fall in love at an almost unbelievable speed, which always bothers me in a book. The ending was a little bit too forced for me, but overall it was easy to read, not confusing, and a pleasant diversion from all of the crappy television that was on. If you liked "Murder List" you'll most likely enjoy this book as well. I'm really looking forward to Cordie's story if that's what she plans on writing about next.
I dont know if Ive read a Garwood novel before but this one probably wasnt the best place to start. I had heard she was a humorous writer which is probably what tempted me to read this audio copy but either my sense of humor has gone on an extended vacation or I missed out on the funny because I didnt smile once during the reading of this. And, as usual, I came into yet another book mid-series. According to Goodreads this book is #7 in the series. If I had it to do over again I probably wouldve skipped #7. Maybe the funny resides in the earlier books?
This is going to be a bit ranty and possibly spoilery so you may want to skip reading further if this in your to be read pile. The heroine is Sophie, a beautiful reporter who grew up with loads of money and the best of everything that cash could buy. She has decided to take the hard road to life by getting a job, giving up her car and refusing to accept daddys money because shes been guilted into it by her friends. Her dad is on the run from the IRS, the FBI, and hoards of folks who claim hes stolen their life savings (hey, wouldnt the IRS have cut off the funds anyway? She aint fooling me!). Sophie is a confusing character, one I never could connect to on any level. She whines over not being able to buy stuff, weeps over the demise of a Dolce & Gabbana blouse and her one of kind Gucci bag but yet gives her money away to the homeless shelter because she says its something she has to do. Her materialism is supposedly an act but I dont get it. Why would anyone purposely want people to think theyre so shallow? I found all of the whining about her stuff obnoxious. The only time she perks up in the entire story and shows emotion is when her designer things are damaged. Then she goes into a screechy rage but other than that shes a generically flat character.
This book is supposed to be a romantic suspense but it was nearly halfway over before I figured out who the freaking hero was supposed to be. FBI agent Jack MacAlister loses a bet and is assigned to watch over her after the dimwit gets herself shot by answering an anonymous phone call. It goes something like this: ominous, unknown voice says, Go stand in the window so I can see you better, move a little to the left, wait now move a bit to the right, now stand still and . . . Powie! Have no fear, however, because the buckle on her Gucci purse saves her life! Now I see why so many women are obsessed with the brand. Sophies obviously a super tough chick because after nearly getting shot in the chest she goes about her life like nothing happened and doesnt seem at all afraid of dying. Maybe Im just whimpy but if some stranger called me, attempted to shoot me dead and was still on the loose Id be hiding under my bed while peeing my pantaloons. But then again, I dont own a Gucci anything.
Adding some mystery to this is a weird subplot about an insufferable man with a fetish for running and red socks who gets eaten by a polar bear in Alaska and another subplot about a bunch of money grubbing mad scientists experimenting on wolves and people. Sophie, of course, gets messed up in this but sadly does not get munched on by the polar bear. WTF does all this have to do with the romance, you ask? If you must know more, youll have to read the book because Im not sure.
Overall it was just strange, boring and unfunny. The romance lacked chemistry and there was no emotion between them. She dubs him the hubba hubba hunk (honestly, I did not make that up), they have sex because theyre both so hot and all and cant help themselves and its all so tepid that Im asleep before they are. After they escape danger and solve the X-Files mystery they declare themselves in love. None of these storylines meshed well together. I may not have everything correct because I admittedly dozed off a time or two during the listening. If you pick this up, may your experience be a better one than mine.