Book review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Thursday, August 20, 2015 Permalink

Sandra Brown’s a successful historical and romance author who (sometime in the 199os) side stepped deftly into the romantic suspense genre. She mostly gets a good balance between the two and doesn’t include too much vomit inducing or cliched sex scenes.

Her latest, Friction, is no different.

The Blurb

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, ambitious and confident, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford’s obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large…  and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

friction by sandra brown

My thoughts

I actually had no idea there was such a thing as a Texas Ranger and the US policing system continues to confound me as much as the French policing and judicial system. But that’s kinda irrelevant.

Brown again delivers a fast-paced thriller and offers readers likeable (even loveable) characters in Crawford and Holly. Their backstories are shared seamlessly so we’re able to get to know them quickly. There’s a lot happening in their lives and the shooting simply adds to that pile. It means however, they’re complex characters and—really—the strength of this novel.

The plot’s good but perhaps (ultimately) a bit of a stretch when we finally know the motivation behind the shooting, but it also means we’re kept guessing for much of the novel.

I did groan a little (and not in a good way) at one of the sex scenes, but that’s mainly cos I struggle with the language authors feel compelled to use. After a heap of flowery romantic ‘spiralling, appeasing, bursting, thrusting and encompassing’ Crawford says….

Where’d you learn to fuck like that? Law school? pg 272

I know it’s just me… and I would have barfed if he’d used ‘make love’ instead of ‘fuck’, but still…

Thankfully (as I said earlier) this novel falls more strongly on the suspense side of the romantic suspense equation and I very much enjoyed it, reading it in just two sittings.

Friction by Sandra Brown was released on 18 August by Grand Central Publishing (Hachette Book Group) and 8 September via Hachette Australia.

I received an electronic copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. 

Anyone else struggle with sex scenes? In books, I mean!!!

  • Pinky Poinker
    August 20, 2015

    I think it would be a good idea if most authors glossed over the sex scenes. Less is more, blah blah blah. I’m not a prude but they’re just so bloody hard to get right.

    • Debbish
      August 21, 2015

      I asked myself if it was the use of the f-word in post-coital conversations… But you know me, I’m all for the f-word in appropriate moments, like when you stub your foot, need to emphasis something or… in everyday conversations. 🙂

  • jessicadub
    August 21, 2015

    I hate sex scenes in books too! Barf is right! I guess someone out there must enjoy them just always read so awkwardly!

    • Debbish
      August 21, 2015

      They’re almost impossible to get right. Though the good thing about the first one in this book is that it’s very much skimmed over. Summarised later but written in a way readers are like…. “Did that really happen?” which I liked!

  • Amy Andrews
    August 23, 2015

    Well, you know me, I’m all for sex scenes in books. But this quote made me wince. Not because of the F word cos I’m all for F words too but because it sounds so mysoginistic. Is he implying she screwed her way through law school? Because it sure as shit reads that way to me and what a breathtakingly dreadful thing to say/imply to a woman you’ve just spiralled and bursted with. He sounds like an utter dick to me. Completely unheroic.

    • Debbish
      August 23, 2015

      For me it was kinda demeaning. Both cos he was surprised she was supposedly ‘talented’ when it came to sex and the whole law school jibe! I think though it was probably just meant to imply that she was (seemingly) straight-laced and he found her sexual prowess to be a surprise. #orsomething!

  • Silver's Reviews
    August 24, 2015

    I enjoy Sandra Brown’s books.

    Not sure I would like the sex comment.

    Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog to look at my toppling TBR pile. 🙂 It is a bit scary.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My It’s Monday, What Are You Reading

    • Debbish
      August 25, 2015

      It just seemed a bit out of place to me Elizabeth. (Obviously as it caused me to notice it!!!) The other stuff I can always gloss over! 🙂

  • Amelia
    April 28, 2017

    I fully agree with the “less is more” comment. Especially when the author feels compelled to describe aroused genitalia – bleh, way too much information. Some things should be left up to the reader’s imagination!

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