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SWEET TALK by Julie Garwood


by Julie Garwood

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-525-95286-2
Publisher: Dutton

An IRS officer and an FBI agent find love while following the money.

Olivia MacKenzie meets Grayson Kincaid when the FBI agent interrupts her job-interview lunch (she fears impending IRS layoffs) with financier Eric Jorguson. Technically, the interview had already ended when Jorguson, who knows the Feds are after him for money laundering, ripped Olivia’s dress, looking for a wire. Olivia and Grayson soon find they have more in common than government employment. Both are attorneys, both have trust funds, and both have dedicated themselves to aiding children. Olivia rescues abused youngsters, and Grayson has all but adopted his 9-year-old nephew, Henry, whose father prefers the jet-set life. Before the requisite sexual pyrotechnics occur, Grayson must sort out the many miscreants out to get Olivia, most of whom are her relatives. Her father, Robert MacKenzie, is running a Ponzi scheme of Madoff-ian proportions, the Trinity Fund, but Olivia alone suspects financial malfeasance. Her sister, Natalie, is pressuring her to persuade Aunt Emma, the only relation who was there for Olivia during her childhood bout with a rare cancer, to invest in Trinity. Natalie, whose own money is tied up with Trinity, doesn’t know that her husband, George, owes a loan shark a small fortune. George is trying to get his hands on Olivia’s trust, and MacKenzie and his crooked attorney know she’s looking for the smoking gun to bring Trinity down. Then there is Jorguson’s irate bodyguard, fired over the FBI fracas. All the above are suspect when Olivia is wounded in a drive-by shooting. Meanwhile, Olivia is worried about Jane, one of three women who underwent experimental protocols for childhood cancer along with Olivia, and who now, except for Emma, constitute her family. Is Jane suffering a relapse, and is her addict brother, Logan, really in recovery? The evil characters lack any semblance of humanity, and the good characters, including the Fed-crossed lovers, are perfect and unbecomingly smug about it.

A standard melodrama with occasional flashes of originality.