From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious.
When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him.
But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin?
|And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Grand Central Publishing
Three stars: A realistic romantic suspense novel that falters with an abrupt ending and lust driven romance.
Crawford Hunt straightens his tie and takes a deep breath. Today is the day. Crawford is headed to family court where he hopes to finally gain back custody of his daughter. Crawford relinquished custody to his in laws after his wife was killed and he took to drowning his sorrows in a bottle. Hunt has slowly gotten his life together, and things are on track, all he needs is Judge Holly Spencer to grant his request. Unfortunately during the hearing, things go terribly awry, when a gunman barrels into the courtroom. Without regard to his own safety, Crawford moves into action, throwing himself over the judge. He then gives chase to the gunman. Things end badly, and Crawford realizes his behavior, though heroic, might also be considered reckless, which will hurt his chances in his custody hearing. Crawford must figure out who wanted the judge dead and why in order to salvage any chance he has of getting his daughter back. Will Crawford catch the killer?
What I Liked:
- If you are a reader that likes a good, suspenseful, romantic thriller with some interesting twists, this latest book by Ms. Brown is one to try. I enjoyed the pace of the story, the characters and the twists. It kept me reading up until the big finale.
- Crawford Hunt is an interesting character. I liked that he was a rough and tough Texas Ranger, but I also loved his softer side. I loved how Crawford interacted with his young daughter, and how he always had her best interests in mind. He is dashing and daring, and swoon worthy.
- I liked the rest of the characters as well. You get a large array, some likable, while others are detestable, and some fall into the gray area. I found myself drawn to Crawford's father, a recovering alcoholic, who maintains a strained relationship with his son. I was surprised a time or two by his antics. The villain is a bit shocking as well, especially when you learn the motives. All in all, an interesting and entertaining cast of characters.
- The mystery is well written and suspenseful. It starts off with a bang when the shooter enters the courtroom, and it never lets up. I appreciated that it remained realistic, and I liked the twists.
- The ending is rapid fire, but it does tie up all the loose ends. All my questions were answered. This was a good stand alone.
And The Not So Much:
- The romance was a bit of miss for me. It starts out with a sex scene that occurs right after the shooting. It is nothing but lust and the release of pent up adrenaline. Then you have regret as both parties realize their tryst could cause serious problems for both. There are more lusty sex scenes woven into the story. I never felt connected or invested in the romance because it was based on lust, instead of a friendship or feelings, but that is my opinion, I am sure others will like the romance just fine.
- I had a big problem with one of the big reveals at the end regarding Crawford's daughter, and then the results of the hearing. It just didn't work for me. I didn't like how quickly it wrapped up and the way the whole custody thing was settled. I wanted a better understanding into the thought process of the grandparents. I don't see why Joe, the father in law, would suddenly do what he did considering the big secret. It just didn't work for me.
- I was also disappointed in the way things played out with Crawford's dad. I was really invested in that relationship, and I was hoping for more.
Friction was an fast paced, entertaining, suspenseful read with an interesting case and terrific characters. If you are one who enjoys romantic suspense, you will appreciate the realistic story, and the exciting twists. I liked the story, but I had issues with the romance and the rather abrupt ending. Still if you are wanting a page turner, check this out.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.