Review of “Sweet Talk” by Julie Garwood

I thought this sounded good: a female attorney working with a male FBI agent to uncover a Ponzi scheme, written by “a New York Times best selling author.”

It turns out that the attorney is the incredibly unbelievably stunning Olivia MacKenzie, and the FBI agent is the incredibly unbelievably good-looking Grayson Kincaid. Both are (incredibly, unbelievably) single. Obviously they get together, as in he took possession of her. He is, need we qualify, strong yet gentle, viz.: “His skin was hot, and she could feel his strength, but it didn’t overwhelm her, for he was being so incredibly gentle, so loving.”

In addition, she spends some one-on-one time with “his arousal.” Okay, I have to admit, I have never heard that particular euphemism. (It makes me think of “His Highness” or “His Majesty.”) But wait, there’s more! I started to think the author secretly works for a perfume company, even though she never names names. Grayson kept mentioned how turned-on he got by Olivia’s perfume:

“When he got a whiff of her perfume, he instantly reacted. Her scent had the power to drive him crazy. It was so damned sexy.”

Wow! I’ll have what she’s having!

Olivia has three best friends, who like Olivia, are likeable and have some nuance. None of the men do. Curious. Grayson is all perfection, his “arousal” and all! ….that is, unless you have objections to scenes like this, describing the climax, so to speak, of the attraction Olivia and Grayson have for one another:

“For Grayson, the primal need to touch her overrode caution. Her perfume blended with her natural scent, enticing him. [THERE WE GO WITH THE PERFUME AGAIN!] He stood in front of her, one hand on the small of her back, the other at her neck. He roughly twisted her hair around his fist, forced her head back, and growled, ‘Open your mouth for me,’ a scant second before his mouth covered hers.”

Okay, okay, that one had me ROTFL, pounding the couch, with the tears coming out of my eyes. I know, I know, it’s not funny. But OMG, I’m hoping I don’t need to rant (again) about the outrageousness of the eroticization of dominance/submissive behavior and how women are taught to associate arousal with male power displays. You’ve probably had enough of that lately from all the negative reviews of Fifty Shades of Gray and its offshoots. Thus I will refrain from going off on what we might call Fifty Shades of Grayson….

So I’ll just stick to other issues. Like the opening scene, for example, when the author has her character Eric Jorguson – the CEO of one of the largest investment firms in the country – a man, you would think, who knows how to behave in public – totally lose it in a restaurant – shouting and threatening to kill Olivia – yelling across the room to his bodyguard to “get her! Get her!” AFTER he ripped open her dress down the front and she responded by punching him in the nose.

Right…. [insert emoticon of dripping sarcasm]

Specifically, after the (well-deserved) nose punch, Jorguson “screams” at Olivia (but oddly, without any exclamation marks):

“How dare you touch me. You’re going to be sorry. I know people who will hurt you.”

Yep! Sounds like CEO talk to me! But Olivia need never have feared anyway: who rescues her from Snidely Whiplash Eric Jorguson? You guessed it: No, no! NOT Dudley Do-right! This is when Olivia meets Agent Grayson Kincaid, who was thinking:

“Everything about her appealed to him. Whatever perfume she was wearing was a real turn on.”


Evaluation: In the front of this book, a fly sheet notes that “Julie Garwood is the author of twenty-three consecutive New York Times bestsellers.” More than 36 million copies of her books are in print. As Grayson said after having sex the first time with Olivia, “Wow.”

Rating: 1.5/5

Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2012

Note: What? You don’t know who Snidely Whiplash and Dudley Do-right are? (Not to mention Damsel-in-Distress Nell Fenwick!) You can catch up on these and other Rocky and Bullwinkle characters here.

Characters (L to R) Snidely Whiplash, Dudley Do-Right, Nell Fenwick, and Do-Right's horse (called Horse).

Characters (L to R) Snidely Whiplash, Dudley Do-Right, Nell Fenwick, and Do-Right’s horse (called Horse).


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17 Responses to Review of “Sweet Talk” by Julie Garwood

  1. bookingmama says:

    You just made my morning. I’m dying! One of your “best” reviews ever!!!

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    I’m kind of surprised to see this on here. I give you credit for trying it. Of course I know who Snidely Whiplash and Dudley Do-right are!

  3. LOL! For reals, I laughed out loud at least three times. Can you please read more books like these and review them?! 🙂

    I’ve never read any, but based on what people used to buy at Bookmans I’d think Lisa Jackson, Catherine Coulter, and Nora Roberts are right up there with Julie Garwood…

  4. P.S. While we were pricing romance books at Bookmans, we used to flip through for the best euphemisms. My favorite were “love sword” and “love hilt”. Nope. Not making that up!

  5. Rtia K says:

    I cannot believe you read the WHOLE book! And – as you probably would guess, I know who Snidely Whiplash et al are. I used to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle 😉

  6. raych says:

    HEEEEEE HE HE HE HE. His arousal. Heee.

  7. Barbara says:

    OMG, Jill! This is priceless! I can just see you rolling off the couch laughing at “his arousal.” All I can say is, my how Dudley Do-right has changed. 😀

  8. CuriousSue says:

    I’ll have what she’s having, too.

  9. aartichapati says:

    Oh, Jill. When the book is called “Sweet Talk,” I feel like you should just KNOW that the focus will not be on the detection of a ponzi scheme 😉

    Grayson Kincaid is NOT a real name. It’s just… not. How great is that name itself?

    I’m glad that people have fun while bringing down psychopathic CEOs, though. That seems like a plus to the job!

  10. softdrink says:

    How do you know that he’s “incredibly unbelievably good-looking”…HALF OF HIS FACE IS MISSING!!

  11. That review is just incredible and unbelievable…lol

  12. Sandy says:

    Oh. My. GOD. I am shocked you made it though, but at least you were entertained. I can only take one of these books every 25 years, so I’m out.

  13. JuneA** says:

    *shaking my head*

  14. Staci@LifeintheThumb says:

    Oh how I love you and your witty reviews! this one had me laughing hysterically (but very quietly because no one else is awake!). I won’t be reading this one, but I do have to come clean and say that I did enjoy 50 (as an adult) and even though the writing was poor in a lot of spots I liked Christian. Maybe I’m screwed up??? LOL!! 😀

  15. Jenners says:

    Oh I love it when you read a really bad book because it makes for hilarious reviews!! I bet she wears the new Justin Bieber perfume! And I love how you put the NYT best-selling author in quotes. HA! Here’s (meanly) wishing you more horrible books to review so I can (selfishly) enjoy the reviews.

  16. stacybuckeye says:

    You have me laughing here. Poor Julie Garwood will be crushed when she reads this. Crushed until she gets her next advance 🙂 I read Murder List by her a few years ago and thought it was pretty good, but there was no 50 shades of Grayson there!

  17. Rachel says:

    Hilarious review!

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